10 Healthy Items You Need in Your Kitchen This Fall
Fall is officially here! I always feel as though fall just suddenly creeps up on us, but I can’t complain. I love everything about it! Cooler air. Colorful leaves. Scarves. Boots. My favorite part of this new season is PUMPKIN FLAVORED EVERYTHING.
While we make our wardrobe and schedule adjustments (daylight savings is coming soon..), it is a great idea to make some changes to our pantry with yummy, fall-inspired foods! The autumn harvest includes a variety of yummy vegetables and crisp fruits, which are all perfect for creating comfort food meals to enjoy as the weather begins to cool. Stock up your kitchen for the season with the following 10 items to ensure you enjoy the best meals, beverages and sweet desserts that fall has to offer.
- PUMPKIN. Pumpkin purée is so good. It is also one of the most versatile ingredients for you to add to your kitchen this autumn. You can use it to make desserts, soups, smoothies, breads, muffins, pasta sauce, polenta and much more. It is also very easy to work with! Win!
HEALTH BENEFITS: Pumpkin is packed with fiber. It boosts vision, lowers blood pressure, helps you sleep better and protects your heart.
- CINNAMON. This sweet and savory spice is also very versatile! It can be used in several different recipes. Cinnamon easily enhances flavors of food. I love adding cinnamon to my pumpkin puree or my daily cup of coffee!
HEALTH BENEFITS: Cinnamon is a high source of antioxidants, protects your heart, contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps fight infections and viruses.
- APPLES. Apples are one of the most popular fruits this time of year, so you will never have a problem finding it at a local grocery store. Whether you are looking to make a yummy dessert or need a quick snack on the go, you can never go wrong with a juicy apple!
HEALTH BENEFITS: Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber.
- CRANBERRIES. We all know cranberries as a Thanksgiving and autumn staple, but I honestly eat them year-round! Keep these on hand to sprinkle over rice, salads or oatmeal! They are great snacks on their own, too.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Cranberries deliver antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits. They are a great source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese which are all crucial to healthy bodily function!
- SQUASH. Although the cutting and prepping of squash is not exactly easily, it is so worth it. I love making butternut squash French fries! It is a perfect side dish for lunch or dinner.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Squash boosts your immune system, protects your heart health and improves your bone and eye health.
- BEANS & LENTILS.Colder weather always has me craving soup and chili! I love stocking up on black beans, brown lentils and kidney beans during this time of year. They also taste great over quinoa or rice.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Beans and lentils helps lower cholesterol and protects your heart health. They are a great source of protein, increase energy and are great for your digestive health.
- MAPLE SYRUP. This time of year has me craving sweet, comforting foods! Having real maple syrup in moderation is a huge game changer! Pour it over pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, you name it.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Maple Syrup is full of numerous antioxidants. It fights inflammatory diseases and helps protect skin health.
- WALNUTS. These nuts are the perfect addition to any fall-inspired recipe! From breakfast, snacks or dessert, they are filling and taste great! I also love to eat these on their own as an afternoon snack before dinner.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Walnuts are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids!
- QUINOA.Pronounced “KEENWAH”, this funny feeling and looking food is one of my favorites. I love warming up quinoa and having it as a side dish for dinner!
Health BENEFITS: Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods! It contains fiber, iron, and high amounts of vitamins.
- DARK CHOCOLATE. Call me crazy, but I am a HUGE advocate of eating dark chocolate daily. Nothing wrong with that, right? This is one of the most versatile ingredients! I usually aim for a percentage higher than 70, but all forms of dark chocolate are great.
HEALTH BENEFITS: This antioxidant- rich superfood provides protection from disease-causing free radicals, has the power to prevent cancer, improves heart health and helps lower blood pressure.
The above ingredients will not only be beneficial to your health, but will also have your tummy feeling happy and satisfied this season! Enjoy!