Apples: Fall Bounty

standard November 17, 2014 Leave a response

Thanksgiving to me will always be equated with my mom’s applesauce and apple crisp. They were two foods we always made when temperatures cooled, and the smell of apples and cinnamon are quintessential holiday scents.

As I’ve begun experimenting in the kitchen, I’ve branched out a little with apples. They’re not just for snacking or making applesauce. Whether sweet in baked goods, or savory in dinner entrees, apples have a sweet and tart versatility. And their nutritional value is diverse. An apple a day really can keep the doctor away.

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Nutrition:

Apples of all colors and varieties are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, in a compact 65 calorie fruit (for a medium-sized apple). Their high fiber and natural sugars make them a carbohydrate rich source at 17 g. Apples also contain a moderate amount of vitamins C, B6, and B12, as well as potassium.

Benefits:

The high fiber content in apples makes them a terrific food to support a wide number of health issues. A diet high in fiber helps to reduce cholesterol, benefiting heart health, digestive and gastrointestinal issues. It can also prevent gallstones, aid in weight management, and regulate blood sugar.

Apples are also a significant source of antioxidants which can aid in immune support, benefit eye and bone health, and flush and detoxify the body.

Recipes:

Bake up some apple goodness this week with one of these classic recipes:

Butternut Squash: Sweet Winter

standard November 3, 2014 Leave a response

If pumpkin is fall’s glory vegetable, then it’s butternut cousin is winter’s squash gem. I love how most fall and winter recipes calling for pumpkin, butternut squash, or even sweet potatoes can all interchange any of the starring vegetables. Their orange color, sweet and mild flavor are perfect for so many applications. While butternut is my least favorite to prep, it’s the sweetest and possibly most versatile of the three.

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Nutrition

The sweet butternut squash is a nutritional gem, nutrient dense in vitamins and minerals while low in carbohydrates and calories, at only 16 g and 63 kcal per cup.Like its other orange counterparts, it is abundant in vitamins A and C. Butternut squash is also a significant source of magnesium, folate, potassium, and calcium.

Benefits:

Low in calories and high in fiber, butternut squash is a great addition to a weight-loss diet, providing nutrient dense satiety and also aiding in digestion and preventing GI issues.

At over 200% DV in each serving, butternut squash is a vitamin A superstar. As with pumpkin, this vitamin A aids in eye health, heart health, and cancer prevention. Adding a solid amount of potassium also aids in heart prevention and as well as preventing muscle contractions (good for runners!).

Their high calcium content is beneficial for bone health. The addition of a significant source of magnesium aids in calcium absorption, further increasing the mineral value of the food.

Recipes:

Whether you dice it, slice it, or blend it, test out the nutrient powers of this winter squash with one of these must-try recipes:

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Persimmons: Fall Fruit Gems

standard October 22, 2014 Leave a response

Persimmons are a fun little oriental fruit that until I first saw in a CSA delivery, had never seen or tried before. I’d barely even heard of them, so I did a lot of recipe research to figure out what on earth to do with them.

Last week I was really excited to see them again, knowing a lot more about them. I immediately saw a million ways to cook them up with the other goodies in my box. Stay tuned, because this week’s recipe is going to be a good one!

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Nutrition:

Persimmons have a high carbohydrate content from their natural sugars, like most fruits. One persimmon contains about 30 calories with 8 g carbohydrates. They are high in vitamins A and C, and also minerals including manganese, copper, and potassium.

Benefits:

Persimmons have a few significant health benefits, due to their nutrition makeup. They are high in fiber, which aids in promoting weight loss and improving digestion. Persimmons also have a high antioxidant content, which protect against free radicals that can lead to ageing and common illnesses.

Recipes:

Check out the versatility of this fall gem and try one of these recipes this week!