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The vibrant colors of fall produce signal the beginning of a special cooking season. Fall brings plenty of delightful ingredients like winter squash, sweet potatoes, and crisp apples. Check out a few easy-to-make healthy fall recipes to get started on a delightful autumn meal plan.

Healthy Fall Recipes: Tasty And Nutritious

In fall, sun-ripe tomatoes and eggplants give way to winter squash and hearty root vegetables. These ingredients may not share the same celebrity as summer’s bounty, but they make for excellent comfort food. Plus, they are packed with nutrition and flavor. Squash and pumpkin, for example, are especially high in potassium – which supports heart health.1

healthy fall recipes | Unify HealthHealthy Fall Recipes For Soup

Many of fall’s best crops lend themselves well to soups and stews. Root vegetables and squashes release natural starches as they cook that can help thicken a soup or stew.2

Oftentimes, the toughest part of the whole process is choosing what soup to make. There are so many delicious options – chicken tortilla soup, French onion soup – that selecting one can be tough. Below, you’ll find a few ideas to help narrow down the selection.

Curried Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

The sweetness of fresh, fall apples balance the bite of curry in this squash soup recipe. They add an extra dose of nutrients, too. Apple’s high levels of pectin fiber may help support heart health and healthy blood sugar levels.3

Ingredients

  • squash apple soup recipe | Unify Health1 roasted butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. To roast squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon. Use 1 Tbsp of olive oil to coat squash. Place flesh side down on a tray, and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
  2. Remove to cool.
  3. Cook the onion with the remaining olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Add the apples and cook until soft. Add the water and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  4. Remove roasted squash from the tray and scrape the flesh into a blender. Add the contents of the pot and the rest of the ingredients into the blender.
  5. Warning: Hold the top with a towel before turning on the blender. Contents will be hot.
  6. Run the blender until the contents are smooth and creamy. Add additional water to thin.
  7. If needed, add mixture to the pot on the stove and simmer until you’re ready to serve.

Healthy Fall Pumpkin Chili Recipe

healthy fall recipes | Unify Health

The pumpkin flavor in this dish gives it that essential touch of autumn. Best of all, though, pumpkin is full of vitamins A and C and beta-carotene. These all help support skin health and the immune system.4

Pro Tip: If you’re carving pumpkins, don’t toss those pumpkin seeds away. You can roast them and then use them as a garnish on top of your chili. They’re high in fiber and other important nutrients, like zinc and magnesium.5

Ingredients

  • ¼ lb bacon
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. Cut the bacon into pieces about the size of a penny. Place in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the fat renders. Remove the bacon, but leave the fat.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pot with the bacon fat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the tomatoes, pumpkin puree, black beans, and chicken stock. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Then, add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes on low heat.

Note: You can use a slow cooker for this recipe as well. Omit the bacon and place everything else in the slow cooker. Cook for 2-3 hours on high.

Healthy Fall Green Salad Idea

kale salad | Unify Health

The trees outside may not have anymore green on them, but that doesn’t mean your salad bowl should go green-less. The cool months still produce salad greens for your fall dinner menu, like this easy recipe for kale salad and apples below.

Kale Salad With Apples And Goat Cheese

Kale is a perennial leafy green, so you can find it all year long. Which is great, because it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. One cup of kale gives you 100% of your daily vitamin C and 200% of your vitamin A.6

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp apple juice
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the kale and pat dry. Pull the leaves from the stems and place on a cutting board. Roughly chop the leafy greens and discard the stems.
  2. Peel and dice apples. Add to a bowl with the chopped kale.
  3. Add lemon juice, apple juice, and olive oil to a small bowl and whisk together to make dressing.
  4. Add dressing to apples and kale, then mix.
  5. Place dressed salad on a serving plate. Dollop quarter-size pieces of goat cheese over the dressed salad and serve.

Healthy Fall Dinner Recipes

Soups and stews are not the only dishes that benefit from fall flavors. Autumn ingredients can add a new twist to lots of dinner standbys.

How To Make Chicken And Apples: Honey-Mustard Style

Chicken and apples are pure autumnal bliss. When you add some honey and mustard to the mix, you’ll amplify the flavors and deliver yourself to comfort food bliss.

honey mustard chicken | Unify HealthIngredients

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp mustard (stone-ground preferably)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp flour of choice

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken skin-side down, being careful to avoid splatter. Cook for 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes, then transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onion and apples to the skillet with the chicken drippings and cook until soft.
  3. Mix mustard, honey, and stock together, then add to the skillet. Bring to a boil.
  4. Place chicken pieces skin-side up back into the skillet.
  5. Transfer to a 450 degree oven. Cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and scoop out chicken, onions and apples to a serving plate.
  7. Whisk flour and butter in the skillet. Place on low heat and reduce for 2 minutes.
  8. Pour sauce over chicken and apples when finished, then serve.

Note: You can make this dish with leftover chicken as well. After cooking the vegetables and sauce, just add some shredded chicken and coat with ingredients in the pan.

Italian Night With A Fall Twist

Give your pasta night a fun autumnal twist by replacing dry spaghetti with spaghetti squash. It’s an easy recipe and a great gluten free alternative. Plus, spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense food that’s low in calories, but high in good stuff, like vitamins and minerals.7

spaghetti squash | Unify HealthIngredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Coat with olive oil and place flesh-side down (the flat side).
  3. Cook the squash in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Let cool and heat up pasta sauce on low heat.
  4. When cool, scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Then, use a fork to peel away the inside of the spaghetti squash into a bowl. It should shred away from the skin in long strands that resemble pasta.
  5. Add the cooked squash to the pasta sauce and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese on top.

bacon pumpkin soup | Unify HealthFall: A Time Of Nutritional Plenty

Fall presents an exciting time for healthy home cooks, with its wide variety of fresh ingredients to keep meals nutritious and exciting.

Take full advantage of those distinct fall flavors while you can.

They can help keep you healthy and feeling especially cozy as the days cool and the leaves fall. So, bundle up and brace the chill with some of these fall recipes.

 

 

Learn More:
Apple Calories: Nutritional Facts And Health Benefits Of Apple With Skin And Raw
Don’t Want To Give Up Pasta? Try These Healthy Pasta Recipes
What Are Some Healthy, High Calorie Foods To Have?


Sources
1 https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/winter-squash/
2 https://www.treehugger.com/all-ways-thicken-soup-4858279
3 https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/apple-fruit-benefits-8-incredible-health-benefits-of-apple-that-you-may-not-have-known-1761603
4 https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-pumpkin
5 https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/10/25/pumpkin-seeds-pack-a-healthy-punch
6 https://www.health.com/nutrition/health-benefits-of-kale
7 https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/788535/nutrients