The weather here in Portland is beginning to shift into Fall. While we are still expecting some 80 degree days in the next week, I know it won’t be long before we are dusting off our fleeces and running around in our rain boots. Many people lament the change to Fall because they miss their weekly trips to all the Farmer’s Markets here in town but I know there are many fabulous choices that just begin to become ripe as the weather begins to turn. I am going to focus on four of my favorites.
I know many people welcome the return of Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes but I love getting my pumpkin in other ways. Pumpkin is delicious in baked goods to add moisture, it is amazing mixed into oatmeal or a smoothie and I love eating its vitamin packed seeds. Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamins A and C and its seeds are loaded with the serotonin producing amino acid, tryptophan, zinc and magnesium.
Figs are another one of my favorite foods of Fall. I feel like I wait all Summer for the appearance of that beautiful purple flesh! Figs are loaded with regularity producing fiber. The natural pectin in figs moves through the digestive system, mopping up excess clumps of cholesterol so it can be eliminated from the body. Figs are also high in calcium to protect your bones and high in potassium to help with sugar regulation. I love eating figs with a whole milk yogurt and granola, mixed into a smoothie or just gobbled up plain.
My favorite cruciferous vegetable, Brussels sprouts, makes it’s appearance in the Fall. These tiny cabbages are loaded with cancer fighting phytonutrients. Brussels sprouts are also high in Vitamin C to help strengthen the immune system. Rich in folate, Brussels sprouts may plays a role in the formation and maintenance of DNA.
My final favorite produce for the Fall is Butternut Squash. I love having a tasty butternut squash soup for dinner. Butternut squash is loaded with eyesight supporting and breast cancer reducing beta carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A. Butternut squash is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content. Incorporating more of this Fall gem into your diet could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Butternut squash’s fiber rich flesh is super yummy slow roasted with garlic and olive oil.
The list of favorite Fall vegetables and fruits could go on and on but these four have a special place in my Fall diet line up. Enjoy!
Photo from flickr.