With some of the most tasty and healthy vegetables in season, fall is a fantastic time to try new produce.
Vegetables should be a staple in your diet for a number of reasons.
- Vegetables are rich in vitamins and nutrients that help your body thrive.
- They contain fiber, which helps move things along in your gut.
- Vegetables are generally low in calories, which means you can eat a lot of them to help fill you up, without overdoing it on calories.
The phrase “eat the rainbow” is often used to illustrate how to get a variety of vegetables. They come in many different colors, so eat a little of everything on the spectrum. This season, cauliflower, eggplant, sunchokes, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and more are ripe and ready to be eaten at their best.
Winter squash is also available, including butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and delicata, to name a few. Although it’s called winter squash, it’s grown in the summer and harvested in the fall. Because of its tough skin, it’s hearty enough to keep in your pantry for several months.
Roasted butternut squash is one of my favorites, but there are so many different ways to prepare it. It’s extremely versatile and can be used for soup, stew, chili, hash, and more. The flavor is a little sweet, at least for a vegetable!
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of cubed butternut squash is 82 calories and 6 grams of fiber. It’s a good source of potassium – providing even more than a banana – as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Delicata squash is my personal favorite winter squash. It’s yellow in color with green speckles and shaped like a cylinder. Not to oversell it, but when it’s cut into crescents, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted in the oven until it starts to turn crispy, I think it’s a great substitute for french fries. You can even dip it in ketchup.
It’s always a fun challenge to grab something new to you the next time you’re at the grocery store, or even better, farmer’s market. You might just find a new favorite.
For AgNet West’s Health Bite, I’m Rachel Eslick. I can help you reach your health and fitness goals with 1:1 and group training. Visit www.reachfit.net.