Contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Callie O’Steen
It’s Fall Y’all! I’m loving this cool, crisp weather, SEC football is in full swing, and I brought my leather boots out of storage this weekend. Life is good. But what makes this time of year even better are all my favorite fall flavors. Spring/Summer eats like Peaches, Strawberries, and Arugula are phasing out while some of the best Fall/Winter fruits and veggies are taking over! Here’s some of the great produce you’ll find in autumn and early winter… can you find your favorite?
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Swiss Chard
How many of you chose pumpkin as your favorite? All of you? I’ll have to say I agree… it’s pretty much the essence of fall! But let’s look at a few of my other fall favorites: Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, and Cranberries. I can’t say they’d make the best lattes (mushroom spice latte anyone?) but they sure are great side dish staples with loads of vitamins and minerals!
Let’s take a look at Mushrooms. We’ve got Button, Portobello, Shiitake, Oyster, and the list goes on. So many tasty varieties and so healthy too! With vitamins like Riboflavin and Niacin, Mushrooms can help boost your immune system! You’ll also find a mineral in Mushrooms called Selenium. Selenium has antioxidant components that help protect our cells from harm. Super hero veggie, no? Well let’s talk cooking… how can we incorporate more Mushrooms in our diets? At GMM we’ve paired them with our creamy risotto! Try them in our Chicken Provencal with Mushroom Risotto and Green Peas meal!
Ok let’s talk sprouts now, of the Brussels variety. Whenever I mention Brussels Sprouts, most people instantly turn up their noses and dash out of the kitchen. Personally, I remember being in preschool and running the opposite direction when the teachers brought out Brussels sprouts for snack time. However, I will say, I have matured and now love to prepare these little cabbage-like sprouts at thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings! Brussels Sprouts are a great source of Vitamin C, providing 124% of your daily Vitamin C needs in one cup! They also contain Vitamins A and K as well as folate and potassium and of course fiber. You’ll also find a phytochemical called Sulforaphane in Brussels Sprouts which researchers have found to be a cancer fighting agent! Sulforaphane is found not only in Brussels sprouts but other cruciferous vegetables as well, like broccoli and cabbage. Be sure to try GMM’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Baked Turkey Ziti! One of my personal favs!
Last but not least, let’s talk Cranberries. We’ve all seen the commercials with the men standing in cranberry bogs, so we know these tasty, tart fruits grow in a unique environment. Cranberries grow on long-trailing vines in a soft, marshy area. The night before harvesting, farmers will flood the fields with water and that’s when we see the floating berry. I’ve always wanted to play in a cranberry bog! (You know you want to too… I can’t be the only one that’s thought about it). In terms of nutrition this tiny beast of a berry packs a punch with vitamin C and a phytonutrient called anthocyanin. Not only does anthocyanin produce a rich, vibrant, red color, research also suggests that it may have antibacterial benefits, especially for our bladder and stomach. Cranberry’s tart flavor pairs really well with sweeter fruits like apples and oranges. Try our GMM breakfast with Eggs and Egg Whites, Citrus Salad, and Orange Cranberry Muffin Top!
So how’s about we spread the pumpkin lovin’ and incorporate some other tasty fall fruits and vegies into our diets!
Check out Callie on Atlanta & Company talking about Fall Fruits and Veggies below!