Written by Beatrice Bachleda
Eating for health isn’t just weight management; it boosts immunity and mood too. Look at it as a way to nourish and nurture the whole self rather than a “diet.” Though wintertime limits fresh produce, there are still many things to try. All it takes is an open mind and a hungry belly.
Root vegetables like carrots, beets, parsnips, white and sweet potatoes, and celery root are delicious chopped up into bite-sized pieces, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, dried rosemary, and roasted in the oven. Leftovers can be pureed with some soup stock and ginger and served with bread.
If chosen wisely, bread and starches like rice, pasta, flatbreads and tortillas, can round out a meal. Whole grains contain fiber which fills bellies up faster and for longer and have more nutrients than the white versions. Choose brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, and quinoa.
Fiber– and vitamin- rich winter squash like acorn, butternut, delicate, and pumpkin are flavor powerhouses. They can be cooked into nearly anything. Treat them like root vegetables. Cube them into stews with chicken or beef or simply steam and mash with a little butter and salt and pepper. Spaghetti squash is a fun pasta alternative.
Omega-3 has been proven to reduce depression, control weight, and improve brain function. Find this in flax and chia seeds added to yummy healthy puddings and smoothies. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon also have this essential fatty acid.
For a little sunshine, try citruses. Full of vitamin C and free radicals that increase energy, lemon and limes can be added to water and oranges and grapefruit makes salads tasty and healthy. A spinach salad with walnuts and orange segments, and drizzled with flax-seed oil sounds pretty good for lunch!
Look online for more recipes to experiment with winter’s harvest. Happy eating!