Temperatures are dipping, but your food choices are just beginning to heat up! Kick your workout energy into high gear with these nutrient-packed superfoods, which are at their peak in the autumn months. Here’s your guide to eight easy-to-use, fresh ingredients that will keep you looking fit and feeling fantastic.
Ditch your sugar- and preservative-loaded Pumpkin Spice Latte for nutritious and even more delicious ways to use this winter squash. With its sweet taste and moist texture, pumpkin is perfect mixed with Greek yogurt for a vitamin A-loaded smoothie, stuffed into whole-wheat ravioli, or even as a base for healthy chia pudding. They’re rich in potassium, and provide more than 20% of your daily fiber needs.
Winter squash is finer in texture and sweeter in flavor than summer squash. Yum! And, because of its thick skin, it can be stored for months. Try it with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt, or even a crumble of goat cheese, for a tasty meal with loads of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A.
Did someone say ‘apple picking’? With dozens of varieties to try, apples are just as satisfying eaten raw with a spread of natural peanut butter or baked in the oven before a generous sprinkle of blood sugar-stabilizing cinnamon. Just be sure to eat the skin—it contains heart-healthy flavonoids.
These guys look a little like carrots, but have a lighter color and sweeter, almost nutty flavor. Use this root veggie to flavor rice and potatoes, puree parsnips into clean-eating soups and sauces full of fiber and potassium.
Sweet, juicy… Who doesn’t love pears? Cooking really brings out their fabulous flavor, so try ‘em baked or poached with a drizzle of dark chocolate or local honey for a filling dessert that will keep your waistline in check (and also contains plenty vitamin C and copper).
They’re for more than Thanksgiving casseroles! More nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts, try roasting them with turmeric for an extra dose of antioxidants and inflammation-busting powers, or load them with vegetarian chili.
Cauliflower is the master of disguise. After steaming, you can blend it to create a mashed potato-like texture, throw it in the food processor to make cauliflower “rice,” or puree into soup that tastes creamy, without the cream. Cauliflower has compounds that may help to prevent cancer, plus phytonutrients may lower cholesterol.
Though it seems like a summery citrus, grapefruit is actually harvested in the Fall. With more than 75% of your daily needs for vitamin C, grapefruit will keep your immune system at its strongest when those nasty seasonal viruses start floating around. Add it to mixed greens, combine it with avocado and shrimp, or enjoy its juice on its own.
What are some of your favorite healthy Fall recipes? Tell us in the comments!