The Best Fruits and Vegetables To Eat This Fall
While spring and summer may be the most plentiful when it comes to fresh produce, fall has it’s own superfoods to enjoy!
Apples, Squash, and Leafy Greens – these are just some of the fresh fruits and vegetables you should be in search of this fall for your meals and snacks!
Where I live, we have a beautiful “pick your own” apple orchard, which is a fun weekend day-trip for the entire family. Afterward, we enjoy apple cider and homemade apple donuts! Yes, you can pretty much get apples year round, but fall is when they become super-special.
Did you know that apples belong to the Rose family of plants along with apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, and almonds? Apples are good sources of both fiber and vitamin C, but one of the best quality of apples is their polyphenol content.
Quercetin and other flavonoids found in apples in several ways which overall helps regulate our blood sugar, making apples a diabetic-friendly food. Apples also contain vital nutrients that are beneficial to reducing risk of several types of cancer, including lung, colon and breast cancer.
A creative way to add more apples into your diet is to chop them up and add them to salads for a wonderful crunch. For a healthy “dessert”, try making apple nachos – slice up the apples and top them with a drizzle of warmed nut butter, cinnamon, and vegan chocolate chips.
My mom loved to make acorn squash, but as a child I hated it. Thankfully over the years, I’ve learned to love a good baked squash, especially in the fall. Winter squashes, like the acorn, are rich in carotenoids and vitamin A. But don’t stop with just the flesh of the squash! Almost all squash seeds are also edible and make a great addition to a salad (instead of croutons) or as a sweet or salty snack!
Speaking of the most delicious foods on the planet, I have grown to adore butternut squash. I have had it in warmed salads, stews – even in my homemade vegan chili! Plus I love it blended into a soup, topped with delicious spices such as curry or cinnamon.
Did you know that one cup of butternut squash contains more than 500mg of potassium?
Another food generally shunned by kids, but it is time to give Brussels another shot. These are delicious roasted in the oven with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Since they are sort of like mini cabbages, try using them in addition to or as a substitute for cabbage in salads or slaws.
Brussels sprouts are incredibly rich in Vitamin K – providing 243% of your daily needs in just one cup. They are also good sources of vitamin C, folate, and manganese. Brussels are a great addition as well to an Anti-Inflammatory diet.
If all you know of pomegranates is juice, you may want to head out right now to the produce section and pick up a whole fruit. De-seeding these may be quite labor-intensive, but it is well worth the effort. Pomegranate “seeds” (also known as arils) make great snacks and wonderful additions to winter salads. Plus a serving contains 7 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 30% of the RDA for vitamin C.
Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkins
I think most of us already love sweet potato and pumpkin, but I add them here because fall is the best time to enjoy these.
The peak season for sweet potato is between October and December. You probably grew up eating sweet potatoes “sweet” by adding brown sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallows. But try them next time more savory by adding cumin and chili powder. Delicious! Sweet potatoes in a bowl with black beans and kale, topped with pumpkin seeds, is one of my favorite fall and winter “go-to” dishes.
Enjoy your vegan pumpkin latte, but don’t forget to add some whole pumpkin to your meals and snacks this fall. I have made a delicious and simple cake by adding a can of pumpkin to a boxed cake mix. My favorite snack (and salad topping) are pumpkin seeds, which by the way are a good source of omega-3’s.
Lately, I am just obsessed with beets. You either love them or hate them, and I do love them. I recently visited a restaurant in Pawley’s Island SC that served the most delicious beet and quinoa burger I have ever had!
Beets are high in fiber and rich in vitamin A and C. But did you also know that they are incredibly rich in iron. Try a warmed beet salad, a vegan beet burger, or just simply roast them for a beautiful side dish.
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