Produce selections heating up: Some seasonal superfoods to add to your autumn diet

MILWAUKEE -- We've officially started a new season -- and that means a new batch of super nutritious foods are ripe for the picking. Fresh Thyme registered dietitian Kerry Clifford joins Real Milwaukee with some fall super-foods that are especially affordable this time of year.

Spaghetti Squash

  • Fall means comfort food and there`s nothing better than a big bowl of warm pasta. Looking to hold back on the carbs? Try swapping in spaghetti squash for noodles.
  • Compare 1 cup of regular pasta which is about 220 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrates to 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash for 40 calories, 10 grams of carbs and also vitamin A, potassium and fiber! It is naturally gluten free, too!
  • How to make? It`s so easy. Pick up a squash and poke it with a fork and place it in the microwave for about 10 minutes. Then cut the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Use a fork to string out the squash and make spaghetti noodles.
  • This tastes great with any pasta toppings such as pesto, pasta sauce or even turkey

Beets

  • Beets are a staple this time of year. They`re not just a beautiful color but they are also good for you too since they are part of the root vegetable family.
  • Beets are packed with folate, which is good for cell development, and serve as a source of manganese, potassium and fiber.
  • Their rich color betalain is a strong antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation. Beets are also linked to lowering blood pressure and boosting exercise performance because of how they change oxygen being delivered to muscles.
  • Pick them up spiralized or raw in gold or red. Tip: medium sized beets have the best flavor.
  • Beets are great to add on top of a salad. Here we placed them on spring greens with goat cheese, pears and walnuts. Yum!

Pumpkin everything

  • Does any other food better define fall? Unfortunately, most pumpkin flavored things don`t pack the nutrients that pumpkin puree does; sorry PSL!
  • The best way to receive nutrients is to either roast a sugar pumpkin and puree, or buy a can of pureed pumpkin, but don`t get confused with pumpkin pie filling.
  • The first and only ingredient in pumpkin puree should be pumpkin. With just a ½ cup for 50 calories mostly from carbohydrate, pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse. It packs 200% of your vitamin A for the day as well as tons of vitamin C; it almost has as much potassium as a banana.
  • It`s naturally gluten free and very low in fat. It packs beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that has been found to decrease cancer cell growth.
  • Try adding pumpkin to foods you already like, for example stir it into Greek yogurt, make a homemade pumpkin hummus or try pumpkin energy bites.

Brussel Sprouts

  • A personal favorite, but actually America`s least favorite vegetable, Brussel sprouts are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Just one cup contains 56 calories and are packed with fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and folate. They don`t have to be boiled and mushy anymore, pick them up and roast them for a great flavor and crunch!
  • How to enjoy? Slice the ends off, cut in half and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Roast them in oven at 450 degrees. Try adding carrots, cauliflower and other in-season veggies, too!

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

  • We already know an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but this superfood is hot right now and great on the go.