Root Vegetables: A Fall Staple
This fall, enjoy cooler temperatures and outdoor activities without the concern of heat related conditions. This is the perfect time of year to start incorporating different colored root vegetables into your grocery staples. Root vegetables are at their peak in the fall season, and they are underground treasures packed with nutrients and full of flavor. Some great examples to add to your plant-based menu are garlic, onion, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and parsnips. These root vegetables are good sources of many nutrients such as fiber, folate and beta-carotene.
Check out a few more health benefits of root vegetables
- High in Fiber: Many root vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive health. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements, helps control blood sugar levels, and contributes to a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management.
- Stable Energy Release: The carbohydrates in root vegetables are complex carbohydrates, providing a steady and sustained release of energy. This can help maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes, supporting overall energy balance throughout the day.
- Supportive of Heart Health: Potassium, found in abundance in root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots, is known for its role in promoting heart health. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and supports cardiovascular function.
- Seasonal and Local: Virginians can also enjoy other local produce this time of year: apples, pears, zucchini, peppers, kale, okra, brussels sprouts, eggplant, pumpkin and a variety of squash.
Healthy Autumn Eating Tips:
- Shop local farmer’s markets to get the freshest produce
- Eat “the rainbow” when choosing fruits and vegetables
- Cook with healthy fats such as olive oil
- Grill, roast, steam, or air fry vegetables to create lower-fat dishes
- Experiment with all types of seasonings (parsley, sage, curry, garlic and apple cider vinegar pair well with root vegetables)
Try one of our favorite recipes & let us know how you liked it!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
- Wash 1 pound of brussels sprouts and peel away any brown areas of the sprout
- Mix the brussels sprouts in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until all pieces are coated. Season with minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and/or black pepper.
- Roast in the oven on a sheet pan for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- (Alternatively, you can grill the sprouts by placing them on aluminum foil and grilling)
Zucchini/Squash/Onion Stir Fry:
- On the stovetop using a nonstick pan, sprinkle pan with olive oil
- Slice any vegetables you want to use
- Heat on fairly high heat while stirring the vegetables
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
- Slice potatoes into rounds (~1/4-1/2 inch thick)
- Lay potato slices flat on a baking sheet and spray lightly with the cooking spray.
- Season lightly with salt, pepper, and ground cinnamon.
- Bake for 40 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway.
Season as you like with non-salt alternatives
- Add some ground pepper
- Add a splash of apple cider vinegar
Incorporating a colorful array of root vegetables into your fall recipes not only elevates the taste but also adds a nutritional boost to your meals. From supporting your immune system to contributing to heart health, these veggies are a delicious and health-conscious addition to your autumn meals.
Remember that meal plans are not cookie-cutter and each one is unique to each person. Our mission is to help you create a healthy and fit lifestyle. One that is realistic and sustainable and allows you to optimize your overall health and wellness.
Enjoy and have a Happy Fall!
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