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If you haven’t noticed, fall is here! Whether it’s the leaves changing color, the cooler weather, or the inundation of pumpkin-spiced products (lattes, breads, muffins, cheesecakes, teas, and even body washes!), it’s time to embrace the harvest season. While pumpkin may be the shining star of Fall, there are many other delicious and nutritious plant foods that appear on the scene this time of year: squash, persimmons, sweet potatoes—the list goes on! These red-orange fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin A, which is essential for vision, healthy skin, and even your immune system. Eating these red-orange fruits and veggies will keep you looking beautiful and keep the colds away as the temperature drops!
Try these simple recipes that are easy to prep and perfect for the fall season. Get your little ones involved in food prep so they can learn to love these seasonal gifts from nature, too!
Sweet Potato Mash
Steam sweet potatoes until soft and tender. Place them in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork. Add brown sugar or maple syrup and sprinkle cinnamon. Check out this deliciously sweet mashed potato recipe that’s fun to make with the kids!
Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel the skin, and chop the butternut squash into chunks. Toss with some olive oil, garlic, and herbs, and lay the pieces out on a tin foil sheet. Roast for 25 to 40 minutes (until lightly browned). This recipe is perfect for delicate squash, too! If you can find delicata squash at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, you don’t have to peel its delicate skin before roasting.
PB & Grapes
Grapes are always great by themselves or even frozen for a fun treat. Adding peanut butter and crackers gives you a fresh twist on the classic PB&J!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
After you’ve carved out your pumpkin and made your pumpkin pie or jack-o-lantern, don’t throw out the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrients, like magnesium, zinc, and omega-6 fatty acids. You can either rinse the seeds in a strainer or put them in a bowl of water to separate out the pulp. Then toss the seeds in a little bit of olive oil and bake until they are dry, about 15 minutes at 300 degrees. Take them out and let your kids experiment with different spices to add in, like cayenne or chili powder to boost flavor. Mix in the spices and re-bake for 10 minutes. Crack open a couple seeds during the last 5 minutes of baking to make sure they’re not browning inside. Don’t forget to use a timer! Eat alone or try adding to salads, like this Mango Black Bean Kale Salad.
One of the coolest things about sweet, tart pomegranates is the surprising, juicy burst from the seeds! Add some pomegranate seeds to plain Greek yogurt and drizzle with a tablespoon of honey for a breakfast that is sweet, tart, smooth, and crunchy—all at once!