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Healthy Fall Feasting

Lizzie Pereira |
November 18, 2012 | 11:16 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Pumpkin can add a healthful boost to fall meals (Creative Commons/Flickr)
Pumpkin can add a healthful boost to fall meals (Creative Commons/Flickr)

Now that fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner, the abundance of wholesome foods that are now in season can’t be ignored. And while some say the holiday season indicates a time for loosening your belt and slipping on those elastic band pants, fall feasting can actually be quite healthy. So before you literally gobble up your Thanksgiving meal, here are a few healthy picks:

Pumpkin: No, pumpkin pie isn’t considered good for you (unfortunately) but this signature fall staple can be prepared in a variety of other forms. A one-cup serving packs in three grams of fiber. And with only 49 calories, the squash will not only keep you full but also keep your weight in check this season. Adding a little bit of canned pumpkin to your normal protein shake adds a wholesome boost of fall flavor. And don’t forget about the pumpkin seeds. Try roasting them in the oven with a little bit of sea salt for a tasty snack to munch on when you’re on the go.

Apples: You’ve all heard the proverb, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” so this fruit practically speaks for itself. A USDA funded study conducted last year by Florida State University found that apples reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower levels of bad cholesterol in women.  Dusted with a sprinkling of infection-fighting cinnamon or a tablespoon of peanut butter, sliced apples are the perfect, sweet treat to keep you full between meals. Or make your own applesauce, the perfect pairing with pork chops and a healthy dessert alternative.

Brussel Sprouts: Bearing a resemblance to miniature cabbages, brussel sprouts tend to have a bad rep among most people. But for those of you who think they taste like hot garbage, think again. When seasoned correctly, brussel sprouts are the perfect side dish. Try sautéing them in olive oil, garlic, salt, and a touch of butter. The trick here is cooking them until some of the leaves start to crisp. Or add them to caramelized onions with balsamic vinegar and a touch of honey. You’ll be popping them into your mouth like candy.

Pears: If an apple a day is too much for you, pears are a delicious alternative. They’re also high in fiber and make a great dessert or addition to any salad. Baked pears topped with yogurt are indulgent but also nutritious. You won’t even be missing that slice of pie and ice cream. 

Parsnips: This root vegetable flies under the radar in comparison to its brothers and sisters like potatoes, carrots, or beets. But parsnips are low in calories and high in fiber and add an unexpected twist when paired with roasted carrots. They also taste great when mashed with a little bit of butter and garlic. 

Reach Staff Reporter Lizzie Pereira here.



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