Fall is the season for delicious fruits and root vegetables packed with nutritious goodies, so here are our favorite fall-friendly foods – plus how best to enjoy them.
Carrots provide a significant source of vitamin A, which has numerous health benefits, including enhanced immunity and eye care. Try roasting carrots for an energizing snack, or add them into soup or salad dishes for maximum impact!
Apples are an autumn classic packed with soluble fiber and immune-enhancing quercetin, not to mention delicious sweetness that pairs perfectly with both savory dishes and desserts – and being used in everything from salads to casseroles!
If you’re trying to cut down on sugary and processed desserts, try pairing apples with other fruit and vegetables for healthier versions of traditional desserts. Berries make an ideal pairing; they provide plenty of vitamin C and fiber as well as adding an extra dose of sweetness and energy boost! You could even incorporate them into smoothies or bake them into breakfast bars for even more energy and sweetness!
Peanut butter and apples make an equally delightful combination, thanks to their natural sweet flavor enhancing the nutty tones of peanut butter. Apples also make excellent dippers or spreaders – be they caramel sauce or honey!
Apples make an ideal base for soup. Try creating hearty fall-flavored apple and sweet potato soup or creamy curried pumpkin and apple soup, both comforting and filling options that can easily be prepared on busy weeknights.
Cooked apples make an excellent addition to many dishes during the cooler months. Try this soothing stewed apple and pork dish, which combines apples, potatoes, onions, rosemary, and apple cider into one satisfying dinner that the entire family will appreciate.
Be creative by adding apples to traditional green salads, or try this unique Asian chicken slaw featuring crispy cabbage, apple slices, sweet rice vinegar, peanuts, and shredded chicken for an autumn-flavored side dish. Don’t forget the timeless treat of baked apples with cinnamon for dessert either!
As an added benefit, keeping an eye out for apples that are ready to eat can be done easily by looking for smooth skin without bruises or discolorations and testing their softness by squeezing. You could pair a fresh crisp apple with cheese like cheddar for an unforgettable appetizer, or serve it alongside caramel dip as an irresistibly delicious treat!
Apples don’t just add sweetness to drinks: They add sweetness and texture to desserts and savory entrees alike! Incorporate these seasonal staples into roasted root vegetables, chicken dishes or delectable casseroles.
Apples really can be good for you when used to craft nutritious baked goods and include their delicious fiber content as part of salads, salsas, and pasta meals.
Fall meals simply wouldn’t be complete without some warming soup, delicious stew, or comforting casserole to bring everyone together, and these healthy recipes offer just that without packing on too many extra calories. Plus, many can be prepped ahead for quick weeknight dinners or easily heated up at work as a nutritious lunch option!
Roasted pumpkin and Brussels sprouts are fall staples that are delicious, easy to prepare, and full of health benefits. Both dishes are packed with nutritious benefits such as Vitamin A, folate and fiber, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and heart-friendly monounsaturates fats that support heart health.
Apple cider is the ideal accompaniment for autumn cocktails, from the timeless Old Fashioned to a refreshing apple cider sangria that will impress guests at any gathering. Not only is apple cider tasty and versatile, it’s also an effective way to enhance seasonal spices such as cinnamon and cloves that may otherwise go unexposed in drinks like these.
This seasonal salad takes all of fall’s delectable ingredients and puts them together in one irresistibly delicious bowl. A zesty citrus vinaigrette adds zesty flair while Honeycrisp apples, Lacinato kale, honeycrisp apples, honeydew melon rinds, honeycrisp apples, roasted Brussels sprouts, and kabocha squash are combined with crispy toasted pecans and shavings of Parmesan cheese for an irresistibly crunchy mix.
Slow cooker turkey chili is an easy yet healthy dinner solution. Packed with lean turkey, beans, and whole grains for protein and fiber content. Squash and carrots contribute an abundance of vitamin A and C while apple cider vinaigrette adds an autumnal flair. Try out this straightforward, tasty, and healthy recipe the next time your craving chili calls.
Stacey is an adventurous Southern girl with a deep appreciation for travel, who thrives on exploring the world through food. At Little Figgy Food she serves as recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and blogger, inspiring others to step outside their comfort zones with exciting and exciting foods!
Pumpkin is one of the season’s most beloved seasonal treats, yet there are healthy ways to enjoy this seasonal classic. A cup of mashed butternut squash and pears makes an enjoyable and nutritious alternative to pumpkin pie; its dense fiber content and abundant vitamin C content makes this filling dish both filling and filling.
Pears are in season from late summer through early November. Thanks to their versatile flavor profile and subtle sweetness, pears make for an ideal complement in many sweet and savory dishes alike. Their mild sweetness pairs particularly well with nut butters (pistachios and almonds are especially recommended) and cheeses while its tart acidity adds fresh contrast when pairing it with richer companions such as cured meats.
When selecting pears, look for ones that feel firm to the touch and have an aromatic fragrance. When touched, a ripe pear should give slightly and have deep colors with few brown spots. If your new purchases are unripe when purchased, leave them at room temperature until they soften; for faster ripening results place them with an apple or banana that emits ethylene, the natural ripening hormone.
Another delicious way to enjoy pears is baking them into a dessert. Here’s an easy recipe for pear crisp: Preheat the oven to 350F and chop a medium-sized Anjou pear into chunks – any type is fine, although green Anjou varieties tend to hold their juice better during baking – then combine it with melted butter/coconut oil/cinnamon before layering into an ungreased baking dish before topping with an oats/pecan combination and baking until bubbling and golden-brown color appears and serving warm with vanilla ice cream added as desired!
Pumpkin is more than a Halloween staple or an ingredient found in everything from granola to ravioli; its versatile squash also boasts many health advantages. Pumpkin provides your body with essential vitamin A (vital for healthy skin and immune system function) as well as fiber. In fact, just one cup of cubed raw pumpkin provides 3,600 mcg of beta-carotene!
Pumpkin offers a sweet taste when cooked, making it an easy addition to many meals, from roast pumpkin and chicken, pumpkin soup, and fall quinoa salad with feta and arugula, all the way to roasting and eating its seeds, which have an inimitable salty crunchiness!
One of the simplest and fastest ways to prepare pumpkin is with a puree, which can be used in pancake, bread, and muffin recipes. Boiling, baking, or steaming your cubed pumpkin before mashing it into puree provides different levels of flavor intensity – though boiling may be the fastest of them all!
Pumpkin soup is a hearty fall meal in its own right. Easy to make and rich in nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber – add some hearty root veggies for extra goodness, and you have a delicious yet healthful dinner option.
Leeks are another fall vegetable worthy of inclusion on your plate, offering up ample antioxidant kaempferol and providing 3 grams of fiber in just 54 calorie serving.
No matter your dinner needs – from weeknight dinner ideas to making seasonal foods even healthier – these fall recipes will satisfy everyone at the table. From meat eaters to vegetarians, these autumn meals maximize healthy whole grains while including plenty of veggies and fruits – and with options like hearty chicken stews, velvety soups, and crisp salads these healthy fall dinners will satisfy every appetite at your table!