Fun Fall Foods

Wednesday October 22, 2014

The temperatures are cooling down, evenings are becoming darker earlier, and leaves will begin changing colors soon.  It’s definitely fall, my favorite time of year.  One of my most favorite things about fall is the food.  Fall foods have a comfort quality to them, but are also loaded with awesome nutrition.  Here are a few of my favorites.  Try some in your next meal to feel cozy as well as healthy.

Pumpkin:  It’s in everything these days…lattes, M&Ms, pancakes, and of course, the ever-loving pumpkin pie.  But did you know that you can get 171% of your daily vitamin A needs in just one cup!  Now, I’m not an advocate of eating all the pumpkin spice M&Ms that you can get your hands on in order to achieve your vitamin needs, but if you mix pureed pumpkin into a smoothie, muffins, or even a dip for dipping fruits, you are getting a healthy dose of a healthy vegetable.   Each half cup of pumpkin offers eight grams fiber at just 40 calories.

Apples: I rarely buy apples at any other time of the year except for the fall…especially those that are locally grown.  Head west to the NC mountains and you are sure to find the most crisp and sweet apples that can curb even the strongest sweet tooth craving.  Plus, it stimulates your gums so your dentist will be happy too.  Have you bought too many apples and can’t eat them all?  Use those extras in homemade applesauce or muffins or, make a twist on the standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich and make a peanut butter and apple sandwich.  Just one large apple packs 5.5 grams of fiber! Also, apples are high in pectin, a fiber that’s especially filling, so snack on them all season long to maintain a healthy weight.

Squash: All varies are so yummy in their own special way.  My favorite is butternut because it is so versatile.  Most people think soup, but don’t forget about roasted butternut squash that you can add to a crisp salad, risotto, or ravioli.  Vitamin A and omega-3s are the benefit of this veggie.

So, the next time you are in the grocery store, try something different with one of these yummy fruits and vegetables.

For more information about Nutrition Services at the UNC Wellness Center, please contact the front desk at 919-966-5500.


Written by: Liz Watt, Registered Dietitian