As summer comes to an end, we welcome the autumn season and wonderful fall foods. Ready or not for pumpkin spice flavored everything, there are plenty of other great and healthy fall foods to enjoy!
Of course pumpkin is a delicious and nutritious fall food. Pumpkin always comes to mind since autumn is when pumpkin is in-season and ready to cook, bake, or carve! Pumpkin is different from pumpkin spice. Pumpkin is the actual veggie, whereas pumpkin spice is just a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Just because a food is ‘pumpkin spice’ flavor does not mean it contains pumpkin! For the best nutrition, choose foods made with real pumpkin. Not only delicious in sweet and savory recipes, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, and magnesium. Pumpkin promotes gut health, heart health, vision, and healthy skin. This fall still enjoy, but think beyond just pumpkin pie! Pumpkin is great when added to muffin or pancake batter, incorporated into chili, top for a Shepherd's pie, and of course baked in desserts.
Butternut squash is another popular in season autumn veggie. Prepared just like pumpkin, butternut squash is also similar nutritionally. Butternut squash is most popular when roasted in the oven as a side dish or puréed into a soup.
Another great fall food are apples! While apples are stocked in the supermarket year round, they are picked each fall. Apples come in many varieties and can be part of sweet and savory recipes. A good source of fiber, eating apples may help you to feel fuller over a longer period of time and may aid in weight management. The fibrous texture and natural tannins in apples also support dental health. Be sure to eat the skin of the apple for the best nutrition.
Pears are another in-season autumn fruit that are popular year round. Pears, like apples, make a great healthy snack and are also delicious when added to salads, part of a side or main dish, or prepared into desserts.
This fall, reach for the all of the delicious autumn fruits and veggies for a seasonal meal that is just as nutritious as delicious!
Give this recipe a try which incorporates two fall favorites: apples and butternut squash!
Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe adapted from: Michigan Apple Committee
- 3 cups apple of choice, cored and chopped
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup sweet onion, peeled and roughly diced
- 2 T. canola oil
- 1 T. grated ginger
- 1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 4 to 5 cups of liquid (equal parts low sodium chicken stock or broth and water), depending upon thickness of soup desired
- salt and pepper to season and taste
- In large soup pot, add butter, squash, apples and onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes to soften onion. Add 1 cup of water to help steam squash. Cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes, or until squash is soft.
- Blend mixture with a hand immersion blender or in a stand-alone blender or food processor. (If using blender or food processor, process in batches.)
- Return mixture to the soup pot, add nutmeg, ginger and apple cider and the remaining liquid for desired consistency. Salt and pepper to season and taste.
- Serve with a small dab of sour cream or Greek plain yogurt on top and with crusty bread. Enjoy!
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Stephanie Edson - Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.