There’s no doubt that the eating season is here, which can be good news for your taste buds, but not so great for your waistline. Despite the plethora of tasty treats floating around as the holidays approach, it’s a good idea to always incorporate some healthy options into your day. The good news is that there are tons of fall friendly ingredients that will not only give you a taste of the season but are easy to cook with and will also help boost your health.
Here are some of the best falls ingredients to help you warm up your kitchen as the weather cools down.
Ginger: Ginger doesn’t just taste good, it’s also a proven nausea-buster; it’s also packed with nutrition, and has anti-inflammatory properties to help with cold weather aches and pains. In addition, ginger may also help boost your good cholesterol, leading to cardiac benefits as well. Ginger can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, making it as versatile as it is healthy. Add ground ginger to salad dressings, stir-fry, or even gingersnap cookies! Buying your own gingerroot and grinding it up will pack more of a punch than the jarred variety.
Cinnamon: Another spicy treat that screams fall is cinnamon. Cinnamon will help lower blood sugar, it’s packed with antioxidants, and it can help you fight off common infections and inflammation. In addition to all of these benefits, cinnamon is delicious and extremely versatile. You can sneak a sprinkle of cinnamon onto your morning toast or top off your coffee for a touch of zing. Now that apples are in season, chop up your favorite varieties and simmer with cinnamon for a delicious homemade applesauce.
Cranberries: Cranberries have long been noted for their anti-inflammatory properties and benefits to the urinary tract. They’re a powerful source of antioxidants and one of the most delicious superfoods out there. You can get a healthy dose of vitamin C, not to mention fiber, in a single cup, and it’s easy to incorporate these health bombs into your daily diet. Add cranberries to cereal or oatmeal, toss them into salads, or enjoy some fresh cranberry juice (look for pure juice over juice cocktail—the latter is mostly sugar). Cranberries also go great with white meat, like chicken or pork, for adding a pop of sweetness to your dinner.
Sage: Sage is something you might not consider when thinking of healthy foods, but sage has many properties that have made it a medicinal favorite for years. It’s both a stimulant and a diuretic, leading to healthier digestion, and it can also help boost a sluggish appetite. A sage tea will do wonders for a sore throat or help sooth an upset stomach. Sage goes great with seasonal vegetables and can bring a ton of flavor to stew. Meat and sage pair well, and you can even bake it into bread or biscuits.