Citrus fruit – Clementines, grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges are picked fresh off the trees October to March. Use oranges or grapefruit instead of tomatoes in a salsa along with green peppers, sweet onion and cilantro; serve with baked tortilla crisps or to liven up fish or skinless chicken. Instead of reaching for a cocktail at a holiday party, instead drink sparkling water with lime juice.
Cranberries – Cranberries can brighten your meals beyond Thanksgiving. Buy on sale and freeze in a zip-top plastic bag to use throughout the winter. Toss fresh cranberries into simple fruit crisps or whole grain muffins. Make a sauce for lean pork or beef by mixing cranberries with zero-calorie sweetener and a couple tablespoons of 100% orange juice, then cook for about 6-7 minutes until tender. One half cup of uncooked cranberries contains 2 grams of fiber.
Broccoli & Cauliflower – Broccoli and cauliflower are great to crunch on when the munchies hit; make a simple dip of fat-free Greek yogurt and any salt-free seasoning. Roast the veggies in the oven to sweeten their flavor and turn them into a golden color. Frozen versions of these veggies are a healthy way to stretch a pot of soup. Serve as super-quick side dish when heated with a little garlic powder.
Root vegetables – Carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes are inexpensive options to add color and nutrition to meals. Try boiling familiar potatoes with more unfamiliar parsnips or turnips; when tender, mash together and add fat-free milk and just a teaspoon of non-fat plain yogurt. Root vegetables contain potassium and vitamin A; serve potatoes with the skin on for added fiber.
Holiday Help – When invited to a holiday gathering, offer to bring a salad or side dish. Then make it huge! Fill your salad with as many fruits and/or vegetables as possible. Fellow party-goers will be thankful to enjoy a healthy dish with which to fill their plates.
Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.