5 Fall Produce Picks and How to Eat Them
Fall is upon us which calls for making more space for time around the table with family and friends. And with a chill in the air and changing leaves, fall has exciting (and delicious!) advantages with many seasonal fruits and veggies. For nourishing, bright fall produce picks to fill your plate with, read on.
- Pumpkin: While carving pumpkins can be a fun fall past time, pumpkins have some impressive and surprising health benefits. Typically, a deep orange color pumpkins are packed with potassium. Pumpkins can also help lower blood pressure in adults and also contains a high amount of beta carotene (200%!) which then turns into Vitamin A in the body. This helps with proper vision, boosts the immune system, and can even aid in reproductive health. A surprising benefit of pumpkin can be better sleep. Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make serotonin for a better mood and even sounder sleep.
Ways to eat them: Sweet fall dishes include pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, pumpkin muffins, or even a creamy pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. However, watch out for added sugar in the more processed mixes. Pumpkin also works well in various soups or cooked with other veggies for a sheet pan dinner. Pepitas (or pumpkin seeds) are also a great low carb snack or salad topper high in magnesium, zinc, and healthy fat.
Try this festive Fall Pumpkin Smoothie teeming with the taste of fall with pumpkin, apple, and Vibrant Health’s Maximum Vibrance. Containing a meal’s worth of plant protein, 25 billion probiotics, and rich in vitamin and minerals, Maximum Vibrance is a great all-in-one shake and source of nutrients.
- Apples: Rich in fiber and antioxidants, apples are a simple snack to reach for on the go or to weave into that delectable dessert. Apples are relatively high in vitamin C and so they can give the immune system a boost. Perhaps the greatest benefit is their filling fiber which makes apples fantastic for healthy weight loss. With hundreds of varieties of apples, it is important to look for apples without any bruises or soft spots as this often pointing to a lack of flavor and crispiness. Storing them correctly is also important as many apples lose their crispiness at room temperature.
Ways to eat them: Making a classic apple pie is a great way to please the entire family. Apples also make a great school snack for the kids is apple and peanut butter. Pairing a carbohydrate with a fat and protein is a great easy way create a filling and satisfying snack everyone will love. Chopped apples can also make a great salad mix-in for an added crunch.
- Sweet potatoes: A starchy and sweet root vegetable, sweet potatoes are a fabulous source of fiber, vitamins, and key nutrients. Sweet potatoes impressively contain nearly 400% of the vitamin A (double what is present in pumpkin) you would need in a day. With a lower glycemic index than a regular white or yellow potato, sweet potatoes can also help balance blood sugar. Rich in carotenoids, sweet potatoes contain many important antioxidants that can help slow down aging and protect the body’s cells from wear and tear. Lowering the risk of cancer, stabilizing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and reducing inflammation in the body are just a few of the myriad of benefits to this impressive root veggie.
Ways to eat them: To get the most out of the nutrients in the sweet potato, boiling is a great option. If you are craving more of a savory item, making your own sweet potato fries or sweet potato chips in the air fryer is a great option.
- Cranberries: A top fall produce pick and noteworthy superfood are cranberries. These antioxidant-rich and tarte berries are harvested from late September to early November. Cranberries are rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin and have many anti-inflammatory benefits. Cranberries can also play a role in treating UTIs (urinary tract infections) due to their high level of proanthocyanidins. This antioxidant can prevent certain bacteria from sticking to urinary tract walls which helps immensely in reducing bladder and urinary tract infections.
Ways to eat them: In their original state, cranberries are generally a very tart fruit and may call for a way to sweeten them up. One way to eat cranberries is by chopping them up and eating them with a little bit of sugar or agave. Cranberries also go great in a classic cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving or even for a sweet, crunchy salad topper. With their high antioxidant count, this fruit is perfect for anyone looking for food with anti-aging benefits.
For a delicious snack on-the-go considering making these Cranberry Oat Bars with old fashioned oats, cranberries, flaxseed, and Vibrant Health’s Spectrum Vibrance, an antioxidant formula with nutrients from nearly 4o fruits and vegetables.
- Carrots: While carrots come in a myriad of colors such as yellow or red, they are most recognized for their bright orange hue. Carrots can also be considered a superfood due to their nutrient benefits. Similar to pumpkin, carrots contain a hefty amount of beta carotene which helps protect the eyes. Vitamin A in carrots is also essential in protecting healthy skin and can reduce the risk of skin cancer. Due to their filling fiber, carrots can also be a great way to fill up if you are watching your calories. A less expensive superfood, carrots can help power up your diet and gut health while lasting weeks in the fridge.
Ways to eat them: Carrots are versatile and can be eaten cut up with hummus for a protein boost or cooked in a warm, nourishing chicken noodle soup. The beta carotene (which turns into vitamin A) present in carrots is more easily absorbed by the body after cooking or steaming them. Try roasting carrots in the oven for a delicious and healthy side dish or along with an easy sheet pan dinner.
While some of these fall produce picks are best in season, many of these picks are also available year-round. Adding in seasonal, fresh fruits and veggies can be a fresh way to incorporate more whole foods, nutrients, and bright autumn color as you gather around the table with those you love this fall.