10 Healthy Winter Vegetables – includes recipes

Winter vegetables are those that can grow even when the weather is very cold outside, including when there’s a frost.

Vegetables that can be grown in colder weather are rich in nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K.

Plus they contain fiber that support a healthy digestion and immune system support.

Root vegetables, like beets and carrots for example, actually develop a higher starch or sugar content when temperatures drop in order to help them withstand frost, which contributes to a delicious flavor.

Yet another reason to eat seasonal produce.

Not all winter produce though falls into the root vegetable category.

Cruciferous vegetables are also grown in the winter, such as broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.

Read on to some of the benefits associated with eating winter vegetables. Recipes for each can also be found.

Broccoli

Broccoli is high in fiber.

It also contains cancer-fighting compounds like glucosinolates.

Also antioxidants such as carotenoids, chlorophyll, vitamins E and K, essential minerals and phenolic compounds.

RECIPEBaked Garlic and Broccoli

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is high in essential vitamins, carotenoids, fiber, soluble sugars, minerals like folate and potassium, and phenolic compounds.

Various antioxidants found in cauliflower include beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin and kaempferol.

All of these antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress in the body.

RECIPE – Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad (recipe contains cauliflower).

Kale

Kale is loaded with flavonoid antioxidants, including quercetin and kaempferol.

The leafy vegetable also contains vitamins and minerals that include, vitamins A, C and K, B vitamins, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and magnesium.

RECIPE – Moroccan Three Bean and Kale Soup

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts taste great when their roasted.

There a fibrous vegetable packed with calcium, potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K.

The little green globes are full of antioxidants as well that help fight cancer.

RECIPE – Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cinnamon Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries

Cabbage

All varieties of cabbage are low in calories but high in fiber, which includes insoluble fiber that supports digestive health.

Cabbage contains vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and antioxidants, such as anthocyanins.

RECIPE – Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Bread

Beets

Beets are a unique root vegetable as they are one of the best dietary sources of nitrates, which help promote healthy blood flow and blood pressure.

They are also a great source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C.

Beets also have protective compounds like betanin and vulgaxanthin, which fight inflammation.

RECIPE – Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips

Carrots

Carrots contain vitamin A also known as beta-carotene, which supports healthy skin and eye health.

Carrots are high in antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which support healthy aging and fight free radical damage.

The root vegetable also has vitamin K, potassium, thiamine, niacin and fiber.

RECIPE – Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

Fennel

Fennel is a vegetable that supports digestive health because of unique compounds it contains.

Fennel has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-tumor and antispasmodic properties.

The vegetable also contains a number of disease-fighting phenolic compounds, such as bioflavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, coumarins and hydroxycinnamic acids.

Fennel also contains potassium, B vitamins and including vitamins A and C.

RECIPE – Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad

Winter Squash

Nutritionally, all winter squash are high in vitamin A (alpha-carotene and beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin B6 and magnesium.

Squash is fibrous with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, and polysaccharide carbohydrates.

RECIPE – Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes pair perfectly with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in both sweet and savory dishes.

Not to mention, they’re full of fiber and vitamins A, C and vitamins B-6 and B-12.

They also contain potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

RECIPE – Roasted Charred Sweet Potatoes

Enjoy these recipes as well with cold weather vegetables.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon


Love Dessert Again With These Grain-Free Gluten-Free Sweets

Love Dessert Again With These Grain-Free Gluten-Free Sweets

Love dessert but it makes you bloat, have indigestion, fatigue, brain fog, irritability among other things?

Grains may not be as healthy as we all have been lead to believe – How So?

The Problems With Eating Grains

Grains contain anti-nutrients, like phytates, and lectins.

Phytates bind to essential minerals and essential digestive enzymes in the digestive tract rendering them non-available or in active for absorption or digesting food properly (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry).

Lectins compromise the integrity of the intestinal lining, increasing gut permeability and encouraging the spread of bad bacteria.

Lectin sensitivity is the way your body’s immune system responds to the compromise of the digestive tract.

If you are experiencing lectin sensitivity, you may notice one or a combination of the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Ultimately a comprised intestinal tract is associated with just about every autoimmune disease.

Gluten-Free & Grain-Free Desserts

Why not try gluten-free and grain-free alternative flours.

Like almond, coconut, garbanzo bean, amaranth and flax seed flours.

Sorghum and Teff are grains milled into flour. Both are by nature gluten-free.

Teff grains are so small, it’s hard to remove the bran and germ during the milling process and because of this, milled teff is a whole grain gluten-free flour.

A Mixing Bowl With Grain-Free and Gluten-Free Flour Alternatives

Try these grain-free, gluten-free sweets and love dessert again.


Kale For Salads Soups & Side Dish – recipes included

Kale For Salads Soups & Side Dish – recipes included

Kale is a leafy, cruciferous vegetable that is rich in nutrients. It comes in so many varieties, and in flavor variations as well.

Kale leaves can be white, red, purple and green. With either flat to curly-leaf edges.

There are 8 varieties of eatable kale and they include:

  • Curly Kale
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Siberian Kale
  • Chinese Kale
  • Redbor Kale
  • Premier Kale
  • Walking Stick Kale
Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Depending on the variety, the flavor of kale can be a sweet to nutty sweet flavor or a peppery slightly bitter flavor.

The stems and ribs of the leaves are tougher and even more strongly flavored than the leaves themselves.

Most recipes will call for removing the stem and rib before adding it to the dish.

Moroccan Three Bean and Kale Soup

Baby Kale verses Large Kale

If you want to a salad using kale, use what is packaged as “baby kale.” The leaves are harvested small and have a milder flavor.

Save the larger leaves for soups, stews, and other cooked dishes.

Large Kale For Adding To A Pot Of Soup

You can also use them as substitutes for spinach or cabbage to add variety to the flavor of your favorite dishes.

Benefits Of Eating Kale

Kale offers a range of health benefits for the whole body.

Kale has a wide range of nutrients that can help prevent various health problems.

The leafy green contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C and K, and including minerals like calcium and iron.

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup

Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures.

These toxins, known as free radicals, are unstable molecules. If too many build up in your body, they can lead to cell damage. This could result in health problems such as inflammation and diseases.

Kale and other green vegetables that contain chlorophyll can help prevent the body from absorbing heterocyclic amines (Source).

These are chemicals that occur when you grill or cook meat at a high temperatures.

A cup of cooked kale provides almost five times an adult’s daily need for vitamin K, around 15–18% of their calcium need, and about 7% of the daily phosphorus requirement.

Some research has reported that a high intake of vitamin K could help reduce the risk of bone fractures. Vitamin K is also needed for blood clotting.

Cider Braised Chicken With Apples and Kale

Try these recipes with:


Maple Syrup – The Same As Cane Sugar – Recipes Included

Research involving cane sugar at the University of California-San Francisco reports that sugar is essentially a toxin that causes all sorts of lifestyle diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Sugar is just about in every day foods bought. Such as bread, low-fat yogurt, soy milk, bbq sauce, tomato sauce, chocolate milk, cereals, smoothies, cookies, and muffins among many other foods.

If you were to have just one serving of each of the foods in the above image, you would have consumed about 13 tablespoons of sugar or 37 – 40 teaspoons.

That’s 30 teaspoons past the daily recommended intake by USDA of only 10 teaspoons or 3 tablespoons (The Question of Sugar – USDA).


You’ll enjoy this read – National Maple Syrup Day – is every year on December 17th.


The Alternative To Cane Sugar

There is an alternative sweetener, and what most people don’t know is that it beats out all the others.

What is the alternative? Maple syrup. Maples taste profile is even better than sugar.

Maple Syrup Flavor

Maple syrup has caramel notes along with the woodsy maple flavor that you might expect from a maple syrup product.

Maple syrup can have a complex flavor with notes of vanilla, cinnamon and even hazelnut.

Cane sugar tastes highly refined and incredibly sweet.

Maple Syrup Health Benefits

Maple syrup contains 100 essential nutritional compounds including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytohormones, and 67 polyphenols.

A study done by the University of Rhode Island – The College of Pharmacy, reported that maple syrup has antioxidants and minerals that deem this syrup a superfood (Study Source).

The researchers said that in their laboratory research they found several compounds that possessed anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses.

When examining other sweeteners, real maple is higher in – magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium than honey, brown sugar, and white sugar.

The USDA Nutritional Database, says a 1/4 cup serving of Real Maple Syrup supplies 95% of our daily intake of manganese, 37% of riboflavin, 7% of magnesium, 6% of zinc, 5% of calcium and 5% of potassium.

The database also reports maple syrup is higher in antioxidants than cabbage, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

Real Maple Syrup has a glycemic index of 54, and is defined as having a “medium” index.

Cane Sugar on the other hand, has a glycemic index of 68 and is defined as having a “high” index.

Honey has a glycemic index of 60 – Brown sugar has a glycemic index of 70.

If your vegan, maple syrup is an alternative to honey. It is also fat-free.

Eating and Cooking With Maple Syrup

Maple syrup can be used for more than just pancakes.

It can be used as an easy replacement for sugar in coffee, tea, and lemonade, as a homemade salad dressing, in baking, in marinades, and on roasted vegetables.

Here are a few recipes that use real Maple syrup.

Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad

Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad

Fruit salad just got more delicious with this cranberry mandarin orange and walnut salad.

Apart from the sugar, it’s full of healthy ingredients and certain to be popular on your dinner table.

Close-up Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad
Close-Up Detail of a Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Salad

Healthy Fresh Cranberries

Cranberries are small, hard, round, red fruits with a flavor that many describe as both bitter and sour.

They grow on vines in freshwater bogs, mostly in the northern United States and southern Canada.

They’re related to blueberries and wintergreen.

Native Americans first used them for food, fabric dye, and medicine. Sailors used to eat them to prevent scurvy while at sea.

Just one cup of raw fruit has this much vitamins and minerals:

  • 25% RDA of vitamin C
  • 9% RDA of vitamin A
  • 8% RDA of vitamin E
  • 6% RDA of vitamin K
  • 8% RDA of vitamin B-complex
  • 2% RDA of potassium
  • 1% RDA of iron and calcium
  • 16% RDA of manganese
  • 7% RDA of copper

Cranberries also have these antioxidants:

  • Quercetin
  • Myricetin
  • Peonidin
  • Ursolic acid
  • A-type proanthocyanidins

Fresh cranberries are 88% water as well.

Healthy Thyme

Thyme is an herb that can add so much flavor to a dish with so many health benefits.

The scent of thyme can boost your mood by the wonderful smell it gives off.

Cooking is relaxing, and when you remove the leaves from the stems, a wonderful order is admitted and that smell relaxes your mind even more.

Eating thyme can help lower heart rate and blood pressure.

The natural oils of thyme can also help repel mosquitoes.

Other Ingredients

This salad also supports digestion with celery and walnuts.

And consummation of both have been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad

Spoon of Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad over a floral serving dish

3 cups fresh cranberries, washed well

2 cups celery, sliced thinly

3 mandarin oranges, peeled, separated into segments

1/8 tsp. Himalayan salt

2/3 cups sugar

1/2 lime, juice and zest

2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped + more for garnish

1 cup walnuts, chopped

Put the cranberries in a food processor and pulse about 30 seconds into a ground mixture.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the celery, oranges, salt, sugar, lime juice, zest and chopped thyme. Toss and blend folding together all the ingredients.

Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving.

Refrigerator a glass bowl of Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad
Refrigerating A Bowl Of Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad

An Instant Vitamin D Boost – with recipes

An Instant Vitamin D Boost - with recipes

Vitamin D is the only nutrient your body produces when exposed to the sun.

UVB rays are absorbed through your skin and go through a process to become an active form of vitamin D.

But during winter months, we are at a higher risk of deficiency.

Other factors that can effect your vitamin D levels include latitude, skin pigmentation, and sunblock.

Deficiency is extremely common worldwide, as up to 50% of the world’s popular is not getting enough sun, and 40% of US residents.

Actions of Vitamin D In Our Body

Vitamin D is commonly called a vitamin though behaves more like a hormone.

This means that vitamin D acts as a messenger and not a participant in metabolism.

It is an acting hormone not only crucial for your bone health, but also your digestive health, muscle function, managing anxiety, and maximizing immune function.

Research has found a correlation between low vitamin D levels and SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Vitamin D also plays its roll in removing calcium from the blood and sending it to your bones and other organs that rely on it.

A deficiency of vitamin D according to documented medical research, suggests that vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to increased risk of cardiovascular events, the development of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.

Vitamin D is available as a vitamin supplement and can be purchased in combination with calcium.

Optimal levels of vitamin D are between 40 and 60 ng/mL. To reach these levels, health care providers recommend 5,000 IU/day (a blood test can determine your levels).

Getting Vitamin D With Your Diet

A vitamin supplement and a diet that includes vitamin D is a great idea for reaching ideal levels.

Skin Contact With The Suns Rays Provides Your Body With Vitamin D

The best food source to get your vitamin D is Salmon, Tuna, Trout, and Egg yokes among other foods.

Fish From The Wild For Vitamin D

Salmon

Wild caught salmon has 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5 ounce serving. Where as some studies have found even higher levels in wild salmon — up to 1,300 IU per serving.

Oven-Baked Pecan Crusted Salmon

You will also enjoy Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing – Yummy

Tuna

If weekly fresh fish is out of your budget, an economical source of vitamin D is canned tuna.

Three ounces of canned tuna contains approximately 50% of your daily vitamin D requirement.

Make sure the canned tuna you buy is wild caught and not farmed.

Quinoa Tuna Patties

You can also find a Tuna Salad Stuffed Avocado HERE.

Trout

According to Nutrition Advanced, rainbow trout is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin D, and one fillet offers 635 IU, which is more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance.

Roasted Trout with Baby Potatoes and Asparagus

Egg Yokes

With an average serving of two eggs providing 82% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin D, eggs contain some of the highest quantities of vitamin D of any food.

Each egg yolk has about 40 IUs of vitamin D so eating two eggs contributes 80 IUs to your daily intake. Eggs are also an excellent source of protein and lutein.

Try these recipes prepared with whole eggs.

Asparagus & Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce

Try this delicious breakfast recipe that includes using two eggs.

Red Swiss Chard & Asparagus Omelette

Oven-Baked Pecan Crusted Salmon

Oven-Baked Pecan Crusted Salmon

You might think Pecan Crusted Salmon is a fancy restaurant dish that you can’t make at home. But you can and it’s really easy to make.

This easy, pecan crusted salmon recipe is made with just 5 healthy ingredients – includes: Salmon – Pecans – Garlic – Parsley – and Cilantro.

Wild caught fish is the best fish to eat. The following are 3 reasons why farmed fish is bad or dangerous for your health.


You Will Also LikeThai Salmon Noodle Bowl


The Dangers Of Eating Farmed Fish

Danger 1

One of the biggest risks you take when you take a bite of farm-raised fish for dinner is that you’re taking a big bite of dioxin.

The World Health Organization says that dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals.

Scientists have found that dioxin levels in farmed fish are 11 times higher than those of wild caught fish.

Once dioxin is consumed it can stay in your body from 7 – 10 years and is linked to immune system problems and organ damage in humans.

Danger 2

A Scientific study reported finding that mice given farm raised salmon to eat had developed metabolic syndrome as well as the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

According to the researchers, the reasons for metabolic syndrome and blood sugar problems is because farmed fish are contaminated with persistent organic pollutants or POPs which have shown to cause insulin resistance and obesity.


How About A Salmon Salad – Honey Mustard Salmon Salad


Danger 3

You know that beautiful pink color salmon have? It is a natural color to wild caught salmon only.

Farmed salmon have a chemical added to their flesh called canthaxanthin – which can cause problems with the pigments in the retina of your eye (Food Additives & Contaminates).

Wild Caught Salmon Considered Superior

If you ask the experts about the advantages of wild-caught salmon over farmed salmon, they will point to the superior flavor and texture of wild-caught salmon, as well as its ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

They would note that farmed salmon is actually higher in pro-inflammatory and disease-promoting omega-6 fatty acids.

Oven-Baked Pecan Crusted Salmon

4 individual salmon fillets

1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly brush the bottom of a cast iron skillet with avocado oil.

In a small bowl, combine pecans, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper.

Spread the topping evenly over the salmon filets.

Bake salmon for 20 minutes, or until fish is fully cooked and easily flakes with a fork.

Plate and serve.

Suggested side dishes for your Oven-Baked Pecan Crusted Salmon:

Roasted Charred Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan

Creamy Spinach Parmesan Orzo

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad


Lunch Is Just As Important As Breakfast – includes recipes

Lunch Is Just As Important As Breakfast - includes recipes

Breakfast is usually given the credit for being the most important meal of the day, but lunch is equally as essential.

A lot of people forgo their lunch whether they are college students rushing to class, people trying to lose weight, or employees trying to get through piles of paperwork.

However, this is a bad habit to develop. Lunch is also important meal of the day.


Read On About The Importance Of Eating LunchLunch Recipe Ideas At End Of Article.


Why You Shouldn’t Skip Lunch

Food is what gives you energy. And eating lunch helps to raise your blood sugar level in the middle of the day, making you be able to focus for the rest of the afternoon.

Eating Lunch Keeps You Energized

Eating lunch, several hours after breakfast, helps to re-energize your body and can raise blood sugar levels when focus and concentration are fading.

If you’re feeling sluggish, eating even a small lunch can renew your energy and help you feel refreshed and ready to take on the next several hours.

In addition, eating lunch helps to keep your metabolism active, especially if you have a moderately sized meal and a snack before and afterward.

Skipping Lunch Can Cause Over Eating

It has been proven that people who don’t eat lunch tend to gain more weight because they overeat during dinner time to compensate for lunch.

Couple Over eating at dinner table
Over Eating At Dinner Because They Skipped Lunch

According to Dr. Kurt Hong of the Center for Human Nutrition and director of Huntington Medical Foundation – “Extended periods of starvation between large meals creates gaps which keep metabolism from staying active.”

According to the Weight Control Information Network, skipping lunch can rev up your appetite later, causing you to overeat or choose foods that have poor nutritional values.

Junk Food Won’t Cut It

More than half (56%) of those employed in the USA, typically eat a lunch that is not healthy.

Not just any lunch will do. Unhealthy foods can cause energy slumps.

Dr. Kurt Hong (mentioned above) recommends combining complex carbohydrates with lean protein to form a concentrated, long-lasting source of energy.

Time For Lunch

In a world where everything is getting more and more fast-paced, people forget to take a lunch break.

A lunch break is not a waste of time. It is essential for one’s productivity and health.

Now For The Lunch Ideas

Mexican food is a favorite for lunch. You’ll love these Mexican inspired taco lunches. The have the complex carbohydrates and protein you need at lunch time.

Another favorite is burritos. Buy some floor tortillas or make your own – and make a burrito your way. Here’s a recipe to try –

Burritos With Homemade Flour Tortillas

If you like fish, then you love this salmon recipe – Honey Mustard Salmon Salad.

Honey Mustard Salmon Salad

Who doesn’t love rotisserie chicken. This lunch idea will fill your complex carbohydrate and protein needs.

Rotisserie Chicken Baguette Sandwich With Basil

Here’s a platter of BBQ vegetables to add to a protein – BBQ Garlic Lemon Vegetable Platter. Yummy!!

BBQ Garlic Lemon Vegetable Platter

Depending on the time of year, here are some recipe ideas for salads. Just add your favorite protein.

Don’t eat your avocado plan for lunch – try this recipe – How To Use Avocados In Your Culinary Adventures.

How To Use Avocados In Your Culinary Adventures

Read more here about Healthy Mouthwatering Lunch


Have You Tried Butternut Squash Yet – with recipes

Have You Tried Butternut Squash Yet - with recipes

Butternut squash might just be one of Autumn’s most versatile fruits, yes fruit.

It is one of the most popular squashes with a mild, but sweet flavor and smooth-textured flesh.

There are so many delicious ways to use this hard-shell squash, from soups and salads to lasagna and pizza.



Fruit or Vegetable

Technically, butternut squash is a fruit as its seeds are inside the squash.

This is true of all members of the gourd family, which includes winter squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons.

A Prebiotic Food

Butternut squash is high in fiber and is a prebiotic food that supports healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.

A prebiotic food is not to be confused with a probiotic food.

Gluten Free Rigate with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked Bacon

Prebiotic was first brought to light by scientists in 1995, and described as “a non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host (human being) by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improves host (human) health”.

Prebiotics foods are fermented by the beneficial bacteria in the gut and used as a source of fuel to help enhance gut flora health.

Other prebiotic foods include asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions, dandelion greens, bananas, apples, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama root, radishes, chicory, and cabbage among many other foods.

Roasted Turkey Sausage with Apples and Butternut Squash

Nutritional Profile of Butternut Squash

One cup of cubed, raw butternut squash typically has 63 calories, 1.4g of protein, 0.1g of fat, 16.4g of carbohydrates, 2.8g of fiber, and 3.1g of sugar.

Butternut squash packs plenty of vitamins A and C, and including Calcium – Magnesium – Phosphorus – Potassium – Zinc – Copper and Manganese.

All these minerals and vitamins are needed to maintain healthy skin, hair and eyes.

Its potassium content helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cinnamon Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries

Selecting Your Squash

Look for squash with minimal bruising and no obvious cuts or oozy areas. The squash should feel heavy for its size.

During the Autumn months, squash can sometimes be found at farm stands, farmers’ markets, or “U-Pick” pumpkin and gourd farms.

Purchasing at these locations can help you get a squash with maximum flavor.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage with Gluten Free Penne Pasta

Storing Your Squash

If you plan on eating the squash soon, you can keep it on your countertop for up to a week.

For longer storage, keep it in a cool, dark place such as a cold storage room. A properly stored squash can last for weeks or even months.

Diced raw butternut squash can be refrigerated for two to three days.

Once cooked, the squash will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

In conclusion, to enjoy butternut squash, cook it by roasting, baking or microwaving the squash, then enjoy as a side dish. Try one or more of the butternut squash recipes featured in this article.

Sweet Potatoes Powerhouse Of Nutrition – includes recipes

Sweet potatoes are an extremely versatile and delicious root vegetable that possesses a great number of nutritional benefits.

It is also a valuable medicinal plant, providing anti-cancer, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory activities (Source).

Due to its high phenolic and anthocyanin content, sweet potatoes have a high antioxidant activity (Source).

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

A Powerhouse of Vitamins and Minerals

The most abundant vitamins and minerals found in this root vegetable are:

Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A.

A 3.5 ounce serving (about 1/3 cup) of this root vegetable provides the recommended daily amount of vitamin-A.

Vitamin C – An antioxidant that may decrease the duration of the common cold and improve skin health.

Potassium – As already noted, this mineral is important for blood pressure control, and may decrease your risk of heart disease.

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad

Manganese – Is a trace mineral that is important for growth, development, and metabolism.

Vitamin B6 – Is an important vitamin as its role in your diet is to convert food into energy.

Vitamin B5 – Also known as pantothenic acid, has shown to alleviate conditions such as asthma, hair loss, allergies, stress and anxiety, respiratory disorders, and heart problems.

Vitamin E – A fat-soluble antioxidant shown to help protect your body against oxidative damage.

Sweet Potatoes and Cancer

Oxidative damage to cells is often associated with increased risk of cancer, which occurs when cells divide uncontrollably.

Diets rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids, are associated with a lower risk of stomach, kidney, and breast cancer.

Studies indicate that sweet potatoes’ potent antioxidants may reduce your risk of cancer.

Purple potatoes have the highest antioxidant activity.

Lentils and Purple Sweet Potato Stew

Sweet Potatoes and Blood Pressure

You can help keep your potassium levels up and reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by including foods like sweet potatoes to your diet.

Diets rich in potassium may help regulate blood pressure levels.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Figs

If your potassium level is too low, you may see an increase in your blood pressure.

This can put you at risk of developing hypertension, especially when combined with high sodium intake.

Cooking With Sweet Potatoes

It should first be noted that before cooking sweet potatoes, make sure to scrub the skins.

There are a variety of ways to prepare sweet potatoes, including baked, boiled, grilled, and roasted.

Roasted Charred Sweet Potatoes

You can use an oven, grill, microwave, or stovetop.

Enjoy sweet potatoes on their own, as a side dish, in a casserole, or sliced into thin strips and baked – for sweet potato fries.

Enchilada Casserole with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Mashed, diced or sliced a cooked sweet potato is really healthy a sweet treat.

Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips

In Conclusion

Sweet potatoes are underground tubers, a root vegetable which are an excellent source of beta carotene, and many other vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.

This root vegetable has been studied and shown to have several health benefits, which includes among others improved blood sugar regulation and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Overall, sweet potatoes are nutritious, cheap, and easy to incorporate into your diet.

More Sweet Potato Recipes

Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato, Mixed Greens and Shrimp Salad

Goan Coconut Chicken Curry with Spiraled Sweet Potato

Savory Sweet Potato Hash Browns