Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and apples are all amazing fall superfoods and the perfect reason to get cooking.

Cheap and versatile, butternut squash is loaded with fiber and vitamin A. For an easy butternut squash mash, cut the squash in half, discard the seeds and roast for about 1 hour at 350 degrees. Scoop out the flesh and mash with olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, grated Pecorino cheese and salt.

Roasting is also a great way to prepare Brussels sprouts, rich in vitamins C and K. Cut Brussels sprouts in half and saute with some olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until lightly browned. Then bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for eight to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped hazelnuts.

Apples are a great source of hunger-busting fiber, and apples baked in a slow-cooker make for a fabulous, filling dessert that’s quick to prepare.

Easy-As-Pie Baked Apples

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins or prunes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 Gala or Macintosh apples
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
  • 2 tablespoons orange liquor (optional)

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, walnuts, butter and cinnamon to make a filling.

Using a grapefruit spoon with sharp edges, a melon baller or a small paring knife, core most of the way through each apple, leaving about 1/2-inch at the bottom. Spoon the filling into the center of each apple and place the apples in the slow cooker. Pour the apple juice or cider and the liquor, if using, into the slow cooker around the apples.

Set the slow cooker on high heat and cook 2-1/2 to 3 hours until the apples are soft and begin to collapse. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days in an air-tight container.

Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, use a 7-by-11-inch casserole dish and add ingredients as described above. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

More information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has all kinds of resources for more on apples, from buying guides to recipes.