Delicious and nutritious winter foods
If you think fresh and nutrient-dense foods are only available in warmer months, think again. Winter is a wonderful time of year to take advantage of the abundance of delicious and nutritious foods.
Whether it’s roasting root vegetables for fiber and antioxidants, simmering broths for bone health and weight loss, or slicing citrus for immunity and hydration, winter has plenty of foods to keep you warm and healthy.
So, cozy up by the fireplace and enjoy what the season has to offer with some of the following flavorful, comforting, and nutrient-packed fare.
Winter squashes, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, and parsnips are all excellent seasonal produce in cooler months.
These starches are good sources of fiber, beta carotene, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and other nutrients which can help support:
- heart health
- weight management
- proper digestion
Try including root vegetables in your winter diet by:
- roasting them with herbs
- adding them to smoothies (especially beets)
- including them in winter stews and soups
- combining them into risotto, rice, or pasta dishes
Enjoy the natural sweetness root vegetables have to offer and simultaneously reap the benefits for your health.
Winter can, at times, be filled with heavy meals that don’t necessarily support goals of weight management and healthy eating. Broths can help offset those rich feasts while still satisfying and comforting your body.
Bone broths, made from animal proteins and bones, can boast high vitamin and mineral content inclusive of collagen (which transforms into amino acids), iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, selenium, zinc, and manganese.
These flavorful broths can help:
- strengthen bones
- reduce inflammation in joints and the gut
- encourage proper sleep
- support hair, nails, and skin
They can be enjoyed as a light meal, as a foundation for soup or stew, or even just sipped as a warm beverage.
To make one quart of broth, add 2-3 large chunks of beef or buffalo bone (or animal bone of your choice) to a slow cooker with 1/4 cup vinegar (white or apple cider), and a hefty pinch of salt. If desired, add herbs, onions, garlic, and/or vegetables. Fill the remainder of the slow cooker with water and simmer for 4-6 hours.
For a non-animal protein broth, check out Rebecca Katz’s Magic Mineral Broth™ recipe.
Winter can bring with it its fair share of colds and flu, which is why citrus is such a treasure this time of year.
These fruits ripen to their sweetest during cooler months in North America, making them both an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants and a bright way to liven up your diet.
Grapefruits, oranges, lemons, tangerines, and kumquats offer high levels of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants that can:
- enhance immunity
- reduce inflammation
- help balance mood (particularly helpful in winter months)
- protect the brain
- support heart health
Add them to your diet:
- as a snack
- on top of salads
- in smoothies or juices
- as a fresh-squeezed juice
- as dessert
Just remember that moderation is key as these fruits do contain natural sugars and elevated acid levels.
As you can see, winter doesn’t have to be filled with heavy meals that help put on weight rather than manage it. By including root vegetables, broths, and citrus, you can increase your nutrient content while still enjoying full flavor and comfort.