Have you ever noticed that fruits seem to be in abundance during summer and that in fall everything is all about pumpkins? This is because fruits and vegetables have different seasons in which they grow, and it can be very beneficial to eat seasonally. Foods eaten in season are often cheaper, fresher and more nutritious.
You can credit the lower cost to your local farmers, as there is no need to ship cross country. When produce is available out of season it not only has to be shipped from further away, but it has been harvested before becoming fully ripe to avoid it arriving rotten. Foods that have been allowed to ripen naturally before harvest are more flavorful, fresh and have a higher nutritional content. Finally, eating seasonally encourages the consumption of a variety of foods that you might not typically include in your recipes!
Below we’ve compiled some of our favorite seasonal produce for Autumn. These foods are not only delicious and readily available, but great for people with diabetes.
PUMPKIN: Pumpkin contains vitamins A and C, folates and fiber. They are low in calories, and although they do have carbs the fiber slows the release of sugar in the blood. They are great in soups and the roasted seeds are a healthy snack!
FIGS: Figs are a powerhouse of nutrients including fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. They are better eaten fresh because dried figs have higher sugar levels.
SWEET POTATOES: Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A, B6, and C, copper and fiber. Their low glycemic index makes them a perfect substitute for starchy side dishes. They go great in casseroles, soups and as baked chips, but be sure to avoid the marshmallow and syrup covered recipes.
PEARS: Pears have vitamin C and fiber in the skin. When roasted or poached they are a great substitute for traditional sugary desserts, and they also go well in salads!
POMEGRANATES: Pomegranates contain vitamins B6 and C, iron and potassium. You can drink the juice, use it in smoothies, or for flavoring dishes. You can also add the whole seeds to salads.
NUTS: Nuts are a good source of magnesium, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They are a fantastic snack to ebb hunger, but remember to eat nuts in moderation because too many can cause unwanted weight gain.
BEETS: Beets have many nutrients including folates, potassium, betaine and vitamin C. They are very versatile in sweet and savory recipes, can be eaten raw or roasted, and are a great center stage ingredient for vegetarian dishes!
SQUASH: Squash contains Vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. It is excellent on its own or can be added to salads, soups and warm dishes.
BRUSSEL SPROUTS: Brussel sprouts are a great source of Vitamins C and K, fiber and anti-oxidants. They are low in calories and can be enjoyed roasted, boiled or sautéed. Keep them as a side dish or add to pastas and stir fries, etc.