Fall has officially arrived in Northern Indiana–well Southern Michigan for me! My family and I have finally moved into our new house in Edwardsburg. It’s still pretty bare, but nothing beats sleeping in your own bed. I can’t wait to watch all of the leaves change and bust out my hooded sweatshirts. All of my fall boots that were in storage FINALLY made their way to our garage. It was a pretty big deal–girls I know you feel me.
Aside from the changing of the leaves and some stylish boots, fall brings a good selection of nutrient dense fruits and veggies:
Pumpkin: Aside from being delicious, eating pumpkin can help boost your vision and immune system. It can also promote younger looking skin. Pumpkins are rich in fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and beta-cartone. Consider using pumpkin in baking, soups and even salads! Don’t forget the seeds! Pumpkin seeds pack a lot of iron–4 mg. per ounce to be exact. That’s 6 times more than in an ounce of beef!
Squash: Squash has a harvest season of October-February, meaning we can enjoy it in both the fall AND the winter. It’s extremely versatile and power packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. There are many varieties of squash but those most commonly used are butternut and spaghetti squash. It’s great to use a spaghetti squash as a substitute for regular noodles. Just preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish or sheet with EVOO. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Spray or drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper and place cut side down on the pan. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until tender. Let cool and use a fork to scrape out the strands. Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce, vegetables, meat, etc. and enjoy!
Pears: Pears are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, copper and fiber. Many of the health benefits are found within the skin–so eat them with the skin left on! My favorite way to eat a pear is chopped up on a bed of spinach with pecans and goat cheese.
Brussel Sprouts: This veggie is low in calories and packed with nutrition. These sprouts have even been known to fight cancer. Their odd shape and reputation of being gross can keep many people away, but don’t let that stop you! These can be quite delicious when cooked properly. I prefer to cut 1 1/2 lbs. sprouts in thirds, lightly toss them in EVOO, 1tsp of honey, a dash of salt and pepper and pan roast them for about 10 minutes or until they turn golden brown. For extra deliciousness fry about 4 pieces of bacon, chop and add to sprouts.
Enough about fruits and veggies. Let’s talk dessert! I wanted to bake some cookies that people with a gluten or dairy intolerance are able to enjoy and also include the wonderful flavor of pumpkin! Hence the creation of “Simple Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies”! These cookies have absolutely NO flour. That means, if you haven’t embraced cooking with almond or coconut flour yet that you don’t have to go out and buy some! I absolutely LOVE cookies. Especially if they are soft and somehow include chocolate chips. Gluten free oatmeal is definitely an added bonus.
Another good thing about these cookies is that you can choose your own toppings. I went for walnuts and Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips. These chocolate chips are gluten and dairy free—among other things. I like to pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds so they are nice and warm.
I hope you enjoy! What’s your favorite fall recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.