Fall Vegetable Favorites
In addition to changing leaves and cooler temperatures, the arrival of fall also means enjoying delicious fall vegetables such as pumpkin and squash. Not only do they taste great, but these vegetables also provide many nutrients that contribute to a healthy diet. Below is some information on five of fall’s favorites including the nutrients they provide and some tips on purchasing and storing them.
Acorn Squash- Acorn squash gets its name from its acorn-like shape. When selecting, look for those that are dull and heavy for their size. Avoid squash with soft spots or cracks. To store, place acorn squash in a cool, dry area away from extreme temperatures and sunlight. Acorn squash can stay fresh for up to 3 months. Acorn squash are fat-free and cholesterol free and provide a good source of vitamin C.
Butternut Squash-This winter squash has a sweet flavor and can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. When selecting, choose those that are heavy for their size. Store butternut squash in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Once cut, refrigerate unused portion. Butternut squash are fat-free and cholesterol free and provide a good source of fiber, potassium and magnesium and an excellent source of vitamins A and C.
Pumpkin- Although pumpkins are popular to decorate during Halloween, they are also great for eating. To select, look for pumpkins that are firm and heavy for their size. Store pumpkins in a cool, dark place for up to two months. Pumpkins are fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free and provide a good source of vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamin A.
Sweet Potatoes- These edible roots are usually labeled either sweet potatoes or yams. When selecting, choose those that are firm and small- to medium-sized with smooth skin. Avoid those with cracks, soft spots and blemishes. To store, place them in a cool, dark place and use within 3-5 weeks. Sweet potatoes are fat free and cholesterol free and provide a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.
Turnips- Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked. To select, look for pearly, heavy turnips without soft spots and fresh leaves if still attached. Small to medium ones are the sweetest. To store, place in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for only a few days as they can get bitter with prolonged storage. Turnips are fat free and cholesterol free and provide an excellent source of vitamin C.
For a delicious fall recipe, try Parmesan Glazed Acorn Squash.
Source: Some of the information in this article was provided courtesy of Fruits and Veggies More Matters: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org