In winter we look for fare that will stick to the ribs and keep us full throughout the day. Instead of reaching for processed or fast food items, take a look at the winter garden. There are tons of good items there that will not only satisfy your tummy but keep you healthy as well.
Vegetables are a healthy source of carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. During the winter, you can get crafty with these vegetables in foods like soups and chowders. But before you do that you need to know which vegetables you are going to be working with.
Cruciferous vegetables are indeed winter veggies. You can enjoy an abundance of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. All of the crunch helps you to chew more and eat less. They also make good substitutes in certain recipes.
An example would be mashed potatoes. If you are trying to cut down on white potatoes, mash up cooked cauliflower and add some sour cream to get the consistency of mashed potatoes but with a healthier twist.
These hearty veggies, especially broccoli, is labeled a super food. This means that in itself it contains all the nutrients and minerals that you need. Now you won’t be eating broccoli all day but you will get a healthy dose of everything when you eat it. It is also instrumental in lowering your risk of certain cancers, boosting the immune system and increasing antioxidants.
Root vegetables are also popular in winter. These include carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas and the like. They require longer cooking times to break them down and soften them but it is well worth it because of the flavors they impart.
Some of these you may have heard of but haven’t worked with before. The winter is the best time to experiment with new flavors and recipes. Here are a few examples of recipes that you can use to help you get the taste of these winter vegetables.
Cream soups – One thing about cream as opposed to broth soups is that they are thicker and stick to you longer for a full feeling. Try using a food processor to blend some cooked squash and potatoes or chopped up broccoli. Add some chopped chives, green onions and other spices along with fat free sour cream to add flavor.
Stir fry – This is a great way to steam and sauté vegetables with very little oil. Water chestnuts, celery, onions and carrots can be used to create an Asian stir fry. Slice them thin or julienne them so that they cook faster. Add seafood, lean poultry or lean beef to round out the meal.
Salads – There are plenty of winter greens that can be used to make flavorful salads. Top with winter citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines and pears for a sweet twist. The fruit adds flavor without the need to drench your creation in salad dressing.
Winter doesn’t have to be boring food wise. Try those winter vegetables to create new dishes your family will love.
That’s it for now. Until next time Divas, wear your heels well and Be Blessed!
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