Written by: Claudia Haller NBC-HWC
As the leaves change colors and the air turns crisp, it’s almost as if you’re surrounded by the warm scent of pumpkins and apples in the air. Fall is officially here. While pumpkin spice lattes and apple pies topped with ice cream might not be the healthiest options – there are plenty of ways to incorporate the best foods that this season has to offer into your diet without compromising your health goals. The fall season brings with it a delightful array of fresh, locally grown produce that can add both flavor and nutrition to your table. Here are just some examples of fall seasonal produce you should snap up from your local farmers market this weekend to create your own fall “farm to table” experience.
Have you gone apple picking this fall? The season to do so is quickly coming to an end, so make sure you get out there! In the fall, apple orchards across the country are in full swing, offering a variety of apple types, from sweet to tart. While I always enjoy my annual cider and donut at the apple orchard, there are plenty of healthier ways to incorporate this nutritious fruit into your diet throughout the season. You can enjoy the fresh-picked taste of this ultimate natural health food right out of your fruit bowl, sliced and topped with natural nut butter, or even added to your salads. Remember what they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctors away”.
Winter greens that thrive in cooler weather are often dark and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As the season of spreading illness kicks in, increase your dark leafy greens to boost your immunity and decrease your risk of future disease. One of the most common winter greens is kale, which serves as a nutritional powerhouse. Get an organic batch of winter greens that are either mixed or separate with collard greens, mustard greens, or turnip greens from your local market and get creative! You can use them as a base for your salads, sauté them, throw them into your smoothie, or add them to your soups and stews for more nutrition this fall.
Did you know pumpkins technically fall into the squash category? Pumpkins are excellent for creating hearty, warming soups in your slow cooker that will boost your health and immune systems. You can also make a delicious and healthy snack out of roasting the seeds. Other forms of squash that you shouldn’t miss out on are acorn, spaghetti, and butternut. Squash is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. These veggies are hearty and healthy, not to mention, delicious and perfectly aligned with the fall aesthetic.
There are so many types of pears. Bartlett pears are among the most well-known of them, but your farmers market may have a variety of types for you to try, each with its unique flavor and texture. Pears are an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. While they are a juicy and enjoyable snack on their own, you can also incorporate them into desserts and salads for an extra burst of sweetness guilt-free!
Fun fact: sweet potatoes are not yams or related to potatoes. This starchy vegetable is a great source of beta-carotene, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. You can roast them, mash them, or even bake sweet potato fries as a healthier alternative to regular fries. My favorite way to bake sweet potatoes is with a sprinkle of cinnamon to enjoy their custardy texture and sweetness in this cozy season!
Brussels sprouts are often underrated, but they deserve a place on your fall menu. You may not be the most popular person in the office if you heat them up in the staff room during your lunch break, but there are other ways to consume these delicious and nutritious veggies. Roasting them with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt can turn these little green gems into a delectable side dish that's rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
Although they stain, beets cooked or raw are a root veggie that you shouldn’t miss. To make things easier, most grocery stores even offer them pre-made in their produce section. Beets are anti-inflammatory and support the health of your brain, heart, and digestive system. They’re amazing to throw on top of salads with a little crumble of goat cheese and walnuts for good measure.
Juicy and delicious, pomegranates are a superb fall choice. They do take some effort to eat, but it is entirely worth it. Pomegranates are full of antioxidants and nutrients; they can aid with inflammation, digestion issues, and disease prevention. If you're intimidated by the thought of garnishing your salads with them for a bright pop of color, you can still experience some of these benefits from consuming pomegranate seeds or drinking pomegranate juice!
This fall, make the most of all of the beautiful local produce that is harvested in this season! By visiting the farmers market and buying seasonal produce you’ll be supporting local farmers, living more sustainably and making the best of your budget allocated to food. It’s a win-win-win! Savor the flavors of autumn, and nourish your body with the delicious and nutritious bounty that nature provides during this time of year. Enjoy your fall feasting and stay healthy!
Supporting local agriculture is not just a fall trend! Learn more about the positive impact of locally sourcing your food and other actions you can take to eat more sustainably at our recent blog here: https://www.virtualhealthcoaches.com/blog/eating-more-sustainably-a-delicious-path-to-a-greener-future
Now that you have your fall foods down, what about beverages? Check out our recent blog highlighting healthy beverages to keep you warm and cozy this fall: https://www.virtualhealthcoaches.com/blog/sip-and-savor-5-nourishing-fall-drinks-to-embrace-the-season
If reading this blog inspired you to hit reset and focus on your health and well-being, then working with a coach might be the perfect solution for you. During a strategy session, we will discuss your goals and come up with a plan that is tailored specifically for you. If you are ready to take action and create balance in your busy life, click here now to schedule your free call.
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