The shift into Autumn is among us. The stuffy summer air is soon going to transform into a crisp, light and fresh breeze. In the same way, summer produce will transition from bright, seeded fruits to moodier, leafy greens, fit to prepare our bodies for the shift in its circadian rhythm – the 24-hour physiological cycle in which living beings function. An increase in vitamin D, carbohydrates, and anti-inflammatory foods to fight allergies are a few things our bodies crave during this seasonal shift.
Farmers tend to supply the supplest produce available for a fraction of the price. When buying your produce from a farmer, you can ensure your foods were grown with love and treated without pesticides. And, even more importantly, you can meet, face to face, the precious soul that grew your food! Visit your local farmers market to try out a few of our favorite fall produce picks – nutritionally dense, easy to prepare, affordable and delicious for the whole family.
Stemming from the same family as cabbage, Brussels Sprouts are tiny edible buds that pack extreme nutritional benefits. They are high in necessary nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin K. In addition, they are a great source of dietary fiber! Season with olive oil, salt and pepper, and boil or roast for a quick and delicious side item for any meal.
Also a member of the cabbage family, collard greens are large, leafy greens, very common to cuisine in the southernmost states. Collard greens are surprisingly a great source of protein! An uncommon trait to leafy greens. They are also loaded with fiber, calcium, and iron (a great option for vegetarians who miss out on the iron found in red meat). Little by little, add bunches of freshly washed greens to an olive oil coated skillet over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes and enjoy!
Also referred to as leaf cabbage, kale has dark green or purple leaves with curly edges. Kale is rumored to be the healthiest plant! It is loaded with Vitamin A, K, and C, as well as protein and fiber. It is extremely low in calories making it an extremely nutritionally dense food! Prepare similarly to collard greens or, season with salt, pepper and olive oil and bake in a 400-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until crispy like a chip.
Technically classified as a fruit, pumpkins make their way into homes, meals, and candles alike when fall weather arrives. But did you know that pumpkin seeds are a great nutritional food? Pumpkin seeds are filled with protein, healthy fats, vitamin K, and antioxidants. To prepare, simply clean a pumpkin, gather and clean the seeds. Let dry, spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes in a 370-degree oven. Remove, toss with olive oil and salt (for a little more flavor, toss with Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce). Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 more minutes.
Apples are beginning to make their way into food stands and grocery stores as the fall season is approaching. They come in several different varieties and are flavorful and crisp, making them a wonderful snack. Rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, apples are a great addition to any diet! Don’t forget the skin, that’s where most of the fiber is found!
Classified as large, starchy root vegetables, sweet potatoes are sweet and filling and when added to your diet and pack many benefits. Vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, is found in sweet potatoes in large amounts, giving them their bright orange color. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin D, and potassium. They are low on the glycemic index and do not cause spikes in blood sugar, making sweet potatoes a wonderful option for your sweet tooth!