Easy, Delicious Autumn Recipes for Seniors

autumn recipes

Autumn is a special time of year! The weather turns crisp and cool. Leaves fall from the trees and drop a carpet of color at your feet. Thoughts turn to the upcoming holiday season, visits with family and friends, and of course, the good food that usually accompanies those heart-warming events. But you don’t have to wait until the holidays to enjoy delicious, healthy autumn dishes! Seasonal favorites like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, and even broccoli and Brussels sprouts can give you a fantastic meal any day of the week.


Just a quick note on kitchen safety-- many falls happen in the kitchen. That’s why the National Institute on Aging recommends that seniors sit down to do the prep work for meals. It also pays to consider an affordable medical alert device that can summon immediate assistance 24/7/365. That said, let’s talk about some delish autumn meals!

Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Chips

Turkey is a staple of fall flavors, and the American Heart Association makes it clear that turkey is a healthy part of a year-round diet. Why wait until Thanksgiving to get your fix? Ground turkey makes it super easy to have this protein powerhouse for dinner anytime. Turkey is very low fat and provides iron, potassium, and zinc, as well as phosphorus and magnesium. It’s quick and easy to cook and requires little clean up. What could be better?

A side of sweet potatoes packs a fiber-filled punch that doesn’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar and provides you with a variety of nutrients, including thiamin, calcium, and vitamin C[1].

·         8 oz. ground turkey

·         1 finely minced shallot

·         2 cloves finely minced garlic

·         3 tsp. soy sauce

·         Mayonnaise to taste

·         1 large sweet potato

·         2 potato buns (or whatever is your favorite)

·         Olive oil for drizzle

·         Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Thinly slice the sweet potato into chips and arrange the rounds on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper as you prefer, then bake for up to 30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping them halfway through.

While the sweet potato is cooking, combine the turkey, shallot, and garlic in a bowl. Add the soy sauce. Mix thoroughly and form the mixture into patties. Drizzle olive oil into a frying pan over medium heat and cook the turkey burgers for about five minutes per side or until browned, making sure the burgers are cooked all the way through.

Toast the potato buns by splitting them in half and placing them on a small baking sheet in the oven for a few minutes.

Place the patties on the buns, spoon the mayonnaise over them, and serve with the sweet potato chips.

Vegetarian Chili

Sweet potatoes and black beans form the base of this vegetarian chili. Why does that matter? According to Healthline, sweet potatoes are full of antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes provides 769% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A (which is great for your eyes), 65% of the vitamin C you need, and 50% of the daily value for manganese. The manganese might help prevent osteoporosis and slow the signs of aging[2].

Black beans bring fiber and antioxidants to the table, as well as the potential to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides[3].

·         1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil

·         1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

·         1 large diced onion

·         4 cloves minced garlic

·         2 Tbsps. chili powder

·         1 Tbsp. roasted ground cumin

·         Sprinkling of red pepper flakes (if desired)

·         2 cups of water

·         Two 15-oz cans of black beans, rinsed well

·         One 14-oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis

·         2 tsps. lime juice

·         Chopped cilantro for topping

Heat the oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Saute the sweet potato and onion until the onion begins to soften and the sweet potato browns a little. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes (if desired). Stir the mixture constantly for a minute or two, then add 2 cups of water.

Cover the pot and let the mixture simmer. Cook until the sweet potato is tender when pierced with a fork, which should take about 10 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes with green chilis, and the lime juice. Return the mixture to a simmer and stir it often until the chili has reduced and thickened a bit. Serve in bowls topped with cilantro and any other accompaniments you enjoy.

Maple Chicken Thighs with Roasted Veggies

This comfort food is quite versatile, as you can include any veggies that are abundant in the fall. Using chicken thighs not only provides you with healthy calories but it’s also usually a cheaper cut of chicken, which makes your pocketbook grateful. Chicken provides the protein you need for stronger bones and muscles. It can also lead to an improved mood, a healthier weight, and all sorts of mineral intake, including zinc, iron, and B12[4].

·         4 bone-in, skinned chicken thighs

·         1 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

·         1 bunch trimmed asparagus

·         2-3 cups your choice of seasonal veggies, cut into 1-inch pieces

·         4 Tbsps. dried cranberries

·         3 Tbsps. chopped pecans

·         2 Tbsps. pure maple syrup

·         4 Tbsps. olive oil

·         1 Tbsp. thyme

·         Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place in the oven for five minutes to heat while you prepare the ingredients.

Combine the maple syrup, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and thyme in a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Combine the sweet potato, asparagus, and other veggies, drizzle with the remaining oil, and toss to coat.

Carefully remove the pan from the oven and arrange the chicken in the center of the pan and surround it with the veggies. Be careful not to get burned. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken and mix the veggies, then brush them all with the maple syrup mixture. Roast for 15 minutes more or until a thermometer placed in the chicken reads at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the chicken and veggies on plates, sprinkle with cranberries and pecans, and serve.

Pumpkin Spice Loaves

Though these classic loaves are poured into a standard loaf pan for this recipe, you can also use small, disposable loaf pans to give them as gifts. Simply reduce the baking time and watch them closely to ensure they don’t become too brown on top.

Pumpkin is considered a superfood[5]! It’s a powerhouse of good things that can improve your eyesight, fight some types of cancer, and provide you with a good amount of fiber. The Cleveland Clinic points out that pumpkin contains potassium for heart health, vitamin C to help your immune system and a whopping 200% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, which is good news for your eyes.

·         One 15-ounce can of solid-pack pumpkin

·         3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

·         1 tsp. baking soda

·         1 tsp. salt

·         4 lightly beaten eggs

·         2 ½ cups sugar

·         ¾ cup vegetable oil

·         1 tsp. ground cinnamon

·         ½ tsp. baking powder

·         ½ tsp. ground cloves

·         ½ tsp. ground allspice

·         ½ cup milk of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, blend the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs. Mix very well. In another bowl, blend the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients a bit at a time, alternating with the milk. Beat the mixture well after each addition. When all the ingredients are incorporated you should have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Breakfast Apple Topping

This is where a tiny crockpot can really shine! Make this delightful topping the night before and when the sun rises, serve it over waffles, oatmeal, or pancakes. If you want something lighter, spoon it over vanilla yogurt. 

Apples not only bring a good amount of fiber into your diet, but they provide many other benefits as well. Apples can improve gut health, reduce your risk of stroke, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and even fight against some cancers. Get that delicious fix with this tender, sweet apple topping.

·         3 lbs. peeled and diced baking apples

·         1 cup chopped pecans

·         ½ cup raisins

·         1/3 cup melted butter

·         1/3 cup brown sugar

·         ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

·         1 Tbsp. lemon juice

·         ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a sauce-sized slow cooker (about 1 ½ quart). Cook on high heat for three hours or low heat for six hours, stirring occasionally. Serve warm. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Make Fall Cooking Fun

Autumn provides an abundance of foods that are good for you. Stay healthy by making these wonderful foods at home, where you can control the salt content and adjust other ingredients as needed.

As you spend more time in the kitchen, it’s important to stay safe! Alert1 Medical Alert Systems offers that opportunity with a wide variety of medical alert pendants to choose from. There’s even a medical alert watch for those who want something a little different.

When you’re considering a medical alert wireless system, looking into fall detection technology is an even better way to make sure you stay safe in the kitchen or on an autumn walk through the neighborhood. A mobile medical alert system with fall detection can alert our trained professionals to a fall even without your having to press the emergency button alarm!

Autumn is a time of favorite foods, beautiful meals, time with family and friends, lovely walks around an ever-changing neighborhood, and the anticipation of approaching holidays. Let Alert1 help you make sure it’s a safe, happy, healthy season to remember.