The best carrots are found during the fall and winter when their flavors are more robust. The antioxidant compounds found in carrots help to protect against cardiovascular disease and may promote sharp vision. While we associate carrots with the color orange, carrots are found with other colors such as, white, yellow, red, or purple. When stored, carrots should stay far from apples, pears, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables that may produce ethylene gas. When the produce comes in contact with carrots its flavor may become bitter. You can puree or dice carrots into warm soups, grate them into sauces, or juice them into marinades or beverages.
Pomegranates are known for their anti-aging qualities. The pomegranate fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins B and C, and iron. Pomegranate juice is rich in nourishing properties. Pomegrantes may also help level cholesterol and supports a healthy cardiovascular and immune system. Pomegranate may even be helpful in relieving certain menopause symptoms. Pomegranates are known for their antioxidant level which helps protect against stroke and heart attack. The pomegranate has a tremendous amount of flavonoids, which prevent cellular damage. Pomegranates are currently being studied as to their effects on slowing cancer growth and their ability to boost memory and mood.
The Jerusalem artichoke arrives around November, as a pile of muddy, knobby tubers. The tubers consistency is very much like a potato. Their raw form has a sweet nutty flavor. When sliced they fit perfectly into a salad or slaw. Jerusalem artichokes have 650 mg potassium per 1 cup serving, which makes them wonderful for recovery food after your fall Turkey Trot.
Autumn and winter are the traditional onion seasons. Onions have become a staple in any kitchen because they add flavor to virtually every recipe you can create. Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, chromium and fiber. They are also a good source of manganese, molybdenum, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, phosphorus and copper. Keep the flavors of summer alive when you add grilled onions to a shish kabob, flatbread pizza, or turn them into comforting baked onion rings.
Pears are a good source of vitamin C and copper. Both of these nutrients fall into the antioxidant family. Antioxidant nutrients help protect cells from free radical damage. Although not well-documented in research, pears are often recommended by many practitioners as a hypoallergenic fruit that may be less likely to produce a negative response in sensitive individuals.
Kale can provide some powerful heart healthy benefits when cooked. The fiber rich components in kale are more effective in the digestive tract when they've been heated. Kale has shown risk reduction benefits in cancer have recently been extended to include at least five different types of cancer. These types include bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. The flavonoid, kaempferol is known as the powerhouse antioxidant included in kale, followed by, quercitin. New research shows that up to 45 different flavonoids are present in kale. Bake up kale and break it into pieces as a substitute for potato chips.
Pumpkin is very high in carotenoids. Carotenoids give the pumpkin its orange color. Carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin are excellent at neutralizing free radicals. Carotenoids are known for promoting eye health. The seeds, are very high in protein, one ounce of seeds provides about seven grams of protein which is equivalent to one egg. Pumpkin oil is high in phytosterols, which are plant based fatty acids that are known for playing a part in the reduction of cholesterol levels.
When shopping this fall remember to choose fresh, organic produce in the season. Always strive for the recommended 6-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.