The holidays are seen as a time of togetherness, joy, and, of course, sweet and savory goodies. Delicious salty and sugary goodness designed to give us that lovely burst of euphoria along with helping us to go up a pants size or two. While it’s completely understandably (and totally fun) to indulge in the wide and flavorful world of treats from time to time, keeping healthy foods within reach is highly beneficial to your health.
Numerous studies have shown most produce, as well as nuts, grains, and healthy oils are high in antioxidants and folates. These elements (along with several others) have been shown to reduce the risk of developing cancer and have also proven incredibly healthy for those currently undergoing cancer treatment.
To help keep your holiday meals extra healthy, we’ve compiled four winter-themed recipes that specifically spotlight a fruit or vegetable shown to possess a wealth of cancer fighting properties. The stars of the recipes below include delicious savory mushrooms, tasty butternut squash, and a sweet medley of cranberries, apples, and hazelnuts. Read on to see how you can integrate these healthy ingredients into your holiday meals.
Healthy Recipe 1: Yummy Stuffed Mushrooms
16 oz whole cremini mushrooms
3 oz goat cheese - Cream cheese can be subbed
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme - Keep more on hand to use as a garnish
¼ cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Olive oil or butter
Begin by Preheating your oven to 400 degrees.
As your oven preheats, remove the stems from your mushrooms - This step can be done by hand. Put stems to the side for later. On a large baking sheet, place the mushroom caps side down.
Chop and saute the mushroom stems in the butter or oil until soft (about 5 minutes).
Combine Greek yogurt, goat cheese, thyme, mushroom stems, salt & pepper in a bowl.
Spoon the mixture into each mushroom cap. Once each cap is filled, top with grated parmesan and breadcrumbs then bake for 15 minutes. Complete the dish by garnishing with thyme.
Healthy Recipe 2: Extra Creamy Roasted Butternut Sqash Soup
1 large butternut squash, cut in half vertically with seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped shallot
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, Minced or Pressed
1 teaspoon maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
1 to 2 tablespoons butter, to taste
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Use parchment paper to line a rimmed baking sheet.
Place your butternut squash on the pan with the flat side up. Drizzle the inside of each half with about a ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Be sure to rub the olive oil into the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash face down and roast until tender (about 40-50 minutes). Set the squash aside to cool for about 10 minutes or until it’s cool enough to handle.
While waiting for the butternut squash to cool, use a large soup pot to heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the chopped shallot. Continue stirring for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the shallot has softened and is turning golden on the edges. Add garlic and stir frequently. Cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer the contents to a stand blender.
Begin scooping the butternut squash into the blender using a large spoon. Be sure to discard any tough skin. Add the maple syrup, nutmeg, and ground black pepper to the blender. Add in 3 cups of vegetable broth (pay close attention to the maximum fill line). Securely fasten the lid and blend on high or choose the soup preset option if available. Be careful to avoid any hot steam escaping from the lid. Stop once the soup is creamy and blended throughout.
If you would prefer to thin the soup a bit, stir in the remaining cup of broth. Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter to taste and continue blending. Include more salt and pepper to taste as well. Pour into individual bowls, dish, and serve!