5 Fantastic Fall Foods for Fun & Health

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fall tree

Yes…I know, I know. I can’t get enough of these fall foods, but can you blame me for being mildly obsessed? Out of every season, I think of Fall as a time to break out those rich, homie recipes. Maybe it’s my inner New Hampshire Yankee speaking this time, but is there anything better than a warm soup on a cool night? Nope…didn’t think so.

For this week’s foodie-phile post, I have compiled the top five foods I would recommend exploring this Fall. Not only are these fruits and vegetables obscenely delicious, they also provide our bodies with some key ingredients to stay healthy this time of year. These fav fall foods also have a pretty interesting history to keep in mind, too.

pumpkin picture1. Pumpkins

Not only are these foods magnificent for your Halloween jack-0-lanterns, but they are the quintessential fall flavor. Originally from North America, they were a favorite of Native Americans who originally used these squashes for other purposes. Dried strips of pumpkin could be woven together to create a floor mat, but the crop was also used as a food source. When colonists started arriving into the Americas, they used pumpkins to create sweet desserts, soups and beer.

Looking some great pumpkin recipes? Check out this article 50 Pumpkin Recipes for Fall from two peas and their pod. I’ll be trying their pumpkin nutella bread this weekend. Yum!

2. Pomegranatepomegranate

It is said that this fruit originated close to what is now Iran and has been cultivated since ancient times. With mentions in Babylonian texts, the book of Exodus and the Quran, there is no doubt that it had an impact on the diets of our forefathers. I’ve heard many people call pomegranate the “forbidden fruit” and honestly, I couldn’t agree more. This superfood is jam-packed with antioxidants. Have one of those autumn colds creeping in? Eat lots of pomegranate seeds or pour yourself a glass of juice. You’ll thank me later.

Check out this pomegranate article from Martha Stewart where she discusses some great seasonal recipes ideas.

persimmons3. Persimmons

The persimmon isn’t a fall food you hear about everyday, but I think its delicious. It is characterized by its orange or red color, and is a fruit that ripens in the Fall. The fruit is considered a true berry because of its thick skin and pulpy interior. While it may have originated in China, where over two thousand different varieties have been cultivated for centuries, in 1870, the persimmon tree was brought to California. By 1930, California had over 200,000 trees.  Fuyu and the Hachiya are the two most common varieties of persimmon trees.

Are you wondering what to do with them? The Kitchen has some great ideas in their article, The Seasonal Baker: 10 Warming Persimmon Recipes to get some inspiration.

4. Beetsbeets

The first wild beets are thought to originate in pre-historic times in Northern Africa. They grew wild on Asian and European shorelines as well. At first, people only harvested beet greens, but the Romans were the first to use the roots as a food source. In fact, Roman tribes were thought to be the reason for beets becoming widely distributed across northern Europe. They became highly regarded in the 19th century after it was discovered that they were a concentrated sugar source. After sugar cane was restricted by the British in the 18th Century, France’s Napoleon made beets the primary sugar source–only making the food more popular. Evidence suggests that beets possess  fiber-related benefits. They exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a candidate for reducing the risk of many types of cancers. Eat those beets!

Check out Green Diva Meg’s article and delicious recipes in For the Love of BeetsEating Well published an article,  Our Best Beet Recipes. I sent the article to my mom since she LOVES beets. 

brussels sprouts5. Brussels Sprouts

It isn’t fully understood where Brussels Sprouts originated, but the first official mention of them occurred in the late 16th century. They are believed to be native to Belgium, specifically near the capital, Brussels, of which they bear the namesake. After World War I, these “baby cabbages” spread across Europe and are now mainly cultivated throughout Europe and the United States, however, California remains the primary provider of the food. Brussels Sprouts are known to support cardio-vascular health. The glucosinolates found in Brussels sprouts help to regulate the body’s inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system and prevent unwanted inflammation. A second important anti-inflammatory nutrient found in Brussels sprouts is vitamin K.

I found some really great recipes through Cooking Light‘s What’s In Season Post, Brussels Sprouts Recipes

Pumpkin Image via Shutterstock
Pomegranate Image via Shutterstock
Persimmon Image via Shutterstock
Beet Image via Shutterstock
Brussels Sprouts Image via Shutterstock
Autumn Tree Image via Shutterstock

About the author / 

Green Diva Gina

Green Diva Gina (aka Gina Gioldassis) is fondly referred to as the “Happy” Booker & Foodie-Phile Editor. She was producing and hosting the Eco-Radio show at Drew University when we met her, and we were thrilled that she chose to come work with us after she graduated. Having been brought up in New Hampshire in a Greek family, she is a natural food explorer and enthusiastic green diva. Previously, she worked as a production intern for both WNYC's Soundcheck and New Hampshire Public Radio's All Thing's Considered. While not in the studio, she spends her time traveling, eating, doing yoga and working full-time as a finance writer. At the moment, aspires to one day master her grandmother's homemade doughnut recipe.

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    James Paulson October 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    I am loving this as much as I love Fall itself! Excellent stuff!

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