Without a doubt, fall is a magical time of year. The air becomes a little crisper, the leaves on the trees create stunning, natural scenery and the beautiful colors and flavors of autumn’s vegetables contribute to making it a truly special season. In addition to being good for the environment (seasonal produce is often grown without fertilizers or pesticides that can contaminate soil and water and often it is harvested locally, cutting down on fuel emissions), taking advantage of fall harvests brings added health benefits. Here are four of the top fall vegetables to stock up on this season and a few yummy recipes that will keep your diet healthy and eco-friendly.
- Mushrooms: A decidedly versatile veggie, mushrooms in all forms (buttons, portobellas, creminis, shiitakes, etc.) make great ingredients in soups, topped over chicken or beef and of course, on pizzas and in pasta. Aside from being delicious, they also contain potassium and other antioxidants. Get your daily dose with this recipe for Wild Mushroom Soup.
- Squash: The quintessential fall vegetable, squash is high in vitamins A, C, B6, K, potassium and folate, and it’s downright delicious almost any way you prepare it. Shredding up a spaghetti squash is a great way to eat this sweet vegetable (and trick your appetite into thinking you’ve just indulged in a big plate of pasta). For a perfect fall dinner, try this Spaghetti Squash Casserole, and save us some leftovers.
- Broccoli: While it may not be as exciting a vegetable as mushrooms and squash, the health benefits associated with downing your fair share of broccoli cannot be denied. Studies show it can help prevent stomach cancer and ulcers and provides generous helpings of vitamins C, K, A, folate and fiber. Follow this recipe for Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli and we guarantee you won’t look at this superfood the same way again.
- Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts: Long known as the food you pushed to the side of your plate, Brussels sprouts (a cousin of cabbage) are making a real comeback. Besides being a great side dish when roasted up nice and crisp, Brussels are rich in vitamin C, fiber and other chemicals that help detoxify your body. Cabbage has also been suggested to help fight breast, lung and colon cancer. So, eat up with this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples (another fall produce star!).