Fall for Fabulous Fall Vegetables

By Kari Hartel, RD, LD
Program Coordinator, Cooking Matters, Operation Food Search

Fall has finally arrived and you can now enjoy cooler weather, football Sundays, and, of course, all things pumpkin. Pumpkin spice everything will soon be flooding the marketplace and enticing our taste buds. However, there are many other fall crops that should be coloring your plate. Fall’s bounty includes several cruciferous veggies, including cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and broccoli. In many studies, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to reduce your risk of cancer, likely due to their high phytochemical content, particularly antioxidants. Research has found that the consumption of this group of vegetables is associated with stopping cancer cell growth in tumors of the breasts, lungs, colon, liver, prostate, cervix and uterine lining.

Cruciferous vegetables also are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber but are low in calories. These veggies contain vitamins A, C, B6 and folic acid. Some even contain plant forms of omega-3 fatty acids, with Brussels sprouts containing the most in this group. More importantly, they are super delicious!

Health experts recommend that you eat several servings of cruciferous vegetables each week for optimal health. Here are a few ways you can enjoy the fall bounty of these nutrient powerhouses:
To amplify the natural sweetness, roast them in the oven. In a large bowl, toss chopped cruciferous veggies with olive oil, a little salt, and your favorite herbs and spices. Roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
Toss these versatile veggies into stews, soups, pasta dishes and casseroles for added nutrition, crunch, and flavor.
Grate up cauliflower, steam until desired softness, and use in place of rice for a lower-calorie, lower-carbohydrate, more nutrient-dense swap.
Sauté a mixture of cruciferous vegetables in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and curry powder.

This month commences Operation Food Search’s 35th year of service to the St. Louis community. We look forward to a special year-long ‘Cheers to 35 Years’ campaign of events, activities and progress, including this month’s launch of 90 Days of Giving, a season of opportunities to be a shining example in the fight against hunger. For every $1 donated, Operation Food Search can provide $21 in food and nutrition services to help nourish our neighbors in need. To easily donate online, visit OperationFoodSearch.org.

Making its debut this month as part of ‘Cheers to 35 Years’, OFS presents a special partnership with Pinnacle Imports LLC to feature select OFS wines on wine lists, in wine shops and grocery stores. Through the end of the year, whenever customers purchase an OFS wine selection, whether by the glass, bottle, or case from participating restaurants and retailers, a portion of the sales will be donated to our cause. For a complete list of participating restaurants, retailers, and OFS selections in our wine campaign, visit our website!

‘Cheers to 35 Years’! Together, we unite. Together, we shine our light on poverty. Together, we heal the hurt of hunger.