Fall: The best produce for you

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I was shopping for dinner the other day, and I found myself craving sweet potatoes, hearty root veggies, and warming broths. The day was slightly chilly, and my body instinctively switched seasons; leaning in towards the colors of autumn, oranges, reds and deep golds.

I almost laughed out loud when I realized what was happening, and later indulged those cravings with glazed pumpkin slices over garden fresh arugula.

The next day I made mashed sweet potatoes, and then roasted root vegetables over the weekend. It felt right to be eating with the seasons, so I want to remind you to tune in to your seasonal nutritional style, too.

Which seasonal produce should be staple items in your pantry this fall? Here are my picks.

Carrots
Our refrigerator is never without them, double timing as raw snacks or creating the perfect base to any sauce, broth, soup or stock. But did you know that your daily carrot snack may help to lower your risk of cancer? Carrots produce a natural pesticide, called falcarinol, that early studies are showing help vegetables ward off fungal diseases while growing. When eaten, the falcarinol can protect against cancer.
You’ll love this easy honey-sweet recipe that takes a few minutes to make.

Beets
These gorgeous root veggies are an excellent source of iron, vitamins B, and C, beta-carotene, folic acid, and fiber. The fiber in beets helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by helping to increase your good cholesterol, or HDL. Just make sure to roast them separate from your other veggies, or they’ll stain everything a gorgeous shade of red.
This Beet Risotto recipe will look gorgeous on your table!

Garlic
Garlic brings flavor and aroma to any recipe, but I’m wild for its immunity boost. Garlic is antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. And because of its sulfur compounds, garlic helps to reduce inflammation and promotes shedding toxins.
Here’s a tip: chop or crush garlic when you start your meal prep and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will ensure that its desirable enzymes are activated and you get the most nutritional benefits.
Try this quinoa garlic stir fry for an easy supper this week.

Sweet potato

Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6, sweet potatoes are perfect when you crave a warm, filling, and comforting meal but don’t want to sacrifice good nutrition. You can enjoy these mashed, baked, or sautéed and still reap all of the benefits. Here’s my new recipe for mashed sweet potatoes.

Turnips

Turnips belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables, (didn’t know that!) and contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Turnip greens are an excellent source of phytonutrients, too, so be sure to use them as well. Toss greens into a salad or try a sauté with olive oil and garlic.

Rutabaga
Rutabagas are often confused with turnips, but they have different nutritional benefits, and taste quite different, too. Rutabagas become sweet when roasted, unlike the peppery appeal of turnips. This root vegetable offers up to 53% of your daily needs for vitamin C, a bonus this time of year when cold and flu season hits.

Ginger

Ginger warms and supports your digestion and helps relieve nausea. Ginger also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a common health tonic, especially in cold months.
This ginger detox tea is a favorite of mine.

Be inspired to eat seasonally this week!

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