Best Food For The Winter Season

Best Food For The Winter Season

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

When winter weather sets in, our diets often change. That’s right, we like more hearty foods in cold weather. It’s a joke in my hometown in Texas that when the temperature gets down to 60, it’s chili weather. That’s 60 degrees – Fahrenheit. We often go from lightweight salads with fresh tomatoes to Toad in the Hole. Ok, to be honest, we may have never drifted far away from Toad in the Hole, but you get the idea. In cold weather, we want to be full and warm and luckily, the foods that are in season during the winter lend themselves to our refined tastes. Canned, Dried, and Juice We often forget the value of preserved foods. With so many of us striving toward more wholesome diets, we avoid preservatives. However, there are many ways to enjoy out of season fruits and vegetables that have been properly preserved, retaining all of the nutritional value we need. While juices often have the pulp, and therefore the fibre, removed, we can still get some of the benefits of the vitamins and minerals, especially if they are freshly made. Clementines Oh, the joy of clementines! How did I ever get through childhood without learning about these dainty fruit? Sweet, chewy, and easy to peel, I can tell you that these are the all-round winner for winter season fruits. Even children can open these juicy little packages without adult help. I grew up in a home where my parents put an orange in our stockings at Christmas, because that was a true treat during the Great Depression. To us, though, it was no big deal. Kids today, however, cheer for clementines regardless of the method of delivery. Spaghetti Squash This amazing vegetable is the answer to your dieting prayers. It’s an oblong squash that is the same diameter on each end, unlike a zucchini. It looks sort of like an elongated cantaloupe. However, when you cook it like a baked potato, you end up with a remarkable culinary delight! Slice it opened like you would a melon, and it is full of meaty, crisp “spaghetti” that you can scoop out onto your plate. Top the spaghetti squash with your freshly made marinara sauce and garlic bread sticks, and you have a fine, fulfilling meal. Leeks Another great vegetable for winter dining is the leek. The slight taste of onion, along with the crunchy texture, make this a great selection for cold-weather soups. I personally like to keep it simple. Here is my recipe for Leek Soup: 4 large leeks 1 TBS olive oil 2 cloves garlic 1 lb. cooked, chopped Italian sausage 4 cups of chicken broth 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. rosemary Clean the leeks and chop them into bite sized pieces. Warm the oil, and sauté the leeks briefly. Add the chopped garlic and Italian sausage. Brown these slightly, then add the salt, rosemary and chicken broth. Simmer all of it until it is bubbly and the leeks are tender. Serve it with a crusty bread, and everyone will think you are a genius!

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