November is not just about Thanksgiving and the bounty it brings. It is also about the myriad of valuable fruits and vegetables loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals, too. There's a reason why the cornucopia is a symbol of Thanksgiving. Here is a list of 7 November super foods that hopefully will end up on your table as part of your holiday meal or just as part of your diet during this time of year.
Clementines are loaded with vitamin C and dietary fiber. They're also delightfully sweet, juicy and make a great portable snack.
These tasty morsels in small amounts can help curb your appetite before heading off to a large dinner thanks to the protein in them. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E (especially almonds) and omega-3 fatty acids. Since nuts are very high in calories, all you need is a small serving - most nuts are doled out in 1/4 cup portions and hold roughly about 200 calories per serving.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent natural source of dietary fiber and beta carotene, which is a compound beneficial for the eyes. They are also high in vitamins A and C and are a great source of potassium. Consider serving a creamy sweet potato dish this year at Thanksgiving instead of traditional mashed potatoes. Roasting sweet potatoes helps to bring out their natural sweetness; roasted sweet potatoes could serve as an excellent holiday side dish as well without all the added fat and calories from butter, cream or other dairy products.
Squash comes in both summer and winter varieties. Every kind of squash provides essential beta carotene which is not also good for your eyes but good for your skin as well. Squash is delicious roasted or steamed and when cooked down and puréed, makes a wonderful base for fall and wintertime soups.
Kale is a dark, leafy green vegetable that can be bitter, which acts as a turn-off for many people. However, this beneficial vegetable is high in vitamins A and C and is a source of calcium and potassium. You can eat kale raw in a salad or boil/sauté it (which are the two most popular methods of preparing it) and you can even bake it - look for "kale chip" recipes which is nothing but kale tossed with a little olive oil and seasoned with a bit of salt. If you don't think you like kale, consider using one of the aforementioned methods to prepare it and give it another try.
Dates are one of the most calorie-rich fruits, but their density means they are loaded with nutrition. They are very high in fiber; just 1/4 cup can provide up to 12% of your daily value of fiber. They also offer a high level of potassium and other minerals, which can help lower blood pressure. Dates can be added to both sweet and savory dishes; dates are often added to baked goods because they provide moisture and sweetness. Moroccan-styled dishes, especially salads, feature slivered dates. Because dates are high in calories and natural sugar, do exert moderation when eating them!
Pears are a quick, convenient and tasty portable snack. They also round out this list of November super foods. Pears are an excellent source of dietary fiber and a valuable source of vitamin C. Like dates, pears can be used in a variety of sweet and savory applications. This holiday season, consider making quick breads with pears or making a hot, delicious pear and raspberry crisp to wow your guests.
So, if this list has got you thinking, then it's done its job. Everyone needs to eat fruit and vegetables for a happier, healthier and more balanced body and lifestyle. They not only provide us with valuable minerals and vitamins but also can give us other important compounds such as antioxidants; berries provide the greatest amount of antioxidants.
Take time to think about how you can incorporate fruits and vegetables into your holiday celebrations. Your guests will thank you for offering a variety of fun things to eat (and tasty, too), even if they happen to be healthy.