Each fall when the leaves change color and the air is crisp, the flavors of autumn entice us as we anticipate the smells of cinnamon and pumpkin cooking in the kitchen. And next to our entrees, we look forward to that fresh side of spinach, sweet potato or apple compote on our dinner plate.
It’s time to reintroduce nature’s bountiful autumn harvest back into our diets again. If you are ready to savor these flavors, visit a Paragary Restaurant Group location today. I recommend Cafe Bernardo’s Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad with spinach and walnuts or the flavorful Kale Caesar Salad for that earthy flavor only autumn foods can offer.
Take advantage of the abundance of super foods California farmers will grow these next couple months and benefit from their nutrients. And visit your local farmer’s market to capture a true farm to fork experience with the fresh produce they sell.
If you would like to know more about the benefits fall’s super foods can have on your health, read on.
I have compiled a short list of some seasonal super foods often found on fall menus that are nutritionally dense, rich in phytonutrients, and just plain good for you.
Apples: This fall fruit is abundant in nutrients, and the skin contains Quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin is only found in the apple skin, not the flesh. Apples are delicious freshly sliced or sautéed with a little butter and cinnamon.
Dark Leafy Greens: Uber super foods, from kale, to chard and spinach, are leafy greens rich in polyphenols, known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and contain iron, vitamin C and E and a host of other nutrients. Bottom line – eat your greens every day. The nice thing about leafy greens is that you can eat them raw, steamed, grilled or added to soups and other dishes. They are quite versatile.
Eggplant: Eggplant is rich in potassium and fiber and low in calories. The dark purple color of the skin offers phytonutrient compounds, anti-inflammatory properties, and contains nasunin, a natural cholesterol-lowering nutrient. Always eat the eggplant with the skin, either baked or grilled, rubbed with olive oil and garlic.
Pumpkin: This fruit is rich in fiber, high in beta-carotene and low in calories. Just because the pumpkin grows to maturity in the fall doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this super food year round (canned). Bake it and serve sliced with a little butter and nutmeg. Save the seeds, season them and bake.
Sweet Potato: Like the pumpkin, the sweet potato is also rich in carotenoids. Baked sweet potato is so flavorful that it only needs a bit of butter, salt and pepper to enjoy. If a restaurant offers sweet potato fries, try them. They’re delicious.
Walnuts: These super nuts, which are harvested in the fall, are rich in plant-derived omega-3 fats. Walnuts also have antioxidant properties, vitamin E, folate, and fiber. Grab a handful for a snack or add to salads.
Posted on 10/03/2013 at 12:00:00 AM