Colors of Fall

With fall well underway, the leaves turning their colors and another Halloween come and gone, this time of year brings many inspiring ways to paint your plate!

The USDA suggests Americans eat more orange foods. Orangerepresents foods high in beta carotene which provides vitamin A for our bodies.  The USDA reports beta carotene rich foods may help reduce aging and help prevent some cancers. Sweet potatoes are delicious, easy to prepare and have great nutritional value. Sweet potatoes are also exceptional providers of many other vitamins with wonderful health benefits, such as potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.   Sweet potatoes are quite low in calories and fat free.

Another fall favorite you may have left over from Halloween is pumpkin.  We already know how versatile pumpkin-carving can be, but the American Dietetic Association promotes eating them in a variety of ways, also!   Pumpkins are a good source of vitamin A and can be cooked easily in many ways. These are cooking tips recommended by theADAto make use of your leftover pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin smoothie. Mix together pumpkin, fat-free milk, frozen vanilla yogurt, a dash of pumpkin pie spice of cinnamon in a blender.
  • Pumpkin pizza. Sauté pumpkin and your other favorite veggies, then place on whole-wheat pizza crust drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and your favorite spices.
  • Pumpkin oatmeal. Add fresh cooked or canned pumpkin to your morning oatmeal.
  • Pumpkin muffins. Add fresh cooked or canned pumpkin to your favorite muffin batter.

Also colorful, healthy and in season is winter squash.  There are many varieties of squash which can easily be added to soups or casseroles.  My personal favorite variety is Butternut and Acorn squash.  According theADA, squash packs in 6 grams of fiber in one cup along with potassium, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, iron and calcium.  Just like sweet potatoes and pumpkin, butternut and acorn squashes are good sources of beta carotene.  To make use of these nutritious veggies, try having pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie for dessert.  TheADAsuggests serving the squash cooked and mashed with cinnamon, ginger or allspice.

Look out for these flavorful fall veggies in the T’Room and Winslow.  For the Thanksgiving meal in the T’Room, Stuffed Acorn Squash will be featured as the vegetarian option in the hot line.  This is your opportunity to try it out!

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