Fall is one of our favorite seasons of the year. From the crisp air to the beautiful colors surrounding us, it’s an easy win over rainy spring, blistering summer and frigid winter months. Fall brings new beginnings and a fresh perspective, and we’re often inclined to take advantage of this newfound energy and ramp up our health and wellness rituals in preparation for the winter ahead. Hands down, though, our favorite part of the season has got to be the autumn fruits it brings. Of course, our favorite way to take advantage of the delicious flavors of fall is to add fresh fall produce to our smoothies and cold pressed juice. Not sure what’s in season or how to incorporate fall flavors into your diet? Below, we guide you on the very best autumn fruits and vegetables and how to add them to fresh fruit smoothies for total health this fall.
The Autumn Fruits Guide to Health
Below, we’re covering all the basis of the best fall produce to sink your teeth into this season. Not only are these fruits and veggies fresh and delicious, they also happen to pack an exceptional nutrient punch, so adding them to your diet to improve your health is a no-brainer.
Apples have always been a fall favorite, and with good reason. These antioxidant powerhouses pack a big punch, helping to slow the aging process and preventing some chronic illnesses from progressing. Though it varies by type, apples are generally very high in flavanoids, phytonutrients and dietary fiber that help you feel fuller longer and can even help prevent certain types of cancers from forming.
The benefits of apples go far beyond just helping to trim your waistline. A 2006 study found that apples are abundant in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps reduce cellular death from oxidation and inflammation. This means that apples can help your brain function at its peak, so you can stay sharp well into your golden years. They can even help those experiencing memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s.
Yes, you can usually find beets year-round at your local grocer, but these autumn veggies are most definitely at their peak taste-wise in the fall. There are so many amazing health benefits to eating beets, including lowering blood pressure, increasing energy, boosting the immune system, and fighting inflammation. The powerful phytonutrients found in beets are what turn them that beautiful, rich purple color, and these nutrients are also what make beets such a health powerhouse. Moreso, beets are full of vitamin C, fiber, potassium and manganese, making them excellent for bone health and for keeping nerves and muscles functioning properly.
Did you know that beet greens are edible as well? Not only that, but the green tops of beets are actually considered the healthiest part of this plant. They’re particularly potent in vitamins A and C, as well as iron, so they’re great for vegetarians to consume to help meet their daily iron requirement. Beet greens have also been shown to prevent osteoporosis, thanks to their bone-boosting ability. We love adding beet greens to fruit smoothies for an extra nutrient kick without sacrificing flavor.
Did you know that only five percent of fresh cranberries make it onto store shelves in their natural state? The rest are dried or juiced, and while still healthy, we much prefer consuming this delicious fall fruit in its natural state. Cranberries are at their peak freshness during October and November, so now is the time to be adding these fall fruits to fresh fruit smoothies for extra sweetness and a healthy kick. Because of their potency in proanthocyanidins, a powerful antioxidant, cranberries have been known to help prevent against urinary tract infections, as well as certain oral infections and diseases by preventing bacteria from binding to the teeth. Plus, they provide a healthy dose of vitamins A, C and K, and only pack 25 calories per serving.
Perhaps one of the most icon vegetables of fall, pumpkins are an amazing addition to any diet. While they’re likely more well-known as fun fall decorations, pumpkins are actually packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, most notably alpha-beta carotene, which the body naturally converts to retinol and uses to support healthy vision and cell growth. Beta carotene is also an amazing nutrient for skin, helping to create that healthy glow we all love. Our favorite part of a pumpkin is definitely its seeds, and with a healthy abundance of ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as its high protein content (12 grams per cup!), it’s a no-brainer that we should all be indulging in plenty of pumpkin this fall season.
Not only is pumpkin full of good-for-you nutrients, it’s also a low calorie way to fill yourself up. One half-cup serving of pumpkin has just 40 calories, but plenty of dietary fiber to help keep you feeling fuller, longer.
These sweet, juicy, fresh fall fruits are among our favorite of the season. A number of studies have shown that consuming pears may help control weight and decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. They’ve also been known to support healthy digestion and prevent uncomfortable digestive issues. Because of their potent water content (pears are made up of 84% water), they make for a great detox fruit, helping to flush toxins out of the body naturally and safely.
Pears are an excellent fall fruit not only because of their nutrient benefits, but also because of their versatility. You can enjoy a fresh pear as a whole fruit, or incorporate it into a cocktail, a dessert, or even a healthy breakfast recipe.
They may be small, but these tiny fall fruits pack a huge health punch. Many Americans are actually not familiar with persimmons, as they are not commonly grown in America, but instead are imported from Asia. Persimmons are a small, bright orange-colored fruit with a leafy green top. As their bright orange color suggests, persimmons are packed with beta-carotene, which is necessary for optimal vision and glowing skin. They’ve also got a healthy serving of vitamin C, making them great for supporting immune health. Plus, thanks to an antioxidant called catechins, persimmons are great for fighting inflammation and bacterial infections.
How to Incorporate These Autumn Fruits into Fresh Fall Smoothies
Now that we’ve covered all of our favorite fall fruits and vegetables of the season, including their amazing health benefits, let’s talk about how you can incorporate them into your diet right now. You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen baking an involved pie or a sugar-laden cranberry sauce recipe. You can bring all the best flavors of fall into your home with easy-to-make recipes that are as delicious as they are good for you. The easiest way to get a healthy dose of nutrients first thing in the morning is to make a healthy fruit and veggie smoothie, packed with the freshest fall produce. It’s super simple to create a delicious smoothie recipe with fruits and vegetables, without sacrificing flavor for nutrient density. Below are a few of our favorite smoothies to indulge in this fall season.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1 large frozen banana, sliced
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup almond milk
2 tablespoons agave nectar or local honey
¾ cup pureed pumpkin, fresh or canned
1 handful of ice
Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if the consistency is too thick. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Berry Beetlicious Smoothie
½ cup oj
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen raspberries
½ cup diced beets, raw
½ cup almond or coconut milk
1 tsp local honey or agave nectar
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if you prefer a less thick consistency. Serve immediately.
Creamy Pear Smoothie Bowl
1 ½ cup sliced pear
½ cup rolled oats, raw
2 dates, raw and pitted
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey
Add 1 cup sliced pear, ½ cup rolled oats, 2 dates, 1 cup almond milk and 1 tsp cinnamon and handful of ice to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more ice for a thicker consistency, and more milk for a thinner consistency. Pour smoothie to a bowl and top with ½ cup sliced pear and a drizzle of honey. You can also add fresh berries, granola, or chia seeds as toppings for an extra nutrient kick to this delicious bowl.