Autumn is more than pumpkin
By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD
United Supermarkets Lifestyle Office
The fall pumpkin craze is real, but there is so much more to do for the fall season. Things like apples, pears, carrots, and winter squash varieties all enter or reach their peak season during this time.
On top of that, you have things that are year round items that get a fleeting moment of fall glory like cinnamon, brown butter, pecans, etc. So, let’s talk about how to add a little more autumn to your plate besides the delicious pumpkin.
- Apples: While you can grab an apple all year round, they really hit perfection in the fall and most certainly have a time with everything from baking to using in school lunch boxes. An average apple contains around 95 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 14% of your daily vitamin C recommendation.
In a large 2011 study in the Advanced Nutrition Journal, they found that eating an apple a day was linked to a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to not eating apples. Even eating a few apples a week had a similar protective effect. With the current health recommendation of eating 2-3 servings of fruit per day, this is an easy way to get started, and it’s office friendly! This perfect little fruit is excellent from breakfast to dessert and is truly versatile.
- Cinnamon: It can take you from breakfast to dessert with ease, brighten up baked dishes and dinner, and also add a little heat and spice to any dish. Your spice cabinet in general is something to look into this fall, as there is no sodium or added sugar and really allows you to quickly boost the flavor profile in a dish.
There are some great antioxidant properties that may give those looking to better control their blood sugar a benefit, but the research is still spreading to all and there needs to be more to make big health claims linking them to risk. reduced or better health.
- Squash: From acorns to butternut to spaghetti, sweet winter squash is a fall staple. Our favorite way to cook them is in the microwave for quick use or in the oven. They are ideal for baking and using in pasta dishes as their sweetness pairs perfectly with savory herbs and nutty cheeses.
You can even mash squash in the oven for soup or use them in baked goods from breakfast to dessert. Squash offers many benefits, such as a good source of vitamin C, a healthy source of fiber, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, and more.
- Brown Butter: Brown butter is a classic French technique in which butter is cooked long enough to brown the milk and salt particles while removing water from the butter. The result is a nutty and complex sauce that can add a deep nutty flavor to sweet or savory dishes.
While it takes about 5-10 minutes to get these chunks of flavor, they’re well worth it. For example, we like to use this technique in baking cookies to pour some over the broccoli with a squeeze of fresh lemon. While butter still has delicious calories, be sure to use this one in moderation!
- Figs: Figs have two seasons: a short summer and one that begins in late summer and continues until fall. They are perfect for crunching them raw or stuffing them with a soft cheese. They also make a great presentation (and photo) on a holiday charcuterie spread if you’re looking to improve your game. Fresh figs are low in calories (about 30 per piece) and contain a wide variety of nutrients.
- Maple: Maple products and maple syrup are on shelves year round, but when fall comes, there is an increase in purchases. And rightly so! It has a rich, nutty sweetness and enhances the beautiful fall flavors with very little added product.
When you buy your next bottle, make sure the only thing on the ingredient list is 100% maple syrup. This way you know you are getting a high quality product and the real benefits. It pairs perfectly with seasonal flavors, from baked desserts to roasted vegetables. Our pro tip is to try roasting your next batch of baby carrots with a little maple syrup and thyme.
Single plate dishes have been our weeknight warriors lately and with all of the fall flavors coming in season, what is one really not to like? Grab your baking sheet ASAP and fire up the oven for this gem! Shortly, use our pre-cut veg section and have dinner on the table in a jiffy!
A cinnamon butternut squash leaf
and Brussels Sprouts with Chicken and Apple Sausage
1 package Chicken sausage with apples
1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut into halves
1 lb butternut squash, cut into cubes
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 tbsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tbsp. Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375
2. Cut the chicken sausage with apples into 1/2-inch pieces and place them on 1/3 of the baking sheet.
3. Combine the Brussels sprouts cut in half and the cubed butternut squash on the other 2/3 of the baking sheet.
4. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil with the seasonings
5. Mix with your hands to combine
6. Bake for 45 minutes