A Better October Indulgence

Halloween is almost here, so to distract you from the seemingly endless supply of bite-sized candy hanging around the home and office, there’s no better time to highlight a few great things about some in-season fall foods.

Here are a few fall vegetables you’ll find on the menu at Snap Kitchen and available at your local farmers market (where you will also likely NOT find peanut butter cups).

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin

In addition to being naturally sweet and amazingly versatile, winter squash is packed with antioxidants like carotenoids (we’re most familiar with beta-carotene). These free radical fighting compounds are commonly found in colorful veggies like carrots and leafy greens and areknown for promoting immune system function, healthy skin, and vision. In addition to the squashes’ disease-fighting properties, studies also have shown that the polysaccharides or starches in the cell walls have the ability to regulate blood sugar and help prevent type II diabetes.

One cup of butternut squash has around 80 calories and practically zero fat. And like other orange veggies, this naturally sweet squash also has triple your recommended daily intake of vitamin A (great for bone health) and half of the vitamin C you need each day.


Sweet Potatoes

Count on those colorful vegetables to have more to offer in the nutrition department. They’re not directly interchangeable in recipes, but plan on using sweet potatoes in recipes or as a side dish whenever possible.Just one cup of sweet potatoes has 438% of your daily recommended Vitamin A in addition to a number of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Not only are sweet potatoes super kid and budget friendly, but they’re incredibly versatile and can be turned into anything from fries to hash browns.

Try skipping the marshmallow coating at Thanksgiving this year for a major sugar and calorie savings, and roast this naturally sweet vegetable instead for an equally delicious side dish.

Red Cabbage

Another bright and phytochemical-packed winter veggie, red cabbage has a mere 20 calories per cup, and is a great source of polyphenols which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Closely related to cabbage, ultra trendy kale is also a good bet for vitamin C, iron and vitamin A. Some recent studies have also found that leafy greens like kale and spinach can help reduce potential eye strain caused by computer use and protect eyes from cataracts.

Check out the fall season menu on the Snap Kitchen website for full nutrition info, or just stop into one of our Austin stores to enjoy one of these nutrition-filled fall favorites


Happy Oatmeal Day!

Tuesday, Oct. 29, is national oatmeal day, so in honor of this humble whole grain, here are a few reasons why oats are such a justifiably popular breakfast item:

  • The beta-glucan fiber in oats is famous for lowering LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and can help stabilize blood sugar.
  • Oats are also rich in antioxidants called avenanthramides, which prevent free radicals from oxidizing LDL, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Oats are versatile, and can be eaten on the go in sugar-free instant varieties, made overnight in a crockpot, added to baked goods, or used as a thickener in meatloaf.
  • This whole grain (especially when certified gluten free) is tolerated by many on a gluten free diet.
  • Fun Fact: Oatmeal, Texas, and the nearby city of Bertram have hosted an annual Oatmeal Festival since 1978.

About the Author

Andrea Hinsdale, RD, LD, is the Snap Kitchen concept dietitian. With 5 stores in Austin, including the flagship location in the Triangle, locally owned Snap Kitchen offers a selection of “foodie” items made fresh daily, salads tossed-to-order (flagship locations), cold-pressed juices, high-energy snacks, and diet-friendly desserts for the person on the go. All of Snap’s menu items are portion controlled and labeled with the full nutritional content. Just stop by a convenient location, grab your food and go, or order online for delivery or curbside pickup.