Sure the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks is a delicious way to taste the fall season, but are you willing to counter your crisp autumn run by consuming 13 grams of fat and 380 calories?  If your answer is no but you’ve still been craving fall foods post-workout (and all other times of the day), I have compiled a few post-workout meal ideas and recipes that not only taste great but also have extra benefits to help you recover faster and stronger for your next workout.

Roast Chicken with Butternut Squash With protein and potassium from the chicken and squash, this meal promotes muscle growth and healthy bones to keep workouts strong.  Squash is in season early fall through winter, and in addition to having bone-health promoting potassium, it offers a good source of antioxidants, which are a natural anti-inflammatory.

Pumpkin Oatmeal This meal offers immune-fighting carotenoids and Vitamin C found in the pumpkin and both soluble and insoluble fiber in the pumpkin and oats.  The two types of fiber work together to fight cancer, lower cholesterol and restore carbohydrates lost in a workout.  For even more fall-rich flavor, add protein rich pecans to your oatmeal.

Fresh Figs with Walnuts and Maple Syrup A good source of dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, figs are power-recovery foods that will not weigh you down for your next training session.  The magnesium in the figs helps prevent cramps while working out and promotes calcium absorption in the bones.  The other main ingredient in this simple dish is maple syrup, which also contains magnesium and zinc, both of which benefit the body’s immune system to help and defensed against getting sick. And for the walnuts?  They’re packed with protein to rebuild muscle.

So pull out a your cooking equipment, forget about your favorite Boar’s Head sandwich or Colonnades dessert for the night, and cook an autumn recovery meal at home.

For reference when foods are in/out of season, I found a good website with an interactive map where you can choose the state and month and find which fruits and veggies are in season.