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Healthy Autumn Recipes

There is such joy in enjoying the beauty of the seasons in healthy ways. Taking a walk to enjoy the gorgeous, colorful foliage, raking leaves with your family as a fun activity, and walking by foot to pick your own apples: these are just a few of my favorite fall fun activities. All of these activities can contribute to your daily physical activity, The current recommendation from the President's Council on Exercise is 250 of moderate OR 75 minutes of intense physical activity per week. Unfortunately, most Americans do not meet these suggested amounts.

To further encourage healthy lifestyle choices this fall, making smart and nutritious choices in cooking and dining can accompany our physical activities. Here are a few recipes from our very own University of Illinois Extension that embrace the bounties of this autumn time and incorporate them into delicious and health minded dishes.

Apple Cinnamon Muffin (Yield: 12 muffins; 1 per serving)

  • ¾ cup peeled, chopped apples
  • ½ cup sugar (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted margarine
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Combine apples with ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

3. In a larger bowl, combine ¼ cup sugar, flours, baking powder, and salt.

4. Mix together milk, margarine, and egg whites in medium bowl.

5. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just until moistened.

6. Add apples and nuts (if desired).

7. Spray muffin cups and fill ¾ full. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 120 calories, 2.5g Total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 160mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 3g protein With nuts: 140 calories, 4g Total fat (1g saturated), 160mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 2g Dietary fiber, 4g protein

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Pumpkin Whole Wheat Mini Muffins (Makes 24 mini muffins)

  • 1 cup pumpkin (canned or fresh cooked)
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup raisins

1.In larger mixing bowl, beat together pumpkin, sugar, oil, and yogurt.

2.In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt; add to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moistened.

3.Stir in the nuts or raisins.

4.Pour into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan or two mini-loaf pans.

5.Bake in preheated 350°F oven for about 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. For mini-loaves, check for doneness after 50 minutes.

6.Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

Nutrition Information per serving:60 calories, 1.5 grams total fat (0 grams saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 13 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 1 gram protein

Recipe Notes:
·Note that the fat comes from oils rather than solid fats. ·Using whole-wheat flour increases the fiber content of this recipe. ·Baked products that have no fat or very low fat tend to quickly become stale.
·This recipe is contains no added salt. If baked with ¼ teaspoon salt, add 25-mg sodium to each serving.