Give your fall comfort foods a healthy boost with these ingredients.
Fall is traditionally a time of harvest, feasting, and celebration—it’s one of the best things about the season! Even better: there are so many healthy comfort foods for fall that allow you to plan a feast that your taste buds can appreciate and packs a nutritional punch.
Here are some of our favorite healthy fall foods:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash and pumpkin
- Parsnips and carrots
Below, learn more about the nutrition facts and recipes for these healthy comfort foods for fall!
For many people, an annual trip to the apple orchard signals the true start of autumn. Fans of this classic fruit know that they make a great snack on their own and a healthy addition to festive fall desserts. And the adage about keeping the doctor away measures up: the health benefits of apples include being good for your heart, promoting good gut bacteria, building strong bones, protecting your brain, and more.
Okay, they’re a little less healthy in a casserole with marshmallows on top, but this fall veggie is sweet enough without them anyway! The health perks are equally sweet: supporting healthy vision, immunity, stomach health, and more. Roast them, mash them, stick them in a pie, or mix it up with another creative recipe!
Add this bright red berry to desserts for a tart explosion of flavor, or serve it in a sauce alongside traditional Thanksgiving foods. Making your own cranberry sauce allows you to control how much sugar you add, and you can even jazz it up with other bright ingredients like orange zest and cinnamon. These little guys pack quite a nutritional punch, with protective ingredients against cancer, UTIs, heart disease, and even tooth decay!
Winter squash and pumpkin
Decorative and delicious: winter squashes (including pumpkins) are some of the biggest stars of fall! They don’t just look pretty; they’re also full of healthy antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoy them roasted and stuffed with other veggies, herbs, and spices, puree them into a butternut squash or pumpkin soup, or volunteer as pie-baker for your Thanksgiving feast and make a healthier take on pumpkin pie.
Parsnips and carrots
Parsnips and carrots are cousins in the vegetable world, making them perfect for throwing into a roasting tray together with olive oil and spices! Both are high in fiber, vitamins, and immune-boosting antioxidants. You can also enjoy these veggies together in a hearty, smooth blended soup for a cozy night at home.
While cauliflower is easy to enjoy in dishes year-round, their peak is September through November. Try a new spin on cauliflower this fall by looking for heads in different colors – this veggie comes in bright yellow and purple in addition to the traditional white. (In fact, the purple kind has extra antioxidants!) No matter what color you get, you’ll be downing nutrients and fiber galore. Whether cauliflower is a trusty standby in your kitchen or it’s your first foray into cooking with it, these five roasted cauliflower recipes are sure to become one of your go-to healthy comfort foods for fall.
If you’re going on an autumn walk through the forest, you’ll likely see a variety of mushrooms sprouting up among the moss and fallen leaves. It’s their season to shine! Mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins and antioxidants. Hit up a farmer’s market to take your pick of favorite fall fungi like “chicken (or hen) of the woods,” chanterelles, and oysters. Mushroom recipes are incredibly versatile, from pasta to soup to stuffing to veggie burgers and more.
Excited to dig into these healthy fall foods? You can find more articles about nutrition, fitness, senior living, and hearing loss on the CapTel blog!