Happy Fall, Plant-eaters! Here are some essential fall foods that I can’t get enough of.
There is a gorgeous seasonal transition happening all around us. Things are (somewhat) cooling down and we start to welcome hearty, warm foods. It’s my favorite!
Sometimes Fall gives us that helpful little nudge that it is time to slow down. Have you felt that?
One of my personal favorite seasonal Fall foods is squash! I also get a lot of questions about its nutritional value.
As you have probably noticed, squash is really flavorful! It has a sweet, nutty taste and dense texture with several seasonal varieties. Some are sweeter, some more savory, all of them being incredibly versatile. Honey nut squash lettuce cups, anyone?
Squash is not only tasty but it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. It’s also low in caloric density. Butternut squash, for example, has Vitamin A, B6, C, E, (which help improve vision, skin, immunity and sleep). It also has magnesium, potassium and manganese, all of which play a role in bone health. Many varieties have calcium, copper, iron and protein as well.
Squash helps boost immunity right before winter! It has anti-inflammatory compounds that have been found to prevent infections. The seeds are highly valuable too; especially pumpkin seeds as a high source of zinc (most people fall short on zinc) and protein. A high antioxidant content, like squash has, may reduce the risk of many health conditions such as heart disease and mental decline. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties have been linked to reducing asthmatic conditions and decreasing the risk of lung cancer. Squash works overtime!
If you like to carve pumpkins, be sure to roast the seeds (with a little coconut oil and cinnamon), and then take your post-halloween jack-o-lanterns to a pig sanctuary like Harvest Home or Animal Place. You can check their calendars to visit with the sweet animals and drop off your donated pumpkins as their next meal!