Fall weather typically means cooler temperatures and heartier meals. However, eating heartier doesn’t have to mean you are eating foods that are unhealthy. You can easily use seasonal vegetables that are available this fall to add flavor and nutrition to your traditional fall recipes.
Vegetables that are available during the fall season include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, broccoli, potatoes and turnips. For fruits, be on the look out for apples, dates, pears, kiwi and tangerines. Simply putting some of these items on your grocery list can help inspire you to infuse them into your meals. Since these items are at their peak during the fall season, you can get them at a good price and while they are at their freshest.
Below are a few ideas that incorporate seasonal produce with your everyday fall favorites.
Cabbage, Carrot, Pepper and Broccoli Stir-Fry: All of these vegetables are at their peak during the fall season. You can easily add some of your other favorite vegetables and lean meat for a great meal. Stir-fry dishes can help vegetables keep their many vitamin nutrients as long as the vegetables aren’t over-cooked.
Mac and Cheese Revamped: Most kids and adults love macaroni and cheese. This dish is considered a great comfort food but cheese, milk and noodles can easily turn into a high calorie trap. Adding in sweet potatoes, carrots or zucchini are great ways to bump up the nutrition and cut down the fat. By pureeing the vegetables, you can sneak in the extra nutrition on those picky eaters in the house that might otherwise avoid eating them.
Potato and Leek Soup: Both leeks and potatoes are harvested in the fall. This type of soup can be very filling and the potato is the most popular vegetable out there. Potatoes contain several different vitamins and minerals and are one of the safer forms of carbohydrates. Leeks have a mild onion flavor but are easier to digest.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes can be a simple side dish that’s easy to make and very versatile. For a twist, mix in some steamed cauliflower so that you are incorporating a fall vegetable with plenty of vitamin C, manganese and beta-carotene. If your family is opposed to cauliflower, simply don’t tell them. Chances are they won’t be able to taste the difference.
Take the opportunity this fall to use seasonal fruits and vegetables to incorporate more nutrition into your everyday meals. You might find some new techniques that make your classic recipe better than ever.
October 20th, 2011