Just because those delicious summer days are on their way out doesn’t mean that nature’s bounty has gone the way of sunscreen and tank tops. As we creep on into the crunchy leaves and crisp air of fall, remember not to overlook what the good earth gave ya. These are my absolute favorite fabulous fall foods.
They aren’t just a novelty, folks. Because pumpkins are high in fiber and low in fat, they have a natural place in your healthy diet. Organic, canned pumpkin puree can be a friendly, non-intimidating alternative to roasting a big, ol’ sugar pumpkin, especially if you’re concerned about a consistent texture.
Pumpkin, like its good pal butternut squash (below) is rich in carotenoids, namely beta-carotene. More information here, but pumpkins aren’t just whistling Dixie in terms of what they can do for you. Whip up some pumpkin ravioli (wonton wrappers make a weeknight presentation especially do-able) or a pumpkin mask (who knew?) to get your daily dose.
2. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash are partners in carotenoid crime with other pumpkins. They have high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and B6.
I love a butternut squash soup when it starts to get chilly out and one of the wonderful things about a basic butternut squash soup recipe is that you can revise it to your heart’s content. Add some coconut milk if you’d like, or garnish with some roasted, lightly-salted (or salt-free) chopped nuts.
Pomegranates are one of my favorite fruits, and I get super-excited when I start to see them in the grocery stores once the temps start to drop. Pomegranates are a great source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, they are high in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, and they are downright delicious.
Pomegranate seeds are the edible part of the fruit, and it takes some doing to loosen them. The seeds of a pomegranate are held in place by white membranes, which aren’t tasty at all, so avoid those when consuming. Pomegranates are a little intimidating and silly-looking once you slice them open, but de-seed your pomegranate like so and you will be a happy pomegranate-seed-eating camper. I eat pomegranate seeds straight out of a bowl, but one of my other favorite uses is as a sizable garnish in this recipe.