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  • Writer's pictureRedwood Naturopathic Medicine

The Nutrient Powerhouses of Fall


As the crisp autumn breeze sweeps through and leaves start to don their vibrant coats of red and gold, nature generously bestows upon us a bountiful harvest of nutritional powerhouses that define the flavors of fall. Among these seasonal gems, pumpkins, apples, and pomegranates stand out as quintessential symbols of the season, offering not only a feast for the senses but also a wealth of health benefits. From the earthy, hearty richness of pumpkins to the crisp sweetness of apples and the jewel-like seeds of pomegranates, these fruits of fall pack a powerful nutritional punch, making them a must-have in your autumn diet. In this article, we will explore the remarkable nutritional profiles of these fall favorites and dive into unique ways to incorporate these delicious ingredients!



Apples


Apples are a nutritional powerhouse, offering a wide array of health benefits. Rich in dietary fiber, they promote digestive health by aiding regular bowel movements and supporting a healthy gut microbiome. Apples are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and promotes skin health, and potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. These fruits are also a great source of antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Consuming apples is associated with improved heart health, as they can lower cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular function. Additionally, their natural sugars provide a quick energy boost without causing spikes in blood sugar levels, making them an excellent choice for a healthy snack or addition to various dishes and desserts.


Apple Pie Pancakes


Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 Egg

  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

  • 3 tbsps Maple Syrup (divided)

  • 3/4 Lemon (juiced and divided)

  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour

  • 1/2 cup Arrowroot Powder

  • 1 1/2 tsps Baking Powder

  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda

  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

  • 1 Apple (cored and diced)

  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

  • 2 tbsps Almond Flour

Directions

  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, almond milk, 1/3 of the maple syrup, 1/3 of the lemon juice and vanilla until combined.

  • In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour and arrowroot flour. Add to the wet mixture about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking thoroughly.

  • Mix in baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  • Grease a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, pour pancakes in the skillet, about 3-inches wide.

  • Once small holes begin to appear in the surface of the pancake, sprinkle a few apple chunks onto it and flip over. Cook each side approximately 3-4 minutes. Repeat until batter is finished.

  • Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining apple chunks, cinnamon, the remaining 2/3 of the lemon juice and the remaining 2/3 of the maple syrup. Stir until combined.

  • Add almond flour and turn down to low-medium heat. Let simmer and stir occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes or until apple chunks are soft.

  • Top apple pancakes with chunky apple cinnamon sauce and enjoy!



Pumpkin


Pumpkins are not only a symbol of autumn but also a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, they offer a wealth of health benefits. Pumpkins are notably rich in beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant that converts into vitamin A in the body, promoting healthy vision and immune function. Their fiber content aids digestion and contributes to a sense of fullness, making them a valuable addition to weight management plans. Additionally, pumpkins contain vitamins C and E, both of which have skin-protective properties and support overall well-being. Low in calories yet bursting with flavor, pumpkins provide a delicious and nutritious way to boost your health and savor the flavors of the season.


Pumpkin Hummus


Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Pureed Pumpkin

  • 1 cup Chickpeas (cooked, drained and rinsed)

  • 1 Garlic (clove)

  • 1/4 Lemon (juiced)

  • 2 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt


Directions

  • Add all ingredients together in a food processor. Blend until a creamy consistency forms. Enjoy!



Pomegranate


Pomegranates, with their jewel-like seeds and sweet-tart flavor, offer a treasure trove of nutritional benefits. These crimson fruits are rich in antioxidants, particularly punicalagins and anthocyanins, which have potent anti-inflammatory and heart-protective properties. Pomegranates are renowned for their high levels of vitamin C, bolstering the immune system and promoting skin health. Their significant fiber content supports digestion and helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. Pomegranates are also a natural source of polyphenols, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall well-being. These nutrient-dense fruits make for a delightful addition to salads, smoothies, and a variety of dishes, offering both flavor and a burst of healthful benefits.


Pomegranate Yogurt Bark



Serves 9

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

  • 1/3 cup Pomegranate Seeds

  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds

Directions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper or a silicone mat.

  • Spread the yogurt evenly onto the lined baking sheet, about 1/4-inch think. Sprinkle the pomegranate and pumpkin seeds overtop.

  • Place in the freezer until very firm, about 2 hours. Slice or break apart into pieces.

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