Healthy Winter Food Choices
Are there healthy winter foods?
Or only fat-and sugar-laden goodies like those we have been indulging in since last Thanksgiving (or, rather, Halloween)?
You might know by now that leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses. Despite the fact that salad greens are considered spring and summer fare, most greens can grow really well in cold weather. (I love this piece in Mother Earth News describing how to DIY, if you’re so ambitious.)
I am not a gardener, but lucky for me the organic markets near me have incredible greens all year ’round, and I make use of them in the winter in my own homemade comfort foods: hearty soups.
The options when it comes to soups are seemingly endless. But sadly, many soups that restaurants serve are loaded with dairy and salt, neither of which can be considered healthy. But you can easily make very low-fat, non-dairy, low-sodium, high-nutrient soups at home, in about 30 minutes.
This is what I did, just last night:
- Washed half a head of fresh green kale (2 minutes)
- Cleaned and chopped a large potato, 3 carrots, and 2 small heads of broccoli (8 minutes)
- Poured the contents of one box of low-sodium, organic, free-range chicken broth into a big pot, then added the vegetables from Step 2, and more water so the veggies were all covered (2 minutes)
- Brought to a boil, then let it simmer (with the cover slightly off-kilter on the pot) until the veggies were as tender as I wanted them to be (20 minutes)
- Added the kale and cooked for one more minute with the cover on (1 minute)
Mind you, I am no chef. I don’t actually like cooking. But this simple soup was so tasty that I am totally going to make it again. Maybe next time I’ll use collard greens, or red potatoes, or parsnips—the possibilities are really endless. It’s the easiest, healthiest kind of winter meal I can imagine. Heck, you can even cook up some brown rice and pour the soup over it, creating a heartier meal with even more filling fiber and nutrients.
If you’re like many Americans, struggling as you try to start this new year off right, becoming healthier and eating better as a part of that process, trust me: You can eat healthy this winter. Winter soups are a great way to start.