CSA Week 14: Gearing up for Fall Flavors

By Kelli Swensen, Dietetics Student, Sargent College

It’s mid-September. That awkward period when it no longer feels like summer outside, yet the air doesn’t quite have that autumn crispness to it. As much as I love wearing shorts and not having to carry around a jacket, I love fall and the produce it brings with it. From juicy apples to comforting sweet potatoes, fall flavors help make the transition from summer to autumn much more enjoyable. If the change in weather wasn’t evidence enough of the change in season, this week’s CSA box definitely will be.

What’s in the box?

6 ears Sweet Corn
1 lb. Beans
1 quart Concord Grapes
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
2 lbs. Potatoes
1 bunch Carrots
1 Eggplant
1 Butternut Squash

Along with a new variety of produce, fall also brings cravings of warm, comforting foods like soups and casseroles to keep our stomachs warm and happy. This Sargentbutternut_squash Choice Butternut Squash Soup is an essential fall recipe. Although the recipe is a great choice for when you have friends over to dinner, I recommend being greedy and making a full batch so that you can freeze individual servings. By having read-to-go servings waiting for you in the freezer, all you have to do in the morning is grab the container and heat it up at the GSU for lunch or pop it into a saucepan when you get home from class and have a nutritious dinner that takes less than 15min to prepare.

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Sargent Choice Butternut Squash Soup
Makes 6 3/4-cup servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ tsp Smart Balance
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¾ tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp low sodium vegetable base or 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water (omit if using stock)
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Directions
1. In a large stock pot, sauté carrots, onions, celery and ginger root in Smart Balance until tender.
2. Add water and base (or stock). Whisk until well blended. Add squash. Simmer until squash is cooked.
3. Add salt, Tabasco, pepper and nutmeg. Stir until well-blended. Puree soup using an immersion blender or a traditional blender, being careful not to burn yourself.
4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes.

Tips

  • Vegetable bases are available online, search for Minor’s Low Sodium Vegetable Base. Or, instead of water and base mix, try using 2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth.
  • Try serving with 1 tbsp of any of the following: fat free plain yogurt or sour cream, slivered almonds, or pine nuts.

NUTRITION FACTS

Calories 45
Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrate 8 g
Fiber 1 g
Sodium 230 mg

MEAL PLANNING EQUIVALENTS

Starchy Vegetables ¼ cup
Non-Starchy Vegetables ¼ cup
Oil 1/3 tsp

Chx Salad 1Grapes have a great reputation as being a refreshing snack year-round. Although they are perfect travel size, they also make for delicious ingredients in more savory meals. Try them in our Sargent Choice Chicken Salad with Grapes recipe for a healthy, filling lunch that is just as easy to port to class.

Random Fact: Concord Grapes are one out of only three fruits that are native to North America (the other two are blueberries and cranberries).

With the coming of fall, we here at the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center have some awesome fall-flavored recipes that we can’t wait to share with you soon! What are some of your favorite fall ingredients or dishes? We’d love to hear! Leave us a comment or post on our Facebook page!

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