10 Foods for Winter Nutrition

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In the summertime, everywhere we turn there is fresh, delicious, local fruit and vegetables to be had. Farmer’s markets, fruit stands, the grocers…it’s so easy to find nutritious munching material.

But if you live in a four-season climate (as I do), once January rolls around, produce is looking a little worse for wear – and we have to work a little harder to find those super foods that our bodies crave for life!

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So today, I’ve compiled a list of some seasonal (and season-less) nutritious options for the long days of winter ahead:

+Citrus: take advantage of this winter wonder in all its many forms- grapefruit, clementines, cara-caras, blood oranges… such a juicy pick-me-up for the winter doldrums!

+Nuts: so easy to grab and go. We keep an apothecary jar filled with mixed nuts right on the counter (along with an easy-access scoop) for whenever we get in a crunchy mood. All that protein and healthy fat, sure beats chips! Best to choose a lightly salted or plain variety.

+Frozen Spinach: what a cheap nutrient powerhouse that’s readily available all year long! Thaw slightly, and add (along with the spinach water) to soups and smoothies for a hearty punch of vitamins and minerals.

+Root Veggies: sweet potatoes, beats, turnips, parsnips, and onions are all in abundance right now. Because they hold much of their nutrition through roasting, we enjoy slicing them into cubes, and baking with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Great as a side dish, or a snack, we make large batches of these gems to last through the week.

+Carrots/Cucumbers with Hummus: a quick and delicious go-to snack. The carrots and cucumbers can even be prepped and waiting for you in the fridge for whenever the hungries hit!

+Bananas with Peanut or Almond Butter: a classic carb/protein combo that will give you the boost you need to make it through the afternoon lag.

+Pumpkin Seeds and Raisins with Dark Chocolate: melt some very dark chocolate, stir in the seeds and fruit, and spread in a thin layer on wax paper to cool and harden. Break into bark, and enjoy this antioxidant delight!

+Canned Pumpkin (with no sugar added): this under-appreciated source of beta-carotene and potassium is easier to use than you may think! Stir a little into Greek yogurt to eat on its own/use as a fruit dip, or make up a yummy pumpkin smoothie for breakfast! Add to soups as a thickener, or to your morning oatmeal along with some cinnamon. HERE is a recipe for overnight pumpkin oats to try!

+Beans or lentils: dried and no-salt-added canned beans are always easy to find at your local grocery store. Full of fiber and protein, and low in fat, beans can help keep you feeling full for a long time after a meal. A great meat replacement, we love the simple comfort of old fashioned beans and cornbread in the wintertime. HERE you’ll find several bean/lentil rich soup recipes.

+Pomegranates: although a little work to prepare, pomegranates are deliciously ripe and plump during the cooler months. Full to the brim of anti-oxidants, poms also decrease inflammation. We love eating their tart juicy  seeds by the spoonful, but they’re also a great topper for oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, and salads.

I hope you’re inspired to seek out these tasty, power-packed foods and add to your grocery list in the coming weeks of winter that we have left. Hang in there, spring is just around the corner!

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