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There is more to autumn than falling leaves, hayrides and Halloween costumes! The fall harvest brings a bounty of fresh, healthy fruits and veggies that can be found at grocery stores and farmers’ markets during this colorful season. Here is a handy guide featuring fifteen of our fall favorites!
Pears are a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, and can help protect us from type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Choose firm pears and store them on the counter until ripe. If you haven’t eaten them yet, move them to the fridge until the craving for a crisp and juicy pear strikes.
Acorn squash has anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties. It’s also a surprising source of antioxidants, and contains about 1/3 the daily value of vitamin C in one cup! Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave for about ten minutes or until soft. Top with a dab of butter, a drizzle of real maple syrup, and enjoy!
Butternut squash is low in fat, and high in potassium and vitamin B6, essential for bone health and the proper function of the nervous and immune system. Try mashed butternut squash for a simple, healthy side dish when you’re tired of plain old mashed potatoes!
With a sweet yet tart flavor, and a compact size, grapes make a great snack! Grapes are bursting with phytonutrients and are low on the glycemic index. Plus the resveratrol in grapes has been linked to longevity.
The most popular of the cruciferous veggies, Broccoli has the ability to lower cholesterol and detox the body. It also contains a healthy dose of fiber and vitamins C, E, K and A. Steam broccoli and top with a squeeze or fresh lemon juice, or dip raw broccoli in hummus for a healthy snack.
Brussels sprouts look like tiny cabbages, and can protect us from cancer and high cholesterol. They contain a whopping amount of vitamins K and C in a tiny package! Season them with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, and roast them in a 400-degree oven for 30-45 minutes, shaking the pan every so often to promote even cooking.
Cooked or raw, cauliflower is rich in antioxidants and offers anti-inflammatory, digestive and cardiovascular health benefits. Like butternut squash, mashed cauliflower is a great substitute for mashed potatoes, and can also be used to make a low-carb crust for pizza!
Researchers believe Cranberries can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections, plus they protect our liver and cardiovascular system. Use fresh cranberries to make a delicious salsa!
Sweet potatoes are one of nature’s best sources for beta-carotene, and can actually help improve blood sugar regulation. Try them baked or steamed, and topped with cinnamon.
Whether boiled or steamed, turnips are a great source of fiber, lowering your risk of digestive disorders. Try adding diced turnips to chicken soup.
This leafy green is chock-full of nutrients! Slice leaves 1-inch wide and the stems 1/2-inch wide and boil for just three minutes, or sauté it with lemon, garlic and olive oil.
Endive, also known as escarole, is bitter leafy green filled with vitamin A, fiber, folic acid, and B-vitamins. Boil escarole to mellow its flavor, and serve with garlic infused olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Radicchio is a leafy vegetable with white-veined red or purple leaves. It has a spicy taste that mellows when grilled or roasted, but you can also add it raw to salads. Radicchio is a good source of vitamins, calcium, and selenium, potassium and other nutrients.
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