Fall

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Fall is the best season for running. Spring is great too. Winter snow runs are fun but a bit slippery. Summer is awful: too hot. But in the fall it’s cool and crisp. It’s not humid, not slippery. There’s still daylight after work. The leaves are full of color on the trees and littering the path as your feet strike the pavement. I could run forever in the fall. I hope by next fall, I’ll be able to.

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One of my other favorite parts about fall is the food. Pumpkin. Apples. Squash. And I can use my oven again! Lately I’ve realized that my metabolism has finally slowed down due to inactivity (this generally happens to me after a 2-month running drought). So while I’d love to be drinking pumpkin spice lattes, eating pie, and drinking pumpkin beer and hard apple cider with Fireball whisky, I’ve found myself on the hunt for healthy fallicious recipes. This week, both breakfast and lunch feature fall flavors and spices: Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats and Butternut Squash Soup. I accidentally ate both of these before I could snap a picture today. #sorrynotsorry

Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats
This recipe I made up myself. Not too bad for a first try.

1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups water
2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
Cinnamon and nutmeg

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until the oats are cooked and the consistency is how you’d like it. I honestly didn’t pay attention to how long. This could also be made in a slow cooker. 5-6 servings at 200-250 calories. Next time I might toss the apples in a little cinnamon before putting in the saucepan.

Butternut Squash Soup
from Gimme Some Oven

2 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
1 granny smith apple, cored and diced (I used Gala)
1 medium (uncooked) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 sprig fresh sage (I used dry)
1 white onion, diced
1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/8 tsp. cayenne, or more to taste
pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup canned coconut milk

Add everything but the coconut milk to the slow cooker. Toss to combine. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high, until the squash is completely tender and mashed easily with a fork. Remove and discard the sage (if you used fresh). Stir in the coconut milk. Blend in a blender, food processor, or immersion blender until smooth. Add additional seasonings, if desired. Eat ALL the soup. I got a little over 8 cups of soup, and the whole recipe is only about 1,000 calories.

What healthy flavors are you enjoying this fall?