Healthy Fall Treats
As the weather cools down, and the sweaters come out of storage, it feels natural to nest a little. Getting cozy under a blanket feels great, but it’s even more enjoyable when you have a plate of delicious treats by your side. While tempting baked goods and candy start appearing around Halloween, and are offered in abundance until everyone’s New Year’s resolutions begin, below are some ideas for healthy fall treats to enjoy instead!
Apples & Pears
Apples and pears are in season, and they make a delicious snack on their own, but there are several ways to jazz them up. Here are a few easy ideas:
● Apple slices paired with almond butter—or thinly sliced cheddar—is a quick and tasty treat.
● Slice an apple or pear (or both) and throw them in the oven with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut sugar—the results taste like eating the insides of a pie. Add some oats or granola to take it to the next level.
● Poach a pear, and top it with granola and a dollop of yogurt.
● Make your own applesauce! This allows you to control the amount of sugar that goes into it. Enjoy it as a snack, or use in place of butter or eggs in muffin and cake recipes.
Embrace pumpkin season by adding puree to your usual treats. It makes a delicious addition to pancake or muffin batter, or mix a spoonful into oatmeal or applesauce. Pumpkin puree is also great in smoothies, and makes a nice base for a vegetable soup. Making chili for football Sunday? Add some pumpkin puree—it adds just a hint of sweetness and sneaks in some extra nutrients!
Whether you buy them from the store, or scoop them from your freshly-carved pumpkins, pumpkin seeds have serious health benefits. They are full of nutrients like protein, fiber, omega-6 fats, zinc, and iron. Pumpkin seeds are also high in antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation. They are also considered one of the highest natural sources of magnesium, which helps to control blood pressure and regulate blood sugar.
Flavor your pumpkin seeds while roasting them— make them spicy with a dash of cayenne, try a combination of garlic and Parmesan, or go sweet with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Seasonal Vegetables Can Be Treats Too
Roast an acorn squash and add a little cinnamon and maple syrup—it tastes like a dessert, but loads you up with fiber and vitamin C. Slice up carrots and peppers and dip them into some protein-rich hummus. Another popular vegetable-based snack is buffalo cauliflower; you can choose to bread them or not, depending on how healthy you want your treat to be!
With delicious ideas like the treat options above, you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of fall in very healthy ways!