When the fall season rolls around, many people quickly gravitate towards pumpkin-flavored everything. And these days, you can find pretty much anything flavored with pumpkin, including cereal, hummus, hand soap, and tea.
However, there are many other vegetables to be celebrated around this time of year too, which makes it easy to eat healthily and deliciously this season. So aside from the obvious fall choice of pumpkin, here are six other vegetables you should be eating to embrace the autumn.
Cabbage is an underrated vegetable that is versatile and works well in fall recipes. It’s rich in fiber and vitamin C, as well natural chemicals called isothiocyanates that help detoxify the body. Many people use cabbage in salads, to top tacos, as a side dish with roast pork, and simply sautéed with carrots (another excellent fall vegetable we’ll cover next), turmeric, garlic, and olive oil. It’s also delicious cooked in soups, stews, and made into cabbage rolls.
Orange in color like pumpkins, carrots are an ideal vegetable to start eating more of this fall. Carrots are sometimes considered to be a spring vegetable, but many farmers plant them at the end of summer because they can tolerate a light frost. Carrots are rich in so many nutrients, including vitamin A, fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. Try roasting carrots, making a soup with them, or adding them into Asian-inspired stir-fry dishes.
Not only are beets colorful and sweet, but they’re also packed with nutrients that you don’t find in every vegetable. Beets are a good source of betaines, which is a photonutrient and has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You’ll also get a good dosage of potassium, manganese, and folate when you eat beets. Beets typically taste the best in the fall, so look for ones that are firm and have smooth bulbs and crisp greens when you’re at the market.
Mushrooms are incredibly versatile and complement the flavor and texture of so many different fall dishes. These vegetables are also rich in copper, niacin, potassium, and selenium. Take your pick among portobello, cremini, shiitake, or other mushroom varieties to get creative in the kitchen.
Many people have a negative impression of brussels sprouts from childhood, but now is the time to give this healthy and unique vegetable another try. These in-season fall vegetables are an excellent source of iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C to protect your bones, boost your immune system, and keep your body strong. Instead of boiling Brussels sprouts to mush, try roasting them with healthy spices for a delicious side dish.
Squash is closely related to pumpkin but often gets overshadowed by it. There are many types of squash, including butternut squash, acorn squash, and winter squash. Butternut squash is a fall favorite because of its vibrant color and creamy, satisfying taste. It’s also high in vitamin C to boost your immune system, fiber to keep your digestive system regular, and beta-carotene for eye health.
In addition to vegetables, there are lots of fall fruits that are healthy and delicious around this time of year too. Pick up some pomegranates, apples, pears, and grapes next time you shop for groceries!