Having spent the last four autumns in a location which prides itself on year-round summer weather (Orange County, California), I’m finally back on the east coast in New York and already enjoying the incoming fall. Pumpkin (in beer form, no less: ta-da!), squash, corn…every tasty delight seems to reflect the beautiful landscape and its surroundings.
I’ve already started planning dishes for dinner parties, late afternoon lunches and fun desserts incorporating these autumnal favorites. Sure, some of them are a bit high in their caloric ranges, but did you know that some of these treats benefit your appearance as well as your appetite? Plus, every season deserves a little indulgence, right?
Squash is one of those foods that’s not only aesthetically gorgeous, it’s also incredibly good for you. Packed with vitamins and fiber, it promotes a healthy digestive system while also being low in fat, cholesterol and calories. If the internal benefits aren’t enough reason to chop up some of these yellow delights to pair with your meals, they also keep your eyes bright (and eyesight sharp) with beta carotene and lutein. Plus, squash can be served in dozens of ways, from baked to mashed to liquified as soup.
Ah, caramel’s natural prom date: the apple. A naturally sugary fruit, the apple comes in a huge variety of flavors, from the Granny Smith’s sour tart taste to the Macintosh’s grainier, warmer taste. Not only are they fantastic to eat, they also have a variety of health benefits, including encouraging the production of saliva, which lowers the bacteria among teeth that lead to discoloration and cavities. Next time you’re looking for something sweet to chew on, pick up an apple and enjoy its tastes as well as its advantages.
Emotional Bonus: Apple picking is probably one of the sweetest (literally and figuratively) dates ever. If you’re presently entwined or perhaps hoping to be, look up a local apple grove and ask somebody as lovely as yourself to join!
Up until recently, I never had eaten a fig but at a little bar in downtown Santa Ana, CA, I found bacon-wrapped figs as a late-night accompaniment to my cocktail. Oh. My. Goodness. I’m sure I’m the last person to hop on board the “Fig Fan Club” boat, but in the event that you also haven’t tried them yet, go for it! They’re delicious and extremely sweet, so I was excited when I realized that they had quite a few health benefits.
Like others on this list, figs contain magnesium, potassium and iron, so they’re a great power food to use as a side dish that will instantly improve the healthiness of your meal. However, I was even more surprised to find out that they have even more calcium than a serving of milk. Whatever recipe you choose to make with these, even if you wrap ‘em in bacon, simply justify doing so by thinking of this list.
First of all, how adorable is that pumpkin up there? Personally, I think pumpkins are the cutest of all vegetables–as strange a thing as that may be to say–and am a firm believer that eating them is one of the easiest, tastiest ways to receive a ton of benefits in the health and beauty departments.
My favorite little firm, round fall food holds numerous nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium and fiber. It’s also packed with anti-aging ingredients like vitamins C, A & E, antioxidants, zinc, and beta carotene…and it’s cheaper than face cream. Similarly to squash, it can be served in a huge variety of ways: baked into pie, cut into chunks, roasted into soup and the list goes on. Plus, you can bake, salt and eat the seeds (my favorite part, personally).
Emotional Bonus: Who doesn’t love to carve pumpkins? Whether you opt to have a fun family night with your parents for nostalgia’s sake or you decide to drink pumpkin beer with your buddies and design jack-o-lanterns, you’re bound to make great memories.
How about you, lovelies? What fall foods are you most excited for?