Comfort food season is here, and pumpkin flavored everything is in full swing. When thinking about fall foods, it’s tempting to go right to the warm apple crisp and pumpkin bread. Although it’s OK to indulge occasionally, it’s better to lean toward a healthier (but still delicious) set of fall foods.
Here are some great fall options with nutritional value, flavor, and versatility, followed by a delicious pumpkin-pie smoothie recipe.
Buy organic, and eat the skin. The fiber found there is a prebiotic that works with the probiotics in your digestive system to bolster immunity. Spread fresh apple butter on whole-grain toast, or toss apple chunks into salads.
Just five of these green buds pack more vitamin C than an orange. Steam or sauté them until tender, then toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, thinly sliced Parmesan cheese, and finely chopped prosciutto.
This cabbage relative contains more vitamin K than any other leafy green veggie. Serve
steamed with quinoa and lightly sautéed bell peppers, or blend a handful of raw leaves into amixed-berry protein smoothie to pack it with green antioxidant power.
People who eat pomegranate seeds before exercising may have an easier time maintaining healthy blood pressure during their workout. Eat out-of-hand, or stir them into whole-grain cereal, Greek yogurt, or salad.
Just half a cup of cooked pumpkin provides more than enough of your daily vitamin A needs. Pumpkin seeds also contain iron and zinc, which are necessary for healthy skin and nails. Enjoy pumpkin soup, a pumpkin protein smoothie (see recipe below), or a handful of lightly toasted pumpkin seeds.
Power-Up Pumpkin-Pie Smoothie
This smoothie works great as a pre- or post-workout treat.
Blend all ingredients until combined, and enjoy—guilt-free!
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1/2 cup crushed ice
-1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice or cinnamon
-1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
-1 scoop protein powder of choice
-1 tablespoon honey
Protein (g) 21
Carbohydrate (g) 32
Sugar (g) 23
Fat (g) 5
Fiber (g) 12
Sodium (mg) 101