Welcome to fall and an abundance of pumpkins, apples, and pears. These are just a few favorites that enjoy a big debut this time of year.
The Great Pumpkin
Pumpkin is packed with fiber and a multitude of nutrients that benefit your health—and no, I’m not referring to the lattés that are loaded with calories and sugar. Sorry.
Pumpkin purée can obviously be made from a pumpkin; however, I prefer to buy the canned variety because it’s much easier. The only ingredient in it is PUMPKIN. Be sure to check the label if you pick the easy route too.
Some ways to incorporate pumpkin purée into your life:
- Add a couple tablespoons to your protein smoothie. Freeze the remainder of the canned purée in separate baggies to toss in when you have a hankering.
- Stir a few spoonfuls into your warm oatmeal in the morning.
- Blend it into just about any creamy vegetable soup for added fall flavor.
- Mix with equal parts ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with pasta.
- Bake something pumpkinny. Mix up your favorite pumpkin pie filling recipe and bake without a crust. Try pumpkin bread, muffins, cookies, anything.
- Make pumpkin pancakes. (you can find this in my Recipe section under breakfasts)
The Incredible Apple
My favorite variety is the Honeycrisp. They taste just like their name. The best Honeycrisp apples you will eat are harvested September through November. They are typically more expensive than other varieties because they are hard to grow.
I’ve been adding these to my fall fruit salads, eating them with peanut butter or cheese, and all by themselves. The crunch is very satisfying when you get the urge to snack and have taken on the identity of a health conscious individual.
Apples are also a healthy food, so enjoy. Whenever possible, choose organic apples, as conventional apples are highly likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
Pears: The Other Fall Fruit
While apples take center stage, don’t forget about the supporting role of the pear. This is their big season too. I believe that you can substitute pears for just about anything you can think of that calls for apples.
Allow pears to ripen at room temperature. They’re one of the few fruits that do not ripen on the tree. Therefore, they need time for the sugars to develop, which is why you may have to leave them on the counter for a few days once you get home.
A pear is ripe when the area around the stem gives a little with a gentle squeeze. Then store in the refrigerator and consume within 3-5 days for best quality.
Like the apple, organic is best. The pear is a nutritional powerhouse and excellent source of fiber.
Pears are a great addition to a mixed green salad with blue or goat cheese, and candied (or plain) pecans. Toss with a homemade balsamic dressing, or other favorite.
With options like these, it’s easy to debunk the myth that eating nutrient-dense food is boring.
“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”—Michael Pollan