In the old days, our exposure to pumpkins included carving them at Halloween and eating them in pie on Thanksgiving. Today, the grocery aisles are so full of pumpkin eats and treats that it’s enough to make us say phooey on pumpkin.
And why not? Fall is full of wonderful non-pumpkin flavors to try. Read on for fall recipe inspiration from A-Z.
An Apple a Day...
According to USApple, Ohio is one of the top 10 apple-producing states in the country, and the orchards around Oberlin are full of apple varieties good for eating, baking, cooking and drinking. While “an apple a day” won’t necessarily keep the doctor at bay, the fruit is packed with health benefits.
According to WebMD:
“Apples are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol. They don’t offer protein, but apples are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
Scientists also give apples credit for helping:
- Your lung strength
- Weight loss
- Your brain (easing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss)
- Your immune system
- Your gut health.”
Hearing all that probably makes you crave the crunch of your favorite sweet or sour apple. The top 10 varieties produced in the U.S. are Gala, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Rome, Cripps Pink/Pink Lady®, and Empire. And the U.S. Apple Association website is full of apple recipes.
Many of us have a favorite apple pie recipe, but what about baking apple-loaded shortbread cookies or easy applesauce cake for dessert. The association lists recipes for breakfast (apple puff omelet), snacks (sweet and salty caramel apple smoothie), lunch (apple and brussels sprout soup) and dinner (one-dish roasted potatoes and apples with chicken sausage).
Pumpkins: Not the Only Orange Edible
Orange veggies are packed with nutrients that offer a myriad of health benefits. A Healthier Michigan came up with 10, including:
- Aids in eye health and reduces the risk of macular degeneration of the eye.
- Reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).
- Promotes healthy joints.
Many health-packed orange vegetables are in season during autumn, like sweet potatoes, orange peppers, carrots and squash. The season is also ripe with root vegetables like rutabagas and turnips.
As jackets and hats come out and furnaces and fireplaces go on, sitting down to a casserole made with root and orange vegetables can bring added comfort to the table.
This recipe from Kendal resident Mary Lee Orr is packed with seasonal veggies. She shared the recipe for Kendal’s “Favorite Recipes” cookbook, published last year to benefit the Greater Eastern Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. It would pair well with cornbread or a crusty loaf, and apple cider or mulled wine.
Roasted Parsnips & Sweet Potatoes with Vinaigrette Capers
- 4 parsnips
- 4 medium red onions
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
- Salt and pepper
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed off
- 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 4 T. small capers
- ½ T. maple syrup
- ½ teas. Dijon mustard
- 1 T. toasted sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 375.
Peel parsnips and cut into 2-3 segments. Cut each piece lengthways into 2 or 4 pieces (you want pieces 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide). Peel onions and cut each into 6 wedges.
Place the onions and parsnips in a large mixing bowl, adding ½ cup of olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and spread out in a large roasting pan. Roast 20 minutes.
While roasting, trim both ends of unpeeled sweet potatoes, cut widthways in half, then each half into 6 wedges. Add the potatoes to the parsnips-onion pan, stir well and roast for another 40 to 50 minutes.
When all the vegetables are cooked and have a golden color, stir in the halved tomatoes. Roast another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, capers, maple syrup, mustard, remaining oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour the dressing over the roasted vegetables as soon as you take out of the oven. Stir well. Sprinkle sesame seeds over vegetables and serve.
Nourish Your Body By Eating Right
Enjoying some of the season’s bounty is just one way to enjoy a delicious, healthful diet.
Did you know your nutritional needs change after age 50? Download our free e-book, “Feed Your Body Right: Nutritional Needs After 50” to discover:
- How the right calorie range for your age group might not be what you think
- Why you might find yourself over-salting your food
- When a dietary supplement makes sense
Download the guide today and get started on a path to a more nutritious diet.
Feed Your Body Right: Nutritional Needs After 50
As you age, having a healthy and balanced diet will help you look and feel your best while helping prevent many serious health issues. Learn how in our free guide.
In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.