The restaurant-style dining and daily from-scratch specials at LifeStream at Youngtown make it easy to eat well. If you want to explore new dishes in your assisted living apartment, seasonal fall produce can be a healthy way to experiment. In-season produce usually tastes better and has higher levels of nutrients. With so many delicious and healthy fruits and veggies coming into season in autumn, there's a bounty of options to try as you welcome fall.
The name might say otherwise, but winter squash is ready for harvest in the fall. This category encompasses several squash varieties. Some of the most common include butternut squash, spaghetti squash and acorn squash. While the nutritional content varies by variety, winter squash serves up lots of healthy nutrients, including beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin A. Plus, it gives you a healthy dose of fiber.
Here are some ways to try winter squash this fall:
There are less common varieties of winter squash you can try as well, including delicata and kabocha. Grab one of each to find your favorite winter squash variety.
Pumpkin pie is a classic option on the Thanksgiving table, but it's not the only way to enjoy this fall favorite, nor is it the healthiest option. Small pumpkins are ideal for cooking — save the large pumpkins, which are usually stringier and have less flavor, for jack-o'-lanterns. Pumpkins offer beta-carotene and fiber, among other nutrients.
An easy way to prepare a pumpkin is to roast it in the oven. You can then mash it into a puree that you can put in your favorite recipes. Add it to muffins and oatmeal, or try it in savory dishes such as chili and pasta sauce.
Don't toss the seeds when you're roasting your pumpkins. They're also full of several nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. Tossing the seeds in a little oil and salt and roasting them creates a healthy, savory snack you can enjoy to fuel your fall activities.
Finding healthy alternatives to sweets can be difficult, but fresh, ripe apples in the fall can give you some delicious options. They're easily accessible and come in many varieties to match your sweetness preferences. Leaving the skin on is ideal — you'll get lots of fiber and vitamin C if you do.
You've likely eaten plenty of apples in your lifetime. This fall, shake things up by trying a new apple variety or preparing them in a new way. Homemade applesauce is simple to make on the stove or in a slow cooker. You can make a large batch and freeze or can it to enjoy throughout the fall and winter months.
Apples also work well in several breakfast items. You can chop them up and cook them in your oatmeal along with cinnamon for an autumn-inspired hot breakfast. Apples can also go into smoothies or muffins. At lunch or dinner, try sliced or chopped apples on your salad with a fruit vinaigrette dressing.
If you've had a bad experience with Brussels sprouts in the past, don't be afraid to give them another try. Brussels sprouts can taste completely different based on how you prepare them. Steaming or boiling Brussels sprouts usually results in mushy, flavorless veggies. Instead, cut them in half, toss them in a little oil and roast them in the oven until they're crispy and caramelized. You can add other seasonings to them before roasting. You'll get lots of fiber and antioxidants in a delicious meal.
You don't have to wait until Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy cranberries, and you don't have to settle for the gelatinous version in a can. Fresh cranberries offer lots of nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese and potassium. They're usually the healthiest option as dried cranberries usually have added sugar.
Cranberry sauce isn't the only way to enjoy this fall fruit. Here are some other options to try:
Cranberries are tart and sometimes bitter, so it can take some time to get used to the flavor. Adding them to other dishes can make them taste better.
Lots of root veggies are in season when fall hits. That includes beets, sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. You'll get fiber along with many other vitamins and nutrients, which vary depending on the root veggies you choose.
You can prepare root veggies in many ways and add them to several dishes. Some options include:
You can also add some root vegetables to other recipes. Sweet potatoes can be used in roll recipes, for example. Try new root veggies and other fall produce to incorporate nutrients, delicious flavors and new experiences into your meals.