What are your favorite fall foods? The fall harvest brings root veg and squash galore. There are crisp fruits and spices to make the most of. All of which come together to create the season of comfort food. And it’s perfect timing as the cold begins to draw in.
Not only do fall foods give you the warm and fuzzies, but they also pack a health punch. While the sun’s making shorter appearances, use fall fruit and veg to bump up vitamins you might be lacking. And eating seasonally comes with other benefits too.
Why Should We Eat Seasonally?
While you’re probably aware that all fruit and veg have a health benefit waiting for you to make the most of, there are more benefits to eating seasonally.
- Eating seasonally means you’re likely eating mode locally. Not only does that help support local farmers, but it also means less transportation is needed to get food to consumers. That means you’re doing your bit for the planet as less fuel is used and less pollution is created.
- There’ll be less need to preserve if food isn’t traveling far and doesn’t need to be kept fresh for extended periods. So your food won’t have come into contact with toxic sprays or other nasty chemicals.
- It’s cheaper because produce will be in abundance. And it tastes better because the food is allowed to ripen properly and taken at its peak. Simple as that.
Fall Foods To Add To Your Pantry
So we’ve established that eating seasonally is pretty much great. But which foods should you reach for, and what health benefits do they have for you?
Reach for any squash this Halloween season, and you’ll get more than just a good decoration out of them. Squash is packed full of beta-carotene. You’ll be forgiven if you’ve never heard of it, but it’s essentially the plant pigment that makes squashes orange. The body converts it into vitamin A, which is great for overall immunity and eye health too. Of course, you’ll get the same benefits from pumpkin, too, along with potassium perks and a vitamin C boost.
The best thing about squash is that you can’t go wrong with them. They keep well, and they’re consistent in flavor, which is why they make such a versatile food to use. So if you’re not sure what to make for your fall dinner party, reach for the squash.
If you’re a mushroom fan, then fall is the season for you. Now, the fabulous fungi are available all year round. But there’s the most choice and abundance in the colder months of fall, which makes it the perfect time to experiment with the humble mushroom. Mushrooms are a low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. In addition, they can help boost your immune system, which is why they’re often considered a superfood.
The mighty porcini is abundant in fall, and they have that typical taste and aroma of the season. Mushrooms are hugely versatile and work great on their own or as an accompaniment to meat. Pair them with beef and this recipe for steak marinade for a showstopping meal.
The humble leek. Being milder than their onion cousins means they’re far more interchangeable and can be paired with almost anything. They’re high in flavonoids which have a protective effect against heart disease. Once specific flavonoid, kaempferol, has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, pointing to why leeks could help stave off some diseases.
The good stuff doesn’t stop there. They’re also packed with antioxidants that may help prevent eye disease. And they’re full of fiber but without the calories. Ensure you opt for leeks that are crisp and clean them before getting creative in the kitchen.