When the air changes form a nice warm breeze to a chilly gust, and the vibrant green leaves take on a beautiful autumn hue of oranges, deep reds and rusty browns, I notice that my taste buds start to adapt to these changes by craving warm, comforting foods. When I’m out for my morning run, or running into my home after a day at Vega HQ, that coldness to the air inspires me to cook up something really special for my loved ones.
Get ready to fall head-over-running-shoes for my fave nutrient dense fall foods:
Sugar and Spice....
Actually, let’s scrap the sugar and head straight to the spice! When the cold breeze is knocking at my door, I’m turning up the heat in the kitchen. One great way to heat up your current go-to meals is to make them spicy. Adding a dash of cayenne or red chili flakes to your soup, or your prize-winning tomato sauce will definitely make you feel warm from the inside out. Cinnamon is another great spice I add to just about everything: my morning matcha latte, sliced apples, and my favorite Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Cereal. For a healthier version of a chai latte, I’ll mix Vega One Vanilla Chai with warm almond milk—delicious and nutritious!
Pump it Up...or Pumpkin It Up
As soon as the leaves start to turn, it automatically makes me think of pumpkins! Why do I get so excited about pumpkins? Because you can do so much with them! Baking a fresh pumpkin pie, or making my favorite pumpkin smoothie. Pumpkins not only taste fantastic; they’re also packed with a nutritional punch! Being an excellent source of beta carotene, pumpkin has many antioxidant benefits, such as cellular repair and regeneration. Wait....I’m not done! I haven’t talked about pumpkin seeds yet! I love spicing (with just olive oil and sea salt or a little chili powder for a bit of kick) and roasting them in the oven for a healthy snack that’s a great source of fiber and magnesium.
Nothing Says the Holidays Like Cranberries
Whenever I think of cranberries, I think of my favorite family holiday meals, where cranberries always make their way onto the dinner table. Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, making them another great option for an antioxidant-rich food to help fight free radicals. Looking to add cranberries to your dinner table in a unique way? This Cranberry Maple Glazed Lentil Loaf makes a great swap out for stuffing and will really jazz up your supper.
Don’t Leave the Greens Behind
Just because it’s not summer anymore doesn’t mean we need to stop eating our greens. Kale actually takes on a whole new flavor when harvested in the fall. Why should we eat these all year round? Well, I really could go on forever, but one reason I love eating greens so much, is because of their chlorophyll content. What they heck is chlorophyll you ask? Well chlorophyll is what gives dark leafy greens their green pigment, and another great source of antioxidants!! Dark leafy greens are also a make a great source of calcium and magnesium. How do I eat my greens in the winter time? I love this Harvest Quinoa Salad that really takes advantage of amazing fall foods, in their prime.
Some Like it Sweet
Well you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it twice and you’re going to hear it again: sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, making them what? That’s right, making them an excellent source of antioxidants. So why have I been pointing out these antioxidants in these to fall for foods? In our day to day lives we are consistently battling free radicals from many different sources such as the environment, stress, poor quality food choices and more! So it’s important for us to protect our cells from free radical damage that may cause health issues in the future. How do I like my sweet potatoes? I like to keep it simple, and roast them in the oven with a bit of coconut oil and cinnamon or make Sweet Potato Chips to snack on.