Do you have nutrient information on fall vegetables?



Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables, and she was right. Vegetables are powerful foods packed with health-promoting substances and energy. Just because the leaves are falling and a chill is in the air doesn’t mean fresh vegetables are hard to find. In fact, fall root vegetables are some of the most nutrient-packed vegetables around. Consider the benefits. • Potatoes come in all sizes, shapes and colors from Yukon gold to red russets. A naturally fat-free food, one medium baked potato or one cup of mashed potatoes has about 145 calories and provides 35 grams of energy-boosting carbohydrates. It also provides about 25 percent of the daily need for collagen-supporting and wound-healing vitamin C and 650 mg of potassium to aid muscle and nerve activity.

• Winter squash comes in many varieties, including butternut, acorn and spaghetti. The dark orange and deep yellow color of winter squash indicates a vegetable packed with power. On average, one cup of baked winter squash cubes provides a slimming 80 calories, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of disease-fighting fiber and nearly 100 percent ofthe daily need for vitamin A.

• Parsnips are often overlooked, but are a high energy, low-fat, nutrient-dense vegetable. One medium parsnip has 115 calories with 6 grams of fiber, and like other fall vegetables provides plenty of vitamin C and potassium.

• The nutritional value of sweet potatoes is often masked by brown sugar, marshmallows and butter.A plain baked sweet potato contains 115 calories and has 4 grams of heart-healthy fiber. Like other orange and deep yellow vegetables, sweet potatoes provide more than a day's worth of vitamin A.Keep the fat and calories down bytrading the candied sweet potatoesfor a baked sweet potatoserved with light margarine and cinnamon.

• Turnips add a tangy flavor and a sharp bite to soups, saladsand side dishes. One medium turnip has only 30 calories yet includes 25 percent of the daily need for vitamin C. Turnips are a fair source of potassium with nearly 200 mg.For a nutrition boost, cook turnips with the greens. This will onlyadd 30 calories, but will boost your vitamin C intake to 40 mg, over half the daily need, and provide plenty of vitamin A.

• Carrots are one of nature’s portable snacks.Three ounces of baby carrots (10-15sticks) are a nutritional bargain. With your crunch you get only 30 calories and a day’s worth of vitamin A as beta-carotene. To trim food costs, purchase raw whole carrots, peel and cut into sticks.

For a nutrient boost at the table, try these recipes.

Dilly Potatoes

1 pound potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed

Toss hot potatoes with olive oil, salt and dill. Serve as a side dish. Serves 4. Nutrients per serving: 164 calories, 31 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, 3 g fat, 19 percent vitamin C, 15 percent potassium.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberries

4 acorn squash 2 1/2 cups prepared bread stuffing 1 cup cranberry sauce

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. If necessary cut a slice off bottom so squash will stand upright on baking sheet. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Fill each squash with 1/3 cup stuffing and bake at 400 degrees F. 45-60 minutes or until squash is tender. Before serving, top each stuffed squash with 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce. Makes 8 entrees. Nutrients per serving: 275Calories, 56 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein, 5 g fat, 39 percent vitamin C, 22 percent vitamin A, 27 percent potassium.

Posted on 7 Nov 2003

Pauline Williams
Family & Consumer Sciences and 4-H Agent, Salt Lake County

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