Easy Fall Foods to Keep Your Spirits Up

Author: Marissa Donovan

The changing of the seasons brings up different emotions for everyone. For some, excitement for the leaves changing and the entrance of fall flavors (somehow pumpkin has crept into seemingly every product in the store). For others, it may be more challenging, a reminder that time continues to move forward, or the start of a sometimes difficult holiday season. Whatever the case is with you, taking care of yourself, mentally and physically, is important. Research shows that eating a balanced diet—including plenty of fruits and veggies—isn’t just great for your health, but can also boost your mood. Food can also be a source of comfort. Keeping that in mind, I’ve rounded up fall dishes that pack in nutrients while keeping that comfort-food feel.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Embrace the changing of the seasons, starting with some easy fall-themed meals. Hearty dishes like these Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers or Stuffed Acorn Squash are great choices and are also made with antioxidant-rich veggies. You can modify these recipes to fit your preferences. Some swaps you can make include using ground turkey or beans in the stuffed peppers, and using quinoa instead of rice for the acorn squash.

Sometimes when it’s hard to muster up the desire to prepare a meal, a healthy balanced snack is a great compromise. Keeping within the theme of fall, this Smokey Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus has the perfect mix of spice and sweetness. This homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Rosemary White Bean Dip are also great snacks that tie in fall flavors. Serve these dips with whole-grain crackers or crunchy veggies—like carrots, cucumbers, jicama, and bell peppers. If you want to take a shortcut, Giant offers many flavors of already made hummus, including pumpkin hummus. Hummus and bean dip are both great sources of protein, which can help to keep you full longer and keep your energy up.  

Sometimes you may find comfort in something sweet, and fruit is a great way to get that sweetness, with some nutrition too. This recipe for Chunky Apple Sauce can be made right on your stovetop or in a slow cooker, and it fills your house with the soothing aroma of apples and cinnamon. Another apple-inspired recipe is Apple Cinnamon Popcorn, a simple, whole-grain sweet treat to bring along to a get-together, or snack on yourself.

Use these recipes as inspiration to embrace the flavors and beauty of the season this fall. Remember, one of the best ways to honor a loved one is to take care of yourself.

From the pen of...

Marissa Donovan, MS, RD, LDN, received her Master's degree from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and Bachelor's degree in nutrition from Syracuse University. Through her current role as an In-Store Nutritionist at Giant, she helps customers make the best nutrition choices for themselves and their families. To find out more about Giant's nutrition services, visit giantfood.com/nutrition.