With fall comes gorgeous foliage, hoodie weather (yes!), and an array of delicious produce boasting rich nutritional benefits, says Miranda Hammer, RD (and founder of The Crunchy Radish). From apples to pears and squash to sweet potatoes, here are all the seasonal fruits and veggies we’re falling for, plus tips for incorporating them into your meals. Try them before and after you FLY!
Crunchy and crispy, these sweet (or tart) wonders come in a myriad of varieties. Apples are full of fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols, which are micronutrients that may help combat cancer, heart disease, and degenerative conditions (no wonder one a day is said to keep the doctor away!). Hearty and durable, apples are the perfect grab-and-go snack – that’s why you see them daily in the studio! Look for apples that are firm, without bruises, have vibrant skin, and smell fresh.
How to eat ‘em: Slather them with nut butter, add them to an oatmeal bake, or toss them into a salad.
FLY HEALTH TIP: Buying local seasonal produce helps support small businesses, sustainable farming, and gets your body in tune with nature. And be sure to check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen List to help you prioritize which organic produce to buy.
Bet you can’t have just one! And you shouldn’t. A sweet, tart, crispy snack, grapes get a lot of love due to their wealth of antioxidants. One superstar antioxidant – resveratrol – is the anti-aging phytonutrient found in the fruit’s skin. Whether red, green, or somewhere in between, choose grapes that are plump and firm to the touch.
How to eat ‘em: Grapes are great alone, roasted in a tart, turned into jelly, or sliced into a salad with blue cheese and toasted walnuts. Or, freeze them for a cool treat.
Sweet and slightly spicy, pears come in diverse varieties and colors ranging from yellow-brown Boscs to green Bartletts. Pears are high in fiber, which helps control hunger, lower LDL cholesterol and aid digestion. A pear is ripe when there is a slight give to the skin. Select ones that smell fresh and have no bruises.
How to eat ‘em: Enjoy them whole, chop one up and put into your cereal (like muesli) or hot oatmeal, or roast them into a soup.
There are so many reasons to enjoy these stinky green guys. Rich in vitamin E, they help boost the immune system and help form red blood cells. These little bundles of joy also provide folic acid, which is important for prenatal health. Look for Brussels sprouts with firm, densely compacted leaves in rich green hues.
How to eat ‘em: Shred them and add to a salad or simply roast and enjoy plain.
Delicata, spaghetti, butternut, and acorn – so much squash, so little time. Orange and yellow varieties are rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C, which also makes for healthy hair and brighter-looking skin (win-win!). Look for squash that’s firm and heavy with a healthy-looking stem and matte-toned skin.
How to eat it: Sub spaghetti squash for pasta and toss with your favorite sauce, roast delicata squash and add to a salad with spicy sunflower seeds, or turn roasted butternut squash into a creamy dip.
Somewhat of a luxury in the produce aisle, the delicate, robust, and flavorful fig is in season for what seems like a nanosecond. Figs come in varying hues of purple and green and are a great source of dietary fiber and potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Choose figs with a rich color, minimal bruises, and a plump and tender flesh.
How to eat ‘em: Figs are delicious alone or when stuffed with cheese, tossed into a salad, or served with granola.
Although a slight pain to procure, pomegranate seeds (or arils) are well worth the effort of removing them from their hard shell – at least from a health standpoint. Ruby red and slightly tart, pomegranate seeds are rich in vitamins C and K and are considered a free radical-fighting, antioxidant powerhouse.
How to eat ‘em: Skip the juiced varieties and eat poms in whole form for maximum fiber and nutrition. Eat them plain or throw them into oats, a salad, or soup.
You say potato, we say…one healthy spud. Bursting to the brim with vitamins A and C and loads of fiber, sweet potatoes provide enhanced immunity, eye health, and better digestion in one compact package. Select them based on your taste: light-skinned sweet potatoes tend to have crumbly flesh that’s similar to white potatoes. Darker varieties are sweeter and creamier. No matter the shade, make sure your taters have taught skin and minimal bruises.
How to eat ‘em: Roast and stuff, bake them in wedges or slices for a healthy “fry” alternative, or use them in a breakfast hash.
Happy fall feasting! What are you looking forward to eating most?
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