There is just something about Fall. The season is so abundant, with a harvest that reflects the landscape. The jewel tones of beets, winter squash and grapes, overlap with evergreen brussels sprouts and broccoli. Autumn inspires an unexpected mix of abundance and calm; anticipation and mindfulness. This time is fleeting, celebrate this beautiful season and its colorful harvest, with fruits and vegetables that pack a solid nutritional punch to brighten your plate and your mood.
The temperatures are dropping outside so find some warmth inside by preheating the oven. Fall foods are phenomenal for roasting. Roasting enhances sweet flavors, while mellowing bitter flavors. Making the once maligned brussels sprouts and cabbage the culinary superstars they are now. Sweeter vegetables and fruits, caramelize when roasted, increasing the sweet flavors and adding complexity to a meal.
Sheet pan recipes like this Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts or this Sheet Pan Sausage Supper, showcase these antioxidant-rich brassicas with an all-in-one, hands-off, easy recipe, with quick clean up. As temperatures continue to drop, try this Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Oranges for some brain boosting Omega-3 fatty acids and some brightness from the vitamin rich citrus and sweet potatoes.
Double the plants in these recipes! Leftover roast vegetables are great in hash, frittatas, salads and grain bowls. Once dinner is ready, roast some apples, grapes or cranberries. Serve these with yogurt and nuts for a sweet and simple dessert.
Hibernation In Moderation
It’s tempting to spend these chillier days snuggled up on the couch, and there is value to that rest. Just try not to get too comfy. Rake leaves and jump in the piles with your kids. Play catch, soccer or even kickball together. Go apple or pumpkin picking. Enjoy a hike, bike ride or nature walk. The crunching leaves and fresh air inspires calm, while the movement powers your brain and relieves stress.
When staying inside is a must, we can still remain active and engaged. Streaming fitness and yoga classes help us bring movement and mindfulness home. Sometimes it works to keep it simple, too. Turn on some music while you make dinner or clean up. Share these chores with your family, while showing off your dance moves.
Hygge & Hydration
Nothing is quite as cozy as hot drink. Fluid is key to many functions in the body including managing mood. The warm mug alone invites feelings of calm and restoration. The soothing aromas and indulgent flavors, suggest that we pause for a moment of mindfulness before we open our email or log into that meeting. This Mulled Cider is a traditional fall treat, with only the sweetness from the apples and no added sugar. Give your tea a plant-based boost and sweeten it with a splash of 100% juice. Try antioxidant rich pomegranate or tart cherry juice with your evening chamomile for soothing night’s rest. Make your morning latte plant-powered by adding your favorite plant-based milk. This simple swap also works for hot cocoa.
Savor The Season, Year Round
Fall foods are fresh right now, but canned and frozen work too. Meals come together quickly with frozen veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. Frozen vegetables require very little prep saving time, effort and maybe even a little stress. A few minutes in the microwave to thaw and these veggies are ready to roast with the rest of your sheet pan dinner. Frozen riced cauliflower is another great option for a quick side dish or as the filling for stuffed portabella mushrooms and winter squash.
Fall favorites like pumpkins and beets can feel labor intensive and messy, especially on busy school nights, but the canned versions are ready to eat. Try adding no-salt-added canned beets to your harvest inspired grain bowls and salads. Canned pumpkin is an easy add-in for smoothies, oatmeal, pasta and more. These canned and frozen items are also available year-round making it easy to enjoy that cozy fall feeling whenever you feel the need.
Enjoy the Autumn harvest and all it has to offer. It is a busy season but is also joyful. Fall can be a wonderful time to fill your cup and cultivate warmth for the Winter ahead. Stay cozy!