Today's blog was written by Harmons nutrition intern Andrea Walsh. Andrea is completing her Master of Science degree at the University of Utah.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, Thanksgiving is the kick-off to many meals with family and friends during the holiday season. Even with the weather continuing to cool, there are still a variety of bright and exciting vegetables to incorporate into daily dinners and festive holiday meals. This time of year, keep your eyes on the prize with those root vegetables, leafy greens, winter squash and apples that are all perfectly in season.
Sure, there are carrots and potatoes (who doesn’t love a classic roast and vegetables for a Sunday meal?) but what about the other root vegetables? Rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, fennel bulbs and beets are all in full glory this time of year. Root vegetables are delicious roasted in the oven, thrown into warming stews and soups or mashed for a hearty side. As an added bonus, root vegetables are good sources of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin A! Get started with dietitian Ashley Quadros' French Chicken Roast recipe that includes a full helping of root vegetables from fennel to beets.
Those leaves on top of the fennel and beets? Don’t throw them out! It’s nearing the end of their season, but leafy vegetables like beet greens and kale are ready for one last party this month. Learn more about the power of leafy greens from dietitian Laura Holtrop Kohl on the blog. Feeling adventurous? Escarole and radicchio (a purple leafy vegetable) are two others you’ll find on the shelf. Try Chef Lesli Sommerdorf’s Radicchio-Green Bean Salad for a lighter twist to your classic green bean casserole.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is all of the golden colors and when it comes to color, winter squash certainly don’t disappoint. Carotenoids (an antioxidant) give winter squashes their beautiful yellows and oranges. These antioxidants alongside vitamins A and C make winter squash a package of immune-boosting nutrients. Winter squash can be roasted and pureed into soups and sauces or folded into ravioli. Really, there’s nothing they can’t do! Take your pick from acorn, kabocha, banana and delicata squash and find local butternut and spaghetti squash on the shelves now.
For the perfect sweet treat, look no further than a fresh, crunchy apples this time of year. On their own or baked into a pie, apples don’t get much better then when they’re peak of season. Check out Dietitian Ashley Quadros’ Fall in Love with Apples blog post for apple recipes and ideas.