Acorn squash is an easy to prepare, low-calorie, nutrient packed addition to any meal. Acorn squash provides vitamin B6, complex carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, folate, thiamine and dietary fiber. When shopping for the right acorn squash, pick one that is that is heavy for its size with smooth, dull skin and no soft spots. A good balance between green and orange coloring is ideal. Fun fact: squash is considered a fruit, not a vegetable.
Pumpkin is a fall favorite! It’s loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A for eye health. Current research indicates that diets rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protect against heart disease.
1/5 of an avocado (1 oz. serving) has 50 calories, 4.5 gm fat and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Although avocados have more fat than any other fruit, they are heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats that may help reduce cholesterol levels and heart disease risk when consumed in moderation.
Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and can easily be added to salads, cereal, rice dishes or yogurt. Chia seeds are an excellent fiber source, heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of protein.
Tomatoes are nutrient packed produce that offer great health benefits. Tomatoes are a source of lycopene an antioxidant that gives them their color. Several studies have reported that intake of tomato products may reduce the risk of some cancers. Consuming tomatoes with a fat source such as olive oils increases the amount of lycopene absorbed.
Enjoy these easy-to-prepare baked zucchini Parmesan crisps, which can make for a great healthy appetizer or snack. Consider adding additional herbs and spices for an additional flavor boost.