a knife shown cutting into a sweet potato on a cutting board

Healthy and Delicious Fall Foods

Healthy and Delicious Fall Foods

By Elaine Bryan, Body and Soul Nourishment

Fall Gently into the Autumn season with healthy nourishing foods!

Eating seasonally with foods that are grown in your area and available, helps keep us all attuned to the Earth and the beautiful cycles of nature. These foods that can be grown in our own garden, or from a local farmer (CSA) delivery or farmers market, help us potentially in consuming fresher plant foods, with less chemicals or need to store and ship those foods. We can connect to nature and be more in tune with our body cycles during the seasons this way.

As summer starts to wind down, the days are becoming shorter and nights tend to be a little cooler. In Chinese medicine, they call the summer the yang season which is now moving towards the dryer Yin season. This is known to be a time for hydrating, cleansing from the yang season, and taking time to nurture our bodies and minds from the active summer activities. In Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old healing practice, this fall season is more dry, and airy, known as the Vata season and tends to be more balanced with a grounding, more moist type of eating style. In these Traditional systems of medicine such as Chinese and Ayurveda practices, this autumn season is a time for slowing down from the summer and letting go of anything that is not needed as we move into the winter season. This is a time of harvesting, and we are provided with mostly an abundance of nourishing foods.

This could mean moving from the cooling raw food dishes and foods from the summer like ice cream, summer cocktails, BBQ foods….to more cleansing, warmer, possibly cooked and nutrient-dense foods.

During these months, we tend to crave those warmer, dense foods that are full of complex carbohydrates such as soups, heartier grains, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and roasted vegetables as we tend to move away from those raw fruits and vegetables a bit overall. OR sometimes those raw vegetables can be warmed up some by placing some roasted veggies or grains along with the raw vegetables to warm them up for the digestive system as well.

We don’t have to give anything up and can still emphasize those whole foods during the autumn months with foods like squashes, acorn, delicata, butternut, pumpkin, grounding veggies like Brussels sprouts, cabbages, and those awesome autumn fruits like apples and pears.

Some ideas to concentrate on as you transition to this beautiful autumn season:

  1. Grab for those root veggies as we start shifting over our focus to grounding foods with those complex carbohydrates during cooler They can be roasted or steamed and you can add them to any soup, stew or in a macro bowl with some hearty grains and a good sauce. It’s best to gravitate to these complex carbohydrates instead of the simple ones like white types of bread, cereals, pastas…There are many options for fresh veggies in season with all their phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which are great during this season (and always!)
  2. This is a time for slowing down and letting go – This will help the body “cleanse” from some of the heavy sugary foods from the summer and move into those foods that support the natural detoxification process with the nutrients in apples, pears, beets, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, leeks, radishes including daikon, and carrots to name a They have tons of fiber that support our digestive health and produce those “post biotics” that reduce inflammation, minerals like magnesium and potassium and those antioxidants to help fight illness and disease. These foods not only help reduce that oxidative stress and inflammation, but can also help with seasonal allergies, asthma and in general, cold and viruses as well!
  3. Consume more healthy fats to combat dry and itchy skin during this Our skin could use more natural moisture from using healthy fats and oils such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil as well as raw nuts and seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and avocados….All those plant foods you consume during this season are loaded with Vitamin C such as berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens including collard greens, swiss chard….which also helps to support the skin. And drink your water!
  4. All those warming spices! Start by adding some fresh ginger, turmeric, garlic, cumin and cumin seeds, cayenne powder, red chili flakes, cinnamon, cloves…to your We use quite a few of those awesome spices in a lot of our traditional autumn/winter dishes, so enjoy as they also help reduce inflammation, improve your digestion, can help curb appetite and just your overall health! And they make our food taste so yummy! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Oat Pizza Crust

2 Sweet potatoes, Cooked whatever way you want to cook them! Pierce the skin first and cook!

2 cups oat flour (Sprouts…)

Any spices you want – Maybe a teaspoon basil, oregano, garlic salt, ½ teaspoon sea salt…

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a bowl, scrape the inside out of the cooked sweet potatoes, add the oat flour and spices. Mix together – I use my hands to knead it all together just like dough!
  3. Split dough in two and put on parchment paper covered baking sheet. Roll or press out into two different pizza crusts. I put a piece of parchment paper over the dough and use a rolling pin to roll it into a flat circle.
  4. Bake in oven for about 15 mins. Take out and add toppings and vegan cheese or whatever you want to add on, then put back in oven to reheat and melt “cheese” Enjoy!        You can save them and reheat for leftovers.

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