February is the American Heart Month and National Cancer Prevention Month. Cancers and cardiovascular diseases can be life-changing. However, they can be prevented by following healthy habits, as most risk factors are lifestyle-based. Apart from following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular checkups and preventive screenings is crucial for the early identification of risk factors and taking early preventative measures.
Eating healthy and seasonal foods is known to go a long way in preventing lifestyle-based health issues, especially cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. With February having colorful brassicas and citruses in season, it is the best time to consume them in various dishes.
Here are two simple, healthy, and delicious dishes made using fresh seasonal produce.
Broccoli is probably one of those versatile vegetables easily tossed aside as boring. On the contrary, they are packed with potent antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other bioactive compounds that protect against inflammation, reduce total cholesterol levels, improve eye health, boost the immune system, and support hormonal balance. Apart from the health-protective effects, Broccoli can be a delicious vegetable that is easy to cook and can be a great appetizer or side. Pairing it with garlic and lemon makes it more delicious and healthy. These simple roasted broccoli florets with seasonal citrus lemon and garlic can be a great side for family dinners or can make a filling snack.
- Broccoli – florets of 2 heads
- Extra-virgin olive oil – 2 tsp
- Garlic – 1 clove
- Lemon juice – ½ tsp
- Sea salt and ground pepper – to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
- Take a large bowl and toss the florets, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper evenly.
- Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the heads are tender.
- When cooked, transfer to a serving bowl or platter.
- Before serving, squeeze some fresh lemon juice liberally for the refreshing tang.
- The broccoli florets can also be air fried instead of roasting.
- You can also add toasted almonds, pecans, or seeds while serving.
This recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 49
- Protein – 3 g
- Carbohydrates – 7 g
- Fat – 2 g
- Dietary Fiber – 3 g
Flourless Pulpy Orange Cake
Citrus fruits are in season, and they can be a great addition to sweet and savory dishes. With oranges and lemons in season, it is the best time to incorporate them into most dishes. This pulpy orange dessert makes use of flavonoids that are especially good for heart health and against cancer. It is also a high source of fiber and potassium that reduce cardiovascular risks. Although it is a flourless cake with a lot of oranges, portion control is the secret to healthy eating.
- Oranges – 2, whole with peel
- Eggs – 6
- Sugar – 1 ¼ cups
- Almond meal – 1 ¼ cups
- Baking powder – ½ tsp
- Saffron powder – a pinch (optional)
- Candied orange peel – 1 tsp, finely chopped (optional)
- Take a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the two whole oranges in it.
- Boil over medium heat for around 2 hours. Make sure it is not dried up during boiling.
- Cool the oranges and cut them open. Deseed the oranges and blend them to a coarse pulp.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F).
- Grease a cake pan and line it with baking paper.
- Take a large bowl and beat the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes using an electric mixer.
- Add the saffron, baking powder, candied orange peel, and pureed oranges.
- Fold the almond meal in it gently.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking tray and bake for around one hour or until the knife comes out clean from the middle of the cake.
- Cool the cake, transfer it to a plate, and serve with a dollop of whipped cream (if your calorie count allows it).
- Finely ground almonds can be used as an almond meal.
- Add more nuts or seeds to the batter, if needed.
This recipe makes 16 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 174
- Protein – 5 g
- Carbohydrates – 21 g
- Fat – 9 g
- Dietary Fiber – 2 g
Images – for representative purposes only
Recipe ideas from Allrecipes.com