Harvest Brings Health Benefits: Fall Fruits and Vegetables

Fall Harvest Brings Health Benefits

Fall harvest brings new vegetables and fruits to our plates. Autumn vegetables and fruits  provide many health benefits.  There are an abundance of colorful recipes to try. It’s time to put away the traditional tomato basil salads.  Georgia heat may persist, but the summer vegetables do not.  So, embrace your health and new recipes this fall with in season vegetables and fruit.

Most noteworthy, keep reading to the bottom for delicious and simple recipes. Additionally you will find why some of these Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients are so important to our bodies.

Fall Vegetables and Fruits: Benefits and Facts

Apples

Harvested in early to mid fall, apples are one of the essential fruits of the fall harvest.  Apple pie, apple tart, apple cider, and cinnamon apples are just a few of the foods that come to mind.  Picking apples is a popular activity for many, especially those in our community.  Scroll to the bottom of our Fall Break blog post to read more about some of the popular apple orchards.

*Health Benefit– Fiber

**Fun Fact– There are more than 2500 varieties of apples grown in North America.

Brussel Sprouts

*Health Benefit– Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Fiber

**Fun Fact– .Additionally, these little bites of cabbage goodness are low calorie and high in taste.

 

Butternut Squash

*Health Benefit– Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Potassium, Fiber

**Fun Fact– .Certainly this squash is a popular item today, often found in soups and pastas.  Because of the popularity of this mild tasting squash, you can often find it at upscale restaurants and trendy eateries. In contrast, this squash was not quite as popular before 1944. In 1944, butternut squash was introduced as a product to the consumer in the common household.

– If you don’t have butternut squash on hand for a recipe, don’t fret. Due to the similarities in consistency and taste, pumpkin can be substituted in the squash’s place.

 

Cranberries

*Health Benefit– Vitamin C, Fiber

**Fun Fact– Native to North America, cranberries are named after their flower, which resembles a crane.

 

Pears

*Health Benefit– Fiber, Vitamin C

**Fun Fact– .First of all, I’m willing to guess that you didn’t know that pears have been cultivated for over 4000 years.  That number is quite staggering.  Probably due to the reason that they are simply delicious.

 

Persimmons

*Health Benefit

**Fun Fact– Peel these for a snack, add them to salads, make cookies, cake or pudding with them. Another way to eat them is just dried naturally.

In contrast to most of our vegetables and fruits listed here, the persimmons is originally from Asia. Also, a town in Indiana hosts a Persimmons Festival each year.

 

Pomegranate

*Health Benefit– Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, Folate, Copper

**Fun Fact– Certainly the most beneficial to your health, the pomegranate tops all of the others with the number of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients packed in one fruit. If pomegranates aren’t tasty to you, try one of the many options of pomegranate juice at your local grocer.

The inside of the pomegranate is completely edible. Therefore, you can enjoy the translucent flesh as well as the hundreds of seeds.

 

Pumpkin

*Health Benefit– Vitamin A, Vitamin C

**Fun Fact– Carving pumpkins are edible. As a result, large carving pumpkins are what is inside of canned pumpkin.

 

Sweet Dumpling Squash

*Health Benefit– Vitamin A, Vitamin C

**Fun Fact– Rather than throwing away the leaves and tender shoots of this squash, use them to make soup or stew.

Sweet Potatoes

*Health Benefit– Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium

**Fun Fact–   Sweet Potatoes come from the Morning Glory Family. While they are often called yams, they are actually not. Yams are native to Africa.

Turnips

*Health Benefit– Fiber, Folic Acid, Vitamin C

**Fun Fact– .Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked. Consequently, they’re perfect for a salad.  Rather than eat turnips in a salad by themselves, try mixing them with other greens of your choice.


Simple Recipes to Try with the Fall Harvest

Fall Harvest Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (rinsed and dried)
  • 1 cup. grilled chicken strips
  • 6 cups baby spinach and mixed greens (your choice- turnips are in season)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted and salted to taste)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4-5 Tbsp. salad dressing of choice

Mix ingredients in large bowl. Toss with dressing and top with additional toppings for garnishing. Finally, enjoy with a slice of whole grain toast.

Easy 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients: 

  1. 1 can of pureed pumpkin (my personal favorite is Libby’s)
  2. 1 box spice cake mix 
  3. 2 Tbsp of water (more or less depending on consistency of mixture)

Using directions on the cake box, preheat oven to required temperature. (typically around 350-400 degrees) Line the pan with muffin/cupcake liners.  Because the muffins can easily stick, I like to use cooking spray with the liners. Therefore, spray with cooking spray if desired.

In a large bowl mix 1 can pumpkin, 1 box spice cake mix, and a small amount of water (about 2 Tbsp).  With a mixer or wooden spoon, mix batter until there are very few lumps.  Batter will be thick and creamy. However, if there is too much water, it will be runny and the muffins will take much longer to cook.

Certainly, use a large ice cream scoop for even portions perfectly rounded muffin tops. Place 1 scoop into each muffin paper. Due to the pumpkin being used as a primary ingredient, the muffins will rise a good deal.  Finally, serve with a dollop of cool whip or a hot coffee at breakfast. Certainly, these are an easy and healthy treat for kids and adults.

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 bushel Brussels sprouts, washed and prepped
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.

In a large bowl, toss prepped Brussels sprouts in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Spread Brussels sprouts onto large cookie sheet.

Bake in oven for 10-20 minutes, or until edges are brown and crispy.

Another way to crisp up edges is to broil on low for 5 – 10 minutes, checking frequently for browning edges.

Finally, Brussels sprouts are ready to eat when the edges of the leaf are brown and crispy. The middle of the tiny cabbage stays green, while softened and flavorful.

Cranberry Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • homemade cranberry sauce or 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2-3 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup water

First of all, if you desire homemade cranberry sauce, you can make this yourself on the stove top. Simmer cranberries in water with a splash of orange juice and 1 cup of sugar.  As a result of the boiling, the cranberries will begin to “pop”.  Over time (about 30 minutes) the cranberries will become soft enough to mash and the liquid will begin evaporating.  Finally, when cranberries reach the desired consistency, let rest on the stove until needed for next steps.

Next, in a skillet, sear the pork tenderloin until outside edges our brown. Consequently, the flavors will be sealed in and the meat will be more tender, juicy, and flavorful when cooked.

Place seared pork tenderloin into crock pot.  Pour 1 cup water into pot.  Finally, pour the cranberry sauce (homemade or 1 can) over the pork, distributing evenly.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Most noteworthy, check periodically to ensure the pork does not dry out or overcook.

Above all, this is one of my favorite meals to cook for a crowd. It’s simple and low prep. The harvest mix of cranberries and sweet potatoes can make anyone crave fall and all of the fun events it offers.


What will you try next?

Because of the tastiness that these dishes offer, my grocery list is getting longer by the minute.

What is your favorite vegetable or fruit from the Fall Harvest? While some of you enjoy these seasonal crops, others aren’t quite in tune to the currently harvested vegetables. In contrast, for those of you that are still discovering these delicious treats, now is the perfect time for you to venture out. Even more importantly, try something new with your family!  Certainly, now is a great time to do just that. So, find these harvested items ripe, plump, and ready to eat.  Dig in. Enjoy!

Above all, hopefully we will get to trade in our flip flops soon enough for some boots, and get a taste of some crisp, autumn weather.

Also, let us know what recipe you try! We would love to hear from you.

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