If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to start eating healthy, it must start by consuming fresh seasonal produce. The high nutritional value of fresh produce compared to the preserved options is what makes seasonal produce a healthier option. Apart from physical health, seasonal produce is cost-effective and is also good for environmental sustainability.
January is the season of winter produce. With the brassicas, winter squash, root vegetables, and citrus in the market, there are so many healthy recipes to experiment with.
Here are two simple, delicious, hearty, and nutritious dishes using the winter seasonal produce of January.
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash is considered the winter superfood. It is packed with antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and potassium which are good for heart health and blood sugar, and reduces the risk of several chronic diseases and inflammation. Apples are good for bone health, immune system, and lung health, and reduce inflammation. This butternut squash and apple soup is soul food that is easy to make using seasonal produce and can be hearty for the winters.
- Butternut squash – 1 pound, peeled and chopped
- Apples – 2, peeled and chopped
- Potato – 1 small, peeled and chopped
- Onion – 1, chopped
- Fresh ginger root – 1 tsp, grated
- Toasted pecans or sunflower seeds – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
- Plain yogurt – ½ cup
- Apple cider – ¼ cup
- Brown sugar – 1 tsp
- Butter – 2 tsp
- Salt and White pepper – as per taste Water – 4 cups
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook the onions in it until soft.
- Add the squash, potato, apples, ginger, salt, pepper, and water.
- Boil on low heat for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
- Blend the mix until smooth. If needed, blend in batches, and beware of the hot mix.
- Return the blended mix to the saucepan, add the brown sugar and apple cider. Boil it.
- Add a dollop of the yogurt and the pecans or any nuts or seeds while serving.
This recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 140
- Protein – 3 g
- Carbohydrates – 29 g
- Fat – 3 g
- Dietary Fiber – 5 g
Different varieties of citrus add color to the winter seasonal produce. Like other citruses, grapefruit is rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants that help against inflammation and protect the immune system. It regulates cholesterol levels and its high fiber content is good for digestion and weight loss. This Grapefruit curd is the perfect balance of sweetness and tang, which makes it a great spread for toast, waffles, pancakes, muffins, or cakes.
- Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice – 1 cup, strained
- Fresh grapefruit – 1 medium, zested
- Egg yolks – 3, large
- Whole egg – 1, large
- White sugar – ¼ cup
- Unsalted butter – 5 tbsp
- Take a small saucepan and bring the grapefruit juice to a simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.
- When it is reduced to 3/4 cup, cool it, and add the grapefruit zest.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar until smooth.
- Pour into the saucepan with the grapefruit syrup and heat over medium heat.
- Keep stirring constantly for around 8 – 10 minutes, until it has a thick custard or warm pudding-like consistency.
- Strain the curd through a mesh strainer to remove the zest or bits of eggs.
- Add the butter to the warm curd and stir in slowly until smooth.
- The curd will thicken as it cools.
- Simmering the grapefruit juice will give a more intense fruit flavor.
This recipe makes 10 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 113
- Protein – 2 g
- Carbohydrates – 10 g
- Fat – 8 g
Images – for representative purposes only
Recipe ideas from Allrecipes.com