Autumn is right around the corner, and with it comes a bevy of seasonal fruits and veggies. For a little guidance in the produce section, holistic dietitian and nutrition coach Phara J. Taylor of The Nutrition Clinic in Port St. Lucie lends her insight on the season’s most nutritious and delicious farm-fresh picks and how you can incorporate them into your diet.
I love the color and flavor of pumpkin in savory and sweet dishes alike. Pumpkin is nutritious, loaded with fiber, and boasts a range of vitamins and minerals for a well-balanced diet. It packs a good amount of beta carotene and vitamin C, both of which are important in supporting immunity. If you’re aiming for weight loss, pumpkin is low in sugar and high in fiber, which may improve metabolic efficiency.
Try This: Cook pumpkin into a soup or roast it with other vegetables. Use roasted pumpkin seeds as a crunchy snack or a topping on salads and yogurt.
With their vibrant color and earthy flavor, beets add natural beauty to your plate—plus, they are root vegetables so they’re full of antioxidants, essential vitamins, and minerals. Not only are beets high on the nutrient scale, but they are also low in calories and provide a good dose of folate, which plays a key role in heart health. Beets have been studied for their role in lowering blood pressure, which is likely due to their high concentration of nitrates, which help dilate blood vessels.
Try This: Add beets to salads or roast them with other vegetables like carrots for a colorful and appetizing plate.
Brussels sprouts are super- packed with nutrients—especially fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K, which supports blood clotting and healthy bones. These veggies are especially great for diabetics because their high fiber content can help lower blood sugar levels. A half-cup of sprouts contains 2 grams of fiber, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, among other health benefits.
Try This: Brussels sprouts make for an easy and tasty side dish. Simply drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake until crispy.
Pears are an excellent addition to fall menus given their impressive nutrition profile and versatility. They are a good source of antioxidants and are rich in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Manyof the nutrients that help fight inflammation and may also aid in weight loss
are found in the peel.
Try This: Pears can be eaten raw as a snack or added to dishes like oatmeal or salad.
After you get home with these autumnal fruits and veggies, give these three easy recipes a go:
Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Veggies
3 cups mixed greens
1 cup arugula
3/8 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
For the veggies:
2 beets, peeled
3 carrots, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, mix olive oil, maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic powder.
Slice the beets into wedges and cut carrots into thin slices, about 1 inch long. Place veggies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour olive oil and spices mixture over the veggies and toss to coat.
Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until cooked through.
Assemble the salad:
Plate mixed greens and arugula. Top with roasted vegetables and goat cheese. Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Pear and Celery Slaw
1 pear, thinly sliced
2 1/2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. pecans
1/2 tbsp. oil oil
1.2 tsp. lemon juice
Add ingredients to a bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. pecans
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add Brussels sprouts to a bowl with oil and toss to coast. Spread Brussels sprouts on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Add pecans to the bowl and toss with leftover oil from the Brussels sprouts. Add pecans to the baking and roast for another 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!