As the season turns cooler, try winding down these crisp autumn days by warming up to the traditional flavors of fall. Seasonal herbs and spices are delightful to the palate, and offer great health benefits. Ginger is warming and aids circulation, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, and garlic boosts the immune system. Read on for delicious, simple, and healthy fall recipes – from soup to nuts.

 

Classic Carrot Soup

Carrots and ginger are a classic fall combo, and this savory soup is the perfect marriage of the two. It’s easy to prepare and freezes well, so keep some on hand for those cold winter months ahead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 dozen carrots, sliced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 1 cup yogurt (plain, not nonfat)
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger (peeled & grated)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Ground black pepper and salt

Warm olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté for 6-8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté about 1 minute until fragrant. Increase heat to medium-high, stirring in carrots. Add vegetable broth to the pot, cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover, reduce heat to medium to continue simmering, and cook carrots for about 25 minutes, until very tender. Remove the soup from heat and allow it to cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl – covering and refrigerating for at least 2 hours – until chilled. Just prior to serving, stir in yogurt and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, and serve chilled.

 

Warming Bean Bowls

Perfect for cooler weather, these bean bowls are a colorful one-dish meal. Plus, they’re quick, easy, and rich in fiber.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups warmed marinara sauce
  • 4 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • 2 bell peppers (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar, crumbled feta, or grated parmesan cheese

Microwave or bake the sweet potatoes until tender, then halve or chop them. Divide spinach between 4 bowls, and microwave uncovered for 1 minute on high. Divide sweet potatoes, beans, tomato, peppers, and cheese between spinach bowls. Stir cinnamon and cumin into the marinara sauce, then divide between bowls.

 

Maple And Cinnamon Nuts

These crowd-pleasers are an ideal addition to holiday gatherings – or wrap them up in a pretty box as a hostess gift.

Ingredients:

  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, bake nuts for 10 minutes, and remove to cool slightly. Warm maple syrup over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring it to a low boil, stir in butter, add nuts, stir until coated, and let cool. Combine chili powder and cinnamon in a bowl. Remove nuts from the syrup mixture with a slotted spoon, and toss them in the spice mixture. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little sea salt, and let dry.

As you gather together with friends and family this fall, warm up those chilly evenings with these comforting seasonal recipes.