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Pumpkin spice & everything nice

Plenty of happy, healthy fall eats

Pumpkin-Spice-LatteFall is my all-time favorite season for so many reasons. Not the least of which is the bounty of fabulous fall fruit and vegetables. Tis the season of pumpkin and spice…and the now infamous Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

I LOVE Pumpkin Spiced Lattes! Back when I was a “big” girl, I used to drink 1-2 per day. But, now the lattes have been replaced by Pumpkin Spice Coffee from Trader Joe’s. My new fav! Even Dunkin Donuts sells Pumpkin Spice packaged coffee. This is my “healthy” version without all the sugar. When I am really craving a latte, I make a version with unsweetened almond milk, or skim.

Trader Joe's pumpkin spiceYesterday morning at Caribou, the Pumpkin Spiced Latter orders had the line backed up 10 people deep. I heard a woman order a “Lowfat Pumpkin Spiced Latte.” Um, sorry hon, there’s no such thing! Did you know there are 400 calories in that 12 oz. “lowfat” latte, including 70g of sweet_potato_pumpkin2carbohydrates and 65g of sugar? Yep, that’s lots of sugar. And that’s with 2% milk and no whip.

Speaking of pumpkin fix, there are other healthy ways to eat pumpkin, a favorite of fall’s veggie bounty. And no, I’m not talking about pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin muffins. I just found this great recipe for Roasted Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Pilaf on Cooking Light that I can’t wait to try. Also, did you know you can roast the pumpkin seeds for a healthy snack in the fall in place of other nuts?

Sweet potatoes, winter squash, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and of course, fruit — peaches, pears, apples and pomegranate! Yum. Healthy when prepared right and so rich in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. This wonderful fall menu of fruits and veggies can keep you healthy and happy.

Personally, I love baked or roasted sweet potatoes, winter squash with cinnamon or ginger, roasted brussels sprouts, actually roasted almost any fall root vegetable with a tiny bit of olive oil and spices to taste. And cauliflower roasted, mashed when I’m craving mashed potatoes, or in a winter soup (sans the butter or cream).

Pumpkin doesn’t have to be in pie to delight the palette. Sweet potatoes don’t have to be candied to taste good. Apples are a fabulous snack or dessert on their own, and pears, too. I’ve had to challenge old assumptions about how we prepared some of these items on the farm when I was growing up in southeastern Minnesota where everything was buttered, creamed and mashed good-old country style.

Many of you who know me, know that I’m not a natural in the kitchen and I don’t particularly enjoy cooking. To find my fall healthy eats, I had to learn to cook a little and experiment to find the healthily prepared versions I now love and wait for all year. I now roast lightly with olive oil, experiment with spices including cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and substitute Greek yogurt or almond milk for butters and creams. And I’m still learning.

Here are a few of the recipes on my agenda for this fall and some links that tell you the best fall superfoods and why. If you have a great fall healthy recipe to share, please post it here or on our In the Equation Facebook page.

Roasted Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Pilaf

Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Quinoa

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Onions

Oven Roasted Brussles Sprouts & Acorn Squash

30+ Recipes for Cooking Up Fall’s Bounty, greenliving.com

15 best superfoods for fall, Health.com

7 Fall Superfoods to add to your grocery list, goodhousekeping.com

Help me out if you have a great healthy fall recipe to share. I’m practicing changing it up and this fall sweet potatoes are my thing.

Have a great Monday, peeps…an “In-Your-Equation Week… and a happy, healthy fall.

Cheers!

Lori

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