Diet and Nutrition

Fall Harvest is Here! See What’s in Season

It is officially fall! And while it seems like pumpkins are the only seasonal veggie in the spotlight, we wanted to share some of the other goods you’ll definitely want to throw in your basket this season along with some delicious recipes to incorporate them in.

All of these produce items are freshest from mid-September to mid-December and are sure to be plentiful at your local farmers market.

We would love to get some of your recipes for these fresh fall picks along with a few of your other favorite seasonal goods, so share them with us in the comments!

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 Broccoli and Cauliflower

We know broccoli and cauliflower are different vegetables, but for the sake of brevity we’ll group them together. Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber with a good dose of Vitamin A and K as well.

Cauliflower doesn’t pack as big of a nutritional punch as broccoli, but does win in its amount of potassium and folate.

Cauliflower also comes in other colors other than white if you want to get your kids excited about it, we love the purple variety. The difference in color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.

No matter which veggie you choose to go with, you really can’t go wrong. Both are extremely nutritious, and we love how you can eat them raw or cooked in a variety of ways.

Recipes we’re going to try:

Magic Broccoli – roasted with garlic olive oil, lemon and parmesan

A healthier alternative to pizza! – Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

 Winter Squash

Despite its name, winter squash is actually grown throughout the summer months, and once it develops a full, hard rind it is good for eating and storing. By the time the squash fully matures, that time is in the fall and winter months.

There are quite a few varieties of winter squash, pumpkins included (however, we had to give pumpkins their own category), but some of the other notable ones include butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, sweet dumpling squash and carnival squash.

According to epicurious, winter squash varieties are naturally low in fat and calories, and deliver rich amounts of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Winter squash is also a source for iron and riboflavin.

Recipes we’re going to try:

Roasted Winter Squash and Sausage with Herbs

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale

 

 Pears and Pomegranates

We couldn’t let vegetables take all the glory, there’s some fall fruits worth fawning over, too. These two fruits not only delicious on their own, but we think they’re pretty good as a pair as well.

While pomegranates do require a little more patience, the nutritional benefits make fighting for those little seeds worth it. Pomegranates contain three types of antioxidant polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, in significant amounts, which is why pomegranates are touted as one of the top superfoods.

Pears are high on the fiber scale with roughly 6 grams for a medium-sized fruit, and they also contain vitamins C, K, B2, B3, and B6 and folate. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese are also found in pears. Kind of makes you rethink that “apple a day” phrase. Maybe we should switch to a pear a day!

Recipes we’re going to try:

Pomegranate Walnut Pear Salad

Quinoa Stuffed Pears  

Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad

 

 Pumpkin

Although we already explained the health benefits of winter squash, we had to give everyone’s favorite fall treat a shout out.

One thing you may not know is that there are actually a ton (like over 40) varieties of the big orange thing we all go pick out, carve and go nuts over every year. Some pumpkins are better for savory cooking (cheese pumpkin), then there’s some that are better for the desserts (lumina) and some that are better for seeds (sugar pumpkin).

Also, something to note is that the nutritional benefits of pumpkin are great when you get them straight from an actual pumpkin, the canned puree still has some of the benefits, but all those pumpkin spice flavored goods aren’t actually good for you, but you already knew that…

Recipes we’re going to try:

Pumpkin, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew

Pumpkin Spice Parfait

 

 Swiss Chard

There are few nutrients swiss chard doesn’t have. On top of the antioxidant protection in the form of phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, swiss chard also contains Vitamins A, C, E, K, B6.

A favorite way to have chard is in salad, but this eye health and immunity boosting food is also great sautéed and added to soups.

Here are some recipes we’re going to try:

 Swiss Chard and Potato Leek Hash

One-Pot Chicken and Rice with Swiss Chard

 

 

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Elle Michels

Elle Michels

Based in Washington, D.C., Elle Michels is a contributing writer to Womenshealth.com.

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