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Fall Recipes and Tips For Staying Healthy

Fall Recipes and Tips For Staying Healthy

In our last article, we talked about how you can support local farms by buying fresh, locally grown food right here in the Hudson Valley. Now, we’ve decided it’s a perfect opportunity to build on that message by showcasing some local health gurus from our site. We reached out to them and got some great health tips and fall recipes using some locally sourced ingredients.

Esther Ban is a Hudson Valley health coach who lives in Westchester County. As we transition into the fall season, she says “it’s important to make shifts in our diet and lifestyle practices much like nature does so that we can stay resilient and healthy in the cooler months ahead.” Esther specializes in helping women overcome stress so they can have all the energy necessary to chase after their goals.

Cory Blan from Citizen Strength & Nutrition is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach who specializes in personalized nutrition and training for weight loss. We managed to snag an amazing looking fall recipe from him to help you all stay warm and remain fueled for this fall season. 

We hope these great tips and recipes help you to embrace the changing season while also supporting your health. Don’t forget to check out our two great recipes later in the article!


Head to your local farmer’s market
The fall season is harvest time. Produce like beets, cauliflower and carrots are at their peak so this is the time to get them into your meal plan for the freshest taste and highest nutritional boost. Purchasing them from your local Hudson Valley farms and co-ops not only supports your community businesses but your health with fresher more nutrient-dense produce. Not to mention it’s better for our planet as it means fewer carbon emissions created in transit time.

All about balance
Shifting your diet and lifestyle habits during the change of seasons is important for keeping your body in balance. The windy and cooler temperatures can create imbalances that can manifest as anxiety, feeling scattered, and dryness. 

Foods that come from the ground such as root vegetables have a “grounding” quality to them. This concept is from eastern health traditions (e.g. Ayurveda) and takes into account the energetics of food, not just the biochemistry and calories that western nutrition focuses on. The fall harvest naturally offers grounding foods that help to bring balance to your body during this windy and erratic season. 

Root vegetables are also nutritious with fiber, antioxidants, and are a great source of energy like complex carbohydrates to keep you satiated and satisfied. Incorporate cooked vegetables like beets, carrots, winter squashes by simply roasting them or blend the roasted veggies with some bone broth, or any stock to make a simple soup. 

Nourish with healthy fats
Healthy fats found in avocado, olive oil, ghee, nuts, and seeds are beneficial to counteract the drying nature of this season. Include almonds and pumpkin seeds daily in your snacks, or sneak coconut oil into your teas to help keep your skin supple and prevent the drying effects of the fall. 

Spice it up
Pumpkin spice and everything nice! The beautiful aromatic spices that we associate with this season are not only delicious but healthful. Incorporate warming and medicinal spices like cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Add them to your roasted veggies for additional flavor and nutritional benefits – antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and digestive support. Warm cozy spiced beverages like golden milk or chai tea are great ways to incorporate these spices and take a break from your day. 



Make sure to stay hydrated and get some rest
What we’ve been hearing for the longest time but still remains crucial to our health is that we should stay hydrated and get quality sleep. It can be easy to put sleep off, but make sure that you are (at least) attempting to get a full night of rest. If you want to help your immune system, the CDC says we should aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night. 

Just like getting enough rest, staying hydrated can help your body’s immune system improve. During this time it is still easy for your body to become dehydrated. No matter what season it is, make sure to rehydrate. As the weather gets drier, drinking more water will also help your skin remain supple. 

Go outside and stay active
Although it is getting colder out, there are still some ways to get a good dose of Vitamin D while also taking some time to improve your physical and mental health.

trail RunningHIKING AND TRAIL RUNNING: We can’t think of a better way to see the beauty that the Hudson Valley has to offer than to hike and run the trails that we have surrounding us. The Hudson Valley has beautiful scenery and can offer some great candids for your perfect Instagram post. Don’t forget while going out to explore the parks, follow the locations’ social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask to protect yourself and others. 

DOING SOME YARD WORK: An unexpected way to stay active this fall season can be to do yard work all around the house. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. 

Check out our recent blog post, Hudson Valley Fall Landscaping Checklist: Tips On What To Do To Your Lawn This Fall Season for some important landscaping activities you should get done around your yard before the winter season rolls around. Yard work can seem like a hassle but going outside to tend to your yard can be extremely calming and relaxing. Think of it as a way to get a mental break from all the chaos! 

To help you get started, we created downloadable images of the recipes Esther and Cory created so you can keep them with you whenever you need a little inspiration. Check out the tips and links below.


Braised Pork with tamale dumplings aka Mexican Matzo Balls by Cory Blan  |   Download Recipe Card

Our first recipe is a delicious and hearty “Sunday dish” made from locally sourced meat. Check out Hemlock Hill to get started!

4 servings |  Time: 6 hours


  • 4 lb cubed, Hemlock Hill pork shoulder
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Apple Chopped
  • 1 Butternut Squash, cubed
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Dried Guajillo Chili, seeds removed and chopped
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Tamale Flour (Maseca Instant Corn Flour)
  • 2 Tbls Tamari,
  • 2 Tbls Braggs liquid aminos
  • 2 Tbls Coconut aminos



  • Remove skin, bone, and extra fat from the shoulder and get an instant pot broth going or equivalent brothing method. Add in your Tamari, Braggs liquid aminos and coconut aminos.
  • Cube meat and brown in a large dutch oven which if done correctly will take a long time, this is a Sunday kind of dish!!! When brown, add Salt, Pepper, 1 Tbsp of ancho powder, Guajillo, and oregano to taste.
  • Continue to brown and the spices should come alive in the pork fat, you can add onion and apple when your senses tell you the time is now.
  • Strain your broth and remove any meat from the bone, skin, and fat, add salt to taste. Before your onion burns add broth and braise in the oven at 300℉ for 2-4 hours until the pork is tender. Remove from the oven and taste it! Add anything you want to make it better, in my case I needed salt and more water; when content, add in the butternut squash. Cook for 25-30 min more.
  • Make Tamale dough according to the bag, I generally skip the addition of fat so it takes more liquid than they call for, but for this, I used the pork broth which is pretty fatty.
  • Once the squash is tender, turn the oven up to 350℉. I spoon in the Tamale Dumplings, wiggle them around a bit so they’re up to their shoulders in broth, and cover and bake for about 45 min at 350℉.
  • Take a corner of a dumpling and taste if it’s a dense yummy biscuit, we’re good if not bake another 10 minutes. Let cool for 15-30 minutes.
  • Serve it up with fresh Oregano and Maldon salt in my case but any taco type garnishes would be fine. Enjoy!

Fall Harvest Bowl Recipe by Esther Ban  |  Download Recipe Card

Esther’s harvest bowl features roasted seasonal vegetables on a bed of your favorite whole grain – be it quinoa or brown rice drizzled with a flavorful and creamy tahini dressing which will give you an antioxidant boost! This bowl is also a great template for you to use to create your own “bowls.”  Swap the veggies with what you have on hand or your favorites, add in your favorite clean animal protein, use a different grain. This is a formula for an endless combinations of “bowls.” 

4 servings |  Time: 20 minutes 


  • 1 head Cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 1 Carrot (chopped into 1-inch rounds)
  • 1 Beet (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1Turnip (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1Parsnip (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 cups Chickpeas (cooked, drained, and rinsed)
  • 1 cup Quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 3 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon (juiced)
  • 1 Garlic (clove, minced)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 4 cups Kale Leaves



  • Pre-heat oven to 420ºF (216ºC).
  • Place cauliflower florets, carrots, beet, turnip, and parsnip in a large mixing bowl (toss beets separately if you want to keep the lighter veggies clean). Season with sea salt and pepper and drizzle with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Toss well. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread vegetables evenly across. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place quinoa in a saucepan with the water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover with lid and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  • Create your dressing by combining tahini, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and sea salt together in a mason jar. Add 3 tbsp warm water. Shake well and set aside. (Note: Feel free to add extra water, 1 tbsp at a time, to reach desired dressing consistency.)
  • Place the kale in a bowl and massage with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt. Place in a frying pan over medium heat and saute just until wilted. Transfer into a bowl.
  • Pour your chickpeas into the same frying pan (which should still be lightly greased from the kale) and saute until lightly browned.
  • Assemble your harvest bowl by placing quinoa in the bottom of a bowl and arranging roasted winter vegetables, sautéed kale, and warm chickpeas on the top. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over the bowl. Enjoy!

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