Now that the holiday season is in full swing, it’s important to take steps to stay healthy so you can enjoy the festivities with your family and friends. Here are four of the most important things you can do to stay healthy this year.
One of our favorite fall activities is going to the local Bay Area farmers markets to find fresh, in-season produce. Here are five of our favorite veggies, as well as easy recipes to use them in!
SWEET POTATOES: While sweet potatoes contain a lot of nutrients like fiber, potassium and Vitamin B 6, this vegetable is off the charts when it comes to Vitamin A! One sweet potato contains more than 300% of your daily Vitamin A -- which is good news for your eyes, bones, teeth and skin. As an added bonus, one medium sweet potato has only about 115 calories.
MUSHROOMS: From cremini to portobello to button to morel to chanterelle, there are lots of mushroom varieties, and lots of reasons to love them. They’re abundant in the late summer and early fall. They can serve as anything from a garnish to a main ingredient to a grillable “steak.” No matter which variety you choose, you’ll enjoy the nutritional benefits of B Vitamins, potassium and selenium (an antioxidant that decreases inflammation).
PARSNIPS: One of the things we love most about parsnips -- which are sweet, white, carrot-shaped vegetables -- is their versatility. Parsnips can be baked, boiled, sauteed, roasted or fried. They contain lots of potassium as well as B vitamins. They are high in fiber -- which helps prevent constipation and lowers cholesterol. Parsnips also contain high levels of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and prevent some forms of cancer. Most of the nutrients are found just beneath the skin, so you’ll get more bang for your nutritional buck if you eat them unpeeled or lightly-peeled.
BRUSSEL SPROUTS: Brussel sprouts are one of the top 20 most-nutritious foods according to the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, a ratio of calorie content to nutrient value. For a vegetable, they contain a relatively high amount of protein, and a single serving will provide you with your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin K! Just make sure you don’t overcook them so you can enjoy their full nutritional value.
CABBAGE: Like brussel sprouts, cabbage belongs to the Cruciferous vegetable family, named for their cross-shaped, four-petal flowers. Cabbage is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate. It’s low-calorie (one cup has only 22 calories!) and low-carb. You can enjoy it in salads, soups and casseroles -- just make sure not to mix it with high-calorie ingredients (like mayonnaise or cheese) to give your body the healthy boost it needs.
ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/roasted-potatoes-carrots-parsnips-and-brussels-sprouts-recipe2-1940760
WARM SHIITAKE SLAW: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/warm-shiitake-slaw-recipe-1919718
QUINOA WITH SWEET POTATOES AND MUSHROOMS: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/160743/quinoa-with-sweet-potato-and-mushrooms/
ROASTED PARSNIP MUSHROOM SOUP: http://www.mushroominfo.com/roasted-mushroom-parsnip-soup/
WARM RED CABBAGE SALAD WITH SWEET POTATOES: https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/warm-red-cabbage-salad-with-sweet-potatoes
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