The 10 Healthiest Fall Vegetables—And How To Cook Them
There is nothing more delicious than eating some hearty soups, stews, side dishes and baked goods made with autumnal vegetables after a cold and stressful fall day. Besides being delicious fall vegetables provide some of the most nutrient-dense choices we have all year, explains Carlo Filippone, founder of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine.
“All the variations and hybrids of the many vegetables you’ll find this time of year are beautiful on the plate. Purple cauliflower is a perfect example, ” Filippone advises, “Be daring and creative and have fun with your vegetables!”
If you’re ready to get cooking, here’s a look at 10 vegetables that will make autumn your favorite season to visit the farmer’s market.
Acorn squash is one of the most common fall veggies and it is used in sweet and savory dishes. People sometimes mistake it for a gourd, but its flavor is closer to that of a butternut squash. “You can switch it up any way you want,” explains Vanessa Rissetto, a registered dietician in New York City. “I see a lot of people cooking these with brown sugar for a sweet dish, but you can just as easily roast it with some rosemary and olive oil.”
Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A and C, and they are in their peak season from October through December. Each potato has under 150 calories. “Everyone wants sweet potatoes to be so decadent, with marshmallows and sugar, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” Risetto says, “Whatever happened to just cutting the sweet potato in half and roasting it on a baking sheet and then eating it? In the U.S. it’s like we have to take every food and make it as fattening and artery-clogging as humanly possible, but we don’t. Just eat it like it is. It’s delicious!”
These “mini cabbages” contain plenty of protein. Did you know they contain more vitamin C than organes? Also, Brussels sprouts are excellent when cooked or raw, Risseto says. “I love shaving them for a salad,” she says. “I massage them with olive oil and lime juice before I put them in, and they’re incredible.” These amazing veggies add variety to any pan of roasted vegetables. Even a simple pan of potatoes will get much more interesting if you add Brussels sprouts in it.
Turnips contain high amounts of vitamin A and C, their green tops are rich in vitamin B, calcium, iron, and manganese. You can find them all year along, but their peek is in fall. They’re excellent roasted with other veggies like carrots, Brussels sprouts, or as a substitute for potatoes.
Pumpkins are one of the most versatile fall vegetables out there. “Many people see pumpkin in a can, and they think it’s bad for them because it has sugar. But you don’t have to eat it out of a can, you can cook it just like you would cook an acorn squash,” she explains.
Many people find Swiss chard boring, but you can make it interesting. If you are looking for an alternative to frozen peas or broccoli at your dinner, get some Swiss chard. “It’s a good leafy green vegetable, with a lot of vitamins D, K, and A, and it’s high in fiber,” she says.
You can see carrots as a year-round veggie, their peak however, is fall. Carrots are excellent cooked in any way, but if you cook them “low and slow” with some brown sugar and a little salt is best, recommends Shishak. “There’s just something about carrots with a hint of sweetness that compliments every dish on your plate,” she says.
One of the most tasty fall vegetables would have to be the squash, Filippone says. You can find it in both sweet and savory fall dishes. A healthy soup is the butternut squash soup that is awesome for a cold day or after a workout, as a cup of butternut squash contains more than 500 mg of potassium.
Celeriac may not be the most attractive vegetable, but it’s incredibly healthy. In season from September to April, it’s high in fiber and protein, and is known as a nutritional powerhouse. It has a similar flavor to celery.
This list wouldn’t be full if you can’t find beets in it. Beets have distinctly earthy flavor but they are also very nutritious. They’re high in fiber and rich in vitamins A and C. While most people may think of beets as a compliment to a salad, warm beet dishes are perfect for autumn, including soup.