Fall Favorites

Ah, fall.  This is my favorite season – I love the colors, the cooler temperatures, and the foods associated with fall and harvest.  Whether I’m eating a fresh, crunchy apple from my parents’ farm in Minnesota or homemade pumpkin pie, nutrition comes in a delicious variety this season.  Following are a few of my favorite fall foods.

1) butternut squash.  this is a great way to get your vitamin A if you are burned out on carrot sticks and don’t enjoy liver.  Wrap  the whole squash in tin foil (place a cookie sheet underneath to catch drippings)  and bake in the oven at 350 for about an hour  depending on size.  You can also microwave it if you need a side dish in a hurry.  Add a little cinnamon or nutmeg, a dash of brown sugar, and your family will love it!

2) Butternut Bisque is a great recipe on allrecipes.com.  I substitute 1% milk for the cream to lower the fat, and used low-sodium broth so it could double up as babyfood.   

3) Chocolate Chip Pumpkin cookies.  I hear this is a weightwatchers recipe so I’ll give them the credit, but I have never verified that rumor.  Regardless, it’s a great recipe for beginning cooks because of its simplicity:

2 cups chocolate chips

1 spice cake box mix

1 15oz can pumpkin (not the pie mix)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix ingredients.  drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!  These have a cake-like consistency and also taste good as mini-muffins.  If you want to make it healthier, substitute raisins or dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips to decrease the calories and boost immunity-promoting anthocyanins.

This makes two dozen cookies, each with 150 calories, 7g fat, 23g carbs, 2g fiber and providing 54% of your vitamin A for the day.  I’ll take that for dessert!

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