food babe’s favorite (and nutritious!) ingredients for fall
It’s almost fall, and I’m ready to spend some time taking long walks in the cooler weather, and enjoying relaxing nights out on my porch. The turn of the Fall season also means some of my favorite fruits and veggies will be back in season and that’s something I’m very excited about because I can’t wait to break out some of my favorite Fall recipes! Here’s how I plan to use all this delicious fresh produce.
Butternut squash is very high in heart-healthy carotenoids and the antioxidant beta-carotene, which can protect against breast cancer and macular degeneration. It’s also packed with plenty of vitamins, potassium, and fiber. Just be sure to always choose organic squash because this crop in particular has been shown to absorb insecticides from the soil. One of my absolute favorite sandwiches in the world is the Butternut Squash Panini found at abc kitchen in NYC. I know that the ingredients are a little different, but I created my own version at home and it’s equally delicious!
This is probably one of the healthiest veggies around and I love incorporating it into my diet. Cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts are an absolute rock star of cancer fighting and something I eat every single day. Not only are brussels sprouts high in vitamins and minerals, but they contain compounds that combat inflammation in the body. There are so many ways to enjoy brussels sprouts! I throw them in a pan with some beets, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasonings for a super simple roasted veggie dish served with lentils. I also like to chop raw brussels sprouts to garnish cooked dishes, and use them to make raw salads like my Good Fortune Salad (which also includes butternut squash!).
The high amount of vitamin A in pumpkin is fantastic for your eyes, and the antioxidant beta-carotene protects against free radical damage. Pumpkin is also high in fiber and potassium. One of my favorite things about pumpkin, is that you can use it to make desserts and treats that pack some serious nutritional punch! I like to whip up a warm bowl of Pumpkin Quinoa Porridge that tastes like pumpkin pie, but is really a healthy breakfast. I also use pumpkin to make an amazing ice cream cake! For something savory, I simmer it with onions, garlic, and curry to make a spicy Thai soup.
Cauliflower contains an incredible compound called sulforaphane that has been shown the slow the growth of tumors. It also is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and choline. Choline is mainly found in organ meats and eggs, but cauliflower is a good vegan source of this nutrient, which is essential to good brain health. It’s especially important for pregnant women to get their choline, as it helps with brain and nervous system development in the womb. One of the great things about cauliflower is that you can pulse it in a food processor to make a healthier substitute for rice, so it’s easy to add to your everyday diet. I use cauliflower “rice” to make a light and filling Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Risotto and also a delicious taco salad.
What’s your favorite Fall ingredient?