It’s that time of year when the leaves are changing colour and offering a brilliant display of orange, red yellow and purple. Bright orange pumpkins adorn neighbourhoods and pumpkin pie is a traditional dessert. Fall is also a great time to add more colours to your meals and flavour to your palate! Try making some of these fruits and veggies a staple in your household this fall.
Brighten up with orange
Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating at least one orange vegetable each day. Brighten up your meals with some of these delicious ideas:
- Sweet potato: This versatile sweet vegetable can be baked in the oven or cooked in the microwave for a fast addition to your meal. Simply wash your sweet potato, pierce it a few times with a fork and then microwave for 2-3 minutes. Try baking sweet potato fries for a nutritious treat your whole family will enjoy!
- Butternut squash: This yellow-orange fleshed vegetable is great in soups, baked or added to other recipes. To peel, first cut squash in half and place on flat surface, then use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to remove the skin. If you’re looking for a new recipe idea, check out this Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Frittata recipe from Dietitians of Canada.
- Pumpkin: While traditionally used to make pie, this fall staple can be added to muffins, loaves and soups for flavour and colour. Look for canned pure pumpkin in stores, or if you’d like to pick one fresh from the pumpkin patch, small pumpkins are great for cooking or baking. Pumpkin seeds can also be seasoned and roasted in the oven for a yummy snack.
Get some green
Green fruits and veggies are important too! Try adding some of these fruits and veggies to your meals this fall:
- Bok Choy: This green and white Asian vegetable can be added to a stirfry for a hearty fall meal. Because it cooks in a just a few minutes, you can also steam for a quick vegetable side dish.
- Artichokes: While you can purchase artichoke hearts preserved in brine or oil, it is also possible to make fresh artichokes part of your meal. Although the leaf tips are hard, the bottom portion of the leaves and the heart of the artichoke are soft enough to eat. Try stuffing leaves with bread crumbs, Romano cheese and parsley then cook them in water on the stovetop or in the oven for a delicious side dish!
- Pear: While they can be enjoyed on their own, green Anjou pears make great desserts. Try making a delicious pear crumble for a warm fall treat.
Add some fun with yellow
Yellow fruits and veggies can add fun and flavour to your plate. Here are some yellow veggies you can try:
- Spaghetti squash: This fun vegetable can be eaten with tomato sauce just like spaghetti! Bake in the oven and get your kids involved by letting them remove the spaghetti-like strings with a fork.
- Yellow bell pepper: These bright peppers can be cut up and added to recipes like stir fries or pasta dishes. For another dinner idea, remove the seeds and stuff whole peppers with ingredients like rice, cheese, beans or meat.
Warm up with red
Many red vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants like Vitamin C. Warm up this fall with these recipe ideas:
- Beets: This reddish-purple root vegetable is great fresh or even pickled. Boil and slice or grate raw to add a pop of colour to your salads. Did you know that you can also eat the green tops of the root? Enjoy them cooked by sautéing or steaming, or include them raw in a salad.
- Cranberries: While this colourful berry is a Thanksgiving staple, it can also be used in other recipes. Add cranberry to baked goods for some extra bright colour and tart flavour.
Enjoy the beauty and taste of fall by choosing an array of colourful fruits and veggies every day!
- Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. (2011).
- Eat Right Ontario. (2014). What you need to know about antioxidants. http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/articles/antioxidants/what-you-need-to-know-about-antioxidants
- Eat Right Ontario. (2014). Fall Harvest Vegetables. http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/articles/cooking-food-preparation/fall-harvest-vegetables
- Foodland Ontario website. (2014).
- Nutrition Resource Center. (2003). Colour It Up program resources - Vegetables A-Z & Fruits A-Z.