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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.

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.

Tasty Root Veggies For Fall

Parsnips

The parsnip is another delicious winter vegetable. It is, of course, related to the carrot. The parsnip is slightly more nutritious than its relative, however — you'll find huge amounts of vitamin C, B6, E and folic acid.

Its taste is also richer than a carrot, and there is a lot more fiber to help your digestive system along.

Parsnips are a well-known soup ingredient, but this winter veggie is can be prepared in some more surprising ways. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that parsnips should be cooked or roasted to bring their nutrients out, just like other root vegetables. My favorite parsnip meals are:

  • Roasted parsnips. You can add all kinds of herbs and spices to this, but I was really intrigued by a recipe for over baked parsnips with mustard and honey. Roasted parsnips are rich in fiber, but still juicy and soft.

  • Roasted pumpkin soup starts off in much the same way as plain roasted parsnips, but the end result is very different. Roast your parsnips until tender, fry in a pan with onions for a while, and add water. Turmeric, curry, and cumin are great spices that will blend right into this soup. Salt and pepper are added to taste, as always. Blend everything with a stick mixer, and add cream if you like.

Leeks

Leeks are a great source of folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and also phosphorous  Then, there is some iron. Leeks are, in short, good for your health. They are also inconspicuous veggies that can be added to basically any meal. Mild but pleasant in taste, leeks can be combined with Asian, European, African and American foods!

We'll have to give you some examples, of course. In these dishes, leek is one of the dominant ingredients:

  • Leek and potato soup is a famous favorite, especially in the UK. Potato cubes and sliced leek form the basis of this filling soup. Adding onions and garlic makes it more interesting, and don't forget about the cream!

  • Leek and mushroom quiche is another great possibility, especially because it can keep several days! Gorgonzola cheese is a wonderful addition to a leek and mushroom quiche.

  • Braised leeks can make a side dish all by themselves, especially if you add some nice balsamic vinegar at the end.

Rutabaga

Ruta-what? The rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip, and it's also known as swede — a nickname for “Swedish turnip”. This root vegetable looks a little unsexy, but it is pretty nutritious. Like many of the other fall veggies we've looked at today, the rutabaga is rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Rutabagas are around all year long, but are tastiest in the fall.

How do you prepare a rutabaga? I'll readily admit I have never done it myself, but I will definitely give this vegetable a go in November. My husband says his mom used to mash them, like mashed potatoes, and roast them to serve along with meat. The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health suggests using rutabagas in a stir fry, or braising them with carrots, potatoes and turnips. Interesting! If you give this a try, please consider leaving a comment below to let us know whether you enjoyed it.

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