Posts tagged "fall"

Pumpkin Everything


 It’s that time of year again!  The Fall season is upon us and we start seeing that word everywhere, “Pumpkin.”  It seems that many brand name products believe that everything can use a little bit of spice……that is, Pumpkin Spice.  So far this season I have found pumpkin lattes, pumpkin Oreos, pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin chips, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin Cheerios, pumpkin cookies, and the list goes on. For many consumers it’s all about the pumpkin signaling the beginning of the Fall season.  While many food industries take this ingredient to an extreme, and use it in many sugar filled products, let’s take a closer look at the pumpkin and it’s nutritious side.

  Pumpkin Facts

 ·        A cultivar of a squash plant, but considered a fruit.

 ·        1 cup of cooked, boiled, and drained pumpkin is 49 calories, 2 grams protein, and has 12 grams of carbohydrates.

 ·        Pumpkin is loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body.  Vitamin A is important for the maintenance of the immune system, important in growth and development and vision.  

 ·        1 cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A.

 ·        Pumpkin seeds are edible and nutrient rich.  Pumpkin seeds contain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols, which have been shown in some studies to help reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).  These seeds can be roasted as a snack. 

 ·        Pumpkin seeds can help boost your mood.  Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is important in the production of serotonin in the brain that helps regulate our mood. 

 ·        Pumpkins are 90% water.

 ·        Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, by containing 3 grams per 1 cup serving.  Fiber helps keep you feeling full longer, which can help promote weight loss.

 ·        Pumpkin can help refuel athletes after a hard workout.  One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 564 mg of potassium compared to a banana, which has 422 mg of potassium. 

 This delicious fruit can be added to many healthy recipes to provide not only a tasty flavor, but also a nutrient packed punch.  While pumpkin is the taste of the season, make sure you are still conscious of all the other ingredients listed in your food choices.  Continue to pay close attention to those food labels for calories, sugars and fat as you choose your tasty treat. 


 University of Illinois Extension

Fall’s Bounty Part One – Fruits

autumn fruits

 In addition to crisp, cool mornings and mountains painted in beautiful colors, fall brings a harvest of delicious fruits and vegetables. This bounty can bring interest to your meals in terms of colors, textures, and flavors. In addition, they are great sources of vitamins and minerals needed for good health including vitamin c, folate and potassium.  Many fruits also contain a lot of fiber.

            Fruits that are considered “in-season” in fall include apples, pears, cranberries, grapes and pomegranates. Many people do not consume the number of servings of fruit that are recommended for them. Utilizing fruits in new and creative ways can help close this gap. Think of fruit as “nature’s dessert,” but don’t stop there. Remember, fruits can also be incorporated into entrees, salads, breads and other dishes. Check out the links below to find recipes to jazz up your fall meals.

 ·         Sausage-Stuffed Apples

 ·         Pomegranate, Pear and Avocado Salad

 ·         Cranberry Apple Coffee Cake

 ·         Healthy Chicken Salad With Grapes, Apples, and Tarragon Yogurt Dressing

 Stay Tuned for “Fall’s Bounty: Part 2 – Vegetables.”

Preparing For Autumn's Arrival




The Autumn season and all its glory is quickly approaching! So, whether you're pumped to get your yearly pumpkin fix (or maybe you would rather pass)  here are some tips and tricks to staying healthy this fall!

  Seasonal Foods:

 When you walk into a grocery store it's hard to keep in mind what’s in season and what’s not in season. Keeping this in mind is important; picking foods that are currently in season is key to getting the best produce you possibly can. Often times when you buy out of season produce ,the taste and other aspects can be compromised. Below is a list of produce that is in season during fall months and always remember “fresh is best”.

 o   Beets

 o   Bell Peppers

 o   Carrots

 o   Sweet Potatoes

 o   Butternut Squash

 o   Arugula

 o   Cabbage

 o   Celery

 o   Broccoli

 o   Brussel Sprouts

 o   Kale

 o   Romaine

 o   Apples

 Stay Active:

 With the weather beginning to cool off, some people find it hard to remain active during this time since a lot of physical activity is done outside. However the weather should not be an excuse to derail your progress or to not accomplish any goals you have set forth. With that being said here are some tips to keep you and your family active.

 1. One great resource is to join or utilize your gym membership. They have lots of great equipment and its indoors.

 2.Fall is also a GREAT time to go on a nature hike since the leaves are beginning to change, so not only do you get wonderful views you also get moving.

 3. A great tip to get the whole family moving is to go apple picking or visit a pumpkin patch. This is a great way to get the whole family outdoors and active.

 4. Treat yourself to some temperature appropriate workout gear.


 Wrapping Up:

 In conclusion, staying healthy in fall is essential and has many factors including controlling portions on turkey day, keeping your mental well being in check, eating local foods, and staying active. Finally, everyone is different so as long as you're keeping yourself healthy and well, cater these tips to you and your desires.

 P.S Stay warm with this Garden Vegetable Soup Recipe.

 (Yields 6-8 servings). 255 calories per serving.


o   2 tablespoons olive oil

 o   2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)

 o   2 tablespoons finely minced garlic

 o   Kosher salt

 o   2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped (approximately 2 medium)

 o   2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

 o   2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces

 o   2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

 o   4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes

 o   2 ears corn, kernels removed

 o   1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 o   1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves

 o   1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


o   Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat.  Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and  continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

o    Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.