Summer gets all the attention for fresh produce, but don’t forget to celebrate the harvest in the fall! There are so many delicious fruits and vegetables to look forward to this season. It’s the perfect time of year to bite into a juicy, crisp apple and pay homage to all things pumpkin. And let’s not forget cranberries and squash! With so many healthy and delicious choices, we’re sharing our top picks so you can eat smart throughout the fall.
The phytonutrients in apples help regulate blood sugar. They are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Apples range from sweet, like Braeburn, Fuji and Red Delicious, to tart, such as Granny Smith and Pippins.
Lightly sweet, juicy and crisp, Asian Pears are high in fiber and potassium. They are also a good source of vitamin K, copper, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C. Buy Asian pears in bulk because they can be stored in your fridge for up to 4 months!
The flavor of celeriac is similar to leafy celery, and it works well mashed or in stews and soups. It’s a very good source of vitamin K and minerals phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper, and manganese. Celeriac also has B complex vitamins and vitamin C. Choose medium size tubers with smooth and even surface.
Cranberries can be very tart on their own and usually appear in juice, baked goods or as cranberry sauce. These nutritional powerhouses are a great source of vitamin C and fiber; however, it’s their phytonutrients that make them especially healthy. Cranberries are a potent immune system supporter.
Kohlrabi is mildly sweet and crispy. It’s a great source of vitamin C, a good source of B complex vitamins and minerals: copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and phosphorus. Young crispy kohlrabi is perfect in a salad. It’s also great when paired with other vegetables or stewed with tomatoes, onion and garlic.
Mustard greens are a cruciferous vegetable that’s particularly good for lowering cholesterol. They’re an excellent source of vitamins A & K and a good source of vitamin C, manganese, calcium, copper and vitamin E. Use the raw leaves to kick up the flavor of salad or sauté them with a few tablespoons of broth.
Nopales are a form of cacti that are high in fiber and full of healthy nutrients, including riboflavin, copper, iron, fiber, vitamins (A, B6, C, K), calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. They’re delicious when added to eggs and a steak stir fry.
Persimmons are a sweet fruit and a healthy source of fiber. They also contain flavonoid anti-oxidants such as catechins, vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. They can be eaten raw, cooked or dried.
Pumpkin is high in fiber, vitamin K and beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Pumpkin is extremely versatile and can be used in salads, soups, stews, baked good and beverages. Canned or fresh, it’s a great choice for fall recipes.
Sunchokes are also known as Jerusalem artichokes and are similar to water chestnuts. They can be eaten raw or cooked. They have protein, fiber, vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, iron, potassium, phosphorous and copper. Cooked sunchokes have a creamy texture, similar to mashed potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. They are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, potassium, dietary fiber, niacin and vitamins B1 and B2. Sweet potatoes are delicious when baked, mashed, steamed or pureed with bananas, maple syrup, and cinnamon then topped with walnuts!
Do you have a favorite fall fruit or vegetable? Tweet us at @EatSmartScales!