Pumpkin is a vegetable we all know and love, especially around the autumn season. Pumpkins are most often seen as house decorations or carved into Jack-O-Lanterns every fall, but they can also be a great source of nutrition! Pumpkins are rich in fiber and beta-carotene, which gives it it’s signature shade of orange. Beta-carotene also converts to vitamin A in the body, which is good for your skin and eyes!
Beets are edible from its leafy greens all the way down to its bulb, which makes it a very versatile vegetable to include in your diet. The leaves can be sautéed like spinach to enjoy and the bulb can be roasted or even served raw, shaved onto salads! Beets are rich in naturally occurring nitrites and may even help support healthy blood pressure.
3. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are often a part of meals during the fall and winter months, partially due to the rich orange color that also comes from beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are often served, you guessed it, sweet… but can also be prepared in a savory way using spices like garlic powder, chili powder, and black pepper to switch things up this fall!
Pears are a fruit that many of us don’t necessarily associate with the fall and winter months because most produce can be purchased year-round. However, pears are the most delicious in the fall, their peak season! Pears can be enjoyed in a variety of ways this season including grilled, poached, or even placed in a layer of a sandwich. Rich in fiber, pears are an excellent fruit to incorporate into your diet this fall.
Cranberries and Thanksgiving are almost synonymous, but did you know there are more ways to include cranberries into your diet than that gelatin cranberry dish at the holiday table? Rich in antioxidants, cranberries can be added to any fall salad both fresh or dried, and can even be enjoyed as a healthy snack on the go!
Below is one of my favorite recipes as we are deep into the Fall season.
Harvest Chicken Casserole
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 c. chicken broth, divided
6 c. cooked wild rice
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9″-x-13″ baking dish with oil. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden and cooked through, 8 minutes per side. Let rest 10 minutes, then cut into 1″ pieces.
2. Heat another tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, garlic, thyme, paprika and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup broth, bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, 5 minutes.
3. Combine cooked rice and remaining tablespoon of oil in a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Stir in chicken, cranberries, cooked vegetables, and remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth. Top with almonds and bake until dish is hot and almonds are toasted, 15 to 18 minutes.