Holidays & Food are like a Marriage made in Heaven
We’re all familiar with the classic “visions of sugar-plums” scenario but what about the visions of those tasty, traditional dishes that dance around in our head at this time of the year? They bring us feelings of warmth and joy, and the last thing we think about is how healthy they are. But did you know that these wonderful dishes are packed with good nutrition?
Foods like sweet potato casserole, butternut squash soup, roasted chestnut stuffing, garlic potatoes, toasted almonds and green beans, sweet pumpkin pie, and let’s not forget the roasted turkey sitting amongst them all, can actually be good for you. While a holiday feast can add lots of extra calories, these foods provide you with tons of nutritional benefits, such as protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C and E, just to name a few. Specifically, squash, carrots and sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of the colorful nutrient, known as the “carotenoids.” You need a source of fat to absorb carotenoids, so add a healthy margarine spread like or some olive oil for flavor and good health.
The nutrients in a traditional holiday dinner can protect against a whole host of chronic diseases, build bones, and boost our immune system. So there’s no need to avoid these marvelous dishes, but please enjoy them in moderation. Take a long, relaxing walk after dinner to help digest your meal and burn some of those calories. You can easily avoid the average five-pound weight gain over the holidays by not overeating and continuing to exercise.
Enjoy the flavors of the season and Happy Holidays!
Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ inch, thick slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss together the potatoes, oil, and thyme, and sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until tender and crisp on the edges, 30 to 40 minutes.
Roasted Butter Squash Puree with Goat Cheese
Butternut squash, about 2-pounds
1/4 cup torn sage leaves
Salt and pepper
1-ounce soft mild goat cheese
Heat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub lightly with olive oil and put the sage leaves in each squash cavity. Rub in a bit of salt and pepper. Turn upside down in a pie pan and roast for about an hour or until very tender. Let cool for five minutes, then scoop out the flesh and puree with the goat cheese.
Recipe by Faith Durand @ www.thekitchn.com