Explore Healthy Fall Snacks & Desserts to Spice Up Your Baking Skills This Season
To some people, fall is the best time of the year. The weather is turning cooler in many places, and the leaves are starting to change. Although candy and sugary goodies are likely plentiful, fall snacks and fall treats can also be healthy without too much effort.
Yummy Goodies To Try This Year
Fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts are great places to start when thinking about what to eat between meals during the autumn months. The unique combination of sweetness and crunch can provide good options for most palates. In addition, nuts offer a variety of nutrients, such as selenium, that help protect against cell damage and may keep you healthier over time. Similarly, fruits and vegetables are chock-full of vitamins like vitamin C that can boost your immunity and keep you on track with your exercise goals.
1. Dried Fruit
Apples are one of the most common fruits of the season. While they can be purchased in markets year-round, the fall allows you to get out and pick some yourself. Prunes and figs are two other popular choices. Save money by drying fruit at home in a dehydrator. Dried fruit can be used to create sweet, healthy fall snacks that will not bog down your digestive system. The drying process also maintains the essential compounds found naturally in fruit that your body needs to stay strong.
Fiber intake is a significant factor in a functioning digestive tract and a vital part of a balanced diet. Oats are gluten-free, so they are friendly to anyone needing selective ingredients. They can be eaten with hot water or incorporated into fall treats like muffins or cookies. Though oats may be higher in carbs, they are also rich in antioxidants that can positively impact blood pressure.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds can be added to a green salad as a topper or mixed with dried fruit for healthy fall snacks. These tiny seeds pack a lot of physical benefits into each handful, including improved prostate health and good fats. Do not be too quick to toss out the guts of the jack-o-lantern. Instead, spread them evenly on a cookie tray, sprinkle them with a bit of salt or another favorite spice, and bake until crisp.
4. Spaghetti Squash
When it comes to fun in the kitchen, there may not be another fall recipe as enjoyable as spaghetti squash. Simply cut the squash in half and microwave until the insides easily scrape out with a fork. If you have not tried spaghetti squash in the past, you will quickly understand how it gets its name. This healthy alternative to pasta can be made into a hot fall baking dish or a cold salad with the addition of seasonal herbs and spices.
5. Zucchini Bread
Among the most versatile fall treats is whole-grain zucchini bread. Some recipes use honey or natural sweetness and substitute coconut oil for butter to reduce the fat you consume. Once made, a slice of zucchini bread may be the perfect fall snack or a fill-in for other fall desserts that carry many calories. Not only can you pick up a piece at the end of a meal, but you can also add a fruit spread on top for a breakfast treat or throw a piece in the toaster oven for a warm taste of autumn.
6. Butternut Squash Soup
You can focus on the chilly days ahead and prepare a soup from this pumpkin-like winter squash. The sweet and slightly spicy taste might be just what you need to chase away the cold. A small cup of soup between meals can be one of the best fall treats to warm you up. Further, its vitamin C may keep your skin at its best despite any whipping winds. Combine your soup with a piece of homemade zucchini bread or fall desserts, and you cannot go wrong.
7. Pumpkin Pie
There are plenty of themed healthy snacks or fall desserts, but pumpkin pie may be among the most iconic. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A, which is good news for your vision, bone growth, and gut health. Avoid recipes that require too much sugar, or consider replacing the sweetener with honey or maple syrup. If you are hosting company, try making individual pumpkin-filled crusts so that every person gets their own fall baking sample.
8. Energy Balls
If you are short on cooking time, think about using hemp seeds to make a high-protein fall snack that satisfies your cravings and rewards your conscientious choices. A bonus to putting together your own energy balls is that you can leave out nuts if you have an allergy concern or add in tiny chips of dark chocolate if you cannot live without that candied touch.
9. Apples, Apples, Apples
There are over seven thousand varieties of apples, so it makes sense that there is a healthy fall snack or fall dessert around nearly every corner. Consider an apple gratin, apple tartlet, or apple pie for your next fall baking adventure. Each recipe can be adjusted to reduce the calorie count while capitalizing on your best-loved apple's fantastic antioxidant and fiber content. Five of the most popular apple types are:
Gala- can help reduce inflammation associated with obesity and heart disease
Red Delicious- is known to have the highest calcium levels
Golden Delicious- heavy with carotenoids that influence brain function
Granny Smith- helpful in weight management because they are rich in fiber
Fuji- may be beneficial in warding off diabetes
10. Fall Snacks Mixes
Finally, prepackaged store-bought snack mix may contain preservatives or added sugar that you are trying to avoid. Alternatively, make your own mixture and fill individual baggies or containers with measured scoops to enjoy a healthy fall snack and monitor your intake simultaneously. You can choose from a variety of ingredients based on your tastes. In addition, finished mixes are easy to pack along on a hike or in your work bag.
There are so many fall snacks and treats from which to choose. Celebrate and embrace that fact by sampling a new option each day.