Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall Vegetables - Nutrition and Recipes

Fall is in the air as leaves are falling and cooler days are encouraging you to pull sweaters out of the back of the closet. We tend to crave heartier meals during cooler months, so to ensure that you're meeting your daily vegetable needs, try these hearty fall vegetables:

Pumpkin is full of fiber, which can help keep you full throughout the day, and vitamin A, which helps with vision. Autumn's that time of year when everyone's ordering pumpkin spice lattes, which are often high in calories and fat and offer no fiber. Instead, try a pumpkin cheesecake smoothie  or pumpkin bread  to get your pumpkin fix.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a role in tissue repair and growth. For an easy snack, try sweet potato crisps. They're a great alternative to regular fries.

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts provide fiber, vitamin C, and folate, but they often get a bad rap, and I'll admit that I disliked them up until a year ago. Before then, I had always had them prepared in a way in which their bitter taste remained. If you're a newbie to Brussels sprouts, I recommend roasting them, which will reduce their bitterness. Toss Brussels sprouts with canola oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees F for 35-40 minutes (time may vary depending on size of the Brussels sprouts).

Cauliflower contains vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K. Folate promotes healthy pregnancies, and vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Try cauliflower popcorn  for a warm, tasty treat as the days get colder.

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Written by: Danica Pelzel, Fontbonne University Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by: Connie Diekman, M.Ed., RD, CSSD, LD, FADA, Director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St Louis

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