As the days get shorter and the weather turns cool we know that fall is in the air. Take some time to enjoy the foliage and indulge in some of our favorite fall foods.
Dark leafy greens are nutrient dense and high in several vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. These nutrients perform a variety of functions in the body from promoting good vision and supporting the immune system to acting as an antioxidant that help prevent some types of cancer. For a traditional approach, slow cook greens in chicken or vegetable broth. For a non-traditional approach sauté greens with olive oil and garlic.
Winter squash is rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, which have been shown to benefit eye health, heart health and immunity while promoting healthy skin. They are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable and promotes a healthy digestive system. Believe it or not, most winter squash varieties are naturally sweet. Try roasting butternut squash and tossing with cinnamon and honey.
Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, fiber and vitamin A. Your body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps prevent dry eyes, night blindness and eye infections. The best sources of vitamins are from whole foods as the combination of these nutrients may help protect against disease. Sweet potatoes have a mild sweet flavor and tend to work well in a number of recipes. Try the recipe below for a little twist on a popular dish.
Sweet Potato Crunch
Makes: 6 Servings: Prep time: 15 minutes: Cook time: 30 minutes
2 cups Sweet Potatoes, canned, light syrup, drained
1/8 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Apples, canned in water, sliced or diced
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup granola
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Drain and discard all but 2 Tbsp liquid from the potatoes. Add the salt and vanilla extract to the sweet potatoes along with the reserved liquid. Use a mixer to whip the potatoes for 5 minutes at medium speed. Pour into a square baking dish that has been sprayed with a non stick spray. Drain and discard the liquids from the apples. If sliced apples are used, dice into 1/2″ pieces. Combine milk and cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch is well blended. Melt the margarine and add the brown sugar and remaining cinnamon. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in the diced apples. Pour mixture over the sweet potatoes.Top with the granola and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees or above is reached. Serve 2 oz squares.