It’s looking a lot like fall around Frederick. Halloween decorations have been out for more than a week and area stores are putting pumpkins on display. The change of the season brings a variety of new produce to try… either on its own or in a healthy recipe.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A, B, and C. And don’t leave the skin behind-- it’s full of fiber. You can control how sweet your potato tastes by how you cook it: the slower and longer you go, the sweeter it turns out. Besides sweet potato casserole and pie, try it one of these two savory dishes: sweet potato chile mac or sweet potato chicken curry.
Parsnips look like a white carrot and are best harvested in late fall or even early winter. They have a sweet flavor and contain 4 grams of fiber per half cup in addition tovitamin C, folate, and potassium. For a super easy side dish try roasted parsnips and carrots, or serve parsnip soup in place of higher fat cream based ones.
Pear season is in full swing and will continue through October. A large on has five grams of fiber, plenty of vitamin C and 190 milligrams of potassium. While pears are great to eat alone to satisfy a sweet tooth, they are also a great complement to a variety of dishes. Pair it with quinoa and walnuts for a unique pear salad. Or, you can toss pears with bacon and another fall favorite: squash, in this salty sweet combination.
There are plenty of reasons to eat squash on its own. It’s a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese. Winter squash differ from summer squash because they have a tough rind and you have to cook the flesh before eating. For a low calorie alternative to pasta, try spaghetti squash named for its pulp which looks like spaghetti strands. And for a meatless take on quesadilla try these made with acorn squash.
While pumpkin and pie go hand and hand in the fall, there are other ways to enjoy this vegetable. On its own pumpkin is a low calorie food and high in vitamin A, the B vitamins and trace minerals. Besides carving pumpkins or roasting their seeds try homemade pumpkin ravioli using wonton wrappers or puree it and turn it into a dip to serve with apple slices.
Brussels sprouts are considered high in protein for a vegetable with over three and half grams per serving. They also contain vitamin K vitamin, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and more. There is a reason why your mom tried to get you to eat them! Avoid over cooking brussel sprouts to avoid the sometimes bitter taste. You can also combine them with grapes and roast the pair together or, sauté brussel sprouts with parmesan and pine nuts.
Apples are a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber (if you eat the skin) and contain vitamin C and antioxidants. If you have Granny Smith apples, try this cranberry apple tart. Or incorporate a sweet variety (like Golden Delicious) into this sausage apple and cranberry stuffing recipe.
If you have a recipe using fall produce let us know in the comments section below, or email the author at email@example.com.
Michelle Fiscus writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com. Michelle and her husband own a personal training and nutrition business based in Frederick County and hold industry certifications and credentials.