NEW HYDE PARK, NY – Although some people’s favorite healthy foods may be out of season this fall, a New York registered dietitian says this is a time to branch out and try new fruits and vegetables.
“There are a lot of exciting and really great tasting fruits and vegetables around,” says Nancy Copperman, RD, director of public health initiatives for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “We have a whole variety of squash from spaghetti squash that can replace your pasta to acorn squash to butternut squash. We have lettuces and cabbages. So this might be a time to get out of your comfort zone and try a new fruit or a new vegetable.”
For those who would still like to get some of their favorite out-of-season fare, they can try canned or frozen foods, but there are some things to be aware of.
“Canned vegetables are nutritious, but the problem we have with that is they tend to be packed in a lot of salt or sodium,” Ms. Copperman says. “So if you are looking to reduce your sodium and you need to have canned vegetables, one of the things you can do is buy the canned vegetable and then rinse them.”
By rinsing vegetables under water, this removes about half of the salt, Ms. Copperman says.
As far as frozen vegetables, Ms. Copperman advises avoiding the ones that are packaged in butte or sauces as those items add calories and salt. Frozen vegetables can be more nutritious than canned ones because they are picked, blanched and flash frozen to preserve some of their nutrients.