Protect Immunity & Lower Cancer Risk in Winter with Nutrition
Eat foods like sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin, and citrus fruits which are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene. Fight infections with zinc, which is found in meat, eggs, and unprocessed grains, and get probiotics from yogurt and fermented foods. Polyphenols in green tea give great virus protection, and helps to ward off the flu.
Cranberries are a great example of a nutritional heavy hitter that’s both versatile and perfect this time of year (they’re in-season through the end of December). High in antioxidants, phytonutrients, cranberries also have anti-inflammation properties. Use them to top a salad or sweet potato, blend them up in a smoothie, use them to flavor water, or snack on them as dessert with dark chocolate.
Mix and match seasonal and local foods and you’ll reap a strong variety of benefits.
DECEMBER SEASONAL EATING
Remember to shop your neighborhood farmer’s markets. You’ll find the freshest items at the best prices!
Apples Beets Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Carrots
Cauliflower Celery Collard Greens Cranberries Dates Grapefruit Kale Kiwifruit Leeks Lemons Mushrooms Mustard Greens Onions Oranges Papayas Passion Fruit Pears Persimmons Pomegranates Potatoes Radicchio Radish Rutabaga Spinach Sweet Potatoes Swiss Chard Tangerines Turnips Winter Squash
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
pinch each kosher salt and black pepper
2 lbs medium sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 apples (such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady), 1 peeled and chopped and 2 thinly sliced
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Stilton (4 ounces )
1/3 cup walnuts
16 crackers or crostini
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the sweet potatoes, chopped apple, broth, nutmeg, and 1½ cups water. Bring to simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, adding more water if necessary to reach the desired consistency. (Alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender in the pot.)
Serve the soup with the blue cheese, walnuts, crackers, and sliced apples.