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Eating seasonally – Part 2 Fall Fruits

Assorted Squash

Summer is quite bountiful for fruits but there is a great decline in the variety of fruits during the fall.  The fruits that are available are wonderful and have many uses.  Eat them while they are available so you get the best flavor and nutritional benefits.  Try these:

Apples – Apples are a staple in my house.  There are so many kinds of apples as well as uses.  You can eat the raw, make applesauce, make apple pie, apple muffins and breads, add to oatmeal or salads, and make into juice.  Dice some up and toss them in any meal you can.  

Cranberries – Cranberries are known for their benefits with urinary tract issues.  They can be beneficial all the time.  I like to make Cranberry Tea – add a handful of fresh or frozen cranberries to a pot of water and boil for 10 minutes.  Drink hot or cold, you can also sweeten with honey.  Cranberries also bake well so add to your next fruit muffin mix.

Pears – A bite into a nice, soft pear cannot be beat.  Pears can be quite mild in flavor but they tend to work similarly than apples.  You can make a pear sauce, pear tarts, salads with pears, or poached.

Persimmons – Persimmons taste best when they are cold, firm and crisp.  They work great in salads, turned into salsa, or made into jam.

Pomegranates – Pomegranates seeds are tiny bursts of flavor.  When you open a pomegranate, it should be ruby red and gleaming.  To take the seeds out with less mess, open and hold under water while freeing the seeds.  Pomegranates are extremely nutritious and taste best raw but can also juiced or cooked into a sauce.  I like mine mixed with spinach and pecans.  

Pumpkins – Pumpkins are traditionally used for Jack O Lanterns or baked from a can.  Pumpkins offer a wide variety of nutrients.  There are numerous ways to eat pumpkin.  I like to eat baked pumpkin items like Pumpkin Bread.  You can make breads, pies, muffins, frostings, soups, and roasted vegetables.  Pumpkins works well sweet or savory.

Quince – Quince is best eaten cooked.  It is quite tart, which makes it hard to eat raw.  When cooked, it will turn a pretty pink color.  Quince is not very popular anymore but can be seen in stores every once in awhile.  

Figs – Figs are known for the lovely cookies they make up.  Figs are soft and sweet, and can be eaten raw or cooked.  They are quite versatile.  You will find them mostly dried.  

Grapes – Grapes are delicious – seriously.  Grapes are quite nutritious and have been shown to have many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory benefits.  Grapes are versatile; they can be used in sweet dishes, savory dishes, eaten raw, cooked, made into jams, juiced, and frozen (my favorite way – tastes like ice pops).  

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Eat more fruit!

Eat More Fruit
Courtesy of bittopper.com

We are all used to hearing that we should eat more fruits and vegetables.  But do you know why?  Each piece of produce has its own individual benefits, slightly different from the others.  Anywhere from cancer fighting to beautiful skin.  The nutrients required for our body are vast.

Fruit offers so many nutrients that our body requires.  Even the different colors of the fruits offer a key to knowing what nutrients are in each fruit.  Typically, the richer the color, the higher the nutrient levels.

Most fruit also has a huge amount of water in it to help with hydration.  The right amount of water can be hard to drink every day.  Adding fruits to your diets can help increase the amount of water in your diet.

When considering fruit, avoid fruit juices.  Juice does not contain the fiber that a whole piece of fruit contains.  Fiber is helpful for eliminating waste, can help lower glucose and cholesterol, and can keep you full longer.  Fruit is one of the best options for fiber.

Fruits can be consumed many different ways.  You can eat a whole piece of fruit.  You can cut up many types of fruit and eat a fruit salad.  You can blend one or many fruits to make a smoothie (be careful or added sugars), dried, or you can cook the fruits – sauté, bake, fry (not the best option), microwave.

For me, each fruit taste better a different way.  I prefer apples soft – sautéed or cooked into oatmeal.  Strawberries – I like to mix with other fruit like bananas, kiwis, or blueberries.  I will eat bananas any way they come.

How do you prefer your fruit?  What’s your favorite?

 

 

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A New Way To Use Squash

Assorted Squash

During fall time, there is squash everywhere you look.  They are used for decorations or fall filled meals.  My house is a bit picky when it comes to squash, usually sticking to zucchini and pumpkin.  Knowing the wonderful benefits of squash, I often try to add it to our diet.  I have gone online to find fun ways to use different kinds of squash.  I have roasted acorn squash with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  I thought this was great but my household does not seem to care for sweet side dishes.   Continue reading A New Way To Use Squash

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How to get more produce into your life!

Red Onions and Shallots

Each and every one of us should be eating better.  Especially this time of year.  No matter how well you are doing, you can still do better.  If you are cooking for others, it can be even more difficult.  But how do you get more produce into your diet without living off salads… Continue reading How to get more produce into your life!

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Fresh Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkins

**RECIPE**  It’s fall time and we are all seeing pumpkins everywhere.  Most pumpkins are sitting on someone’s porch or mantel as a seasonal decoration.  I usually cut Jack O’lanterns with the kids and buy prepared pumpkin puree for all the delicious pumpkin foods.  This year I decided to try to roast my own pumpkin for a puree I could use.  If you want to eat a pumpkin, make sure to get a baking pumpkin, not a Jack O’lantern pumpkin.  The baking pumpkin tastes much better.   Continue reading Fresh Pumpkin Muffins