Fall is almost here, and with it comes sweaters, cocoa, and plenty of delicious yet rich food. There’s always room for turkey and dressing, but remember that you can still eat healthy throughout the fall! Florida has plenty of fall seasonal produce which can be turned into tasty, healthy meals.
Why choose seasonal? It’s the freshest produce that farms have to offer, so you get the flavors at the peak of their season.
Seasonal and Healthy Recipes for Fall
Avocados may not seem like a traditionally ‘fall’ offering, but these nutrient-packed fruits are in season in Florida from October through December, depending on variety.
While avocados do have more calories than other nutrient-rich fruits or vegetables, they also have a lot of health benefits. Avocados are heart-healthy, and have plenty of fiber, folate, all B vitamins except B12, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, and more.
- Florida Avocado Smoothie – Start your day right with an nutrient-packed Florida avocado smoothie.
Low fat dairy keeps the calorie count down. Add blueberries, blueberries, or protein powder to mix things up a bit!
- Chicken, Florida Avocado, and Swiss Wrap – These chicken, Florida avocado, and Swiss cheese wraps are perfect for a quick and light lunch.
Use whole grain flatbread for added benefits. Add lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, or onions to customize. Substitute leftover rotisserie chicken or sliced deli chicken if you don’t have chicken breasts on hand.
Root Vegetables are a fall staple, and available in abundance at farmers’ markets at this time of year.
Root vegetables include celeriac, carrots, beets, fennel, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and rutabagas among others. They are rich in fiber and every type has a wide variety of nutrients. Each individual vegetable has their own benefits.
- Chilled Florida Wildflower Honey and Carrot Soup – This sweet and spicy soup is perfect for lunch, or as a light appetizer before a larger meal.
Carrots are a well-known aid to eye health, and are a wonderful source of vitamins A, B, C, E, K, potassium, and more. You can also substitute another fall favorite – butternut squash – into this soup, or use a blend of the two.
- Florida Grouper with Roasted Vegetables – If your grill has been put away for the season, then try this baked grouper recipe!
Depending on the variety and location, grouper is in season for most of the Fall. Late-summer squash can easily be substituted by seasonal root veggies. Make use of vegetables like carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, celeriac, and more.
Pumpkins and Winter Squash are part of the ‘gourd’ family, and can be found everywhere during the fall.
Pumpkins and winter squash have anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as plenty of antioxidants. They are good sources of Vitamins A, C, B6 and B2, and are high in fiber.
There’s no better use of a pumpkin than a pumpkin pie! Meanwhile, winter squash is frequently mashed with plenty of brown sugar and butter. In terms of health food, neither of these options make the cut.
Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy recipes for pumpkins and winter squash! Roasted, baked, or put into soups, the possibilities are plentiful! Both gourds are versatile, and can be substituted into many recipes you may already have.
- Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins – Believe it or not, this recipe is both delicious and healthy! Bake them on the weekend, and have low sugar, low fat, and protein-filled breakfasts all week.
Not only are you getting all the benefits of pumpkin, dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, and is heart-healthy. You can substitute dried fruits for dark chocolate, and add chopped walnuts or pecans if you’d prefer. The oats in this recipe only add to the heart-friendly benefits, as well as cholesterol-lowering oat fiber.
- Butternut Squash and Tofu Curry – For a spin on the traditional ingredients in curry, take fall into consideration and add butternut squash to this yellow curry.
Tofu is a great source of vegetable protein, while broccoli sports anti-inflammatory benefits, plenty of antioxidants, and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. You can also substitute pumpkin for butternut squash, depending on what’s available, and add carrots for additional nutrients.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for eating healthy during hot chocolate and scarves season. This fall, take advantage of the season’s produce and try some new, healthy recipes!