Three Sinfully Delicious & Healthy Recipes for Fall

Amy Grimes December 17, 2014 1

Healthy eating is not just a summer-time habit, it’s a way of life that should be maintained all year round. The fresh air, changing colors and seasonal fruits and vegetables of autumn make it a great time to get inspired in the kitchen. Here are three wonderfully delicious recipes based around abundant fall produce to get you started – take some ‘me time’ to relax and enjoy the process of cooking or have fun getting the whole family involved, it’s up to you.

pleat with yellow soup

Butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Soup

It’s much nicer in the fall to get your daily veggies in by eating hearty soups. I know I certainly get sick of chilly salads right around the end of August when the weather starts to change. This recipe for an easy homemade soup is comforting and tasty. It uses tart apples for a surprisingly subtle hint of creative fall flavor. It’s definitely much better than any soup from a can.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • Approximately 6 cups butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock/broth
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Method

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add the apple and butternut squash and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the squash is tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and puree the soup. This can be done in small amounts in a food processor or directly in the pot using an immersion blender.
  5. Once the soup is smooth, serve with crusty bread and enjoy. For an elegant touch swirl a dollop of creme fraiche into each bowl and top with finely chopped chives.

 

carrot and sweet potato

Carrot and Sweet Potato ready to be served

Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries

A clever swap for starchy potato fries, this recipe can be tailored to use your favorite herbs and spices. I like to use a lot of paprika on mine but you can let the natural flavors shine by simply seasoning them to taste with salt and pepper. The cornstarch is in there to crisp up the edges and is a handy little trick to keep up your sleeve when roasting any vegetable to make fries or wedges.

Ingredients (serves 4 as a side or snack)

  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornflourSalt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon spice or herb of your choice such as paprika, tarragon, chili powder or cumin (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and cut the carrots and sweet potatoes into the shape of fries. Make sure that they are all about the same size.
  2. In a bowl toss the fries in olive oil, cornstarch and your preferred seasoning.
  3. Place on a baking tray in a single layer and cook for approximately 40 minutes or until tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. Cooking time may vary based on how large you cut the fries.
  4. Serve with a sauce of your choice and enjoy.

 

pumpkin bread loaf

Traditional Pumpkin Bread Loaf

Pumpkin and Walnut Loaf

Forget over-priced lattés packed with syrup and embrace the pumpkin in other forms, specifically this inviting loaf. Who needs a coffee loaded with unhealthy ingredients and fake flavors when you can enjoy a slice of this with a cup of herbal tea – try lemon and ginger for a real fall zing. I’m a big fan of having a piece for brunch, it’s a much better alternative to buttery pastries. When buying canned pumpkin always check the label to make sure you’re using pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling as it’s an easy mistake to make!Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed1 cup pure pumpkin
  • 2 egg whites1/4 cup canola oil1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup all-purpose flour3/4 cup wholewheat flour1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a loaf tin with non-stick paper.
  2. Whisk together the egg whites and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the pumpkin, yogurt, oil and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients, including the walnuts. Gently add the dry ingredients to the wet mix, stirring until just combined.
  4. Bake in the prepared tin until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – approximately 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the pan.
  5. Allow the loaf to cool completely and slice to serve.

Don’t worry, we won’t judge if you can’t wait that long! This loaf is delicious spread with a berry preserve while still warm.

So there you have it, three recipes that will get you in the mood for fall. Try a few, adapt them to your own tastes and most importantly, enjoy the process of making and consuming your own healthy and flavorful food.

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One Comment »

  1. Emily December 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm -

    Sweet potato fries! Yum. They may be the trendy thing in restaurants these days but nothing beats home recipes. 🙂

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