Pumpkin-spiced everything, hot apple cider and oversized sweaters…you know exactly what time of the year it is!
It feels like everyone’s favorite season is Fall, and it’s easy to see why, with all of the delicious foods that come into season. Winter squashes, apples, cranberries and sweet potatoes to name a few, are not only tasty, but provide a plethora of health benefits and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Here are some suggestions:
Fuel for your Immune System
For a healthy immune system, orange and yellow foods such as pumpkins and spaghetti, butternut and acorn squash are known for being Vitamin A and C beacons. Upping your intake of these vitamins could certainly help strengthen your body against pesky colds that catch you by surprise when the temperatures drop. We love making a simple squash curry dish for dinner; the best way to have it is cooked slow and low, which makes it an easy meal to throw in the crockpot.
Healthy Starches are your Friends
Potatoes are seen as everyone’s guilty pleasure, but they’re not nearly as guilty as their reputation implies. If you skip the oil and deep frying, they’re another source of Vitamin C, and are a healthy starch that can also contain more potassium than a banana. Sweet potatoes provide all of these benefits plus those of the orange-yellow food group, and can be made into delicious, healthy desserts. Try roasting potatoes (sweet or regular) in the oven with a light drizzle of a healthy oil (avocado or grapeseed) coated in ground rosemary, salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, oregano and a little dash of coriander.
An Apple a Day
If you’re craving something sweet, look no further than apples and persimmons. Apples are actually more effective at waking you up than a cup of coffee! This is because they have a high sugar content, but they’re also high in fiber, which allows for the slow release of those sugars, preventing spikes in energy as well as crashes. Their B Vitamin content also helps you to feel energized.
- Apple and any sort of nut butter is a match made in heaven.
- Apples and persimmons are tasty on their own, but for variety, try adding a light dusting of cinnamon on top. They are also delicious poached.
- If you want to kick the apples up a notch, try this tasty apple nacho recipe: cover some apple slices in peanut butter and add your favorite combination of goji berries, dark chocolate chips, coconut shavings and hemp seeds.
Cranberries and pomegranates are the holy grail of antioxidants when it comes to fall produce. Antioxidants help to remove free radicals, which cause cell damage and expose the body to an array of ailments.
Pomegranates are anti-inflammatory due to their high antioxidant levels, and they are also thought to contribute to healthy memory function. Cranberries are revered for contributing to urinary tract health and both fruits contribute to healthy heart function.
Their tart flavors provide an acidic bite that can balance sweet and savory notes alike, making them versatile fruits that can be used in a variety of dishes. If it’s juice you’re looking for, make sure it’s 100% juice and not from concentrate, preferably without added sugars. They can be a bit too strong to drink straight, but concocting a mocktail by mixing with apple, orange or pineapple juice, seltzer water and a squeeze of lime, on the rocks makes for a perfectly balanced refreshment! You can also add your favorite LUV Shine or Unwind tincture to your mocktail, depending on the time of day.
If Fall wasn’t one of your favorite seasons already, we hope we’ve managed to convince you that healthy and tasty can coexist, whilst also keeping the traditional, comforting flavors that we all know and love so well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Madison Eubanks is Holistic Wellness Practitioner and a graduate of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. Nutrition and Urban Farming are not only her areas of expertise, but her passion; she loves educating people on the healing powers of food and how they can allow it to “be thy medicine”. Madison also has certifications as a health and life coach and is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She has been a dedicated vegan for over four years, believing it to be one of the best choices she has ever made: ‘there is no better diet that takes in consideration for human health, the environment and animal welfare’.