Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Favorites

After my post about ideas to help all of us eat just a bit more healthy, I decided to post today about some of my favorite fall foods.  With a little inspiration from an email I got this morning(check out this link), here's what I came up with:

Apples:  Loaded with poly phenols to help fight disease, these handheld fruits are perfect for every meal.  Let it be noted that the majority of the nutritious poly phenols are located in the skin of apples.  Eating a fresh, whole apple is the best way to benefit from all it has to offer.  Skip peeling, pureeing, and baking apples (although these forms of preparation are okay every now and then...) and eat the whole fruit as mother nature intended.  Eating the fruit whole will allow for all the nutrients to get absorbed properly, help regulate your blood sugar, help prevent cancer, and even control cholesterol levels (Source).  My favorites include golden delicious, jonagold, honey crisp, and rome.

Squash:  Winter squash is so good because it can me prepared so many different ways and adds a mild touch of sweetness to dishes.  My favorites include, but are certainly not limited to:  muffins/quick breads, soups/stews, roasted, stir-fried, steamed, mashed, and baked.  You can even include them in cookies, cakes, pancakes, and waffles!!
     -Pumpkin.  Obviously my favorite of all types of winter squash!
     -Butternut
     -Acorn
     -Spaghetti

Cranberries:  Did you know what cranberries are more than that big glob of dark red stuff at Thanksgiving?  Besides being loaded with antioxidants, which help fight cancers, cranberries also help to prevent urinary tract infections.  I like to boil the cranberries until they pop, add some seasonings, and toss them in a soup or quick bread.  They are also really good dehydrated.

Roughage:  Fiber is your friend.  All of these wonderful dark greens are low in calories, fill you up, and provide essential nutrients like vitamin K, C, and iron into your diet.  My favorite way to eat greens is either raw or lightly steamed.  The steaming makes them really bright green and brings out the sweetness of the plant.  More to come on recipes (psst...I'm making Brussels sprouts tonight...)
     -Kale
     -Collards
     -Brussels sprouts
     -Cabbage

Nuts: Oh nuts!  These little guys are packed with healthy fats and protein.  To control portion sizes, I like to crack them myself; I get tired of cracking after awhile and it slows down my eating speed.
     -Walnuts
     -Acorns (you can get these right off an oak tree!  Just make sure they haven't fallen to the ground yet, but are just on the verge of doing so)

Well, now you know more about why I love this time of year so much!!  Tons of healthy food available...what's you're favorite fall food or recipe?

Luana ola!