Sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, pumpkin, squash, and apples are all delicious fall foods that I eagerly anticipate. But after the summer’s bountiful offering of a seemingly endless variety of vegetables and fruits, the Fall can become a time when it’s easy to get burned out on eating healthy foods. Here are my top three favorite ways to keep your healthy eating goals on track:
#1.) Add Acid to Soups and Stews
As days become shorter, and the temperature starts to drop, many of us break out the slow cooker once again. Coming home from work or school to a slow cooker full of a vegetable stew or soup is one of the simple pleasures of autumn. Walking into your home, you’re immediately greeted by delicious smelling food that is hot and ready to be dished up. It’s easy to load up on your veggies and healthy soups and stews with the help of a slow cooker!
But you know what’s not fun? Doing that day after day. I don’t know what it is, but it seems that at some point, no matter what I put into my slow cooker, it all just comes out tasting the same: muddled flavors that run together.
Now whenever I make soup or a stew in the slow cooker, I finish it off by adding a few spoonfuls of an acid. It brightens up the dish, balances out the flavors and makes it a whole lot tastier. Try adding red or white wine vinegar, or a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, or some rice wine vinegar at the end of your new soup or stew!
2.) Roast Bitter Veggies with either Tangy, Sweet or Strong Flavors
We hear it all the time: eat more green veggies like brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, and asparagus. Unfortunately, all those super healthy green veggies are also pretty bitter tasting. I make sure to get enough of them into my diet by roasting them on a sheet pan with lots of high-quality fat (EVOO, coconut oil, pastured lard, etc.) and a seasoning. It’s super simple, just chop, toss with fat & salt, and throw in the oven.
As much as I love eating roasted veggies, it’s easy to get burned out on them after just a few times. I’ve found that when roasting bitter veggies, it’s fun to experiment with either tangy, sweet or strong flavors. Try adding some lemon or citrus to the veggies before or after roasting in the oven. The tangy citrus will help cut the bitter flavor of the veggies. Sweet flavors, such as a glaze made out of honey or maple syrup, will help balance the bitterness of the veggies. A strong seasoning, such as coconut aminos (or gluten free soy sauce), or a spicy mix will make it so your taste buds never even register the bitter undertones of the veggies! Experiment, play around and don’t over think it!
#3 Make Salads Heartier with Shredded Veggies
Like most people, I use to struggle with making it through an afternoon after only eating a salad for lunch. Now, I build a base of shredded veggies for my salad and I’m able to sail through the afternoon. Shredded cabbage, carrots, kale, peppers or even cooked sweet potatoes make a wonderful foundation for a salad and it keeps particularly well during those days when your meetings run long and lunch hour happens closer to happy hour. Build your salad as normal after creating your hearty foundation of shredded veggies. You can also experiment with adding your salad dressing to the shredded veggies beforehand which can make them tender and tastier.