It's not always easy getting the recommended daily allowance of fruit, which is something that registered dietitian Cynthia Sass knows all too well. Watch as Cynthia shows us some unique and creative ways to sneak Winter fruit into our diets this season.
I'm pretty excited for Spring to hit the farmers market — strawberries! fava beans! peas! — but there are a few Winter veggies I wish could hang around. This is especially true of brussels sprouts. On a nutritional level brussels sprouts are low calorie and high in vitamins C and K; they're also full of fiber. And more importantly, when it comes to eating and cooking, they taste pretty great. Here are a few healthy brussels sprouts recipes to sneak in before the season ends.
Cauliflower is a pretty bright spot amongst Winter produce; it's also underrated. And even though its pale color might lead you to believe that it doesn't have much nutritional value, it's actually a cruciferous vegetable and in the same family as broccoli and kale. Besides helping prevent cancer and reduce the risk of cancer, cruciferous veggies also benefit the liver and the cardiovascular system.
Now that you know how beneficial cauliflower is, it's time to get cooking!
Source: Flickr User Maggie Hoffman
We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!
The cold weather arrived in New England this weekend and I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. It's official — get out your knits — Winter is coming soon. One bright spot in a long cold winter is clementines at the grocery store!
I personally think that clementines are the best Winter fruit. They are easy to buy, store, pack and eat. You know the saying "You can't have just one?" Well that's how I feel about clementines, I always take two at a time! Clementines like all citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps with our immunity which sometimes struggles during the cold winter months when we spend more time inside and germs get passed more easily. One clementine is just 35 calories with 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of protein making it an excellent addition to any breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack!
I don't love the Winter so I look for little things to make me happy during those long, cold, dark months. Clementines brighten any Winter day so pick some up when they arrive in your store (soon)!
More from SELF!
Growing up in Hawaii, I was sort of spoiled. In my backyard we had papaya, avocado, coconut, and passion fruit trees. The best part? They were there when we moved in! And in a tropical climate like Hawaii, these trees need little in the way of cultivation — they just kind of hang out and take care of themselves.
Even though I've moved away from Hawaii, my favorite fruit is still passion fruit, except now it's more of a delicacy than a mainstay. If you've never experienced this sweet, fleshy fruit, now is the time to try it. It grows in abundance this time of year and can easily be found at most grocery stores. (I was able to pick one up from Safeway just the other day.) The purple fruit is antioxidant-rich and full of vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C.
Look for ones that are about the size of a lemon with slight indentations in the skin — this means they're ready to eat. I usually just slice one open and eat the pulp — seeds and all — with a spoon. The fruit has a really sweet, floral scent and a sweet-tart flavor. What will probably be unusual to most people is the texture. On top of being really juicy, the pulp has an almost jelly-like texture and consistency.
If you're not into the texture, passion fruit is great for juicing or as an ingredient in a cocktail, dessert, salad dressing, or a sauce. I also love making jam out of it too. Have any of you tried passion fruit?
Source: Flickr User geishaboy500
Depending on where you live, finding good Winter produce can be difficult — this is especially true on the East Coast. Around this time of year, farmers markets lose a bit of lushness and start resembling outdoor root cellars. However, hidden amongst the piles of potatoes, carrots, and turnips is one of my most favorite vegetables ever: broccoli rabe, aka rapini.
I first came across this bitter leafy green while traveling in Italy and quickly learned that it does not taste like regular ol' broccoli. They're similar in color and texture, and even though broccoli rabe sprouts small florets, it's closer in relation to the turnip family. Being a big fan of turnip greens, kale, and chard, I was immediately attracted to its bold, pungent flavor. In Italian cuisine, it's common to saute broccoli rabe with a little bit of olive oil, chili flake, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt. My favorite way to enjoy it is in the classic Italian pasta dish, orecchiette with broccoli rabe and spicy sausage — turkey sausage works great in this dish too, by the way. I love the versatility of this veggie because it can be roasted, braised, boiled, steamed, or sautéed.
Of course anything this dark, leafy, and green has gotta be good for you too. Broccoli rabe is low in calories, an excellent source of vitamin C, and has even more beta-carotene than the standard US broccoli; it's also packed with vitamin K and isothiocyanates, which help in the process of detoxifying cancer-causing substances before they cause harm.
Source: Flickr User cbertel
What's not to love about Winter squash? It's naturally sweet. Its orange color brightens up any meal. And the acorn variety naturally comes in a handy two-serving size.
Loaded with beta carotene, the antioxidant that gives the squash its lovely hue, and fiber — 5.7 grams per cup — acorn squash is an excellent addition to many meals and is so easy to prepare. You simply:
- Cut the squash in two, scoop out the seeds
- Brush the sides with olive oil
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Bake face down on a rimmed dish for 30 minutes at 400 degrees
- Flip squash to brown the insides by cooking for another 10-15 minutes
Easy peasy! There's also no reason to send your squash into the oven naked. You can adorn it with many tasty spices. Hear five ways to spice up your squash when you read more
In my mind, nothing beats the tang of a pink grapefruit in the morning. Considered a classic diet food, it has been much abused by the weight loss industry — remember the Grapefruit Diet? This is no reason to ignore this healthy citrus fruit. Learn why you should learn to love grapefruit of the pink variety.
- Both varieties of grapefruit are low in calories. A serving of the pink fruit contains only 65 calories and two grams of fiber. Grapefruit is also high in vitamin C, offering 48 milligrams in one serving. Plus it is in season now.
- Not only does pink grapefruit contain the hard-to-come-by antioxidant lycopene, the citrus fruit also contains a broad range of other antioxidants. Lycopene might have anti-tumor properties and is a powerful enemy of free radicals, which cause cell damage, so it's definitely a micronutrient you want to include in your diet.
- Research found that eating half a grapefruit before every meal can lead to greater weight loss in dieters. While I might not be able to eat the fruit before every meal, eating some before breakfast seems highly doable. Not only that, but the scent of grapefruit oil has been found to reduce the appetite. Researchers speculate the oil's smell has an effect on liver enzymes, which help nix cravings and spur weight loss.
- Grapefruit is not just for breakfast anymore. Add sections of the fruit to salads, like this jerk-grilled chicken with arugula salad. It pairs nicely with avocado too.The tangy fruit also makes for a great dessert in a grapefruit sabayon gratin.
Love it or hate it, tell me how you feel about pink grapefruit in the comment section below.
Winter is fast approaching, and with it comes an array of hearty veggies that will fill you up and warm your soul. There's a huge variety, especially when it comes to squash, so do you know which is which? Take this quiz and find out.