Dinner diva: 10 fall super foods

Dinner DivaBy Leanne Ely

Harvest time is like Christmas for me. So many delicious and healthy foods are in season that I can hardly eat enough to get in all the foods I want to eat. I’m popping these healthy foods into my smoothies (sweet potatoes), soups (pumpkin), and desserts (pears).

I like to bulk up on all of the healthiest foods I can this time of year to help get my immune system in tip-top shape for cold and flu season. There are plenty of super foods in season during the fall, so buy them frequently and eat them often!

Here are ten of my favorite fall super foods:

Pomegranates. Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants, Vitamin C and folate. Either juice those gorgeous red orbs inside the pomegranate fruit or sprinkle them on your salads.

Pumpkins. Full of fiber, B vitamins, and potassium, pumpkin is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s not just for pie! Add cooked pumpkin to your smoothies, soups, and chili. Why not?

Apples. Not only crunchy and sweet, apples are rich in antioxidants and high in fiber. An apple a day is great for you, but choose organic. Apples are high on the Dirty Dozen list.

Brussels sprouts. One of my favorite of all superfoods, brussels sprouts contain loads of Vitamin K, folate, and iron. As long as you don’t overcook them, brussels taste absolutely out of this world.

Parsnips. A good source of fiber and potassium, parsnips resemble carrots, but they have a sweeter flavor and a much lighter color. I love parsnips pureed in soups or roasted with other root vegetables as a side dish.

Pears. This sweet and juicy superfood has 4 whole grams of fiber per serving. It’s also a good source of copper and Vitamin C. If you’ve never tried a baked pear, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Cauliflower. This cruciferous veggie may help prevent cancer and lower cholesterol. It’s a great source of Vitamin C. Cauliflower is fantastic as a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes or rice.

Squash. Butternut squash, acorn squash … so many squashes! I love them all. Squash is a great source of Vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. I use squash in soups and as side dishes frequently through the fall.

Sweet potatoes. Chock full of Vitamin A, iron, and anti-inflammatories, I love sweet potatoes. Why cook their white counterparts when you can get so much more nutrition   from these guys?

Cranberries. Rich in Vitamins C and E, potassium, iron, and folate, these antioxidant-filled berries are one of the healthiest things you can eat. Use them in your smoothies, cocktails, oatmeal, salsa … anywhere you can fit them, do it.

I just love eating beautiful food. Don’t you?

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