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What’s On Your Thanksgiving Table?

Did you know that many of the foods found on your Thanksgiving table each year are foods that are naturally grown and harvested during the Fall?

Why, you ask, is this important to know?

Glad you asked!

Eating foods during the season in which they are grown is called “Eating Seasonally”, and was the way we ate for hundreds and thousands of years before industrialization came along,

Now, thanks to technology, we have the ability to grow produce year round in greenhouses, hot houses and through hydroponics.  We can find nearly any fruit and vegetable in our grocery stores and freezers year-round and at any time we want.  It is a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy pineapple in January, broccoli in December and fresh ears of corn in February.

However, there are many advantages of eating foods while they are in abundance, whether from our own gardens, or in the store, some of which we will touch on here.

Seasonal food is fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Additionally, seasonal produce comes from local farms. This means foods will be fresher since they don’t require long distances for transport.

When consuming locally grown foods, produce ripens naturally, unlike produce harvested early to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store.

Plus, studies have shown that fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when allowed to ripen naturally, so it’s a win for your body and the environment!

How Do You Know What Is In Season?

This is a great question!

Depending on where you live, different produce will be in season at different times. Before we get into the fall goodies, let’s do a quick review of foods abundant during the different seasons.

The following list is a breakdown of many in-season fruits and vegetables for North America:

Veggies: Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, fava beans, fennel, kale, peas, leeks, radishes, rhubarb, turnips, spinach, lettuce greens

Fruits: Blood oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple

Veggies: Arugula, asparagus, bell pepper, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, radishes, spinach, zucchini

Fruits: Apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, lemons, limes, melons, mulberries, nectarines, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, plums, strawberries, tomatoes

Artichoke, beets, bell pepper, broccolini, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery root, chard, corn, eggplant, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes

Almonds, apples, chestnuts, cranberries, pears, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, tomatillo, tangerines

Veggies: Beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, turnips

Fruits: Citrus, kiwi, pomegranate

What Foods Will Be On Your Thanksgiving Table
This Year?

Let’s look at a few of the common fruits and vegetables that most enjoy at Thanksgiving.

Who can have Thanksgiving without the traditional Pumpkin Pie?.  Rich in many nutrients, such as Vitamin a, Vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium and antioxidants, pumpkin is a nutritious superfood to eat all year long, not just at Thanksgiving.  Stay tuned, as we will talk “All Things Pumpkin” next week.
If you are interested in learning how pumpkin and these other foods help with bone loss, you are invited to enjoy my private Facebook group, Bone Loss and Menopause Support.  We will be discussing this in more detail each day next week.  Bone Loss & Menopause Support | Facebook

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable which is known to help the body in many ways including fight cancer.  Studies show that just one cup of a cruciferous vegetable a day can ward off many diseases and health related issues.

Brussels are high Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate,  and contains a significant amount of Vitamin K, which is important for bone health.  One cup of brussels sprouts give about 4 g. of protein, which can boost one’s daily supply for health.  Many recipes call for bacon, butter, and loads of fat to create a delicious dish, but I prefer roasting brussels sprouts (cut in half), sprinkled with salt pepper, dash of cayenne pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Mmmm Mmmm!

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is high in Vitamin C and low in calories.  An easy way to serve this fall vegetable is to sauté boiled cabbage with bacon, onion and garlic.  I love eating cabbage many ways, but my favorite is in this recipe I created a few years ago when I needed to use up the overabundance of garden cabbage.

I am sure that you have heard the saying that “carrots are good for eyesight”. The high Vitamin A content is what brought this saying about.  Carrots also boast as good amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B Vitamins, and potassium.  A simple Thanksgiving dish we enjoy is Maple Carrots. Using the whole carrot, peeled with the greens still on (thin carrots are best), looks very elegant.  Simply boil peeled carrots, drain, and drizzle maple syrup, salt, pepper.  Add pecans and thyme sprigs.  Beautiful as well as delicious!

Ahh…the ever popular kale has taken over the country by storm  And for good reason.  Kale is high in Vitamins A, K, C and B6, as well as significant amounts of calcium, copper and manganese, all important nutrients to stave off bone loss and other diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  Just one cup of kale a day gives over 700% of Vitamin K, needed for strong bones.  Vitamin K controls calcium levels, keeping calcium in your bones and out of your blood. There are many ways to enjoy kale, but here are two of my favorite:

Kale Salad – For a holiday twist, use pomegranate, another fall fruit in addition to, or in place of the dried tomatoes:

Kale Chips – This might seem an unusual dish to serve during the holidays, but not in my family.  I am expected to always have a large container of kale chips handy to much on whenever our family gets together.  These are addicting.

I could expound on the wonders of potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and apples, and more, and their uses at the holiday table and the nutrients they bring.  But I will save those delectable foods for another time.

Which of these foods do you eat at Thanksgiving?  Let me know.

Need to chat about how I can help with your health issues?