September 29, 2017

4 Ways to Make Fall Flavors Healthy

Cinnamon, Apples, Pumpkin, and Squash What do these foods have in common? They are all great for bringing fall into your meal plans. These foods add a lot of seasonal flavor without derailing your diet!

I dont know about you, but my Pinterest feed and grocery store are bombarded right now with pumpkin everything! The problem with all these pre-packaged fall foods is they are usually crazy in calories, full of sugar, and a lot of processed snacks.

But guess what there are plenty of recipes and snack ideas that are smart, healthy, and nutrient dense!
Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

Spice it UP with cinnamon.
Cinnamon can be a flavor game changer for things like coffee, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and apples. Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., cinnamon can not only help regulate your blood sugar, it’s particular flavor can also help you cut back on added sugar when you’re making holiday treats. 

When I cut the dairy from my coffee, I sprinkle cinnamon in it. This will get you right in the fall mood! Try this tasty apple crisp recipe with cinnamon, maple syrup, oats, and sliced apples. It is super simple too!

Fall in love with apples.
We may eat apples all year, but they seem to just taste better in the fall. One medium apple contains about 14 percent of your RDA for vitamin C and just over 4 grams of fiber. This is just the right amount to keep you full. 
Here are five quick and easy ways to jazz up your apples!
  1. If you’re short on time, peel and slice an apple, add a few teaspoons of water, sprinkle with cinnamon, and microwave for 30 60 seconds. Relish!
  2. Chop apples into cubes, mix with a few other ingredients and make this homemade applesauce recipe.
  3. Shake it up with a nutritious apple pie smoothie.
  4. Add apples like Ambrosia or Honeycrisp for sweetness and a pop of color.

Get creative with pumpkin...and not just carving them.
Pumpkins are versatile and packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamin C and A, and potassium. Its seriously low in calories (were talking only 30 per cup of cubed pumpkin). This makes it ideal to use as a substitute for butter when baking savory dishes.

Try these pumpkin muffins with maple cream cheese, instead of artificial pumpkin-flavored pastries. This recipe relies on pumpkin puree instead of sugar for the sweet flavor. Of course, these are healthier alternative but still count as a treat!

Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious. I remember carving pumpkins for Halloween in kindergarten (omg, how long ago was that?!) and then roasting the seeds.

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We cant forget about oatmeal, a quintessential fall breakfast or snack. Swirl a scoop of unsweetened pumpkin puree in your oatmeal, along with nutmeg and vanilla.

Bring on the butternut squash.
Just a short few years ago, I had never even tasted butternut squash. Im not quite sure how I made it, this squash is that good. It isnt only tasty but rich in fiber and important vitamins and minerals.

Craving comfort food? Try this recipe for butternut squash mac and cheese

Or whip up a savory butternut and ginger soup under 200 calories. 

And who doesnt love an all-in-one sheet pan meal? Add this pan roasted chicken and vegetable dinner with butternut squash to your next meal plan!

Hope these ideas and recipes help you keep your nutrition on track without missing all the fall flavors. Let me know if you need help with other nutritional recipes and meal planning! 

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