Once cold temperatures hit, it’s easy to put healthy eating aside in favor of comfort foods that tend to be heavier and richer. There are ways to combat bad winter food habits, including finding produce that’s in season and eating frozen vegetables.
“Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that you need all year round,” said Clinical Dietitian Kelley Koplin, RD, LDN. Pumpkins, potatoes, and root vegetables, along with celementines, pineapples, and apples, are a good choice for wintertime eating, according to Clinical Dietitian Kristin Blackway, MS, RD, LDN. How can you incorporate these vegetables and fruits into your daily diet? The answer is, any way you want.
Pumpkin apple soup — Using apples, pumpkin, broth, and a few seasonings will make this a healthy yet comforting winter meal.
Pumpkin muffins — Packed with fiber and whole grains, these muffins can be a low-fat addition to your breakfast routine.
Pumpkin hummus — Hummus is a great way to incorporate a healthy snack. Add some pumpkin to the mix to give you something extra-special to look forward to with your mid-afternoon snack.
Baked spaghetti squash — Along with a bunch of vitamins and minerals, spaghetti squash features lower calories and carbs than traditional pasta.
Stuffed acorn squash — Like its sister winter squash, acorn squash packs a number of vitamins such as B-6, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and is a great addition to the dinner table. And you can stuff this any way you want. Whether it’s stuffed southwestern style or with kale and sausage, the possibilities are endless.
Roasted butternut squash — Low in fat and high in fiber, this is a simple addition to any meal. Just toss the squash with olive oil, garlic, and seasonings and roast away.
Sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative to traditional potatoes and can be easily swapped into a number of recipes, such as the following:
Sweet potato hash
Sweet potato and spinach quesadillas
Black bean and sweet potato tacos
BANANAS AND APPLES
These two fruit staples can be found year-round, and are more than just a fruit used as a snack or as inspiration for desserts. There are three ways to incorporate these into your diet.
Apple meatballs — Whether you use ground chicken or ground turkey, adding apple to the meatballs gives a typically savory dish a touch of sweetness.
Banana guacamole — If you can add peaches and mangos to salsa, why not add bananas to this spicy spread?
Banana butter — Peanut butter and banana go together almost like peanut butter and jelly. Combine them for banana butter that can be used in your morning bowl of oatmeal.
When it comes to adding fruits and veggies to your diet, the creativity never stops as long as you’re willing to try something new.