Eating lots of fruits and veggies can feel a lot easier in summer, when the produce always seems to look great and a cold salad or crisp apple sounds like a refreshing hot-weather bite. But when colder months come, just like with exercise, it can be more challenging to make healthy choices. You may have big holiday meals (and leftovers) and seasonal treats like tins of cookies sitting around.
But aside from special meals and sugary treats, colder weather can make us want to stay warm and cozy, which makes us more likely to reach for comfort foods than fresh fruit when we need a snack. Here are some tips to help make sure you eat plenty of fruits and veggies this winter!
Take Advantage of Soup Season
Soup is one of the ultimate winter comfort foods, and it’s a great way to add more veggies to your diet! Next time you’re making a pot of bean stew, add chunks of squash and sliced up greens to make your cozy meal an antioxidant powerhouse! Just about any soup recipe can benefit from an infusion of vegetables, whether it’s a bunch of different things from the freezer (see below) or a seasonal offering. Making a puréed soup? Consider simmering potatoes and cauliflower before blitzing; they will help thicken and be a great source of vitamins and minerals.
Supplement Seasonal Veggies with Frozen Options
Like us, you may love winter vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and parsnips … but most cold weather foods are starchy and high in sugar. Consider supplementing your local fresh options by stocking up on frozen produce. Fruits and veggies are frozen at peak freshness, which can be a lot nicer than the uninspiring imported asparagus you might be seeing in the fresh produce section.
Plan Cold Treats For the Right Time
New Englanders have a reputation for keeping their heat miserably low in the cold months. You can always put on a sweater … but biting into that cold crisp apple isn’t nearly as enticing when you’d rather wrap your hands around a mug of cocoa. If you prefer your fresh fruit cold, as many do, consider planning a snack right after you come inside from walking the dog, when your blood is flowing and the house feels warm. Alternatively, grab an orange while you’re preparing dinner—the warmth from moving around (and from the stove) will help take the edge off. Are you a smoothie lover? Prep your smoothie before you jump in the shower, so that you can enjoy it while you’re toasty warm.
Two Words: Baked Apples
They’re often treated as a dessert food, but apples don’t need much to be a delicious and warm snack. Whether you go for warm applesauce or quartered and cored apples popped in the oven for a bit, a sprinkle of cinnamon is all you need to make a warm, festive, and healthy snack!
For more health tips, or to schedule an appointment for chiropractic services, dry needling or massage, contact Progressive today!