BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

LOVE THIS RECIPE THAT USES YOUR FALL HARVEST AND WARMS YOU ON A COOL DAY!

 

roasted butternut squash soup

 
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash (I bought it already cubed in the produce department – you can also buy frozen to avoid the hassle of peeling and cubing)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used 1% Milk)
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels as garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
Place vegetables and broth in Crock Pot and cook on  LOW 4-6 hours (HIGH 2-3 hours).  Add salt, pepper and cream and mash with a potato masher until somewhat smooth.  Serve with sunflower kernels on top.
VERY EASY VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE DISH!
Adapted from a very cumbersome recipe at http://www.chow.com

APPLE SEASON ROAST PORK

YOU’LL NEED A 2 1/2 – 3 POUND PORK LOIN ROAST PLACED IN A 13×9″ BAKING PAN SPRAYED WITH NONSTICK SPRAY. I USUALLY CUT A FEW SLITS ALONG THE TOP OF THE ROAST! PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F.

START WITH THIS DELICIOUS RUB:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano

Mix together in a small bowl and then coat the roast.

VEGETABLE MIX:

2 large red potatoes cut into wedges
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped (I used a variety red, yellow and orange sweet peppers)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used Italian salad dressing)

Place vegetables in a large zip lock bag. Add oil (or dressing) and shake to coat the veggies. Place the vegetables around the roast in the baking dish. Generously salt and pepper the whole dish and pop it in the oven for about an hour and a half (meat thermometer registers 155-160 degrees F). Place meat on cutting board, cover loosely with foil. Put vegetables in a bowl and pan juices in a gravy bowl. Cover to keep warm. Increase oven to 475 degrees F.

APPLES YUM!

2 Granny Smith apples cut into wedges
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Spread apples in same baking pan and drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Roast 10-12 minutes until slightly caramelized on bottom. Add apples to vegetable and stir to combine. Slice meat and serve with vegetable, apples and reserved juices.

NUTRITION TIPS:

* I OFTEN SUBSTITUTE CHICKEN BROTH FOR SOME OR ALL OF THE OIL

** USE SWEET POTATOES IN PLACE OF WHITE OR RED POTATOES FOR ADDED VITAMINS AND MINERALS

*** ADD MORE VEGGIES AND SERVE WITH A BIG SALAD SO HALF OF YOUR PLATE WILL CONTAIN FRUITS AND VEGGIES

 

THIS IS A GREAT FALL RECIPE TO WARM UP THE HOUSE AND USE THE GREAT FALL HARVEST FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!

I’M OUT OF MY GOURD

Bountiful and Delicious: Healthy Harvest Foods
Bring Color and Nutrition to the Table

When you think of autumn, you most likely envision the beautiful orange, yellow, and red hues of the season. Stroll down the produce aisle of your neighborhood grocery store and discover those same vibrant colors in the form of seasonal vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkins, squash, and apples. Best of all, these harvest foods also are packed with nutritional value. Encourage those you care for to try some new and different varieties of fall produce this year, and give them the gift of health along the way!

Winter squash and pumpkins


Winter squash and pumpkins (both members of the gourd family) come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They are becoming increasingly popular because of their versatile use in both sweet and savory recipes, and they are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Pumpkins are especially good sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin (an antioxidant), vitamin C, riboflavin, and iron. Cooking pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins) are delicious in pies, cookies, custards, and soups. Their seeds are easily toasted for a crunchy high-fiber snack.

The seeds are great when eaten by the handful or added to fruit and vegetable salads. Pumpkin and squash seeds contain:

  • Phytosterols
  • Vitamins, including:
    Folate
    Tocopherols
    Carotenoids
  • Minerals, including:
    Phosphorus
    Selenium
    Zinc

I TOAST THEM ON A COOKIE SHEET SPRAYED WITH NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY AND SPRINKLE A LITTLE SEA SALT ON TOP!

Bright orange and yellow squash
Bright orange and yellow squash contain significant amounts of carotenes, as well as some lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants). Butternut squash is good sliced, stewed, boiled, or baked in a pie. It is a particularly good source of calcium, magnesium, and carotenes. Spaghetti squash makes a wonderful casserole or side dish. Try it with tomato sauce in place of traditional spaghetti. Acorn and Hubbard squash are particularly good sources of potassium and fiber. Acorn squash also is high in thiamine.

Apples

APPLES
Apples come in countless varieties, each with its own color, flavor, and texture. While some types of apples such as Golden or Red Delicious are best for eating fresh and crisp, other varieties such as Crab, Bramley, and Jonathan apples are best for cooking in pies, cakes, crisps, and chutneys. Look for sauce, butter, pickle, and relish recipes that include apples. Apples are powerhouses of flavonoids, such as quercetin, as well as a great source of cholesterol-lowering phytosterols. Apples also are a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In addition, apples with skins are one of the best known sources of pectin—a type of soluble fiber shown to help reduce cholesterol. Try making tea by steeping oven-roasted and dried apple slices for an old-fashioned hot beverage.

RECIPE:  BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH APPLES – VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE

Squash sections with seeds removed form small hollows that become natural containers for seasonings.

2-pound butternut squash
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or sliced almonds
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 red medium unpared all-purpose apple, chopped (about 1 cup)

Wash squash and pierce with tip of a sharp knife in several places to allow steam to escape. Place squash on paper towel in microwave oven. Microwave uncovered on high 4-6 minutes until squash is hot and rind is firm but easy to cut through; cool slightly. Carefully cut into halves; remove seeds. Arrange squash halves, cut sides down, on 10-inch plate. Cover tightly and microwave on high 5-8 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl. Cover tightly and microwave on high 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture is hot; stir. Cut squash halves in half. Spoon apple mixture over squash.
4 servings; 210 calories per serving.

Fruit and vegetable tips

vegetables

  • Thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruits, as you would any produce, before eating or cooking to destroy any bacteria and to remove any pesticides or herbicides from their surfaces
  • Select produce without soft spots, blemishes, or cuts
  • Eat fruits and vegetables fresh or lightly cooked to obtain the most nutrient value—avoid boiling when possible
  • Experiment with a variety of spices, herbs, and cooking methods

Fall activities


Autumn’s cool weather and beautiful foliage is a call from nature to get outside, enjoy the scenery, and get physically active. One great event for fun family fitness is visiting a pumpkin patch and picking your own pumpkins and gourds. In addition, many pumpkin patch locations feature other activities, such as corn mazes and hayrides.

Find farm locations in your area that allow visitors to pick their own fruits and vegetables by watching your local newspaper or searching the Internet for more information. TRY pickyourown.org  Whether picking apples, pears, squash, peppers, or sweet potatoes, this is great way to connect with nature, burn some calories, and come home with healthy, nutritious foods. Try canning to preserve your favorite varieties for the rest of the year, or grow your own harvest fruits and vegetables and enjoy eating them even more.

ENJOY AUTUMN!