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Happy Autumn!

Happy Autumn!

This is a great time of year for eating healthy. So many of our summer foods are still available and the fall harvest is coming in, too. We truly have an awesome bounty of healthy foods to choose from.

Unfortunately with autumn our days grow shorter and so we tend to not get out as much, especially after dinner. And with fewer hours of daylight and cooler temperatures we often want to eat more, and turn to carbohydrates for our feel-good hormones.

The good news is that there are lots of healthy carbohydrates that will help boost our endorphins without being just empty calories. And we can make easy meals that minimize the amount of time we have to spend in the kitchen, allowing us to take full advantage of the precious daylight we have this time of year.

If you don’t have one, look into buying a crockpot or slow cooker. You can put lean meats and vegetables and great complex carbs like a variety of beans in them, and have them cooking while you are working or playing. The ultimate in multi-tasking!

Other options can be cooking in a dutch oven type of lidded pot in the oven.

One of the reasons I like these lidded options is the juices don’t evaporate away like they can when cooking without a lid. Adding some plain broth or water can keep lean meats from getting tough and dried out—without having to use fattier cuts.

Fall vegetables like squashes are also great for this time of year. They take a long time to cook, so you must plan ahead, but they don’t require a lot of monitoring once they are in the oven. So you can pop them in and come back later.

Don’t eliminate starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, squash and pumpkin from your menu. They help us feel satisfied and offer a variety of flavors which keep us from getting bored. Be creative, but also be aware that many popular recipes call for lots of added fat or even sugar for these vegetables. Be willing to experiment with different herbs and spices, try some olive oil or guacamole instead of butter or sour cream for a rich topping that is a healthier fat.

Be sure to pop in some extras when cooking these vegetables. They are easy to reheat and can make a healthy snack.

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