While you may be excited to eat and drink everything pumpkin spice-flavored this fall, these seasonal treats tend to be loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. But don’t worry — there are some healthier reasons to love fall.
Autumn is a bountiful season for farm-fresh vegetables, with plenty of flavorful and healthy options you can add to any meal. Feel free to indulge in these nutritious and delicious fall veggies.
They probably weren’t your favorite vegetable growing up (perhaps because you only had them out of a can), but fresh beets are truly delicious. Enjoy beets by roasting them, slicing over a salad or turning them into a healthy beet soup. Beets are rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C, and they're also high in potassium and folate.
From pumpkin and butternut to spaghetti and acorn, you'll find a wide variety of squash at your local grocery store or farmers market come fall. All are low in calories, high in essential vitamins and minerals and full of flavor.
As an added bonus, nearly any type of squash works well as a substitute for your favorite carb-heavy foods, like pasta. Try topping spaghetti squash with your favorite pasta sauce, or roasting some cubed squash with olive oil and seasonings for a satisfying side dish.
When cooked right, Brussels sprouts have just the right amount of flavor and crunch to make them the perfect side dish for any fall meal. Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate and key vitamins and minerals. Slice them in half, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper and roast them in the oven at a 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes for a delicious taste you’re sure to love.
With a sweet, earthy flavor, rutabagas are like a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They are an excellent source of both fiber and vitamin C. Rutabagas can be added to a variety of recipes, from casseroles to soups and stews. Or try this recipe for bite-sized roasted rutabaga.
Try something new and substitute turnips for radishes or cabbage in your favorite fall recipes. Season with herbs like fennel and roast or toss into a warm soup or cook alongside a beef roast. Both the turnip leaves and turnip roots are dense in nutrients, so don’t let either go to waste. The roots contain high amounts of vitamin C, while the leaves are rich in folate and vitamins A and K.
Eating healthy through fall
The shorter autumn days may make it difficult to get as much physical activity as you did during the summer, but filling your diet with seasonal produce can help you avoid adding on extra pounds this season while boosting your health with plenty of essential nutrients.