My Top Three Must-Try Foods for Fall 2015

Every season we see new food trends and fads. Last year, egg yolks, specialty pastas, middle eastern spices, tea-infused foods, game meats, and seaweed—among others—made a comeback. This fall, we’re seeing the rise of spiralized veggies, grain-free foods, smoothie bowls, tigernuts, cauliflower, coconut butter, grass fed butter, turmeric and bone broth rising to fame. I love it. Regardless of the fad-like feel of these food trends, I love that such a wide variety of whole foods are becoming popular. Neither one of these foods on its own works magic or cures someone of cancer, despite what the term “superfood” may imply, but together, they create a rich food experience, full of color, texture, flavor, and essential nutrients. I’ve chosen three of my favorites from this list of fall food trends. Try adding them to your routine to spice up your meals and snacks.

  1. Spiralized veggies:

The reason I love these: any prep method that gets you eating more veggies is something worth keeping around! Spiralizing also displaces heavy, refined flours found in pastas and spaghetti. Spiralized veggies contain fewer refined carbohydrates that spike blood sugar, more fiber, and nutritious amounts of vitamins and minerals. Plus, they fit into just about any diet plan: Paleo, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, low carb, high protein, ketogenic. Toss ‘em in anywhere!

What you’ll need:

  • Spiralizer
  • Veggies: almost anything, but my favorites are squash, zucchini, turnip, cucumber, carrot and beet
  • Any oils or sauce you want to coat the veggies with (I love to keep it simple with olive oil and salt and pepper)
  • Recipes: find some of my favorites for almost any veggie on the Inspiralized blog

Healthy Pre-prepared Spiralized Veggies: for days when you don’t have the time!

  • HungryRoot: tons of non-GMO fresh veggie noodles, including rutabaga, carrot, celery root, daikon and beet! Order with sauces and spices, and add on a protein option to round out your meal.
  • VeggieNoodleCo: Delicious USDA Organic zucchini and sweet potato noodles that come in packages for 4.

 

  1. Tigernuts:

These nuts—technically tubers!–are somewhat new to mainstream circles. They contain oleic acid, an immune-boosting essential fatty acid that can help reduce inflammation and fight chronic disease. Important minerals, like iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium also accompany essential vitamins C and E to give these nuts a nutritious punch!

Consume them raw, roasted, dried and ground into flour, pressed for oil, or pressed for milk. They are known for their warm, nutty flavor and their sweetness. In fact, they’ve been used to sweeten drinks and ice cream. Sprinkle them on yogurt or cereals, add their flour to baked goods and use their nutritious oil for cooking and baking. Or, if you want more creative recipes, check out Yummly’s fun ideas.

 

  1. Grass fed butter: (think: Organic Valley or Organic Pastures)

There has been so much conversation around butter, margarine, grass fed dairy, and the nutrition of animal fat. I have so much love for grass fed butter, and for several reasons: first, it’s REAL food, with no harsh chemicals or faux fat. It also contains nutritious conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is an essential fatty acid that promotes the use of body fat as energy, can prevent cancer cells from developing, and assists in a healthy cardiovascular system. Additionally, grass fed butter contains arachidonic acid and Omega 3 fats, both of which support healthy brain function and healthy hormone balance. Vitamins A, D, E and K2 make strong appearances, adding to the plentiful array of healthy minerals in grass fed butter, like manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium, copper and iodine!

But, there are also two lesser-known compounds in grass fed butter: Glycospingolipids and the Wulzen Factor. Say what?? Glycospingolipids are fatty acids (FAs) that can protect against gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea, bloating, pain, etc. These FAs are at least part of the reason why I prefer full-fat dairy is skim, and another reason why real butter is better than margarine. Glycospingolipids are removed in the skimming process, and they do not generally occur at all in butter substitutes. Similarly, processed butters do not contain the Wulzen Factor, which is a compound that functions like a hormone and promotes healthy joints. It also helps to funnel calcium into the bones rather than joints, arteries, and other tissues. However, it’s destroyed during pasteurization, so if you want to increase your consumption of the Wulzen Factor, opt for raw butter and cream.

 

I would challenge you to try a few new foods this fall and decide what fits into your diet and what you enjoy eating. With each season’s trends, we learn about the valuable properties in a seemingly new batch of foods. But, what these trends really point to is the richness of all whole foods. Kale is not “better” than spinach, or blueberries “better” than an orange. Each whole food has a unique blend of properties that make it valuable. So, the real challenge is finding the foods you enjoy and keeping them as a part of your diet, even after the trend has faded. Nutrient variety is the key not only to good health but also to richness of flavor, aroma, texture and experience.

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