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Squashes, Pumpkins, and Root Veggies: The Health Benefits of Fall’s Bounty

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Come fall, markets abound with vibrant squashes, pumpkins, and delicious root veggies and we couldn’t be happier about it! Although their sometimes funny appearance and tough exterior, especially for root vegetables  can be intimidating for the uninitiated — once you learn how to prepare them, they make the best comforting fall dishes. Case in point, this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta With Broccoli and Kale and this amazing Moroccan Roasted Acorn Squash Soup.

Fall’s bounty’s appeal doesn’t only reside in the culinary realm, however — these colorful vegetables have a load of health benefits! The beautiful orange hue of pumpkins, carrots, and golden beets comes from beta-carotene which is an antioxidant found in the skin pigment of the vegetables. There’s also the powerful flavonoids, a phytochemical present in purple foods — think purple carrots, beets, and purple yams. Along with antioxidants, fall veggies are a great source of healthy carbs, vitamins, minerals, and fiber!

Squashes, pumpkins, and root veggies each have their unique set of benefits — here are a few of the major ones:

1. PumpkinSavory Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

If there’s a vegetable that represents fall, it’s definitely pumpkin. This famous winter squash is incredibly healthy, as it contains B-vitamins, vitamin C, and E, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and copper. It’s also chock full of carotenoids, a powerful type of antioxidant. Among other things, it can help protect against heart disease, prevent cancer, and reduce your risk of developing age-related diseases.

Don’t know what to do with pumpkins besides carving them? Give this Quick Pumpkin and Carrot Curry, Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin Gnocchi in Spiced Butter Sauce With Lemon Cashew, and this Portobello Pumpkin Ravioli With Sage and Walnut Pesto a try! You can also check out these 10 Ways to Cook With Pumpkin Flesh and Seeds and These 15 Ultimate Pumpkin Recipes!

2. Butternut SquashChickpea and Mushroom Stuffed Butternut Squash

This type of squash is among the most popular and with reason — it’s delicious and full of healthy vitamins. Butternut squash is a good source of vitamin A, C, and E, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, manganese, and fiber. It’s an important source of beta-carotene as well, which is an antioxidant that can help you prevent heart disease and many types of cancer. Butternut squash can also give you a stronger immune system because of its high vitamin C content, and better skin and hair from its vitamin A and E. Who would have thought?

Butternut squash is very versatile, you can use it in many types of dishes. Try it in this No-Noodle Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Lasagna, Butternut Squash, Potato and Kale Casserole, and this Creamy Butternut Squash Curry. Check out also these Butternut Squash Steaks, Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Burgers, and these Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Tofu Tartlets for a comforting fall meal.

3. Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is packed with vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and fiber. As such it can boost your immune system, help your vision, give you healthy teeth and bones, and healthy glowing skin! The beta-carotene present in acorn squash contributes to fighting against free-radicals and protects you against cancer and other diseases. The potassium and fiber contained in the squash will also help prevent high blood pressure, and reduce your risk of getting diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Get in the kitchen and try this Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe. We also suggest making this Moroccan Roasted Acorn Squash SoupAcorn Squash Ravioli in Thyme Garlic ButterBaked Acorn Squash With Nut-Free Spinach Pesto, and this Roasted Acorn Squash With Curried Chickpea and Veggies. You won’t regret it!

4. KabochaQuinoa is a Complete Protein Source. Try It In These Recipes

Kabocha is said to be like pumpkin’s sweeter cousin, to which we can’t disagree. However, that’s not all this Japanese squash has going for it — it has sweet nutritional benefits as well. It’s full of B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, and fiber. It’s also an excellent source of carotene which, as you know, plays an important role in fighting free-radicals in the body. Thus, kabocha is a great anti-inflammatory food and a great ally when it comes to preventing diseases caused by inflammation. Namely, consuming kabocha will help you prevent cancers and chronic diseases like diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Wonder what to do with kabocha? This squash is great in a variety of dishes — try this Curried Kabocha Soup, Kabocha With Maple Butter Glaze and Fried Sage, Wild Rice With Kabocha Squash and Sage Butter, Sake-Stewed Miso Kabocha Squash, and this Stuffed Kabocha With Quinoa and Chickpeas.

5. Spaghetti SquashSpaghetti Squash with Meatballs [Vegan]

This squash gets its name from the way its flesh forms spaghetti-like strands once it’s cooked. As such, it makes a great pasta substitute if you’re looking for a healthier and more nutrient-rich alternative. Spaghetti squash is high in folic acid, potassium, vitamin A and C, b-vitamins, fiber, and it’s a naturally low in sodium vegetable. These nutritional characteristics mean that spaghetti squash can help you manage your weight, and prevent cardiovascular disease. The beta-carotene present in its flesh also makes it a perfect inflammation-fighting food.

Try this Spaghetti Squash With Meatballs, Spaghetti Squash With Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Black Bean and Spaghetti Squash Casserole, and this Spaghetti Squash With Basil and Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo. Spaghetti squash is also great in dishes like these Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa Savory Waffles, and these Taco-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats.

6. BeetsWood Fired Beet Salad with Avocado-Citrus Vinaigrette

These roots come in many different colors and shapes, you have red, white, golden (or yellow), Chiogga (striped), and even baby beets! All types of beets contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and C, iron, potassium, folic acid, B-vitamins, and fiber. These colorful roots are packed with antioxidants like lycopene, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and zeaxanthin, as well. Since they’re a nutrition powerhouse, these babies can protect you from inflammation, and cancers. They also fight off anemia, fatigue, and are natural kidney cleansers.

Not familiar with how to prepare beets? Check out these 10 Ways to Cook With Beets, and these 10 Simple Beet Recipes For The Fall. Then try this Wood Fired Beet Salad With Avocado-Citrus Vinaigrette, Garlic Zucchini and Beet Noodle Salad, and this Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. This Golden Beet Panzanella, and this Beet Risotto With Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms also make a perfect side dish for your fall dinners.

7. Turnips

John Morgan/Flickr

For those unfamiliar with turnip, this root is actually in the Brassica family to which kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts are also a part of. Like all vegetables under the Brassica umbrella, turnips have a high nutritional value. They contain B-vitamins, vitamin A, C, and E, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and copper. Turnips are also an excellent source of antioxidants — glucosinolates and isothiocyanates — that contribute to fighting free-radicals and preventing inflammation and cancers.

If you want to reap all the benefits of turnips and eat delicious fall dishes featuring these roots, try these Turnip ‘Scallops’ de Provence, or these Red Wine Braised Black and Yellow Turnips, Chickpea Turnip Meatballs, and this amazing Lo Bak Gou: Cantonese Turnip Cake.

8. Onions

Jessica Spengler/Flickr

We tend not to think of onions much other than to add flavor to our dishes but it should change because they’re actually nutritious and loaded with health benefits. Onions are a good source of vitamin C, B-vitamins, and manganese. They also contain small amounts of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The main antioxidants present in onion flesh — quercetin and sulfur — contribute to fighting cancers and inflammation in our bodies. Onions can also help regulate our sleep and mood because of the folate they contain — this compound prevents an excess of homocysteine from forming in the blood, which interferes with the production of feel-good hormones.

Onions go great in pretty much any dish but if you want to make them the star of the meal, try this Onion Tomato Dal, these Onion Pakoras With Avocado Dipping Sauce, Baked Corn Flake Onion Rings, and this fall inspired French Onion Soup with Cheese Toasts. Otherwise, you can use onions to add flavor in these Onion and Sweet Potato Pierogis, or these Mushroom and Lentil Burgers With Pickled Red Onion.

Recommended Resources and Recipes to Get You Started

Want to find more info on healthy fall veggies and how to use them? Here are a few articles that might interest you:

If you enjoy articles like this and want to find more recipe ideas featuring all kinds of beautiful fall produce, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to eat healthier, cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and find more awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8000+ recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8000+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

Lead image source: Mark Longair/Flickr

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0 comments on “Squashes, Pumpkins, and Root Veggies: The Health Benefits of Fall’s Bounty”

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Cassie Tiffany
13 Days ago

Glorious be unto happy love spell the man who make me see reasons that there are still real and genuine spell casters like him. since 3 weeks now i have witness what is called heart broken. my boyfriend that promised me marriage failed me and impregnate me and leave,he dump me,he stop calling" he stop picking my calls,and he no longer respond to me. I have be looking for solution,I fall into the hands of fake spell caster,they rough me off and took my money without help.I have cried,I have weep"and tears runs out of eyes. the silentness in my heart brought me to the deepest path of failure that I lost my job. crying all day,because my life was lonely. so thanks to Dr happy who came into my life and brought me the greatest joy that was lost. i saw his web on [email protected] while browsing and I contacted him, tell him what am passing through with no doubt because of what i saw about him,was enough to believe. and i was given words of solution on what to do. i can\'t really help thinking about it i have tried to see what i can do, i manage to provide him half of the money for the spell, and he help me with the rest. after casting the spell, 12hrs later, here comes my boyfriend with a rose flower on his hand and i was even about going out,i saw him in front of my door when he sees me he knee and said he is dying i should forgive him and accept him back he was crying,i can\'t wait to let him finish I quickly crab him and kiss him, just then" he said he is restless without me, just as the Dr happy said it will be. he brought out a ring and put it on my hand. our wedding day was scheduled,1 week after we got married. today makes it a month and we are living happily I don\'t know how to praise him enough, he has done me a thing i can never forget in my life. and i can\'t really share to myself alone, I want you all to help me praise him because if it wasn\'t for him, i already plan of committing suicide. but right now am now so happy more than i was before. if you fine it difficult to get your ex boyfriend back, contact him via..... email [email protected] also add him on whats-app +2348133873774


Reply
Cassie Tiffany
13 Days ago

Glorious be unto happy love spell the man who make me see reasons that there are still real and genuine spell casters like him. since 3 weeks now i have witness what is called heart broken. my boyfriend that promised me marriage failed me and impregnate me and leave,he dump me,he stop calling" he stop picking my calls,and he no longer respond to me. I have be looking for solution,I fall into the hands of fake spell caster,they rough me off and took my money without help.I have cried,I have weep"and tears runs out of eyes. the silentness in my heart brought me to the deepest path of failure that I lost my job. crying all day,because my life was lonely. so thanks to Dr happy who came into my life and brought me the greatest joy that was lost. i saw his web on [email protected] while browsing and I contacted him, tell him what am passing through with no doubt because of what i saw about him,was enough to believe. and i was given words of solution on what to do. i can\'t really help thinking about it i have tried to see what i can do, i manage to provide him half of the money for the spell, and he help me with the rest. after casting the spell, 12hrs later, here comes my boyfriend with a rose flower on his hand and i was even about going out,i saw him in front of my door when he sees me he knee and said he is dying i should forgive him and accept him back he was crying,i can\'t wait to let him finish I quickly crab him and kiss him, just then" he said he is restless without me, just as the Dr happy said it will be. he brought out a ring and put it on my hand. our wedding day was scheduled,1 week after we got married. today makes it a month and we are living happily I don\'t know how to praise him enough, he has done me a thing i can never forget in my life. and i can\'t really share to myself alone, I want you all to help me praise him because if it wasn\'t for him, i already plan of committing suicide. but right now am now so happy more than i was before. if you fine it difficult to get your ex boyfriend back, contact him via..... email [email protected] also add him on whats-app +2348133873774


Reply


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