Today is the first full day of fall and with fall comes cooler weather, leaves changing colors, sweaters and the best part autumn vegetables and recipes!! Fall is one of my favorite seasons, the colors are so beautiful, I get to wear boots and I happen to love Halloween! I mean who doesn’t like to dress up in crazy costumes and see other people in things you would never wear! Anyways, in honor of the change of the season I’m listing the best vegetables of the season for you and your family to include in your meals. I have some really great recipes coming up in the next few weeks and I’m excited to share them all with you!
Health benefits: Squash is high in vitamins A and C, which aid your body’s metabolic functioning and help ward off chronic illnesses. However, some winter varieties, like butternut squash, contain more sugar than others, such as acorn and spaghetti squashes, so be knowledgeable about which kind you’re buying if you’re watching your calorie count.
Nutrition: Acorn squash (1 cup, raw): 56 calories, 0.1g fat, 14.6g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 1.1g protein. Butternut squash (1 cup, raw): 63 calories, 0.1g fat, 16.4g carbohydrates, 2.8g fiber, 1.4g protein
Health benefits: Bursting with vitamin A (377 percent of your daily recommended intake per cup!) and high in potassium and fiber, this versatile vegetable can be worked into a variety of dishes, from sides to desserts. One point to note: Its high sugar content translates into a fair number of calories, so consider this ingredient more like a starch than a vegetable.
Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 114 calories, 0.1g fat, 26.8g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2.1g protein
Health benefits: High in vitamin C and dietary fiber, apples are an easy way to fill up on relatively few calories. Tote one as a portable snack — the USDA recommends 2 cups of fruit per day for women.
Nutrition: (1 medium apple) 72 calories, 0.2g fat, 19.1g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 0.4g protein
Health benefits: Boasting high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse vegetable. The only bad point is that also contains a fair amount of natural sugar (1.6g per cup), so beware the calorie count when making it into an even sweeter dessert.
Nutrition: (1 cup, raw): 30 calories, 0.1g fat (0.1g saturated), 7.5g carbohydrates, 0.6g fiber, 1.2g protein
Health benefits: Forget its reputation as a worthless fungus — mushrooms are high in vitamin C, iron, potassium, and zinc. With no cholesterol and low levels of sodium, they also pack a good amount of protein for a veggie.
Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 15 calories, 0.2g fat, 2.3g carbohydrates, 0.7g fiber, 2.2g protein
Health benefits: Tired of apples already? Try their oblong sister fruits. Pears are high in fiber and vitamin C — 12 percent of your daily recommended intake, in fact. However, they’re also pretty high in sugar (16.3g), so treat them as a sweet snack or even a dessert.
Nutrition: (1 pear, medium) 96 calories, 0.2g fat, 25.7g carbohydrates, 5.1g fiber, 0.6g protein
Health benefits: Though figs are naturally high in sugar, they earn points for being high in dietary fiber.
Nutrition: (1 fig, medium) 37 calories, 0.2g fat, 9.6g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, 0.4g protein
Health benefits: High in fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamin C, these vegetables are sweet as a roasted side dish or as a colorful salad add-in.
Nutrition: (1 beet, raw) 35 calories, 0.1g fat, 7.8g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 1.3g protein
Health benefits: Perhaps considered the ugly stepsister of its more popular veggie sister broccoli, cauliflower is bursting with vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin C — 77 percent of your recommended allowance per cup! As if that weren’t enough, the veggie also happens to be low in calories and high in fiber, so eat up!
Nutrition: (1 cup) 25 calories, 0.1g fat, 5.3g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 2g protein
Health benefits: Cabbage is way too versatile to be used for just coleslaw filler. High in vitamins C and B6, the winter green also boasts a good amount of potassium, magnesium, thiamin, and dietary fiber for very few calories.
Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 22 calories, 0.1g fat, 5.2g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 1.1g protein
Health benefits: Not just rabbit food, one cup of carrots provides an astounding 428 percent of one’s daily recommended amount of vitamin A. The veggie is also high in vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium, thiamin, and fiber.
Nutrition: (1 cup, chopped) 52 calories, 0.3g fat, 12.3g carbohydrates, 3.6g fiber, 1.2g protein
Winter Citrus Fruit
Health benefits: Like their sister summer citrus fruits, winter citrus fruits — mandarin oranges, tangerines, blood oranges, and clementines — are very high in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity to fight off pesky colds and flu. They’re high in fiber, to boot.
Nutrition: (1 tangerine, medium) 50 calories, 0.5g fat, 3g fiber, 1g protein
Health benefits: We’re not talking fries or a sliver of skin drowning in cheese and sour cream. In their most basic form, potatoes provide an abundance of vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium. With the skin, a large potato also provides 32 percent of your daily fiber intake.
Nutrition: (1 potato, large) 284 calories, 0.3g fat (0.1 saturated), 64.5 carbohydrates, 8.1g fiber, 7.5g protein
Health benefits: Yes, you may have hated it as a kid, but broccoli is a power vegetable that you should try to grow to like. High in vitamins A, B6, and C, these little green trees are a very versatile ingredient. Being very high in potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber is just icing on the proverbial cake.
Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 30 calories, 0.3g fat, 5.8g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 2.5g protein
So I’ll be posting some delicious recipes soon with lots of seasonal ingredients that will be perfect for the holidays coming up! Also check back for some fun Halloween ideas and recipes!!