Overall, we’re talking about the favorite foods of Fall, y’all! 🙂
Surely, we’re elaborating on more than just Pumpkin spice, but let’s allow the actual foods of the season to shine and add to that list!
They say, An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that is partially true, as the apple has many health benefits, in addition to being absolutely delicious! When skin is left on and eaten, more beneficial; it contains a majority of the fiber found in the fruit, as well as vitamin C. More benefits include repairing lung damage from smoking and lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes (type 2). Polyphenols (also known as flavonoids) are compounds that aid in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Although apples are proven to be more beneficial with the skin on, they can still be enjoyed in a substantial amount of ways like candy apples, apple pie, apple turnovers, or baked apples to name a few!
A healthy vegetable that’s full of antioxidants and fiber can also be full of flavor if properly prepared and cooked. In the medical world, there’s tons of evidence to back up the cancer-fighting properties of cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts and others in the family like broccoli and cauliflower. The compounds in these veggies may prevent cancer cells from growing progressively. In our opinion, brussels sprouts are best when prepared by roasting them in the oven at 400°F for 25 – 40 minutes, depending on whether you’re using fresh or frozen, and how crispy you like them.
As its name states, carrots are abundant in carotenoids – better known as pro-Vitamin A – as that’s how we convert them in our intestines; such as Vitamin A. And yes, it’s very true about carrots playing a vital role in our eyesight…all that is thanks to those plant compounds called carotenoids. They are also responsible for supporting an overall well-balanced and functioning immune system, in that they’re important for our skin gracefully aging, as well as maintaining a healthy respiratory system by supporting our membranes that create mucus. Carrots are also a great source of fiber and support the digestive system. Carrots are so versatile in the kitchen, you can surely indulge in their benefits by just eating them alone or with vegetable dip, glazed carrots, carrot hummus, or even carrot cake or cupcakes.
To learn more about Cinnamon, read our other blog highlighting all of its praises!
To discover why ginger is so awesome, read our other blog highlighting all of its benefits!
Underrated, mainly due to its seasonal celebration, but we try to incorporate nutmeg into some bold recipes of ours and you should too! Nutmeg has properties that will support your overall well-being, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial just to name a few. Sadly, quite a few of the studies that have been done mainly focus on animals, but it’s found that nutmeg enhances libido, works as an antidepressant, benefits heart health, and reduces blood sugar levels. More studies (especially for humans) are definitely needed before we can truly highlight the spice, but it’s still a tasty one and can be enjoyed in an array of recipes.
Pecans are not only delicious but nutritious too! They’re packed with an impressive amount of some of the most important nutrients, such as fiber, thiamine, copper, and zinc. Fiber helps support the functioning of our digestive system, while thiamine (also known as vitamin B) helps convert carbs (carbohydrates) into energy to fuel our bodies! Copper is an important mineral that helps to support nerve cell function, immune health, and the production of red blood cells. Zinc, another important mineral, is quite necessary for immune function, brain function, wound healing, and cell growth. Some studies show that pecans help improve heart health, brain function, and blood sugar control. Of course, if you have a nut allergy, stay away from these and supplement your nutrients from other healthy sources.
Like carrots, pumpkin contains a high amount of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A and provides a multitude of health benefits. Pumpkin also provides an ample amount of vitamin C, which is actually perfect for wintertime blues, as it helps to prevent viruses and colds; much like orange juice! It’s okay to purchase the canned pumpkin, but try to get the organic and/or unsweetened version(s), as they still provide those nutrients, including fiber. We’ve never personally cooked with a real pumpkin that you must carve and remove seeds and all, but we’ve used canned pumpkin to experiment with and we still love the next vegetable more. Being that it can be served sweet or savory, you can enjoy pumpkin in pancakes, cheesecake, scones, oatmeal, soups, dips, and more, so don’t be afraid to get with pumpkin!
Oh, sweet potato! Delicious any time, but mostly celebrated in the fall, packs a punch of amazing benefits. Fiber, vitamins A and C are three of the top nutrients that sweet potatoes provide an excellent source of. In addition to that sweet potatoes help strengthen your immune system, manage stress and anxiety, and improve memory. They are also known to support digestion, eye health, and healthy blood sugar levels. That’s right, scrumptious and nutritious, sweet potatoes can be enjoyed much like pumpkin (just better) in sweet or savory form. Recipes like the classic sweet potato pie, golden crispy fries, or even roasted alone or with other veggies.
So yes, improve your health, as well as your meal plans with some healthy in-season inspirations.