It’s October, which means Halloween candy and farmers’ markets! Sure, I know you’ll treat yourself to your favorite chocolate bar this month after trick-or-treating, but balance that out with some variety from the vegetable department.

I often hear people say they don’t like the taste of some vegetables. But sometimes, this may actually mean they don’t like the way various vegetables have been prepared for them. Simply steaming some veggies is a great low-fat way to eat them, but others may require a bit more pizzazz to really make them appealing. After all, the steamed vegetable that just sits in the serving bowl uneaten is not as nutritionally valuable as the gobbled-up vegetable that’s layered with a creamy cheese sauce and inspires second helpings!

So think about some new ways to prepare the autumn harvest of veggies. Vegetables are loaded with healthy antioxidants and are high in fiber, making them an important part of your diet. But, if they aren’t tasty, you’re probably not going to eat enough of them. One great recipe to try is our cauliflower soup from Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies®, which adds in sour cream, low-fat milk and herbs to give it a creamy texture and flavor boost. Make sure to try other new recipes, and don’t be afraid to add a bit of fat and calories to a vegetable dish.

Another great way to enjoy vegetables is hosting a Fondue Party! Make this simple fondue, and offer a platter of veggies along with some cubed bread to dip. Veggies such as steamed Brussels sprouts or broccoli flowerets work well, along with cubed potatoes. For a full meal, you could make two different fondues and also add cubes of cooked chicken, lean beef, pork loin or shrimp to dip.

Everything’s turning up Pumpkin!

I am a coffee lover. Instead of spending too much money on fancy coffee at the coffee shop, try making your own Pumpkin Latté at home! You can even make these for the kids — just use less coffee, or skip it altogether — and it’s pumpkin milk! This is a great thing to make when you’ve baked something with pumpkin and have a bit left over.

There are so many options to improving nutrition. Make smart choices, and enjoy the fall season in new and healthy ways.