A Taste of Fall: Produce

Healthy Fall Flavors

On today's "On The Menu" segment, Jennifer Fillenworth, Registered Dietitian from Mercy Health Saint Mary's, shares how fall produce is full of flavor and has many health benefits.

Fall is well known for football season, the changing colors of leaves, Halloween and pumpkin-flavored everything! Pumpkin tends to be the star of fall flavors, but these recipes feature some other fall foods that will easily steal the spotlight from pumpkin.

A Healthier Michigan has a complete list of Michigan produced fruits and vegetables and when they are available for harvest. Planning meals around when these items are in season not only helps to save money, but also ensures the food will be at its nutritional peak and freshly picked. Many local farmer's markets will remain open until winter and carry most of the produce listed below.  


Apples, July through October

Beets, May through October

Broccoli, June through October

Brussels sprouts, August through November

Cabbage, June through November

Carrots, May through November

Cauliflower, August through November

Celeriac/celery root, August through October

Celery, August through October

Cucumbers, July through mid-October

Eggplant, July through mid-October

Garlic, August through November

Greens (various), May through November

Herbs, various, May through October

Kale, June through November

Leeks, August through October

Lettuce (various), May through October

Onions, August through October

Pears, August through October

Potatoes, July through November 

Radishes, May through October

Spinach, May through October

Squash (summer), July through October

Squash (winter), August through November

Tomatoes, July through October

Turnips, August through November

Zucchini, July through October



Roasted Cabbage Wedges – Cabbage has less than 20 calories per half cup cooked!


Yield: 4 servings


·        1/2 medium green cabbage (about 1½-lbs)

·        1 Tbsp Olive oil

·        Salt and pepper to taste



1.      Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone.

2.      Cut cabbage half into four equal wedges and set on prepared baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to coat the cut side of each wedge with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat on all sides.

3.      Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes. Flip the wedges and roast until nicely browned, 8-10 minutes more.

4.      Can be customized by finishing with butter, pesto drizzle, fresh lemon, or garlic olive oil.


Brussels Sprout Crispy Cakes – Excellent source of Vitamin K which is a direct regulator of inflammatory responses.


Yield: 8 servings


·        1 lb. Brussels sprouts

·        3 green onions, finely chopped

·        1/4 cup all-purpose flour

·        2 teaspoons sea salt

·        1 teaspoon black pepper

·        1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

·        1/4 teaspoon onion powder

·        1 egg

·        2-4 Tbsp olive oil




1.      Remove the stalk near the base of the sprouts and the outermost leaves as needed. Thoroughly wash the sprouts.

2.      Chop the brussels sprouts horizontally as thin as possible.

3.      After the brussels are chopped, separate pieces with hand.

4.      Add green onions and toss to combine.

5.      In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, pepper, and garlic and onion powder.

6.      Add dry ingredients and the egg to the bowl with brussels sprouts mixture. Mix thoroughly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

7.      In a large skillet, add oil and bring to medium-high heat. Start with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add more if the skillet begins to dry out.

8.      Measure out the brussels sprouts mixture into 2 tablespoon portions and carefully add them to the skillet. Use a spatula to flatten the fritters. Cook 2-3 minutes per side.


Stuffed Acorn Squash – High in Vitamin C, which stimulates the production of white blood cells that defend the body from pathogens and other unwanted germs. Ideal for cold and flu season!


Yield: 6 servings


·        3 acorn squash, halved

·        Olive oil

·        Salt & pepper

·        1lb Italian turkey or chicken sausage (removed from casing)

·        1 Small sweet onion, finely chopped

·        2 Large celery stalks, finely chopped

·        2 Fuji apples, diced

·        ½ tsp sage

·        1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

·        1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided



1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.      Using a sharp knife cut off each end of the acorn squash removing as little as possible, then cut in half.

3.      Spoon out seeds.

4.      Brush olive oil inside and on top of acorn squash then sprinkle salt and pepper over acorn squash to taste.

5.      Bake for 40 minutes to an hour depending on size of your squash until tender and you can pierce with a fork, but still holding its shape.

6.      While the squash is baking begin sautéing the sausage for about 5 minutes, drain excess grease from pan.

7.      Add olive oil to the pan then the onions and celery to the pan and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown.

8.      Add apples and sauté for another 2 minutes or until softened.

9.      Stir in sage and bread crumbs.

10.  Add ¾ cup parmesan cheese and stir until cheese begins to melt. Set aside remaining cheese.

11.  Once squash has finished baking and reached desired tenderness spoon in meat mixture until the squash is filled.

12.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes depending on size of squash.

13.  Remove from oven and top with remaining parmesan cheese.


Roasted Fall Vegetable Grain Bowl - One cup of butternut squash contains about 7 grams of fiber, which can help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract by supporting healthy bacteria in the gut.


Yield: 4 servings


·        1 small butternut squash, about 3 cups, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

·        1/2 cup halved Brussels sprouts

·        4 tablespoons olive oil

·        1 cup quinoa or brown rice

·        2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock to make vegetarian

·        1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries

·        1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

·        1/2 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds

·        1/2 cup feta cheese

·        1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

·        salt and pepper to taste



1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place halved brussels sprouts' on baking sheet, brush with olive oil and salt and pepper, roast for 15-20 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa to the pan and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cover the pan; cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Take the pan o! the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork.

4. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl. Gently fold in butternut squash, brussels sprouts, cranberries, scallions, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, and pomegranate seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Pumpkin Energy Bites - A cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids in eye health and vision.


Yields: 20 bites


·        2 cups dry, uncooked oatmeal

·        ½ cup all-natural peanut butter

·        ½ cup pumpkin puree

·        ¼ cup honey

·        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·        ½ teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

·        ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips



1.      Mix together all ingredients except chocolate chips (if mixture too sticky, add more oatmeal)

2.      Once mixture well combined add in chocolate chips

3.      Roll 2Tbsp of mixture into ball form

4.      Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze up to 2 months


Apple Moscow Mule –Apples have been shown to increase the amount of acetylcholine in the brain, which is linked to concentration, problem-solving, and memory.


Yield: 1 drink


·        2 oz Ginger beer

·        1.5 oz Vodka

·        2 oz Apple Cider

·        0.5 oz Lime juice, fresh squeezed

·        Ice

·        Apple slices for garnish



1.      Squeeze your lime into the mug.

2.      Add desired ice.

3.      Add apple cider, vodka, and ginger beer.

4.      Stir to mix.





(© 2016 WZZM)


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