Today’s post was contributed by Alissa Palladino, RD, LD.
Don’t fret the disappearance of Georgia peaches– there are still plenty of delicious fruits to enjoy this fall!
• Pears: High in fiber and vitamin C, many varieties of pears are in season in the fall. For traditional pears, keep them in a paper bag at room temp to ripen, then store in the fridge. Consume when slightly soft for best flavor. For Asian pears, select a fragrant fruit without blemishes or brown spots, and note they are ready to eat when purchased and will not soften like other pears. Store for 1 week at room temp or up to 3 months in the fridge. Pears are delicious sliced with cheese, chopped into salads, baked into desserts, or enjoyed raw.
• Apples: An apple a day may indeed help keep the doctor away! High in fiber, apples contain a phytochemical called quercetin, which has been linked to a range of potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. As fruits go, apples are pretty convenient– they can be kept at room temp or in the fridge, can last for weeks after purchase, and travel well, making them a great on-the-go snack! Pair apple slices with your favorite nut butter or cheese for a perfect afternoon snack; sprinkle with cinnamon, oats, and honey and bake for a healthy dessert reminiscent of apple pie; chop and add to oatmeal, salad or stuffing for a boost of flavor and nutrition. Or just bite into one whole!
• Pomegranates: These gems take a bit of work to extract, but it’s worth it! High in fiber, vitamins C and K, potassium, folate and copper, pomegranate seeds pack a nutritional punch. They are also a rich source of flavonoids, which help protect your heart, boost your memory and prevent diseases such as cancer. For less mess, try cutting the fruit in quarters and placing it in a large bowl of water to remove the seeds. Choose plump, round, heavy fruit and store in a cool, dry area for up to 1 month, or 2 months in the fridge. Juicy and crunchy at the same time, pomegranate seeds are a delicious addition to Greek yogurt or as salad topping. (See below for recipe.)
• Cranberries: A good source of vitamin C and fiber, cranberries are available dried all year long, but can be found – and enjoyed – fresh in the fall! Choose firm cranberries and keep in the fridge for up to 2 months, or freeze for later use. Skip the canned version and make fresh cranberry sauce and enjoy with roast turkey for a Thanksgiving inspired sandwich all season long! (See recipe below.) Add fresh cranberries to your favorite baked apple recipe for a burst of tart flavor and color. Dried cranberries are super versatile – great for making your own trail mix, adding to salads, and in grain salads.
Pomegranate Protein Parfait
• ½ cup Pomegranate seeds
• 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
• 2 tbs. dark chocolate chips
• Extract seeds from pomegranate
• Layer half the yogurt, half the pomegranate seeds and half the chocolate chips in a tall, clear glass.
• Repeat layers. Enjoy!
Healthy Homemade Cranberry Sauce*
• 3 cups fresh cranberries
• 1 cup water
• 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
• 1 tsp orange zest
• ½ cup honey, maple syrup or your choice of sweetener
• Combine cranberries, water, cinnamon, and orange zest in a pot.
• Add sweetener
• Cook over medium-high heat until most of the liquid is gone (about 30-45 minutes), stirring more frequently towards the end.
• Allow to cool and enjoy!
*Recipe from the gracious pantry