Fall Treats Can be Healthy and Delicious
There’s something about cooler nights and shorter days that makes us reach for a blanket, a mug of something warm and one of the many delicious fall treats that seem synonymous with the arrival of autumn.
Unfortunately, like the word “treat” might imply, not all of these seasonal indulgences are good for our diet or health.
But eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to forego the culinary pleasures of fall. We’ve come up with a list of healthy ways to indulge in your favorite fall treats.
Spice up Your Morning
Add a little autumn to your breakfast by sprucing up your oatmeal with fall’s favorite flavors. A spoonful of maple syrup and a dash of pumpkin spice added to your oats is a tasty and healthy start to a cool fall day.
Just be sure to start with plain oats. Flavored varieties are full of sugar and artificial ingredients.
You can do the same with plain yogurt. Try adding nuts for more flavor and a pleasant crunch.
Seeds of Flavor
Roasted pumpkin seeds are as nutritious as they are delicious.
The minerals inside these tasty little morsels can boost the immune system, support prostate health and even help us sleep. One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which helps with a variety of bodily functions. Pumpkin seeds also pack a healthy dose of and phytoestrogens, which may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other symptoms of menopause.
Because they also contain tryptophan, the same sleep-inducing amino acid found in turkey, eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed can help to promote a restful night’s sleep.
Preparing these little nutrition nuggets is super easy.
Wholefully.com offers 6 ways to prepare them, from sweet to savory to spicy.
Crisp Night, Crispier Dessert
Does anything say fall like a warm bowl of apple crisp?
With just a few easy changes, this indulgent dessert can become a reasonably healthy treat.
Try making these changes to your favorite apple crisp recipe:
- Cut back on the sugar or sweeten only the topping, not the apples.
- Leave apples unpeeled for an extra dose of fiber and nutrition.
- Add ground or finely chopped walnuts to the topping.
- Use whole wheat flour in place of white.
Pumpkin Pie, Hold the Crust
Pumpkin on its own is a healthy vegetable. It’s when we add sugar, whipped cream and pie crust that it becomes an indulgent treat.
There are hundreds of ways to prepare pumpkin, from cookies to muffins to pancakes. But if pumpkin pie is your favorite pumpkin fix, give this recipe for crustless pumpkin pie a try. It offers all of the creamy yumminess of pumpkin pie without all of the carbs and fat.
Decadence in Moderation
Eating healthy isn’t always about avoidance. Often, it’s about portion control.
If done in moderation, you can enjoy your most decadent desserts, including caramel apples.
Whole caramel apples are too hard to eat anyway, so instead, slice an apple into easily edible pieces. Then, scoop a tablespoon of store-bought caramel dip (you’ll find it right next to the apples in the produce section!) onto your plate. You’ll get all the nutrition of the apple with just a touch of sweet, creamy caramel.