October has finally come, which means that most of the farmer's markets have wrapped up for the season. This is usually a sad time for me since I looove shopping at the farmer's market so much more than I do at the grocery store. You're outside, there are often live musicians, and not only do you find lovely organic produce, there are many hand-crafted items you would never find anywhere else.
Being a bit of a locavore, I like to focus my diet on foods that are grown nearby and in season. And while most people think of summer as the season of abundance, there are lots of great foods to be enjoyed around this time of year too.
5 Fabulous Fall Foods Grown in Ontario
Here are five great foods that are available in Ontario throughout October and November. Not only are they delicious, they are also loaded with health benefits.
Beets are a rich source of phytonutrients called betalains, which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. They are especially great for cleansing the liver and also provide a good dose of folate, manganese and fiber. Instead of roasting them, try shredding them into your raw salad.
Cabbage is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidants. It is currently being researched for its unique cancer fighting abilities and has also been shown to successfully lower cholesterol. Try eating it raw in some healthy coleslaw, or lightly sautéing it with some garlic.
Garlic, as we know, is a powerful immune booster and anti-viral, anti-fungal agent. Not only can we load up on it when we're sick, we should aim to eat some every day in order to stay healthy. And like cabbage, garlic is also great for lowering cholesterol. Eat it raw by tossing it in your home-made salad dressings - but try to let it sit for five minutes first before using it (this will allow its beneficial properties to become more active).
The little known parsnip is similar to the carrot, only lighter in color. Not only does it add rich flavor and variety to dishes, it is also high in fiber, vitamin K, folate and vitamin C. Try roasting it with some carrots, or steaming it and mashing it with your mashed potatoes.
Known primarily as a source of carotenoids, squash is also a surprisingly rich source of antioxidants. Even though it is high in carbohydrates, much of it is made up of pectin and other polysaccharides that have insulin regulating properties. Try baking squash and pureeing it into a soup - and don't forget to roast the seeds too!