High Fiber and Nutrition for Fall!…….Recipes Included!

by Wendy Midgley, MEd, RD, LDN, CDE and Deb Brothers-Klezmer, BSN, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB

“The plentiful harvest can provide many opportunities to improve your diet.” –Roufia Payman—

Autumn is accompanied by new local fruits and vegetables– including numerous types of apples, grapes, onions, late cabbage and Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and a variety of squashes, such as butternut, acorn, hubbard, and others.

                                        fall-vegetables squash pumpkins        

Fall vegetables and fruits offer a variety of nutrients including Vitamin A (beta carotene), Vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids in pumpkin seeds, the glucosinolates (anti-cancer fighting) in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage.  All fruits and vegetables provide FIBER.  (Whole grains and legumes–beans and lentils–also supply fiber.)  

 FIBER is the indigestible portion of plants and grains.  It is important for gastrointestinal (GI) regulation.  FIBER literally helps move things along through the GI tract—to speed up elimination of fecal wastes or stool.  High fiber diets can help maintain a healthy weight and lower risk of diabetes and heart diseases (lower cholesterol levels). Fiber is essential for health.

***For more on the topic of FIBER and a HEALTHY FUNCTIONING GI tract: see our BLOG article next month:  “What Kind of Pooper Are You?”  @ www.IntegratedLifestyle.wordpress.com***


  • SOLUBLE FIBER dissolves in water to form a gel-like material.  Can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose (sugar) levels.  Found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium (from psyllium seeds).       
  • INSOLUBLE FIBER promotes the movement of material through the digestive system and increases stool bulk.  Can help those with constipation or irregular stools.  Foods high in insoluble fiber include:  whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans (legumes like black beans, chickpeas, white beans) and vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.

 TOTAL FIBER recommended per day for adults:  

  Age 50 or younger Age 51 or older
Men 38 grams 30 grams
Women 25 grams 21 grams

from the Institute of Medicine, 2012



Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash & Cranberries


8 servings

Nutrition Composition per serving:  Calories: ~100  Carbohydrates 16 grams,  Protein 2.6  grams, Fat 4 grams, Fiber 3.5 grams, Sodium 16  mg  (NOTE:  Sodium content is very low in this recipe–except for whatever you add to it. (½ teaspoon of table salt contains~ 1200 mg sodium; ½ teaspoon sea salt or coarse ground salt contains ~ 800-1100 mg sodium–depending on how coarse))


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes (~1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 medium apple, cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (3/4-1 cup chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar,  or 1 tablespoon maple syrup (sugar or syrup optional)
  • kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Spread the Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cranberries, apple, & onions on a large rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl mix oil, vinegar, and curry powder together. Drizzle this over the vegetable mixture and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle brown sugar over the vegetables and place baking sheet in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, gently stir and continue to roast for 20-25 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender and nicely browned.

Spicy Southwest Pumpkin Soup


8 servings

Nutrition Composition per serving:  Calories:  ~230  Carbohydrates  32 grams, Protein 10 grams,  Fat 8.6 grams,   Fiber 7.7 grams,  Sodium  451 mg***     ***NOTE:  This sodium amount (451 mg)  is based on using salt-free pumpkin, salt-free beans, low sodium Pacific brand broth (or home-made broth with no salt added–even better) and 1 teaspoon added salt to whole batch of soup.  The original recipe called for 1.5 teaspoons salt.  Try to use less salt whenever possible.  Do not salt soup at the table!!!


  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or less)
  • 8 cups vegetable stock  (Low Sodium Pacific Organic,  or home-made low sodium stock)
  • 29 oz. can pure pumpkin puree (or equivalent fresh cooked)
  • 15 oz. can white beans, drained
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Honey or 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

For toasted Pepita (pumpkin seeds) Topping:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds;  cayenne and salt to taste 

(NOTE: ORIGINAL Recipe calls for 1 cup french fried onions (like French’s brand) along with pepitas, for topping.  However, it is healthier to add your own fresh chopped onions—toasted along with the Pepitas,  for topping.  French’s brand onions are NOT allowed on gluten-free diets.)


Place a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic and jalapeno. Saute 3-5 minutes until soft. Stir in cumin, oregano and salt. Saute another 2 minutes.

 Add the stock, pumpkin puree and beans to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Then add the vinegar and honey and simmer another 3-5 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. (You can also use a regular blender, but be careful! Open the vent in the lid and place a towel over it to protect from hot splashing liquid.)

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the pepitas (and onions if you are using them) out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a dash or two of cayenne pepper and a little salt. Toast for 3-4 minutes.  

Serve the soup warm, sprinkled with toasted pepitas (and onions).

                                                          Bon Appetit!!!

                                                 Vegetablel soup image      

ENJOY the smells, tastes, and healthy food combinations available to us this Fall!

In good health!

Deb and Wendy,

The Wellness Shifter Ladies!!!

REFERENCES for other healthy Recipes:


  • Amen, Tana, BSN, RN.  The Omni Diet (70% plant, 30% animal protein).  Recipes included.
  • Hyman, Mark MD.  The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook. (for those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and for those wanting to eat in a preventive health fashion.)
  • Hyman, Mark MD.  The Ultra-Metabolism Cookbook.  (also contains many recipes that are appropriate for those with food sensitivities.)
  • Maimonides.  Vegetarian Times Low-Fat and Fast (cookbook)
  • Moosewood Collective. Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant/Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant (vegetarian)
  • Mullin, Gerard MD and Swift, Kathie M., RD.  The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health  (excellent book on GI tract; Recipes included)
  • Prevention Magazine editors.  Fiber Up Slim Down Cookbook: A 4 Week Plan to Cut Cravings and Lose Weight
  • Sanfilippo, Diane.  Practical Paleo:  A Customized Approach to Health and Whole Foods Lifestyle  (Creative recipes–animal protein and vegetable based; some recipes are high in saturated fats like bacon; but you can substitute with oil; or,  if using bacon—choose nitrate-free,  organic types.)
  • Virgin, JJ.   The Virgin Diet.  (Recipes included; many are appropriate for those with food sensitivities and food allergies.)

WEBSITES for Healthy Cooking

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