Harvest time is here, bringing a new crop of extraordinary superfoods. But what earns a food the superfood title?
“Superfoods are brimming with nutrients and antioxidants,” said Kari Kooi, a registered dietician at the Houston Methodist Hospital. “The benefits of adding them into your everyday meals are numerous. A nutritious diet can really have a positive impact on both your physical and mental health,” she said in a press release.
Kooi named the top-four autumn heroes of the superfood clan.
Like carrots, they are high in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, essential to eye health. Pumpkins are versatile. They can be roasted like winter squash, they make good soups and stews, and they can go the sweet route in muffins, breads, and pies.
According to Kooi, pureed pumpkin mixed with vanilla Greek yogurt makes a tasty pumpkin pudding, and a little pumpkin puree with pumpkin pie spice adds something special to morning oatmeal.
These little powerhouses “have heart healthy fat, protein, and fiber. They also have a lot of minerals like magnesium, which aids in bone health, and iron, which helps deliver oxygen to our cells. Try roasted pumpkin seeds, which can be eaten shell and all, for a healthy snack during the day,” wrote Kooi.
To roast your own seeds, soak them in salt water for several hours or overnight (or you can boil them 10 minutes). Clean off all debris and mix seeds with olive oil and a little salt or tamari. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove, stir the seeds, and bake for another 10 minutes, watching that they don’t burn. Enjoy a crispy, healthy snack!
Unless you’re in California, kiwis are not local, but they are in season from October to May. These tropical vine fruits have tremendous amounts of vitamin C. Their flavor evokes strawberries, melons, bananas, and citrus fruits. Kiwis can be cut in half and eaten with a spoon. Peeled and sliced crosswise, the emerald green fruits add vibrant color to tarts.
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