Fall is made of wonderful things: crunchy leaves, a new school year, a reason to wear your favorite sweater, and delicious, sugary treats! From standing in line at the local apple orchard for a dozen warm donuts to making room in your fridge to fit that gallon of cider, fall is the season of indulging your sweet tooth.
The Get Movin’ Crew is made of regular people who love fall and the goodies that come with it just as much as you do. But, we have also made it our mission to support a healthy generation of kids.
So why not have the best of both worlds?
Maintaining a diet for the family that is low on sugar and conscious of calories is possible even during the season of sweets (we’re not even going to touch Halloween in this post, but stay tuned!).
Check out the 11 Healthy Twists for Your Fall Treats and let us know the other ideas or tricks you have for keeping your family happy, healthy & hungry for more!
Reimagining the Apple
Fall is the prime time to go apple picking! But, your kids might not want a fruit when they are tempted by the array of sweets at the orchard or the grocery store. To reimagine the classic apple and get your family to eat this (red) delicious fruit, check out these tempting twists:
Apple Chips Drizzled with Sugar-Free Caramel
- Get 10-15 apples, wash & peel (or leave the peel on for a more natural texture)
- Core them using a veggie peeler
- Slice the apples into thick rings (about ¼”)
- Dehydrate for 4-6 hours
- Lay out the chips and drizzle with sugar-free caramel sauce
Cinnamon Apple Rings
Rather than chowing down on a dozen cinnamon sugar donuts, why not try some fried apple rings? Hint: Trade in the buttermilk for low-fat milk and add a tablespoon of lemon juice to get the right consistency. Get the full list of ingredients & the entire recipe on FortuneGoodies.com.
Baked Apple Cups
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Thaw your puff pastry dough & cut it into 6 pieces
- Brush the dough with melted butter & place them into greased 6x1 cup muffin tins
- Combine 3 apples (cored & thinly sliced), 2tsp brown sugar, ½tsp cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and 2tsp lemon juice
- Divide the filling between the muffin tins and bake for 25-30 min.
Mixing Up the Way You Drink Apple Cider
Who doesn’t love a warm mug of cider on a cool fall day? How about on your salad or in your chicken recipe? Here are a couple ways to get your cider out of the glass and into your healthy meals!
Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Pour 2 tablespoons of apple cider & 2tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a small bowl
- Mix in salt, a generous portion of black pepper and give it all a good stir
- Whisk in 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- Serve it over a salad of lettuce, sliced apple, tomatoes and roasted walnuts for a healthy meal everyone will love
Apple Cider Baked Chicken
- Marinate 6-8 chicken legs/thighs for 4-24 hours in a large zip lock bag containing 1 large onion (peeled and cut), 1 large lemon (sliced into rounds), 2 cups apple cider, 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 sprigs of thyme, 2tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2tsp Dijon mustard, 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves and salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange in a large roasting pan
- Pour marinade over chicken and tuck in 2 large, sliced apples & 1lb. of halved Yukon Gold potatoes
- Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes (serve with a glass of cider if you’re feeling like going the extra mile!)
Rethinking the Donut
It takes a lot of creativity and will power to turn a donut into a healthy snack. So, rather than trying to remake your powdered treat into something nutritious, we’ve found a couple ways for you to take donut-making into your own hands and cook up something beneficial for your body and taste buds!
Homemade Pumpkin Donuts (only 187 calories!)
- Mix 1 cup pumpkin, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup buttermilk (or low-fat milk w/ lemon), 1tbsp butter, 1tsp vanilla, 2 egg whites, 1tsp baking soda, ½tsp baking powder, 1tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1 cup flour (half whole wheat and half white)
- Pour the mixture into a zip lock bag
- Cut the tip off one corner and squeeze into a greased donut pan
- Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar when they come out!
Baked Maple Donuts (only 72 calories!)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl whisk together 1 cup whole wheat flour, ¼ cup truvia sweetener, 1tsp baking powder, ¼tsp baking soda, ½tsp salt, and a pinch of nutmeg
- In a separate bowl, whisk together ¼ cup fat-free Greek yogurt, ¼ cup egg beaters, 2tbsp applesauce, 2tbsp sugar-free maple syrup and 1tsp maple extract
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and transfer the dough to the donut pan
- Bake for 9-10 minutes (and top with a maple glaze if you want it a bit more sweet!)
Carve Your Pumpkin & Eat It Too!
We don’t skin an apple and throw away the bare fruit, or peel an orange only to toss away the juicy inside, so why should a pumpkin be any different? Carving pumpkins is a fall favorite and here are a few ways to utilize the entire fruit by cooking up some of these healthy goodies!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Preheat your oven to 370 degrees
- In a bowl, combine 1 cup of rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds, ½tsp garlic powder, ½tsp salt, ¼tsp cayenne powder, and ½ ounce olive oil
- Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes
- Cool before eating (these are a great alternative to buttery popcorn, so enjoy them while watching a movie with the family!)
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, combine 5 cups rolled oats, 1tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1tsp cinnamon, and ¼tsp nutmeg
- In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup brown sugar, ½ cup pumpkin puree, ¼ cup applesauce, ¼ cup maple syrup (try sugar free!), and 1tsp vanilla extract. Pour the ingredients into the dry mixture, then evenly spread onto the baking sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes, stir, and bake for another 15 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup dried cranberries and ½ cup pepitas. Serve with fat-free yogurt and enjoy!
Pumpkin-Apple Breakfast Smoothie
- Blend ¼ cup + 2tbsp old-fashioned oats for 30 seconds
- Add in ¼ cup canned pumpkin, ¾ cup Greek yogurt, 1 medium, cut apple, ½ banana (sliced and frozen), ½ soy or low-fat milk, a pinch of pumpkin pie spice (to taste), and 6 ice cubes
- Blend until smooth and stay full for the whole morning!
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cups
Looking for a way to mirror the beloved peanut butter cup candy that your kids can’t seem to get enough of? Try out this awesome Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cup recipe from Fit Foodie Finds (there’s only 84 calories in each cup!).
Recipes borrowed & inspired by:
Sweet C Designs | Fortune Goodies | Foodie Crush | Leite’s Culinaria | Gimme Some Oven | Spark People | She Wears Many Hats | Two Peas and Their Pod | Kristine’s Kitchen Blog | Fit Foodie Finds