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Favorite Fall Foods: Sweet Potatoes & Cranberries


Welcome to the first installment of my three part “Favorite Fall Foods” series.

This week’s picks for favorite fall foods—sweet potatoes and cranberries—come courtesy of registered dietitian nutritionist and certified natural chef Rachel Begun. Read on to learn why Begun loves these two foods. You’ll also find two of her signature recipes that are sure to tempt you to add sweet potatoes and cranberries to your menu in the weeks to come.

SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes are hands down one of my favorite foods. I never get sick of their sweet flavor and creamy texture. It’s my comfort food, and they are always in my house from fall through winter. I enjoy them in both savory and sweet recipes. It doesn’t hurt that sweet potatoes are loaded with B vitamins, the antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. I know it’s easy to just pop one in the microwave, but trust me when I say roasting them in the oven brings out their sweetness and creaminess even more.

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SWEET POTATO PUDDING WITH CHOPPED PECANS           

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, baked

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing ramekins

2 Tbsp. light coconut milk

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, for topping (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Scoop out the flesh of the baked sweet potatoes and place in the bowl of a food processor.

3. Add the vanilla extract, coconut oil, coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice, black pepper and salt to the bowl and process until smooth and well blended.

4. Using a spatula, scoop out the mixture into a mixing bowl. Mix in the beaten egg until well blended.

5. Grease six ramekins with the extra coconut oil. Divide the mixture equally into the six ramekins.

6. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until the top is browned and slightly hardened. If using the pecans, sprinkle equally on top of each pudding ramekin about half way through baking. 

Developed by Rachel Begun, MS, RDN. Copyright 2012, All Rights Reserved.

 

CRANBERRIES

Cranberries are the ultimate booster food. Their rich antioxidant content brings a nutrition boost to any recipe they are added to and their rich hue, tart flavor and chewy texture add dimension to otherwise flat dishes.  

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BROWN AND WILD RICE WITH CRANBERRIES AND PECANS

Yield: Serves 12

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups dry brown rice

1 cup dry wild rice

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup Sherry wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions:

1. In two pots, cook both rices according to their package instructions.

2. While rices are cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, wine vinegar, thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. Mix in cranberries and toasted pecans and evenly distribute.

4. Serve warm.

Developed by Rachel Begun, MS, RD. Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved.

To learn more about Begun, visit her website.

What are your favorite recipes for sweet potatoes and cranberries?

For other recipes with sweet potatoes and cranberries, check out the links below:

How Sweet Are Sweet Potatoes?

Turkey Cranberry Salad and Classic Spinach Pie

Rosemary Citrus Turkey Breast with Orange Cranberry Sauce

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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