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featured from Healthy Journey

Tasty Wintertime Eats (and Treats)

Diet & Nutrition

Tasty Wintertime Eats (and Treats)

Warm the Cold-weather Months with These Heart-healthy Recipes

BY LAUREN MITCHELL, MS, RDN, CSSD, NUTRITIONAL SERVICES

Turmeric Milk

Turmeric is a golden, warm spice that adds beautiful color and flavor to dishes and drinks. It’s also known to help reduce bodily inflammation.

Makes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened nut milk (like oat or almond milk)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick (or 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper*
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener (for example, maple syrup or honey)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To a small saucepan, add milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon stick, black pepper and sweetener.
  2. Whisk to combine and warm over medium heat. Whisk frequently and heat until hot to the touch but not boiling—about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and taste to adjust flavor. Add sweetener, turmeric or ginger to taste.
  4. Serve immediately, dividing between two glasses and leaving the cinnamon stick behind. Best when fresh, though leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave until hot.

*Black pepper enhances absorption of turmeric in the body

Tasty Wintertime Eats (and Treats) curried chickpea salad

Curried Chickpea Salad

This golden spice salad makes a great meal-prep for the week and is full of plant-based protein and dietary fiber.

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing:

  • 11⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric or ginger
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1⁄2 small bunch cilantro, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup raisins or grapes
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Optional: Toast chickpeas, broccoli and bell pepper at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  2. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.

Tasty Wintertime Eats (and Treats) mediterranean egg cups

Mediterranean Egg Muffin Bites

Try these delicious and easy egg muffin bites for a healthy breakfast, and keep them stocked in the fridge for later.

Makes 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bunches spinach or leafy greens, finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup basil, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup olives of choice, diced
  • 1⁄4 cup feta cheese, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and spices. Set aside.
  3. Add spinach, basil, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives and cheese evenly to the 12 muffin cups.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies, filling each cup 3/4 full. The egg mixture will expand in the oven.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes or until egg looks set and golden in color.
  6. Can store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

bakery chocolate cupcakes in a dish on a white background Tasty Wintertime Eats (and Treats)

Chocolate Muffins

Made with whole-grains, these tasty wintertime eats and treats are naturally sweetened and include heart-healthy fat, such as avocado or canola oil.

Makes 10 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1⁄2 cup oat flour (blend quick cooking oats in a blender to make oat flour)
  • 1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄2 cup milk of choice
  • 1⁄4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1⁄4 cup avocado oil or canoa oil
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1⁄2 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional add-ins: Nuts, peanut butter or crushed peppermint sticks.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Add liners to a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk milk, honey or maple syrup, egg, mashed bananas, oil and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon batter evenly into 10 muffin cups. Bake at 425 F for 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 9-10 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Can store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Tasty Wintertime Eats (and Treats) A closeup shot of Oatmeal Cookie Bites

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Bites

Oatmeal, nut butter and warm flavors join forces in these grab-and-go healthy snacks for the week.

Makes 18 bites

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1⁄4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1⁄2 cup nut butter (the drippy kind)
  • 1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flax, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Add nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla and stir until combined.
  3. Wet hands and form dough into about 18 balls. Place on cookie sheet.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

Satisfying Substitutes

If you’re experimenting with swapping ingredients in your tasty wintertime eats and treats, check out these handy tips.

Sugar

For sweet treats, keep moderation in mind.

  • Serving size. Less is more. Try cutting sugar in recipes by a half or third for a lower sugar impact.
  • Sources. Tap into fruits and vegetables. They contain natural sugars and are loaded with nutrients. Mix bananas, applesauce, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin puree, cauliflower or zucchini to recipes for a more nutritious dish.
  • Substitutes. Instead of white or brown sugar, you could sub honey, agave, molasses or maple syrup. However, these ingredients are still added sugar.

Egg

Eggs act as a binder in recipes. If you’re egg-free, consider these alternatives.

  • Flax egg. 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 3-4 tablespoons water. Combine and let sit for 5 minutes. Chia seeds also work.
  • Aquafaba. Liquid from canned chickpeas. Whisk aquafaba at a high speed to create a binder similar to egg whites. Around 3 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 egg.
  • Vinegar and baking soda. 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar + 1 teaspoon baking soda = 1 egg
  • Yogurt. 1⁄4 cup plain low-fat yogurt = about 1 egg.

Flours

Trying out new flours? Here’s a cheat sheet.

  • Oat flour. Make it at home from whole oats and a food processor. Blend until very fine.
  • Whole wheat flour. Swap all or half the white flour with whole wheat in a recipe to increase the fiber intake.
  • Almond and rice flours. These baking options work for gluten-free recipes.

Consult a Registered Dietitian for personalized guidance if needed.

lauren mitchen on a trail runAn elite athlete and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, Lauren has used her own knowledge of sports nutrition to fuel her performance goals. In addition to working with patients with special dietary needs, she provides nutritional coaching for athletes of all ages and abilities to help give them an edge. Lauren is a six-time Boston Marathon qualifier, a New York City Marathon qualifier and an Ultra-marathoner.

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