Feeding the Cold
By Tina Gowin
The chill is upon us – the days are dimming and hibernation feels very appealing. But while the air is brisk and your spirits are high, it’s time to gather the last roots of warm sustenance at your local farmer’s market.
All good things come to an end and we are near the end of the growing season. Before farmers’ markets close for the season, stock up on some hearty fruits and vegetables that can last up to a year or more if frozen, and will ignite your body with warmth and allow you to brave the chilling air.
Instead of roasting marshmallows, pan-roasting root vegetables on your stove top will prove to be a far healthier alternative that will add to the ambience of a cold night.
Potatoes, for example, are an excellent source of dietary fiber that provides feelings of fullness and helps to promote digestive regularity. An averaged sized potato (about 5.3 oz) with its skin intact also contains 45% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, 620 mg of potassium – which is comparable to bananas, spinach and broccoli – and other essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Added bonus: an average sized potato only contains 110 calories and has no fat!
Parsnips, which are also rich in fiber, are very low in saturated fat, rich in vitamin K and vitamin C, and high in folate and potassium. And because parsnips are naturally cholesterol-free, by eating this nutritious veggie, you can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
With the winter months quickly approaching, why not give your eyes the necessary vitamin A needed to promote good eye health by eating carrots. After all, your vision is essential while driving in the snow.
The following easy-to-make recipe is sure to delight and will send you out in the cold to your local farmer’s market one final time this season.
Herb Roasted Vegetables
4 carrots, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped
3 parsnips, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation: Combine fresh herbs and olive oil. Toss with vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste. Place in a skillet and cover to pan-roast vegetables and cook until tender.
Fresh, local produce helps keep vital nutrients intact. Healthy living is achieved by combining both proper nutrition and daily exercise. Weather the cold with healthy living!
Tina Gowin is a full-time registered dietitian at EmblemHealth, one of New York’s largest and most comprehensive health plans. EmblemHealth is a sponsor of Harvest Home, which provides access to locally grown fruits and vegetables at the Mt. Morris Park Historic District through Nov. 17, 2012 and West Harlem Farmer’s Market through Nov. 20, 2012. Cooking demonstrations will continue at the West Harlem Farmer’s Market until its season’s end.