Favorite Fall Recipes: Healthy & Hearty

I grew up in Michigan and miss the charming, autumnal time of year up north right now. That time of leaves changing, falling, and ushering in crisp “sweater weather.” Those market trips when my Mom would bring home the appley goodness of cider and the ingredients to bake apple crisp. 

As we move deeper into my favorite season, autumn, it’s a glorious time to add a few new fall options for sharing. Why? Because our bodies crave different foods based on the seasons.

Lisa martinez

As we move deeper into my favorite season, autumn, it’s a glorious time to add a few new fall options for sharing. Why? Because our bodies crave different foods based on the seasons. And perhaps you’ve gotten stuck in a cooking routine, making the same old recipes and eating the same old dishes, like we all have at one time or another. 

Cookbook author Kristina Turner first introduced me to the concept of “eating with the seasons.” Eating fresh, local, seasonal vegetables helps our bodies to adjust and attune to the rhythm of each season. As far as winter garden vegetables, Kristina recommends the ones that taste even sweeter afterwards such as “carrots, kale, collards, broccoli, parsnip, rutabaga and turnip.”

As the days grow shorter and colder in the fall, our bodies want heartier options that will give us comfort, heat, and energy. “Your beautiful body is craving warmth and fulfillment in a time of departure and release. And the world responds with supportive abundance – what an amazing symbiotic relationship!” say the Health & Wellness coaches at Redefine Your Balance. There are a number of helpful autumn tips and recipes on their site here.

I savor the foods of fall—the squashes, root veggies, and of course, apples. My husband and I also like hearty meats – anything from pork tenderloin to pot roast, meatloaf to brisket. While I enjoy all of that, I love partaking in food that is truly nourishing—that it wholesome, and cares for the body, not just feeds it. So, here are a few healthy, fall recipes for your home this harvest season.

Sweet & Healthy Pumpkin {NOT in a Latte}

If you’re like my Dad was, he loved starting the day with a muffin and a cup of tea or coffee. But as I diabetic, it wasn’t a healthy choice for him to begin by carbing up and prepping for an eventual sugar crash. Even the sugar free options in the store are usually made with artificial sweeteners and enriched flours. So, I searched and found a perfect fall muffin. These Paleo Pumpkin Muffins are moist, flavorful, hearty, and my guests can’t believe that they are also healthy. Get the recipe for the best fall muffins here.

Tenderest Pork Tenderloin

fall recipes
Photo Cred:

While pork is a fall fav, it can be tricky to cook it without it drying out – which I’ve done plenty of times. But the Best Baked Pork Tenderloin recipe from gave excellent tips and tricks to making a juicy, tender, and flavorful tenderloin in less than an hour

Hit the links above to get the pork play-by-play, it’s worth it! But basically, the prep starts with a quick brine (aka salt bath), then patting it dry, covering in dry rub, searing to lock in moisture, then adding lemon, butter in a foil wrap to lock in the juices. Obviously not over cooking meat is also key. 

There’s a lovely herb, butter sauce that collects in the foil after it’s done cooking. Make sure you ladle that overtop, it’s perfect.

Sweet Potato Side

I love sweet potatoes. I avoid the candied yams in heavy syrup, or ones marbled with marshmallows–too sweet for me. I often serve a simple baked, sweet potato topped with ghee and cinnamon. But, for when we want a treat, I’ll make a Carrot-Sweet Potato Mash. 

From my picky-eater hubby, “This takes orange foods to the next level! This is every day, every meal good… take it from someone that doesn’t eat orange foods!”

Carrot-Sweet Potato Mash

My adaptation from this recipe via 
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 min | Yields: approx 4 servings


  • 1 (8 ounce) package baby carrots
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup ghee (or butter)
  • 1/2 cup no-sugar added applesauce, or as needed (I used 1/4 cup and it turned out great!)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional: I didn’t use)


  1. Put carrots and potatoes in a large pot, covering with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the ghee (or butter) over medium heat. Then stir in the applesauce and coconut sugar until dissolved. When the potatoes are ready, transfer to a serving bowl and mash until smooth. (I did this by hand with a Potato Masher for a chunkier texture, as pictured above. If you want a smoother texture, use a hand mixer.)  Then fold in the applesauce mixture and raisins, if desired.

I hope that these healthier recipes will be ones you add to your fall lineup. If you do, please let me know what you think – drop a comment here, or on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

About Author

Creative, Entrepreneur & Silly-Heart. Christ has called her to bring the broken to His Sacred Heart. Calls Austin home with her mountain-man husband, Mike, who she loves to travel through life with as well as around the world.

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