October is here. Can you believe it? Since the MN mission is to invite you to love your lifestyle, today marks the debut of a new monthly series; Five things to try. Penned by MN dieititan Stefanie, here’s to celebrating the beginning of a new month and making the most of what it has to offer. With that, here are five things to try this October.
Autumn is a great time to relish those foods we tend to forget about the rest of the year. My forgotten favorite? Butternut Squash. Here’s why:
- It’s local – yup, grown on our Quebec soil!
- It’s inexpensive – I just bought a 3.5 kg butternut squash at my local market this week for just 3$.
- It’s versatile – From soups, to salads, to side dishes, this veggie can do it all.
- It’s nutrient packed – As a great source of vitamin A and C, it also provides vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, calcium and is also a great way to increase fiber intake.
- It’s delicious! – The sweetness resembles that of sweet potato, but with a less starchy texture.
Squash recipes you’ll love:
- Roasted acorn squash recipe.
- Squash and tahini salad bowl
- Autmun soup with kale and butternut squash
Have you been apple picking? It’s not too late. It’s a great activity to spend time with family or catch-up with friends, all while taking in some fresh air and bringing you a litle closer to your food. And in case you get carried away and bring home more apples than you easily eat, I’ve got an idea for you: applesauce.
Applesauce is a great way to preserve apples and bottle-up your autumn memories. Most people don’t realize that you can freeze it. Which is neat since this means you can use it at any point over the winter:as a snack, as a dipping sauce for pork or as a healthy baking substitute.
Here’s how I make my applesauce:
- Core and peel as many apples as you want to use.
- Place them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom.
- Bring to a boil and cover. Heat until apples are soft and can easily be mashed with a fork, about 20 minutes (I suggest you only use one type of apple for this such as McIntosh, because the cooking time and texture will vary from one type to another).
- Add a dash of cinnamon and honey to taste (if your apples are sweet enough, you may not even need any at all!)
- Blend in food processor until you reach desired consistency.
- Let it cool down before eating, or place in a container to freeze.
There are Oktoberfest events going on throughout the city this month. Local pubs and markets will be buzzing with people, delicious food, and of course, beer.
Is this nutritionist crazy?! Is she about to tell us that beer is good for us?
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you know that living well isn’t about restriction. Nor is it about glorifying “cheat days”. It’s about eating good, real and whole, 80% of the time and indulging, however you choose, for the other 20%. Because indulgence my friends, is part of the balance.
Cheers to that!
4. Homemade gummies
Alright, so I have a thing for Halloween candy, especially gummies. You know the kind? Sweet, chewy and stuck-in-your-teeth kind? Yes – love ’em. The ingredient list on them on the other hand, not so much: high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colours, artificial flavours, soybean oil and the unimpressive laundry list goes on and on.
What do I propose? DIY! Homemade gummies are a delicious and more wholesome version of your favourites. Plus, with only three ingredients, kids can get involved measuring the ingredients and will surely be impressed with the finished result.
What you’ll need:
- 1.5 cups of your favourite juice (100% fruit juice, vegetable juice, or freshly pressed juice from your juicer)
- 4 tablespoons plain gelatin powder
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp honey (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Pour mixture into greased baking dish or silicone mold.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Unmold and cut into squares.
- And Voilà! Your homemade gummies are ready!
5. Pumpkin Seeds
When you come around to carving the perfect jack-o-lantern, make sure you keep those pumpkin seeds! This highly nutritious seed makes a perfect on-the-go snack, salad topper, or addition to your yogurt or granola.
Get creative with the flavouring, as you can season the seeds in countless ways or try out our recipe for Sweet, Salty & Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
Written by: Stefanie Rosser RD