The chill weather of autumn combined with two food-fueled holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, can make eating healthy during fall harder than when fresh fruit and vegetables are practically begging to be eaten in spring and summer.
But fall is full of its own special brands of superfoods, including one of our favorites, especially when in seasonal latte form: Pumpkin.
Check out our So Fresh & So Green list of our Top 10 Fall Superfoods (& Why They Are Good For You). Add them to your normal carb-filled cold weather diet and you can easily eat cheaper, more seasonally, and more conscientiously.
Kale is one of our favorite all-around greens. Added to a white bean soup, grilled, made into chips, shredded and raw in salads, this dark, leafy green is a versatile and nutrient-packed addition to any meal.
Kale has tons of Vitamin K (for blood and bones) , beta-carotene (for your eyes) and immune boosting antioxidants.
Because of their blood-red pigment, many people are scared of this beautifully hued food. But, what most people don’t know, is that it is the color that adds that most potency to this gorgeous, earthy-flavored root vegetable.
Betacyanin is a cancer super-fighter, while beets also have tons of vitamin B and their leaves are more iron-rich than spinach.
Our favorite way to eat a beet? Grilled with goat cheese, juiced with carrots, ginger, and lemons, as soup, or mashed up with mashed potatoes to give them a fuchsia glow.
There’s a good reason for the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” In the fall, apples may take center stage in the middle of a sugary pie, but you don’t even have to look skin deep for super-charged nutrition from the apple.
The apple’s skin contains an antioxidant compound called quercetin, calcium, Vitamin C and apparently eating apples is a good way to clean teeth.
Want to add some apples to your diet this fall? Well, nothing is better than the fruit by itself, but apples also go well in walnut-chicken salads, grilled and drizzled with a pungent cheese, or sliced thinly and put into a sandwich. It sounds weird, but the texture is amazing!
7. Butternut Squash
In the autumn, there are generally tons of delicious squashes to choose from in the market. All of them have great nutritional properties, but the creamy, rich taste and texture of butternut squash reminds us the most of fall.
It’s vibrant orange flesh is rich with beta-carotene which is good for your flesh and squash is full of fiber. Our favorite way to eat butternut squash is blended into a soup, roasted and drizzled with honey, or baked into a savory cake with rosemary.
6. Brussels Sprouts
In old television shows, Brussels sprouts and Lima beans are always considered the bane of every child’s existence, but that’s just because of the old-fashioned tendency to overcook this cruciferous fall vegetable until it turns into a smelly mush. High in vitamin C, Brussels sprouts are a great way to stave off winter colds.
Need a new recipe for those sprouts? The best way we’ve had Brussels sprouts is roasted and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and bacon. Need a healthier alternative? Steamed and shaken with olive oil, fresh garlic, and sea salt is always gorgeous.
Not only are grapes delicious (especially as wine!), they are full of heart-helping phytochemical resveratrol and minerals such as copper, iron and manganese.
Inject some grapes into your diet with a glass of red wine a night (moderation, please!), grapes with chicken in a salad, grapes washed with water and frozen for a healthy desert, or a homemade sugar-free jam to put on some multi-grain brad.
No fall or winter holiday table is complete with the gorgeous red color of cranberries. Luckily, cranberries are resplendent with antioxidants, which helps heart disease, yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
Some great ways to chomp on some cranberries this fall is in salads, in desserts, made into a jam and spread onto crackers, sandwiches, and mashed with soft cheeses.
There is almost nothing as cozy and comforting as eating steaming roasted chestnuts on a cold fall or winter day. Luckily, this seasonal favorite is as cheerful for your body as it is for your psyche. Chestnuts have lots of stress-reducing Vitamin B6 and tummy-filling fiber.
Like we mentioned above, chestnuts are great just hot and roasted, but you can also insert chestnuts into stuffings for meat, add them as an earthy to meat, or even make them into chestnut butter for sandwiches!
A mythological and beautiful fruit, pomegranates might be a pain to enjoy, but the effort is worth it. These ruby-seed filled beauties are super high in antioxidants and studies have shown drinking pomegranate juice may reduce the risk of hardening arteries. A plus after eating all the fatty “holiday” foods.
Pomegranate seeds are very versatile. For breakfast, you can sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. For lunch, you can put them on a salad. Paired with goat cheese and pine nuts, they are delicious. For dinner, pomegranate seeds also make a delicious relish for chicken, pork, and beef.
As we stated above, our favorite treat of the fall season is pumpkin-flavored everything. Which, in its fresh version, is actually a great thing. Pumpkins are full of fiber, Vitamin A, beta carotene, and potassium.
Of course, the quintessential way to eat pumpkins is through pumpkin pie, but pumpkins also go great in vegan muffins, as a lush filler for pork chops, made into a soup, a marmalade, or paired with cheese to make a festive spread!
- Did we miss any of your favorite seasonal fruits or veggies for fall? Let us know in the comments!