VIBRANT VEGGIES: Five of our Favorite Fall Vegetables (plus recipes!)

One of our favorite fall activities is going to the local Bay Area farmers markets to find fresh, in-season produce.  Here are five of our favorite veggies, as well as easy recipes to use them in!

SWEET POTATOES: While sweet potatoes contain a lot of nutrients like fiber, potassium and Vitamin B 6, this vegetable is off the charts when it comes to Vitamin A!  One sweet potato contains more than 300% of your daily Vitamin A -- which is good news for your eyes, bones, teeth and skin.  As an added bonus, one medium sweet potato has only about 115 calories.

MUSHROOMS: From cremini to portobello to button to morel to chanterelle, there are lots of mushroom varieties, and lots of reasons to love them.  They’re abundant in the late summer and early fall. They can serve as anything from a garnish to a main ingredient to a grillable “steak.”    No matter which variety you choose, you’ll enjoy the nutritional benefits of B Vitamins, potassium and selenium (an antioxidant that decreases inflammation).

PARSNIPS: One of the things we love most about parsnips -- which are sweet, white, carrot-shaped vegetables --  is their versatility. Parsnips can be baked, boiled, sauteed, roasted or fried. They contain lots of potassium as well as B vitamins.  They are high in fiber -- which helps prevent constipation and lowers cholesterol.  Parsnips also contain high levels of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and prevent some forms of cancer.  Most of the nutrients are found just beneath the skin, so you’ll get more bang for your nutritional buck if you eat them unpeeled or lightly-peeled.

BRUSSEL SPROUTS: Brussel sprouts are one of the top 20 most-nutritious foods according to the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, a ratio of calorie content to nutrient value.  For a vegetable, they contain a relatively high amount of protein, and a single serving will provide you with your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin K!  Just make sure you don’t overcook them so you can enjoy their full nutritional value.

CABBAGE:  Like brussel sprouts, cabbage belongs to the Cruciferous vegetable family, named for their cross-shaped, four-petal flowers. Cabbage is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate.  It’s low-calorie (one cup has only 22 calories!) and low-carb.  You can enjoy it in salads, soups and casseroles -- just make sure not to mix it with high-calorie ingredients (like mayonnaise or cheese) to give your body the healthy boost it needs.






Sarah Thebarge MMSc, PA-C Sarah Thebarge earned her physician assistant degree at Yale School of Medicine, and then studied journalism at Columbia School of Journalism. She has been a physician assistant and a freelance journalist since 2004. In addition to caring for patients at Golden Gate Urgent Care, Sarah frequently volunteers her medical skills in the developing world. Her writing has appeared in Huffington Post, USA Today and National Geographic, and her blog was featured on She is the author of the memoir The Invisible Girls and the upcoming book WELL: Healing our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa. She currently lives in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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