Because of frozen food availability and genetic modification, we’ve become accustomed to having any type of produce, all year long. Freshly harvested, organic foods, however, are distinctly available at certain times of the year. Here are some samples of delicious, healthy produce ready for pickin’ and consumption right about now.
The Usual Suspect
Pumpkins are synonymous with autumn and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Often pumpkin is used in pies or other sweet desserts. But, there are alternate ways to eat this vitamin-rich food without packing on the pounds.
You can add cooked, cooled pumpkin chunks into smoothies. Sautee slices with other coarse veggies like carrots and then spice with turmeric, garlic, and pepper. You can puree pumpkin (add cinnamon) and spread it on toast or as part of a sandwich. Don’t forget the seeds! They can be roasted in the oven and lightly sprinkled with sea salt to make a yummy snack or as a topping for salads.
Pumpkins and their seeds offer a significant amount of fiber to your diet. High fiber lowers the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. What’s great is that it keeps digestions flowing, but it also makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. It’s rich in Vitamin A, which is beneficial for vision and eye health. Evidently, the seeds contain tryptophan, which helps the body relax and encourages a good night’s sleep.
Other Fall Produce Worth Incorporating into Your Diet
Rutabaga. This is a root veggie that can be sweet-ish or bland depending on how it’s prepared. It’s a cross between a turnip and cabbage, but its flesh can be potato-like. They can be pureed, made into a soup, roasted, and I’ve even seen recipes adding it to caramelized onion and apple dishes.
The rutabaga is popular in Sweden and is a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
Dates. Here’s a sweet fruit that is highly nutritious; it’s packed with fiber, vitamins (especially potassium), minerals, and low fat. They can be eaten straight up, sliced and topped with cream cheese, or chopped and added to cookies and other treats.
Dates aid in stomach and intestinal processes. In Middle Eastern countries where fasting can be common, dates are often the first food eaten after breaking the fast. They help resist overeating, satisfy hunger, and deliver glucose and beneficial vitamins rapidly.
Brussels Sprouts. These are edible buds from a member of the cabbage family. If prepared properly, they can be incredibly delicious. Many people prepare them with bacon or garlic. They can be a tad bitter, so a groovy sauce that’s either tangy or cheesy can go a long way. Roasting them can be preferred to steaming.
Brussels sprouts are an amazing source of iron and folate (vitamin B9), which is excellent for your blood and DNA reproduction. They also contain vitamin K, which helps build strong bones and aids in heart disease prevention.
Winter squash is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A. It’s yummy prepared with butter, ginger, and cinnamon.
Parsnips look a little like carrots and are a tad sweeter. They add great flavor to soups, and some like to puree them and add to mashed potatoes for a nutty-ish flavor. They’re fiber-filled and offer lots of potassium, too.
Of course there are sweet potatoes, which is also a headliner at fall and winter holiday tables. Whichever seasonal fall foods you choose, know that organic and fresh will help keep your body at its peak nutritional health.
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