A bountiful fall harvest

I greatly enjoyed shopping for fresh berries, peaches, cherries, and nectarines during the summer months, filling my basket with the most vibrant flavors and colors summer has to offer.  As seasons change, so do the fruits and vegetables that are at their peak, or “in season.”

Now that fall is here, I can still find berries in the store, but they don’t always taste as fresh, juicy or sweet because they are not at their peak time for harvest. Technically, almost all food can be grown somewhere throughout the world at any time of the year, but fruits and vegetables consumed within a few days of being picked, rather than trucked across the country and sitting in storage, taste better and may even contain more nutrients.

In addition to corn mazes, Jack-O-Lanterns, and Halloween candy, the signs of fall include delicious, robust flavors from fresh apples, pears, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, seasonal squash and more. The list is extensive, so be sure to add a new fruit or vegetable to your shopping cart next time you’re at the store!

Apples:

We are all aware of the “apple a day” adage. These sweet fall favorites are loaded with antioxidants which fight off free radicals.  Some varieties, like Fuji, are highest in phenolic compounds and flavonoids.1 Apples are also packed with vitamin C and pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps with digestion.  Some apples are better for cooking, while others can be enjoyed raw, so pick the right apple for your needs. Make sure you enjoy the peel, as the skin contains up to six times the antioxidant content as the flesh.

Pears:

Another fall favorite, pears are higher in pectin than apples. Pectin is a soluble fiber that helps lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and helps promote regularity and fullness. Pears are also a good source of vitamin C, copper and potassium.3 Pears are mild and sweet, and full of antioxidant phytonutrients like quercetin, so enjoy these fat-free, cholesterol-free and 100-calorie fall gifts.

Brussels sprouts:

Cruciferous vegetables are packed with phytonutrients, which may help protect the body against health concerns. They are also a good source of Vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, iron and fiber. Cruciferous vegetables are unique in that they are rich in glucosinolates, a sulfur-containing compound that imparts a pungent aroma and unique taste.2 Scientists are currently researching glucosinolates and their health-promoting properties.

Sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes peak during the fall. They pack a nutritional punch and are often a popular side dish on Thanksgiving tables. Similar to squash, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, giving it (and other orange fruit and vegetables) their vibrant color. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A and promotes healthy eyesight. Squash and sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium and quercetin when eaten with the skin on. Don’t ruin these nutritional powerhouses with marshmallows or syrups. Instead, add spices, such as cinnamon, to give them unique flavors.

Squash:

Squash is another versatile and delicious vegetable that often takes center stage on tables as decoration during the fall months. But did you know that squash is actually a broad term used to describe various vegetables such as pumpkins and zucchinis?

Summer squash is available through October when winter squash crops into season.  This gourd comes in many varieties, including acorn squash, butternut squash, delicta squash and spaghetti squash (a personal favorite). Each variety packs a nutritious punch with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Be sure to try all kinds!

Stock up now on the season’s best

Don’t forget about pomegranates, rutabagas, cauliflower and a whole host of other seasonal produce.  If your local grocery store doesn’t have the particular fruits and vegetables you are looking for, then check out your local farmers market or CSA (http://www.localharvest.org/), or visit a pick-your-own farm near you (www.pickyourown.org).

You can get a whole bushel of nutrition from Greens by PURE. Greens is made up of four Proprietary PURE Blends that utilize some of the most beneficial superfoods, botanicals, superfruits, and mushrooms available, giving your life the edge it craves and deserves. In this way, your body is benefiting from the whole fruit and vegetable.

 

1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/

2https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/cruciferous-vegetables

3https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/22-high-fiber-foods

Your bountiful fall harvest

As seasons change, so do the fruits and vegetables that are at their peak, or “in season.”

The signs of fall include delicious, robust flavors. Staples such as fresh apples and pears offer essential vitamins and antioxidants; however, other foods peak this time of year, including Brussels sprouts, seasonal squash, and beets.  Don’t be afraid to add a new fruit or vegetable to your shopping cart next time you’re at the store!

  1. Apples: We are all aware of the “apple a day” adage. These sweet fall favorites are loaded with antioxidants which fight off free radicals.  Some varieties, like Fuji, are highest in phenolic compounds and flavonoids.  Apples are also packed with vitamin C and pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps with digestion.  Some apples are better for cooking, while others can be enjoyed raw, so pick the right apple for your needs. Make sure you enjoy the peel, as the skin contains up to six times the antioxidant content as the flesh.
  2. Beets: These are a wonderful source of vitamins A and C. They are also high in fiber and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas).
  3. Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage: Cruciferous vegetables are packed with phytonutrients, which may help protect the body against health concerns. They are also a good source of Vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, iron and fiber.   Cruciferous vegetables are unique in that they are rich in glucosinolates, a sulfur-containing compound that imparts a bitter flavor and offers health benefits.
  4. Pears: Pears are higher in pectin than apples. Pectin is a soluble fiber that helps lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and helps promote regularity and fullness. Pears are also a good source of vitamin C, copper and potassium. Pears are mild and sweet, and full of antioxidant phytonutrients like quercetin, so enjoy these fat-free, cholesterol-free, 100-calorie fall gift.
  5. Squash: Squash is another versatile and delicious vegetable that often takes center stage on tables during the fall months. But did you know that squash is actually a broad term used to describe various vegetables such as pumpkins and zucchinis? Summer squash is available through October when winter squash crops into season.  This gourd comes in many varieties, including acorn squash, butternut squash, delicta squash and spaghetti squash.  Each variety packs a nutritious punch with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Be sure to try all kinds!
  6. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes peak during the fall. They pack a nutritional punch and are often a popular side dish on Thanksgiving tables. Similar to squash, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, giving it (and other orange fruit and vegetables) their vibrant color. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A and promotes healthy eyesight. Squash and sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium and quercetin when eaten with the skin on.  Don’t ruin these nutritional powerhouses with marshmallows or syrups. Instead, add spices, such as cinnamon, to give them unique flavors.

Stock up now on the season’s best

Don’t forget about pomegranates, rutabagas, cauliflower and a host of other seasonal produce. If your local grocery store doesn’t have the particular fruits and vegetables you are looking for, then check out your local farmer’s market or CSA (http://www.localharvest.org/), or visit a pick-your-own farm near you (www.pickyourown.org).

 

 

Healthy meals in disguise

VeggiesDisguise_0416If there’s one thing I struggle with, it’s making sure my children are getting their daily dose of vegetables without any grimaces, groans or gasps. Just in time for Healthy Kids week, we have creative ways to hide vegetables in the meals you fix so you can be assured they are getting their recommended daily nutrients.

  • Drink them – Who doesn’t like a delicious smoothie? It’s easy to hide vegetables in a drink. Having a juicer makes it that much easier. Use raw vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale. Mix them with sweet, juicy fruits to mask their taste. Pour them into fun glasses and add silly straws. Genesis PURE Greens is also a great addition to a smoothie or shake, and you’ll be giving your children antioxidant-rich fruits and greens.
  • Shred them – Mix shredded carrots, zucchini, onions and peppers in meatloaf, meatballs, burgers and other ground meat dishes. The pickiest eater will never know they’re in there.
  • Mix them – Think about flavors that go together when preparing meals. For instance, cauliflower mixes well with mashed potatoes. Pureed squash or carrots can be mixed into macaroni-and-cheese sauce. Try pureeing spinach and stir it into spaghetti or pizza sauce.
  • Sweeten them – Make veggie popsicles and smoothies. Make zucchini bread with chocolate. Pumpkin muffins, carrot cake and sweet potato pie are all delicious ways to hide vegetables in meals for kids.

If you don’t want to hide the vegetables, these are great ideas to get your kids to experiment. Teaching your kids early on to love their veggies will make a big difference. “Junk” food is aptly named for a reason.

  • Let your child pick them – Take your child with you the next time you go to the grocery store or farmer’s market. Let them pick out a favorite, or new, vegetable. When you are home, get them involved. Let them wash, peel, slice and flavor the vegetable however they want to.
  • Humorize them – If your children are younger, let them play with their food. Create art using cut up vegetables. Carve a silly face into an eggplant. Make a tree using broccoli florets. Make it entertaining.
  • Dip them – Experiment with different dips, from ranch to hummus. You never know what your kids will find delicious.
  • Let your child add their favorite vegetable to a pizza. Let them be the cook and host a pizza night. Cut up veggies for them and place into bowls for them to choose.

I love serving spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta. It’s easy to cook and looks just like spaghetti. Top with sauce and parmesan cheese.

Growing bodies and brains require fiber and omega-3s!

Make their meal even more nutritious by sprinkling on the Mila. Genesis PURE uses three regional varieties of Salvia hispanica L. for Mila, and the result is a diverse nutritional foundation that yields one of the richest whole-food sources of dietary fiber and alpha-linoleic omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). The chia is harvested while carefully blended, thoroughly filtered, micro sliced and then meticulously tested. Because of Mila’s mild flavor, you can use it in a variety of dishes, recipes and shakes.  It’s also gluten-free, trans-fat free, sugar-free, and is a superior plant-based source of protein.

If they still won’t eat their vegetables, it’s not the end of the world. The last thing you want to do is become frustrated. They will eventually eat a vegetable. Just give it time, and don’t give up. Be an example by eating vegetables yourself during most meals.

Jennifer Evans is the marketing copywriter at Genesis PURE who enjoys inspiring and empowering others to achieve their best health possible. She has two young children who keep her busy with sports and church activities. She enjoys reading, cycling, playing piano and traveling.