Ah, fall — my favorite season. Each year, we head to the cottage on Thanksgiving, admiring all of the changing leaves. What was once a field of green just a few weeks prior, quickly turns into a sea of red, orange and yellow. It’s a beautiful sight, one which I cherish each and every year.
Once autumn graces us with its presence, we not only experience changing leaves and cooler temperatures, but also what’s in-season. Being surrounded by local farmers’ markets, it’s easy for me to access some of this season’s freshest produce. It’s an exciting feeling — building a relationship with the individuals who feed your family.
Whether you personally meet up with your local farmers on a weekly basis or not, there are most certainly some fall foods that you should be welcoming into your home — and belly, of course.
12 falls foods to eat now
Whether a “fall” food is in season or simply reminiscent of a fall-inspired recipe, these 12 foods will allow you to appreciate this stunning season, all while benefiting your health. The key to any healthy diet is variety. When you consume a spectrum of nutrient-dense foods, your body will do all the heavy lifting in order to maintain positive health.
Squash is most certainly a popular vegetable dish to enjoy at Thanksgiving, offering plenty of natural beauty and nutrients. Currently in season, squash is high in beta-carotene, helping our bodies make vitamin A. This powerful vitamin plays a key role in immune health, bone growth, vision health and reproduction.
Offering fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and more, squash is able to protect you against a wide range of health conditions. Apples are another seasonal favorite, so why not try this simple and delicious soup recipe — banana squash soup with apples. It’s perfect for those chillier November days.
Not just for Halloween, pumpkin is a superfood that packs a delicious punch. Supporting positive cardiovascular health, weight loss, improved sleep and even fertility, this thick rind fruit can be enjoyed in so many ways. Whether you roast the seeds or make a power-up pumpkin smoothie with the flesh, a pumpkin is most definitely a health-boosting fall food.
Apples have long been linked to the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away — and for good reason. Rich in dietary fiber and key antioxidants, apples have been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes, cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Apple picking season is in full-swing, so be sure to get out there and enjoy the crisp fall air. Also, give this recipe a whirl — sweet apple coleslaw.
Mmm, I absolutely adore parsnips, especially in a rich vegetable stew. This versatile vegetable is particularly high in dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. Looking for a crispy, yet healthy snack this fall season? Munch on some guilt-free parsnip chips — all you need is a parsnip, olive or coconut oil and some sea salt.
5. Sweet potatoes
Swap white potatoes for this nutrient-rich alternative, offering plenty of vitamins A, C, B1 and B6, as well as potassium, manganese and phosphorus. We often make carrot and sweet potato mash for Thanksgiving, with plenty of fresh chive from the garden — so good! If you have a bag of sweet potatoes and do not know what to do with them, here are five healthy and delicious suggestions.
What’s a fall pumpkin pie without cinnamon? Not only is this spice aromatic and full of flavor, but it also promotes positive health. Known to naturally lower blood sugar levels, cinnamon has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. With its long list of benefits, why not treat yourself to some apple cinnamon and coconut flour pancakes this weekend.
Like parsnips, I’m a big fan of turnips, as they make a quick and easy side dish that is sure to please. Low in calories, yet high in fiber, minerals and key antioxidants, this root vegetable has been shown to protect your health by boosting immune and digestive function. You can even grow this fall favorite in a pot on your deck, which is great for those who don’t have a garden.
Apples get a lot of attention this time of year, but don’t forget about pears. There is nothing better than a juicy pear, especially in terms of digestion. When you eat a medium-sized pear, you benefit from an incredible six grams of fiber — not to mention a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for an impressive dessert, try this poached pear with red wine and maple syrup recipe.
Known to reduce your risk of a urinary tract infection, cranberries can improve immune function, blood pressure and more. Offering plenty of phytonutrients, you benefit from antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties. Nothing screams fall and the upcoming winter season quite like this cranberry orange loaf.
For some reason, I didn’t get hooked on beets until I moved to England. Now back in Canada, this root is no stranger to our home. This ancient food source fights inflammation, boosts energy levels, lowers blood pressure and even supports your body’s natural detoxification process. Don’t know what to do with beets? Here are five suggestions to make this vibrant vegetable tastier.
I love sauteed leeks with eggs — too tasty! Rich in a variety of nutrients, leeks are especially high in vitamin K, an essential nutrient that regulates blood clotting and other vital bodily processes. There are so many ways to cook with leeks, including these ten vegetarian and vegan fall recipes.
If there’s a time of year where the use of sage is in full-swing, it’s now. This aromatic plant can enhance any dish, all while offering key health benefits. Closely related to rosemary, they are what’s considered sister herbs — boosting immune function, improving skin health and enhancing digestion. If you want to treat your family and friends, whip up a batch of this fall-inspired flavored butter, featuring sage, fennel and rosemary.
There you have it, a fall grocery list that will be sure to keep your tummy full and your body in good health. When you have these ingredients on-hand, the sky’s the limit — so get creative! This season, truly explore the fresh local produce that farmers have to offer, you won’t be disappointed.
— Krista Hillis