Seasonal_Foods_Header Hi there friends, Ash here, Ecocentric Chef for DEFINE foods, Yoga Instructor, and Professional Eater. As Summer comes to an end, it’s important think about adding foods to your diet that will help you thrive as we transition into the Fall season (that is, if you don’t live in Houston, Texas). It’s September and Fall foods are seriously some of my favorites! Fall foods have always comforted, warmed, and soothed my always-hungry-stomach and soul. I invite you to add them to your diet and experience all the yumminess & benefits too! Here’s a list of Five Fall Foods that never fail to fill up my plate

1) Brussel Sprouts

These veggies taste divine when prepared correctly. They have a mild, somewhat bitter taste, so it’s good to combine them with savory or tangy sauces, like balsamic vinegar. Health benefits include:
  • 1/2 cup contains more than your daily required intake of vitamin K which helps build strong bones & prevents heart disease,
  • Rich in folate, which plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair.
  • Good source of Iron. Iron metabolizes proteins and plays a role in production of red blood cells and hemoglobin.
Harvest season: September – March  Brussel_Sprouts

2) Pears

This sweet fruit is sure to make your fall meals balanced. Poached, roasted, or baked, honestly pears taste good no matter what you do to them. Health benefits include:
  • One medium pear contains 6 grams of fiber, one of the highest fiber containing fruits out there.
  • Contains Phytonutrients that prevent stomach cancer.
  • They contain Boron, which our body uses and needs to retain calcium. Boron is linked to preventing osteoporosis.
Harvest season: August – February

3) Cauliflower

My personal favorite. There is nothing you can’t do with it. This sweet, slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower is perfect for Fall and Winter side dishes, and especially SOUPS! You can steam, puree, and even make cauliflower rice for a low carb replacement for regular rice. Health benefits include:
  • High in Vitamin C, 77% of the daily recommended intake.
  • Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development.
  • Also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
Harvest season: September – June

4) Squash

Another personal favorite. Squash is a very interesting vegetable, because it’s actually a broad term that encompasses a number of different types of vegetables, including: pumpkins, zucchinis, courgettes, and marrows. Squashes generally have sweet, wholesome flavors with nutty tones, & a fine texture. Squash can even be more delicious with spices like curry, ginger, cinnamon, and cumin in soups or stews. Health benefits include:
  • Squash is an important source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, magnesium, and other antioxidant compounds. These vitamins and minerals help to detoxify the body of free radicals that are known to cause cancer.
  • Squash is a great source of B-complex vitamins, all of which are essential in that metabolic activity & can even help manage Diabetes.
  • There are anti-inflammatory properties of squash due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
Harvest season: October-February

5) Sweet Potatoes

The multi-faceted sweet potato. You can do so much more with a sweet potato than Thanksgiving casseroles. Personally love to bake or roast my sweet potatoes with a dash of sea salt, cinnamon, and cayenne, it’s delicious and retains more nutrients when prepared this way. Health benefits include:
  • 90% of daily-recommended intake of Vitamin A in the form of Beta Carotene.
  • Anthocyanin and other color-related pigments in sweet potato have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Great source of iron and improves blood sugar regulation.
Harvest season: September – December There’s nothing that makes me happier than using a variety of multi-faceted veggies for my fall dishes that won’t just fill me up but also meets my nutritional needs. These veggies will have you thriving in no time. Have a question about preparation or need a recipe? Let me know!

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