When autumn rolls around we begin to see so many beautiful squashes and gourds. While they look so pretty on a tablescape or decorating our porches, they are more then just decorative. The health benefits of eating these vibrant veggies are vast, as are the fruit that pop up this time if year.
- Beets -- Good source of folate, vitamin C and potassium. Their deep color gives away how good they are for you!
- Cabbage -- High in vitamins A and C. Yummy in soups and salads.
- Cauliflower -- A great source of folate, fiber and vitamin C. Great as a substitute for mashed potatoes!
- Parsnips -- High in folate and vitamin C. Parsnip soups and mash are fantabulous!
- Pumpkin -- Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C and folate. And the ways you can incorporate autumn's celebrity vegetable are numerous! Pumpkin pie, soups, mash, risottos...Yum! (Lattes don't count, sorry!)
- Squash -- An excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, and a good source of folate and thiamin. There are a wide variety of squashes and all have neat qualities that make them a fab addition to your grocery list. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta, acorn squash are wonderful to stuff with grains, butternut squash is delish as soup or a ravioli filler....
- Sweet Potatoes -- High in vitamins A, C and B-6, fiber, copper and potassium. A much more healthful alternative to regular potatoes, sweet potatoes offer up a pack a lot more punch in the way of vitamins and minerals and honestly, a lot more taste. Fries, mash, hash -- you name it, sweet potatoes rule!
- Swiss Chard -- these ultra green nutrient rich leaves are high in vitamins A and C and iron. The greener, the better and no day is complete until you've had your leafy greens. Of course the more raw, the more nurtients you will get from these guys but they can be quite bitter. Try steaming, adding to soups at the tail end of the cooking process or wilt quickly in a pan with a bit of olive oil and salt. MMMM!
- Apples -- One of these a day... High in vitamin C and fiber, you can never go wrong with an apple of any variety. This time of year? Apple pie, apple sauce and chutney and if you really have to, on Halloween only, candied apples!
- Avocado -- Avocados are high in fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and E. While they may seem summery, they really are one of nature's most perfect foods and are fantastic all year long.
- Bananas -- Bananas are high in vitamins C and B-6, potassium and fiber. Portable and individually wrapped, you have no excuse to always have a healthy snack on hand ; )
- Clementines -- They are a good source of vitamin C, fiber and folate. Small and fun and wonderfully aromatic when in need of a Fall scented home.
- Cranberries -- Full of vitamin C and fiber, if pumpkins are the celeb veggie of Fall, cranberries are the celeb fruit. Delicious in salads, breads and sauces or when all else fails, juice!
- Figs -- Figs have more fiber than any other fruit or vegetable and as of late, have been giving cranberries a run for their money in the celeb fruit of Fall contest. Figs has become very fashionable in the culinary world in the past few years and with good reason. They are versatile, they are healthy and they rock!
- Grapes -- When shopping for grapes, the deep purple and red varieties have the most nutritional value. They contain polyphenols (antioxidants) and resveritrol, pretty much the substance that has been named the "fountain of youth".
- Pears -- Pears are high in fiber and vitamin C. These are fun with grapes, crackers, wine and a gourmet vegan nut cheese or spread.
- Pomegranates -- The power of the pom is it's great source of iron and vitamin C. A fun fruit to eat, it's also become a very popular beverage choice.
- Chestnuts -- You may be tempted to roast them on an open fire but you benefit from their large amounts of vitamin C by eating them raw!
Filling your autumn meals with fruit and veggies of the season will surely keep you healthy and happy all season long. Gotta get your immune system prepped for the shopping marathons that are right around the corner!
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