Seasonal Gems – Fall Produce
By Jessy Griffel, RD, LD, Portneuf
Did you know autumn is a perfect time of year to celebrate some seasonal gems in our local produce stores? Pumpkins aren’t only for picking and making jack-o-lanterns, but they can be used in delicious seasonal dishes. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Robin Foroutan, MS, RDN provided a list of autumn fruits and vegetables to try adding to our plates this fall. Head to the farmers market, store or local farms to try incorporating these seasonal gems into your diet!
Pumpkins: Pumpkin is full of fiber and vitamin A, which is great for your skin and eyes. Pumpkin Curry soup is perfect for a cold fall day.
Beets: Beets are edible, from their leafy greens down to the bulbous root, they pack a nutrient-rich punch. Beets are full of essential everyday nutrients like B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium. Try a hearty beet salad or a roasted vegetable medley with red beets as a garnish.
Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes are a starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous root vegetable. As a vegetable, this one is rich in dietary fiber and beta-carotene, as well as B vitamins and manganese. Try sweet potatoes in your breakfast potato medley next time.
Spaghetti Squash: is a perfect replacement for spaghetti noodles if you are looking for a low carbohydrate meal. This squash delivers a range of nutrients including vitamin C and A, potassium, calcium and of course the big “f” word… Fiber!
Kale: This hardy vegetable will withstand frost and even snow! Which means you can continue to incorporate fresh dark greens all through winter. Kale is rich in Vitamins A, C and K, folate, and B vitamins. Try a kale salad with sliced, crisp apple and walnuts for a healthy side dish.
Pears: Pears are a delicious fruit and fall is their peak season. Pears actually ripen at room temperature, so if you want to buy the ripest pear check the neck, if the fruit near the stem gives to a little pressure, it is ripe and ready to eat! Pears are perfect for Panini’s, poached in red wine, and add the perfect sweetness to a smoothie.
Parsnips: I like to think of Parsnips as an albino carrot! They are the same shape and similar looking flesh as a carrots but a creamy white. One-half cup of cooked parsnips is full of fiber and contains more than 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and folate. Try these albino carrots in your next crockpot roast.
Cranberries: Of course we have cranberries at Thanksgiving dinner, but why can’t we incorporate this tart berries throughout the fall and winter seasons? Cranberries may help protect from urinary tract infection. They contain a compound called proanthocyanidin which prevents harmful bacteria from sticking to your bladder wall. Dried cranberries are delicious in grain and vegetable salads and make a perfect on the go snack.
Resouces for article can be found here