Read time: 5 minutes
What’s fall without fresh cut apples, ripe squash, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and spice?
This season, we bring you three healthy fall recipes, one for each meal of the day. Every recipe is designed to be lower in carbohydrates and packed with fiber and nutrients to keep your heart healthy and your taste buds happy.
If you have diabetes, consider checking your blood sugar before and after trying a new recipe. It will help you understand how its ingredients impact your diabetes management. If you have any questions, reach out to your One Drop clinical health coach.
Breakfast: Perfectly Fall Parfait
Nothing says fall more than warm apples with a dash of cinnamon. Heat can transform the crispness of fresh apples into a soft, tender texture. And, cinnamon balances out the fruit’s tangy sweetness, bringing out a complex aroma that is a classic during the holidays.
Apples and pecans are in season during the fall months, so if you have access to a farmers market, shop local to assemble this healthy fall recipe.
Make this your own by including other fiber-rich fruit such as sliced peaches, plums, or blackberries. Swap out pecans for pistachios, walnuts, or even a drizzle of almond butter.
Apple Crisp Yogurt Parfait
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Serving size: 1 cup
Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)Carbs: 16g
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup apple, skin on, diced
- 1 tbsp pecans, chopped
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cinnamon, to taste (optional)
- In a small bowl, sprinkle diced apples with cinnamon. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until the apples soften. Allow the apples to cool while assembling the parfait.
- Scoop half of the Greek yogurt into a small bowl. Mix in vanilla extract.
- Layer half of the diced apple, half of the chopped pecans, and chia seeds.
- Add the rest of the yogurt, and layer again with the remaining diced apple and pecans. Serve immediately.
Lunch: A Simple Autumn Salad
What’s wonderful about this healthy fall recipe is that it’s light and leafy, yet densely packed with nutrients. If you’re looking to experiment with more plant-based meals, you can’t go wrong with this nutritious dish.
Butternut squash is full of vitamins A and C, which can boost your immune system in the colder months. It’s also a great source of potassium and fiber, which helps keep blood sugar steady. Adding walnuts to the mix gives this salad an additional boost of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
If you want to enhance the flavor of the walnuts, chop them up into smaller pieces, drizzle them with olive oil, and toast them in a pan over medium heat for two minutes.
Lastly, this recipe calls for gorgonzola cheese, which adds a bolder flavor against the milder backdrop of squash and broccoli. Gorgonzola is less sharp than blue cheese, but for those who shy away from stronger cheeses, feta can be a substitute with its similarly rich, acidic flavor.
This recipe is easy to assemble. To save time, prepare the ingredients beforehand. Then, throw everything together when it’s time to eat.
Butternut Squash & Walnut Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serving size: ~2 cups
Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)Carbs: 19g
Saturated Fat: 4.5g
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 3 oz grilled chicken breast, cubed
- 1 cup frozen, cubed butternut squash
- ¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
- ¼ cup red wine vinaigrette dressing
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ oz walnuts (about 7), for garnish
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (optional)
- Wash the mixed greens and broccoli in cool water and pat dry. Add to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Cook frozen butternut squash per package instructions. Allow to cool.
- Add the chicken, gorgonzola, and black pepper to the mixing bowl.
- Drizzle with red wine vinaigrette dressing and top with walnuts. Add butternut squash once it has cooled slightly and top with nutmeg (optional).
Dinner: Spice Up Your Veggies
Cajun seasoning can add a ton of “kick” to any dish, especially salmon. When mixed with a sheet of nutritious sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower, you’ll have as many fall colors on your plate as flavors. This healthy fall recipe is sure to be as much a feast for your eyes as much as your taste buds.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and potassium. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and lower in calories—meaning they’ll fill you up and help you reach your health goals.
If you If you don’t have a cajun seasoning mix, you can use your own spices such as paprika, red pepper, thyme, garlic, and/or onion powder.
Fun fact: Broccoli was first developed in the Roman Empire and cultivated in the southern Italian peninsula near Sicily. When first introduced in England in the mid-eighteenth century, broccoli was referred to as "Italian asparagus.”
Salmon & Cajun Veggie Sheet Pan Meal
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serving size: ~1 cup + 1 filet
Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)Carbs: 33g
Saturated Fat: 4g
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 4 3-oz salmon filets
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together extra virgin oil, lemon juice, and cajun seasoning.
- Place salmon filets on a baking sheet and brush on half of the oil, lemon juice, and spice mixture and set aside to allow the fish to marinate while preparing the vegetables.
- Cut the sweet potato lengthwise and then into small wedges no thicker than one inch. Keep the peel on. Put the wedges into a large mixing bowl.
This article has been clinically reviewed by Alexa Stelzer, RDN, LD, CDCES, clinical health coach at One Drop.