Five on Friday: 5 Fall Super Foods
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Five On Friday

Five On Friday

The autumn harvest includes a variety of root vegetables and hearty fruits. Find these 5 Super Foods at a Farmer's Market or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where you can buy a share of produce from your local farm. You'll have great comfort meals to enjoy on a cool, fall night.  All month I will share my favorite fall recipes on Facebook.
An apple a day will keep the doctor away!  There are over 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the U.S., so make sure to branch out from the popular Red Delicious and Granny Smith! 1 medium apple contains 80 calories and 4 grams of fiber. The soluble and insoluble fiber can help prevent heart disease and assist with digestion. Keep the skin on; that is where the majority of the fiber and Vitamin C are found.  Apples are one of the "Dirty Dozen"; the top 12 fruits and vegetables highest in pesticides so it's best to choose organic apples. They are great in salads, oatmeal, homemade applesauce, soup, salsa, muffins, slaw, apple crisp, sliced on sandwiches, dried into chips or dipped in almond butter as a snack.
Brussels Sprouts need to be given a second chance! One cup contains 40 calories, 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and >100% of both your Vitamin C and Vitamin K for the day.  Try roasting instead of steaming; this carmelizes their natural sugars and brings out a sweeter taste. They are great in salads, casseroles, soups or roasted as a side dish.

Pumpkins are a classic symbol of the season, but this Halloween staple is good for more than just carving! It is technically a type of winter squash and over 1.5 billion pounds are produced each year in the U.S.  1 cup of canned, unsweetened pumpkin contains 100 calories, 8 grams fiber, >100% of your daily Vitamin A and more potassium than a banana. The fiber helps keep you full and the Vitamin A is crucial for healthy vision and immune system function.  There are a lot of pumpkin inspired products; most of them aren't healthy and some have no true pumpkin. Make sure you read labels, or make your own pumpkin creation!  Pureed pumpkin can be added to bread, risotto, soup, pudding, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, smoothies, lasagna, pie, pizza, chili, hummus, salads or made into pumpkin butter. 

Don't forget the seeds (there are ~500 in every pumpkin.) They are a natural source of protein with 12 grams per cup. Roast them and keep as a great on-the-go snack.