Can you believe it’s mid-September already? The busy days of summer fly by at my house. Fall is on the way!
With September, no one can ignore back-to-school, even if you aren’t sending anyone off on the bus. It is a good time to think about lunch! Our mid-day meal is our chance to fuel up for the afternoon, so make the most of it and choose foods that will help you sustain your energy until dinnertime.
Even if you do not live with kids, examine what you take each day. Think of your old favorites, such as carrots, or apple slices and celery sticks with your favorite nut butter (Ants on a Log never went out of style, you know). These don’t need refrigeration, and satisfy crunchy and sweet cravings instead of junk food. Super snacks are healthy and delicious! Kale chips, fruit leathers, homemade or better store-bought organic granola bars, and homemade trail mixes are all great options, too. We love to put together our own trail mixes: put out bowls of organic breakfast cereal, nuts, and dried fruits, and use your imagination. You can even spice the nuts or plain cereals to make more exotic mixes.
Speaking of build your own recipes, fall harvest time is the ideal time to try a new creation! My garden is finally churning out quite the bounty, and chances are, you can find a myriad of exciting tastes to try at your local Heinen’s given that, through this time of year, our produce section is like a farmer’s market—full of locally grown produce.
There are a couple of reasons for really taking advantage of all autumn has to offer.
Eating locally is important to your health. All of those apples, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and dark greens so abundant right now are nature’s way of telling you to stock up on those essential nutrients so you are ready for the slow-down reflection period that winter brings.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, your body is going to be adjusting to the cooler weather (and you’re going to be spending more time indoors, which means more time around other people in enclosed spaces). In order to support your system as this occurs, it is important to keep your nutrition optimal to bump up that immunity. That means eat the rainbow! In addition, “Smart Supplementation” for general health as well as immune support this time of year are an excellent idea. Do check out one of our up coming “Smart Supplementation” seminars or check in with your local Heinen’s wellness consultants for tips.
One specific fall recommendation is Maitake—in other words, “dancing mushroom”. It is a wonderful fall choice for dishes. It is renowned in Japan for its powerful, supportive medicinal effects on the immune system, and it tastes delicious: earthy and warm and begging for addition to soups, stews, breakfast potatoes, and anything else your imagination can conjure after a long, brisk walk in the woods!
An autumn favorite in my house is a nice warm bowl of soup. The beauty of a fall soup is that you can use any and all the veggies you have on hand—and it will keep for several days, getting even better as the flavors blend. Try this one:
Lily’s Souper Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil or steam sauté with pure water
12 medium sized tomatoes
2 large chopped onions
2 bulbs minced garlic
8 celery stalks
1 bunch chard
1 bunch kale
2 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 bunch parsley
1 cup basil
½ cup parsley
24 cups water (ok to add 8 cups more if needed)
Dash of red wine
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Lots of fresh or dried herbs, some excellent additions include thyme and marjoram. Also, organic potatoes are great in here. Lentils, peas, or beans also work well. Remember: slow and steady to retain the nutrients. Give the soup time to simmer rather than fully boil in order to heat it. To reheat, simply add water and maybe a handful of greens.
Start the base of your broth by adding the olive oil to a soup pot and sauté the onions, garlic, diced carrots, and chopped celery stalks; as the oil is ab¬sorbed and the veggies are warmed, add just a touch of red wine and a pinch of sea salt. Let this sauté on low-medium heat for three more minutes once the wine and sea salt have been added. Next add the chard, zucchini, yellow squash, and one quart of water; heat these contents to a simmer. Add all your diced tomatoes at this point, along with the remaining four quarts of water. Turn to high and bring to an almost boil, then lower to a medium heat and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Cut the lemons into quarters and finely chop the parsley and basil, add these to the soup, along with the rest of your sea salt and pepper, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
Happy Fall and Be well,