Move over Pumpkin Spice Latte! Try out these delicious and healthy fall foods featuring the beautiful color orange.
It is literally impossible to avoid the #PSL fever that hits in the colder, fall months. I am not sure who thought up the idea of putting pumpkin flavor in a coffee drink, but that darn drink can set your health goals back quite a bit.
How much? The standard order for a 16-oz. grande made with 2 percent milk and topped with whipped cream pumpkin spice latte contains 380 calories and 13 g of fat, 8 g of them saturated.
Not to mention all of the yummy sugar you are drinking with that delicious cup.
I love a good cup of coffee, but you may be surprised to hear that I am NO fan of pumpkin. You will never find me devouring a slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner, drinking a gourd-ridden latte, or (God forbid) loading up on pumpkin spice pancakes (gag!).
If you MUST indulge in a pumpkin treat, try out these Pumpkin Spice Fat Bombs from Real Balanced.
Yet, are we forgetting some other orange-colored heroes of the fall harvest? Some beta-carotene-infused roots and fruits that can bring a smile to our face, while also nourishing our bodies?
Let me share with you 3 of my favorite orange foods of fall, as well as 10 healthy fall recipes that won’t pack on the pounds.
What about Carrots?
According to Organic Facts, carrots are one of the most widely used and enjoyed vegetables in the world, partly because they grow relatively easily, and are very versatile in a number of dishes and cultural cuisines. They are scientifically classified as Daucus carota and categorized as a root vegetable.
They are typically orange in color, but there are also purple, white, yellow, and red carrots also out there. You can even eat the greens in salads.
Carrots have many nutritional benefits, which stems from their beta-carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents. Furthermore, they are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.
Carrots get a bum rap, especially when it comes to diet plans. How many commercials or meal plans have you encountered that highlight munching on the raw, orange roots (hold the ranch, please)?
Plus, you have probably heard that eating too many carrots can turn your body orange. According to UAMSHealth, eating too many carrots, or other foods high in beta-carotene, can cause a yellowish discoloration of the skin, which is known as carotenemia.
(Unless, you’re talking about carrot cake! I would rather eat carrot cake over chocolate ANY DAY, and twice on my birthday. Raisins not included.)
Carrots still aren’t my favorite, unless they are from one of delectable recipes down below!
Carrot Apple Bread from Averie Cooks
OMG, my family demolished this super-moist and pleasing loaf in less than a day. And, my kids and husband feel the same way about carrots that I do!
Carrot Fudge (Indian Halwa) from My Heart Beets
It is my duty as the wife of an Indian man introduce you to one of my favorite Indian desserts. Traditionally swimming in ghee (clarified butter) and loaded with sugar, this Paleo-inspired version is much healthier.
Thai Coconut Carrot Soup from Delish Knowledge
Carrot and coconut are so complementary that you will wonder why you never tried this combo before! This dairy-free option is plenty rich and creamy. Plus, soup is mandatory in the cooler months. Add a bit of spicy heat to warm up.
What about Sweet Taters?
While I may never sing the praises of pumpkin pie, I tried my first slice of sweet potato pie in my 20s, and I was HOOKED!
Organic Facts shares that sweet potatoes (AKA yams), are tuberous crops with the scientific name Ipomoea Batatas. The color of the tuber varies from purple or red to pale yellow or white, depending upon the variety, soil type, climate, and available minerals. The red variety has drier and harder flesh while the white and yellow types have juicier flesh.
Sweet potatoes have long been heralded as a superfood when it comes to health. The reason for this is their suspected anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, they are loaded with fiber and beta-carotene.
My family never served sweet potatoes when I was a child, but I have since found so many healthy ways to enjoy these pumpkin-colored tubers, including a gluten-free fall recipe you will love.
Sweet Potato Custard from Shapefit
Shapefit was actually the first place I publicly shared my 100-lb weight loss story back in 2012. I am grateful that they have a newsletter packed with healthy recipes, inspirational stories, and fitness trainers to follow.
Jamaican Yam Casserole from Silverfoodie
I stumbled upon this option when I was searching for Thanksgiving casserole that wouldn’t stuff me up like a turkey. This one has a lovely balance of flavors in a lighter version that the butter-drenched, marshmallow-topped offering.
Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Lime and Peanuts from iFoodReal
I discovered sweet potato noodles at my local farmer’s market, and they are a great gluten-free way to enjoy an Asian-inspired stir fry. You can also find them in purple. Plus, peanuts and lime add a delightful and global kick.
Sweet Potato Corn Cakes from BudgetBytes
There are few combos in life that go together as naturally as sweet potatoes and corn. Plus, my kids pretty much eat anything that involves corn. This recipe is on heavy rotation at my house (as well as several others from BudgetBytes).
The Amazing Apricot
Apricots, scientifically known as Prunus armeniaca, are small drupes that resemble and are closely related to peaches or plums. They are typically yellow or orange, with a slight tinge of red on one side.
Apricots can be consumed directly, or dried and then eaten as a variety of dried fruit. They can be enjoyed in a wide variety of ways, and every culture treats apricots differently.
One of the reasons they have been so popular throughout history is that they can be directly linked to a number of health benefits, due to their unique organic nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, K, E, and niacin.
If you are a nursing mom as well, apricots can boost lactation.
My mom and I savored apricot Kringle when I was younger, and apricot jelly always ends up in my annual Christmas thumbprint cookies.
No Bake Apricot Energy Balls from RuchisKitchen
This is a great snack to enjoy on-the-go, pack in your kid’s lunch, or when you have the munchies at night.
Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken from Family Food on the Table
These orange beauties add a sweet tang to this savory chicken dinner, all easily put together in your crock pot for those dark nights. Put on top of rice or couscous.