If there’s a season made for cooking (and feasting!) it’s fall. We all have our favorites — and as a nutritionist, mine are dishes that feature autumn’s array of healthy produce.

Cooking with fruits and vegetables that are in season not only provides us with better-tasting produce, but also these foods often contain higher levels of nutrients.

What’s more — buying local and seasonal food is both better for our environment, and can help to support sustainable agriculture and the local food economy.

To get into the fall season, try your hand at one of these five fall recipes using nutritious and delicious seasonal produce.

These recipes feature some of my favorite fall finds from the farmers market: yams, apples, pumpkin, broccoli, leeks, and squash!

1. Sweet roasted yams

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Enjoy these sweet roasted yams as a delicious and nutritious addition to lunch or dinner. And if you’re in need of an extra dish for Thanksgiving this year, consider adding this to your menu.

Ingredients

  • 1 yam, sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice yam into thin discs.
  3. Coat with coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper.
  4. Spread yam discs out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on how crispy you like the edges. (Flip halfway through).

Health benefits of yams:

  • manganese
  • potassium
  • iron
  • folate
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin B
  • vitamin C
  • soluble fiber

2. Apple crumble

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This apple crumble recipe contains ingredients like cinnamon and maple syrup that are both delicious and can help enhance the fruit’s natural flavors.

It makes a great breakfast paired with coconut yogurt or oatmeal, or an afternoon snack or dessert drizzled with nut butter and topped with cacao nibs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of psyllium husk powder
  • a pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Warm the coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped apple, maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, psyllium husk powder, and sea salt.
  3. Cook until apple is tender and golden.
  4. Eat as-is while warm, or use as a base or topping for whatever you desire!

Health benefits of apples

3. Vegan pumpkin bread

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Not just a decorative piece, pumpkins serve as a fantastic seasonal side dish with major health benefits.

Its most powerful antioxidant — beta-carotene — gives pumpkins their beautiful vibrant color and is converted into vitamin A in the body, supporting eye health, immune function, bone strength, and tissue repair.

You’ll go crazy for this pumpkin bread! It’s perfect for breakfast with your green juice or as an afternoon snack. Don’t be scared to throw some vegan cream cheese, ghee, berry jam, or nut butter on there as well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 15 oz. 100% organic pumpkin puree
  • pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond milk.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture along with the pumpkin puree. Mix well and fold in pumpkin seeds.
  5. Pour batter into a lightly greased loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 55 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let the bread cool before serving. Enjoy!

Pumpkins are a great source of:

  • fiber
  • potassium
  • vitamin C

4. Broccoli leek soup

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Broccoli is a powerhouse vegetable with a wide variety of benefits. It’s rich in the flavonoids and a variety of carotenoids that function as strong antioxidants.

This recipe also calls for leeks, which contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins A, C, and K, and is a great source of prebiotic fiber.

Enjoy a bowl for lunch or dinner on a cold day paired with green salad — and don’t forget the option to pour it over brown rice topped with nutritional yeast and a sriracha drizzle!

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 stalks of broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • brown rice (optional)
  • nutritional yeast (optional)
  • sriracha (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, sauté onion and leek in olive oil on very low heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli and sauté for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and spices.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Blend soup in small batches until smooth and creamy. (I use a Vitamix)
  6. Return soup to the pot and add any additional desired spices.
  7. Eat as-is, or serve over brown rice topped with nutritional yeast and a sriracha drizzle.

Broccoli is rich in:

  • flavonoids
  • kaempferol
  • quercetin
  • a variety of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene)
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • folate
  • fiber

5. Roasted butternut squash

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Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables and can be enjoyed all winter too.

What’s more is that it helps to keep skin and hair healthy, and promotes a strong immune and digestive system.

For this recipe, all you need is coconut oil and some warming spices to make what will be a delicious addition to your table this fall!

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed, with all skin and seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of fresh rosemary
  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • maple syrup (optional)
  • thick balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cube squash, removing the skin and scooping out seeds.
  3. Toss squash with coconut oil, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, cinnamon, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, flipping half way through.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or balsamic vinegar, and lightly toasted walnuts.

Health benefits of butternut squash

  • beta-carotene
  • manganese
  • vitamin A, C, and E

Additional research, writing, and editing contributed by Chelsey Fein.


Nathalie Rhone, MS, RDN, CDN is a registered dietitian and functional medicine nutritionist with a BA in Psychology from Cornell University and a MS in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She’s the founder of Nutrition by Nathalie LLC, a private nutrition practice in New York City focusing on health and wellness using an integrative approach, and All Good Eats, a social media health and wellness brand. When she isn’t working with her clients or on media projects, you can find her traveling with her husband and their mini-Aussie, Brady.