Changing the way we approach fruits and veggies in the colder months
As the weather cools off, our eating patterns may change with the changing season. This can be great for us it if means we are eating seasonally and adjusting our routines to fit our needs for the season…but sometimes we get stuck in old patterns and struggle to choose healthy food options in this new season. Fruits and veggies can be a major sticking point in the transition to colder weather.
Smoothies and salads are common ways for people to eat fruits and veggies in the warmer months. I love smoothies and salads when the weather is hot and chilled produce tastes so refreshing! With cooling weather though, these often sound less appetizing….so what should we do to keep our fruit and veggie intake up? Change the way we approach eating fruits and veg this season!
Veggie Filled Soups
Cold weather calls for hot soup! Soups are a cold-weather staple for many people so this is a great place to incorporate veggies through the season. Add veggies to your old favorites or try some seasonal stars like butternut squash soup. For some soup, inspiration check out my Easy Squash and Lentil Soup recipe and Meg Gerber's Ginger Carrot Squash Soup.
I know what you are thinking, 'smoothies in the winter no thank you!' but don't give up on them just yet! A freezing cold tropical smoothie might sound unappetizing when it's cold but there are ways to make your smoothie routine work for you through the fall and winter. Try making your smoothies with fresh (instead of frozen), seasonal fruits, and warming spices (cinnamon/nutmeg/etc) to make them more appetizing. ~Keep your eyes out for a carrot cake smoothie recipe coming soon!
Fruit Filled Oatmeals
Warm oatmeal is a breakfast staple for the cold months at my house. This is a great place to incorporate fruit into your morning. Fresh or frozen seasonal fruits mixed into oatmeal as it is cooking can be a delicious addition to your breakfast. Bonus adding some warming spices will boost the coziness factor and really make your breakfast pop. Try adding cinnamon and chopped apples to your next oatmeal and let me know what you think!
A chilled veggie-based snack might sound delicious on a hot day but completely unappetizing when you're feeling cold. This fall and winter give yourself permission to skip the cold raw veggies. A more appetizing option may be warm, cooked veggies instead. Squash and root veggies are abundant through the fall and winter seasons, lean into those options and opt for roasting, sauteeing, or adding to soups. Cooked veggies can be flavorful, have a great texture, and are a nourishing addition to any meal. I love adding roasted (read baked in the oven at 400 F until you can easily pierce with a fork) carrots, sweet potato, or squash to bowls or as a side dish.
Warm Fruit Compotes
Compotes are fruits cooked down with water and sweetener until they are juicy and sweet. This is an easy way to make frozen summer fruits (like the ones pictured to the left) more palatable for the cold weather. Simply cook your chosen fresh or frozen fruits with a hefty splash of water and a squeeze of honey or maple syrup and some warming spices. Cook on a low simmer until the fruit is warm and juicy and on its way to looking a bit like jam. Serve it warm on top of oatmeal, yogurt, and pancakes, or eat it with a sprinkle of granola and a dollop of whipped cream as a dessert!
Use Dips and Sauces
Eating veggies doesn't have to be a chore or the worst part of your meal. Utilize your favorite dressings, sauces, dips, or cooking oils to make your veggies taste better. Try adding a couple of tablespoons of your dip to the side of your plate or bowl rather than eating out of the container so you have more capacity for mindful eating. As an added bonus, eating veggies and dips together can create a well-balanced snack or side to your meal- by combining the carbs from the veggie and the protein and fat common in dips you've got an easy, balanced combo that tastes great and doesn't feel like a chore.
Try New Seasonal Options
Not sure where to turn to when your favorite fruits and veggies are feeling unappetizing? Try looking to what is in season. A quick google search of what is in season in your local area is a great start and might help you find some recipe inspiration or a brand new fall/winter staple in your diet. Step out of your comfort zone this season and try one or two new things, they might just surprise you!
Enjoy the Changing of the Seasons
Changing seasons and shifts in our eating patterns can be tricky so give yourself grace and focus on choosing seasonal, nourishing foods that make you feel your best and that you enjoy eating. Share with friends and family who might like this and let me know in the comments what tips resonated with you the most!