Written by guest blogger: Registered Dietitian & Indoor Cycling Instructor, Lena Rakijian, MS, RD, LDN
When we think of winter season, comfy cozy sweaters, snow flurries, & hot lattes come to mind, but fresh produce is usually not on that list. Eating fresh, local produce can present a big challenge during the cold months. But with a dash of creativity and pinch of skill, you can master cooking in winter with nutritionally powerful fruits and vegetables!
Nutritional power: Loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron. Leafy greens boosts the immune system, promotes healthy cells, and promotes bone health.
How to eat: Chop greens. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir in coarsely chopped greens. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 1/2 cup water, and steam, covered, until greens are just tender and water evaporates about 10 minutes. Squeeze lemon onto greens before serving! Lemon is rich in vitamin C which increases iron absorption!
Nutritional power: Rich in Vitamin C, these fruits will help boost immunity during the cold winter months.
How to eat: Squeeze lemon onto sauteed greens or use in salad dressing. Eat ½ grapefruit drizzled w/ 1-2 tsp real maple syrup or honey w/ ½ cup cottage cheese or greek yogurt on the side for a balanced snack.
Roots & Tubers
- sweet potatoes and yams
Nutritional power: Turnips and beets are an excellent source for vitamin C to promote immune health. Sweet potatoes and carrots are high sources of vitamin A which maintains healthy teeth, bones, and skin. Carrots are a great source for vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes healthy teeth, bones, skin, and vision. Also prevents free radical damage and helps with aging. Sweet potato is also rich in vitamin B-6 (aids in protein metabolism) and magnesium (promotes normal nerve and muscle function as well as bone health).
How to eat: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel, trim, and cut vegetables into 1 inch thick slices. Season with rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with hands to coat vegetables evenly. Put in a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes until tender and golden brown, then serve!