Stay Healthy This Fall: Back to School Edition

Niman ranch beef

There’s nothing like the start of the school year – and all of those extracurricular activities – to disrupt our healthy eating habits. Fortunately, Intelligent Gourmet has your back with weekly meal plans and ready-to-drink juices that give your body everything it needs to feel fabulous for Fall. This month, we’re taking advantage of our new Niman Ranch meats and a cornucopia of in-season produce to bring you dinners like this one!

As much as I love vegetarian and vegan food, I’m very excited about the delicious meat products coming to us from Niman Ranch. Niman Ranch has become a standard-bearer for all-natural, humanely and traditionally-raised livestock. Their products are free of antibiotics and hormones, feed is strictly vegetarian, and animals are raised outdoors in pastures or deeply bedded pens. While eating animal products is a much-debated life choice, there are many health benefits associated with meat, like iron, zinc, and B vitamins – not to mention protein!

But let’s look at the other seasonal Fall ingredients on the plate. Sweet potatoes are one of Autumn’s best Superfoods, containing vitamin D, iron, vitamin C, B6 and Magnesium. All of these together add up to a powerful immune-system boost with stress-relieving effects (just in time to help the kids with homework). Mushrooms, of course, are also a great source of vitamin D.

Broccoli, a winter crop in Florida, is one of the most nutrition-dense vegetables on the planet. The cruciferous vegetable includes vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, calcium, numerous cancer-fighting and anti-carcinogen properties, and potassium – which means it helps prevent cancer and regulate blood pressure, supports the nervous system, and helps reduce cholesterol.

With so much to do and so little time, don’t let your schedule dictate your eating habits! Because, when you’re healthy, there is nothing you can’t handle.

 

 

Advertisements

Four Fabulous Fall Recipes

Pumpkin Recipes

Autumn is the time for harvest, which means some of the most delicious fruits, vegetables, and gourds are in season right now! So, even though the temperatures insist it’s still summer, let’s celebrate Fall in hopes that it will come in soon. Pumpkin Popsicles anyone? Just kidding.

Party-Sized Pumpkin Hummus 

For a healthy pumpkin dip perfect for Fall get-togethers, try this pumpkin hummus recipe. Just put everything in a food processor, except for the pumpkin seed and crispy sage garnishes. Serve with pita chips or your favorite vegetable chip!

  • 1 15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 Cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbs Tahini
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
  • Crispy sage for garnish (just heat olive oil in a pan and sautee the sage leaves until crispy)

Butternut Squash & Apple Salad

Instead of attempting to re-create the genius of this recipe by Balanced Platter, I’m just going to link to the original. It’s as easy as roasting butternut squash with onions and olive oil, then combining it with crisp fresh chopped apples, herbs, and apple cider vinegar.

Pop-Corn

Have you tried sprinkling plain popcorn with melted coconut oil, cinnamon and sugar? If you haven’t – this is a must-try for your next home movie night.

Sweet Potato Ginger Coconut Casserole

This is what happens when you put everything good about Fall in Florida in the oven and bake it. This mouth-watering recipe comes from Eating Richly: Combine 3 Lbs cooked, mashed sweet potatoes with 1 tsp grated ginger, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp orange zest, and 1/4 cup orange juice and put into a casserole dish. Top with chopped pecans and crystallized ginger and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Need more Fall inspiration? We’ve got a Pinterest Board for that!

Seasonal Recipes for Fall

September SuperFoods!

Grapes contain resveratrol

Fall is finally here! Is anyone else as excited as I am about cooler weather on the way? Possibly even more exciting than dropping temperatures is the Fall menu at Intelligent Gourmet, so if you haven’t stopped by to see what our smart and healthy kitchen is cooking up – it’s time!

For those of you making it to the Farmers markets, here are the SuperFoods of September.

Sweet potatoes! Who doesn’t love sweet potato fries? These fiber-packed goodies have vitamin A and beta carotene – one to build your immune system, and the other to help your skin recover from summer sun. Whether you air-bake wedges in the oven, BBQ slices on the grill, or mash with maple syrup and cinnamon, sweet potatoes are a healthy Fall treat. (And yes, eating root vegetables in season does improve their flavor!)

Beets, another colorful sweet treat, come into season in the Fall even though they’re available year-round. High in antioxidants, calcium and potassium, these root veggies are also anti-inflammatory. Just don’t be alarmed if certain bodily fluids turn an alarming shade – it’s not you, it’s the beets. I love cold beets with goat cheese and walnuts on top of a bed of spinach, drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar.

Grapes burst with sweetness in Autumn, and the skins contain resveratrol which protects the heart and circulatory system, lowers cholesterol, protects against blood clots and has anti-aging benefits. In Italy, it’s not uncommon to pick wine grapes off the vine and eat them seeds and all.

What are your favorite Fall must-haves?