Jennifer Regester, RD, CDN, CDE
There are many benefits from eating seasonal food that is grown locally. Not only is seasonal eating great for our health, it also improves our environment, decreases pollution, and rewards us financially. Research has shown that as food travels across our country (sometimes thousands of miles away), nutrient quality can degrade. Food that is grown locally and picked at peak season has the freshest quality, the greatest nutrient density, and tastes amazing! Compare a tomato from Cropsey Community Farm with a tomato in the winter from a normal grocery store – what would you rather have? Seasonal eating provides variety all year long so food choices never become boring.
The fall season is a wonderful time to experiment with new flavors and warm up with some soups and roasted vegetables! Keep reading to learn about the benefits from popular seasonal food.
- Eggplant: Eggplant is high in potassium, which helps the heart and nervous system function. Eggplant can be stewed, roasted or fried (in moderation!).
- Pumpkin: Pumpkins provide beta-carotene (an antioxidant) that helps reverse damage in the body. Pumpkins are also high in Vitamin A, which helps with vision and is great for skin health. Try mixing cooked pumpkin into oatmeal in the morning, or make pumpkin yogurt (equal parts pumpkin and yogurt) with cinnamon. Bonus: You can even roast pumpkin seeds for some heart-healthy fat!
- Peppers: Peppers are one of the highest sources of Vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the immune system. Sweet peppers can be roasted, grilled, sautéed, steamed, or eaten raw.
- Apples: Apples come in all different varieties so there is always something for everyone! Apples are high in flavonoids, which can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Apples are also high in pectin – a type of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol.
Enjoy the fall season while it lasts! Don’t forget to visit Cropsey Community Farm to pick up your locally grown, seasonal fall food.
Jennifer is the owner of Eat With Knowledge, A Nutrition Counseling and Consulting Company. Please visit www.eatwithknowledge.com for details. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is so proud to be a member of the Cropsey Community Farm CSA!