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The fall is well and truly here now, and you are probably transitioning from salads and ice cream to more substantial foods. These five vegetables are nutritious, seasonal, and tasty.

Keep your immune system strong and your body safe from invading germs with these healthy fall veggies. Eating healthily is one of the best choices any person can choose, but food can also be one of life's greatest pleasure.

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Discover which seasonal vegetables are full of nutrients, and how to prepare them in tasty ways.

Kale

Kale is loaded with antioxidants to get rid of the free radicals in your body. It can lower your cholesterol, especially if you steam it. Kale is also abundant in vitamins A, C, and K, and the carotenoid lutein which keeps your eyes healthy. There are plenty of nutritional reasons to indulge in this hearty fall veggie, in other words! Research has also suggested that regular kale consumption reduces a person's risk of certain types of cancer.

The tastiest kale is harvested after the first frost, because some of the starches turn into sugars. Some people say that sticking your kale in the freezer for a while is just as good. I'm not sure if that is true, but you could give it a go.

There are so many tasty was to prepare this member of the cabbage family that it is hard to decide what to make! Some suggestions for you:

  • Kale chips are really easy to make. My kids love them, and I am sure yours will too! For great crispy kale chips, simply cut kale leaves into a few pieces and take the stems off. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until your kale chips are crisp (but not burned). Kale chips are a healthier alternative to potato chips, and perhaps a “sneaky” way to get picky eaters to consume something healthy.

  • Anyone interested in satisfying fall and winter dishes that have a way of warming the whole body can learn a lot from Irish cooking! Colcannon is a mashed potato meal that can be prepared in many ways, but often contains kale. To make a great colcannon, mash potatoes with cream or milk, and add in finely chopped steamed kale and minced green onions. Put lots of melted butter on top if you want to enjoy Irish tradition. Plenty of sea salt and black pepper are probably not optional. Melted cheese on top is, but I can highly recommend that.

Kale salad is still very trendy, and rightfully so. You will want the young, fresh kale for the best results. More tough kale leaves can be massaged gently with some olive oil to make them more supple, and can be cut into long, thin strips. Kale salad is great with sesame seeds and raw bell peppers chopped into tiny cubes, but also with any other salad ingredients that you love.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins are another staple for the fall. They can keep for months and are full of vitamins A and C as well as potassium. Halloween may have been and gone, and those jack-o-lanterns may have started to creep you out... but the pumpkin is here to stay. How do you keep it exciting?

  • Pumpkin soup is a classic, which you can enjoy with few ingredients or spiced up with onions, bell peppers, leeks, chickpeas  tomatoes, and even a tin of corn. You could also add spices like curry, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Pumpkin soup is easy to make and can keep for days.

  • Pumpkin bread is another great way to enjoy this vegetable. There are many recipes for pumpkin bread, but they are all more like cake than real bread. The pumpkin is roasted and pureed before adding it to the batter.

  • Pumpkin risotto is tasty, and a more modern variation on the fall theme. Sage goes really well with this risotto, as does red bell pepper slices.
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