Every season comes with its own unique set of peak produce. Bright citrus in the winter, fresh asparagus in spring, and sweet berries in the summer all call to us. And then there’s autumn, where cozy root veggies and crisp fruit are abundant.
We asked Lavva’s contributing registered dietitian, Anthea Levi, MS, RD, what foods are on her plate this season, plus the science behind their health benefits and how best to prepare them.
There’s a reason they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples serve up key nutrients, including digestion-friendly soluble fiber and potent antioxidants like quercetin in their skin. ICYMI, quercetin is a plant compound that can help prevent cell damage in the body. It also has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, per Mount Sinai.
Nosh on an apple (keep the skin on!) with a source of healthy fat, like a spoonful or two of almond butter for a balanced snack. Another option: sauté chopped apples with cinnamon in a touch of coconut oil for a comforting treat that’s entirely free from added sugars. Stir the mixture into a Lavva yogurt for the ultimate combo.
Kale isn’t the only good-for-you green. In fact, Swiss chard is equally nutritious and delicious. The leafy veg is jam-packed with vitamin K, a key nutrient for bone and blood health. Just one cup of cooked chard provides more than seven times your daily recommended intake of vitamin K.
I love chopping up a bunch of Swiss chard and sauteeing it in olive oil with minced garlic and a few healthy squeezes of lemon juice. It’s the perfect cleansing side dish for any fall dinner.
We strongly support the hype around pumpkin — as in, real pumpkin, not pumpkin spice latte pumpkin.
The versatile squash is a stellar source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can help reduce tissue damage brought on by free radicals in the body. The nutrient, which is a precursor to vitamin A, is also important for maintaining eye health.
I’m all about a pumpkin pie smoothie or oat bowl come October. Check out the recipe below for my favorite Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats recipe.
We’re just going to say it: ginger is underrated. Not only does this seasonal ingredient serve up a spicy kick, but it’s also a tried and true natural remedy.
Ginger is an antiemetic, meaning it can help treat nausea and vomiting. The root has also been shown to promote GI motility, meaning it can support digestion and potentially reduce bloating associated with constipation, per research published in Scientific Reports.
I love grating fresh ginger into a veggie-packed stir fry or adding it to my afternoon tea for a belly-friendly sip. P.S. The pumpkin pie oats recipe below includes ginger, too!
Probably not a surprise, but Brussels sprouts are packed with essential nutrients, including fiber and vitamins C and K. Also cool? Cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts may support the detoxification of excess estrogen from the body, meaning they might be an extra important staple for ladies dealing with high estrogen levels and hormone imbalances.
Nothing says fall quite like a cozy sheet pan of roasted vegetables. I love roasting a nutrient-dense starch like sweet potatoes or parsnips (also both in season) along with Brussels sprouts, onion wedges, and a few fragrant sprigs of fresh rosemary. Yum!
MAPLE PUMPKIN PIE OVERNIGHT OATS from ALIVE+WELL Nutrition
1.5 C organic rolled oats
2 C Lavva unsweetened pili nut milk
1/3 C pumpkin puree
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional; can also chop up 1-2 dates for sugar-free option)
1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1/4 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1/4 C raisins (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients well in a large bowl.
2. Transfer the mixture to a container and refrigerate overnight.
3. In the morning, top with your favorites. If you like things sweet, you may want to add another drizzle of maple syrup. I also love spooning a dollop of Lavva vanilla yogurt or almond butter on top of my bowl..
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.