Autumn is settling in. Fields and gardens are harvested, farmers’ markets may be closing for the season and hot chocolate may sound more appealing than a cold fruit smoothie. It’s OK to take a little break from fruits and vegetables, right? Wrong!
Fruits and vegetables are important for valuable vitamins and minerals year-round. And plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables are in season during fall. Give them a try and enjoy their great taste in the following recipes.
Remember, the United States Department of Agriculture says to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Learn more at ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Creamy squash soup with shredded apples
Get a healthy dose of vitamins A and C with in-season apples and butternut squash.
Number of servings: 4
2 boxes (16 ounces each) frozen pureed winter (butternut) squash
2 medium apples (try Golden Delicious or Gala)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cans (12 ounces each) fat-free evaporated milk
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the frozen squash in a microwave-safe dish. Cover loosely. Defrost in the microwave on medium power for 5-10 minutes, until mostly thawed. Meanwhile, peel then shred the apples using a grater or food processor, or peel and finely chop apples into thin strips. Set aside ½ cup.
Warm oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add all but ½ cup of the apples. Cook and stir until apples soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in thawed squash and pumpkin pie spice. Add the evaporated milk about ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir over high heat just until soup is about to boil.
Ladle into individual soup bowls. Top each with a tablespoon of the apples. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Fruit kebabs with yogurt dip
Did you know fall is the time for grapes and pineapple to shine? Make this colorful, fun and low-fat appetizer, and enjoy nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium.
Number of servings: 8
1 cup watermelon (chunks)
1 cup pineapple (chunks)
1 cup grapes, red seedless
1 cup strawberries (stemmed)
2 kiwi (peeled and cut in quarters)
8 bamboo skewers (6 inches long)
1 cup nonfat light strawberry yogurt
Place fruit chunks on bamboo skewers and put the skewers on a platter. Spoon nonfat light strawberry yogurt into a bowl. Serve kebabs with yogurt on the side.
Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recipefinder.nal.usda.gov.
Remember, when fresh isn’t available, there are other ways to enjoy favorite fruits:
- 100 percent juice
At Children’s Hospital of Georgia kids come first. To learn more visit augustahealth.org/chog.