Flavors of Fall:
By Joan Daniels, R.D., and Nancy Burke, R.D.
U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center Dietitians
Apples, pumpkins offer tasty nutrition
As the days get shorter and the air grows crisp, we
start to crave those fall classics: apples and pumpkins.
Long gone are the last hot days of summer -- the ones
when we're too tired to do much more than sink into
a pile of berries or slurp up the juice of a soft tomato.
Cool air refreshes and leav es us aching for something
And that's where the apple and pumpkin come in. We're using the
term "pumpkin" here in its broadest sense: We're not talking about
your Halloween jack-o'-lantern, but the wide variety of squash that are
available throughout the fall and winter months.
Squash and apples offer a host of healthy nutrients. The rich yellow
and orange flesh of the squash signals the presence of carotenoids,
protective phytochemicals that play an anti-cancer role and enhance immunity.
Squash also contain Vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
When to go organic
Sometimes it makes sense to buy organic. Conventionally grown
apples are among the worst when it comes to containing high levels
of pesticides. We think it's most important to try to eat at least five
servings of fruits and vegetables a day -- no matter how they're
grown -- period. But if you're looking to include organic fruit in your
diet, apples may be a good choice.
also a good source of fiber and contain flavonoids -- another chemical in
plants that helps protect against cancer, heart disease and other chronic
health problems. Apple peels are high in antioxidants as well as pectin,
Besides their nutritional content, apples and squash have something
else going for them: their flexibility. Few foods taste as good prepared
as sweet desserts or savory dinners. So if you traditionally bake apple
crisp, think about slicing up some apples next time you make a cheddar
omelet. Italian food has long used pumpkin and squash in pasta dishes;
consider butternut squash ravioli or macaroni in a pumpkin sauce.
Here's an idea to get you started: Golden Harvest Soup.
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