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7 Ways to Use Fresh Fall Produce

October 3, 2012     By Tina Hauper

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it—from the brightly-colored foliage to the smell of sweet cider donuts—it’s a season that brings me great joy. Once that slight chill in the air arrives, I immediately start to crave all of my favorite seasonal dishes. Farmers markets and my local grocery store are bursting with fresh produce right now, so warming up in the kitchen is that much more appealing. Here are some easy and delicious ideas to get creative with this season’s produce.
Butternut squash
Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall treats (yes, treats)! It’s naturally sweet (and loaded with vitamin A and potassium), so it’s delicious mixed into baked goods (butternut squash can be substituted in pretty much any recipe that calls for pumpkin), soups, pancakes, or eaten alone with maple syrup and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
These purple-red gems are packed with iron, folic acid, and fiber. Roast or saute them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, or toss them diced and raw in your favorite salad mixture.
Apples provide two kinds of fiber (soluble and insoluble) and a whole slew of antioxidants, which protect against free radical damage, so they’re both a satisfying and healthy food. Try sauteing sliced apples and serving them with chicken or pork, or chopping them tiny and adding them to whole-grain rice.
Sweet potatoes
Did you know a medium sweet potato provides more than 438% of the daily requirement of vitamin A, which is essential to eyes, skin, bones, and teeth? And sweet potatoes are delicious in so many ways. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this spud is the simplest way: Baked Sweet Potato Wedges.
Parsnips are a great root vegetable but might not be the first variety you reach for. Try them roasted, baked, mashed or as parsnip “fries.” Just preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and chop one pound of parsnips into “fries.” In a large plastic zipped baggie add parsnips, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Seal the bag and shake thoroughly to coat. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning fries every 10 minutes or so.
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables available this time of year. It also has a number of anti-oxidant- and anti-inflammatory-related health benefits. Try raw, chopped kale tossed in olive oil as part of a salad, sauteed with red pepper flakes, or as kale chips (the perfect alternative to greasy potato chips).
Packed with vitamin C, and full of cancer-fighting phytonutrients, cauliflower is quite the versatile vegetable. You’ve probably eaten it raw, roasted, or steamed, but have you tried it mashed? Here’s a quick how to: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil with 2 garlic cloves. Add head of florets and cook until tender (10-12 minutes). Drain, return to pot, mix 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 cup milk. Mash until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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3 reasons to eat more squash

By Canadian Living

From boosting heart health to reducing the risk of eye diseases, squash is a tasty source of nutrition. Discover three great reasons to eat more squash, plus three tested-till-perfect squash recipes from our Test Kitchen. 

While it’s best known for being a harvest season vegetable, squash is actually more than just a pretty gourd to decorate your home with in the fall. Packed with flavour, squash is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamins. And with less than 100 calories per serving, it’s also a great addition to your diet. 

Here are three great reasons to eat more squash:

1. Squash protects our eyes
Squash is loaded with the antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may reduce the risk of eye diseases. For example, a diet that’s high in beta-carotene may help delay visual loss caused by some forms of age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of severe vision loss in Canada. 

2. Squash is a low-cal substitute for grains
Skip the white rice and pasta, and choose squash instead. A one-cup serving has just 80 calories, compared to 234 calories in a cup of spaghetti. Plus, squash is a good source of vitamins A 
and C, while pasta and rice have none. 

3. You can eat the seeds, too
Roasted squash seeds make a heart-healthy, delicious snack, similar to pumpkin seeds. Simply scoop out seeds, rinse, dry and bake at 170°F (77°C) for about 20 minutes. Slow roasting minimizes damage 
to the healthy fats in the seeds, so your body will reap their maximum benefits.

Be sure to try out some of our delicious squash recipes:
Turkey, Sage and Squash Pot Pie

Roast Squash

Spaghetti Squash with Herb Butter

This story was originally titled “Why We Love Squash” in the October 2012 issue.

source: Canadianliving.com