The Best Winter Superfoods

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Its January, its cold, its gloomy and we're all feeling the guilt from over indulging at Christmas however with the right nutrition we can banish both the bloat and the blues and get the New Year off to a healthier, happier start. Shape.com  has the low down on 8 of the best winter superfoods to see you through the cold winter months.

If your plate was a crown, there's no doubt that veggies would represent its most precious jewels. They're responsible for reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers as well as helping manage your weight and yet still many of us just don't eat enough! In winter, when salads are not as inviting as a warm comfort-food meal, you can get to the root of this deficit by adding some root veggies to your diet. These superfoods grow underground and absorb nutrients from the soil. Don't be fooled by their rough exterior—root vegetables are some of the healthiest and most delicious foods around! So when the temperature drops, warm up with these produce picks to get a jump start on your daily veggie quota.

Beets

This brightly colored root vegetable is chock full of essential nutrients including folate, vitamin C, potassium, and iron, all of which help boost immunity, aid nerve and muscle function, and support natural detoxification. Beets also contain potent antioxidants called betalains, which have disease-fighting anti-inflammatory properties.

Try it: Fresh beets make a great addition to any salad, or make them the star of the plate by pairing slices with goat cheese and pine nuts. But be careful when handling raw beets. Unless you want your hands to match your pink sweater, you'll want to wear gloves to prevent stained fingers.

 

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Ginger

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You might not think of this sushi sidekick as a vegetable, but ginger is a powerhouse root veggie that's packed with medicinal qualities such as antimicrobial properties and anti-nausea benefits. Additionally, a chemical in ginger called Gingerol helps decrease inflammation and blocks nerve pathways that process pain.

Try it: Aside from steeping powdered ginger in your tea, you can add fresh ginger root to your vegetable stir-fry to give your plate some extra zing.

 

Carrots

Carrots also contain loads of vitamin A for healthy eyes, on top of fiber for good digestion. Plus, this crunchy veggie carries vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, and potassium, all of which are important for fighting off germs during cold and flu season.

Try it: Carrots are so popular because they're tasty raw as a snack, and cooked as a side dish. Blended, carrots also make a great base for creamy soups without the, well, cream (like in this Spicy Curried Carrot Soup).

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To read the full article please visit shape.com

10 of the best Beef Stews!

Good Housekeeping's 10 best Beef Stew recipes for cosy autumn nights

The temperatures have plummeted so what better way to warm our cockles than with Good Housekeeping's 10 best beef stew recipes. Packed full of chunky vegetables and all important protein, these glorious dishes will prove to be the perfect healthy hearty and cost effective meals for all of the family.

Beef and Ale Stew with Dumplings

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Tender chunks of beef with cheesy dumplings...you can't go wrong with this hearty stew recipe.

Ingredients

    •    50 g (2oz) plain flour

    •    1.2kg (2lb 11oz) chuck, stewing or casserole beef steak,    trimmed and cut into 5cm (2in) chunks

    •    4 tbsp olive oil

    •    2 large onions, sliced

    •    300 ml (10 fl oz (½ pint)) beef stock

    •    500 ml (17 fl 0z) ale

    •    1 bay leaf

    •    4 sprigs fresh thyme

    •    200 g (7oz) button mushrooms, halved if large.    

    •    2 large carrots, cut into 5cm (2in) chunks

FOR THE DUMPLINGS

Ingredients

    •    100 g (3 ½oz) plain flour

    •    1 tsp baking powder

    •    50 g 1 butter

    •    1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish

    •    1 tsp fresh thyme, leaves picked

    •    50 g 1 extra mature Cheddar cheese, grated

Method

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and season. Toss a third of the beef in flour to coat, shaking off excess. Heat 1tbsp oil in a large casserole over medium heat. Fry meat until browned all over. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining meat using 1tbsp oil each time. Add 75ml (3fl oz) water to pan, scraping up brown bits.
  2. Reduce the heat. Add remaining oil and onions to pan. Cover and cook for 15min until soft, adding a splash of stock if dry.
  3. Return beef to pan with stock, ale and herbs. Bring to boil. Turn down heat, partially cover and simmer for 2-3hr until tender.
  4. Add the mushrooms and carrots; simmer for 30min.
  5. Meanwhile, make dumplings. Heat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Mix all ingredients, apart from cheese, in a bowl with plenty of seasoning, or pulse in a food processor until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Addcheese and mix in to form larger flakes, then sprinkle over 1–2tbsp water to bring the dough together. Roll into 6 balls and dot around stew leaving a 2cm (¾in) gap between them. Put into oven uncovered and cook for 20min until dumplings are puffed and golden. Sprinkle over extra parsley, if you like, and serve.

To read more of this article please visit http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/food/as-rated-by-the-ghi/10-beef-stew-and-casserole-recipe-ideas

10 Best Low Carb 'On The Go' Snacks.

We've all heard that a high protein, low carb diet is the best for slimming down for the summer, but with so many carbalicious snacks, sandwiches and even salads (I'm thinking the mayonnaise laden pasta versions) filling the shelves at your nearest boots, tesco express and sainsburys local etc it can make eating healthily on the run particularly difficult. However the lovely lot at LIVESTRONG have compiled a list of the 10 best low carb on the go snacks to keep you satisfied without caving in to the crisps.

Sweet and savory while still keeping the carb count down? Yes, it’s possible. Cottage cheese is a nutritious, low-carb staple. Three quarters of a cup with four thinly sliced strawberries supply 15 percent of your daily calcium needs and almost half of your vitamin C requirements. You can vary the flavors by swapping out the strawberries for blueberries or raspberries, and also try seasoning with cinnamon or adding vanilla extract for extra sweetness. CARBS: 10 grams.

Prefer to make your munchies from scratch? Good idea: You’ll know exactly what you’re eating -- no added sugars, preservatives or other crazy ingredients you can’t pronounce. Sharon Richter, a New York-based registered dietitian from HealthiNation, recommends turkey roll-ups as a simple snack you can prepare ahead of time and then stash in your bag for later. To make them her way, take a slice of turkey and wrap it around a pickle slice along with a very thin slice of avocado and tomato. The lean protein and monounsaturated fat combo will keep you feeling full longer -- and less tempted by the office vending machine. CARBS: 9 grams (for three roll-ups).

Lifeway’s BioKefir isn’t quite a smoothie, but that’s the best way to describe this dairy drink that looks, tastes and smells like one. Made of kefir, which is similar to yogurt but a richer source of live and active probiotics (the healthy bacteria that can boost the immune system and aid digestion), these 3.5-ounce shots have as much protein as a whole medium egg. Two flavors worth having on hand at home or work are BioKefir Blackberry, which contains 30 percent of your daily calcium needs, and BioKefir Pomegranate Blueberry, which meets 100 percent of your vitamin C needs. (lifewaykefir.com) CARBS: 10 grams.

A childhood favorite is new again. For a quick, high-protein energy boost, try the totally portable ants on a log. Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats and satiating protein. The key is to use natural peanut butter made with just peanuts (and salt, if desired) -- avoid butters with any added oils or sugar. Celery gives you a satisfying crunch, and the raisins add a touch of sweetness. CARBS: 10 grams (for two logs).

Forget the portion police! With Sabra’s Classic Hummus Singles, it’s OK to clean out the container in one sitting (something that’s been known to happen when somebody cracks open the family-size version too). This two-ounce pack is just the right amount to satisfy a savory craving and keep you full until your next meal, especially when you use it as a dip for peppers or celery. (sabra.com) CARBS: 9 grams.

To read the complete article please visit LIVESTRONG.

The Vegan Protein Boost Your Breakfast Porridge Is Missing

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and choosing the right one can not only boost your metabolism and brain power but also give you that extra energy boost you need to see you through to lunchtime and prevent you from reaching for those naughty 11am treats. With the majority of nutritionists agreeing that protein is the way forward for staving off hunger pangs, Sheela Prakash at thekitckn.com has the perfect recipe for adding an extra serving of this superfood group to your usual morning porridge and whats more its gluten free!.

"If you're looking for a way to make that morning bowl of oatmeal have even more staying power, you may have already tried to fancy it up. Maybe you've cooked it in milk or topped it with a fried egg, but there's still another way to boost the protein content of your breakfast cereal and it starts by swapping out those oats all together.

Why You Should Be Eating Quinoa Flakes for Breakfast

Quinoa flakes are a solid swap-in for oats or other more common hot breakfast cereals. Made from quinoa seeds that have simply been rolled out flat, they are a great plant-based source of protein and they're naturally gluten-free. While oats contain protein too — and in fact, they contain a similar amount — the protein in quinoa flakes is extra valuable because it's a complete protein. That means it contains all the essential amino acids the body can't make on its own and needs for energy and more. The protein in oats is incomplete, so it contains only some of these essential amino acids.

Since the flakes are so small, they also cook incredibly fast. In fact, stovetop instructions for preparing the flakes as a breakfast cereal requires just 90 seconds of cooking time! Their texture is similar to instant oats because of their size. Try a half-and-half mix with your favorite oatmeal or go for a full whole bowl. Either way, you'll get a hearty, cozy bowl of breakfast porridge that will keep you satisfied.

From there you can top them just like your favorite oatmeal. So if the aforementioned fried egg sounds tantalizing, by all means, add it in! But since you're already getting a generous dose of complete protein, you can keep this vegan with the addition of almond milk, dried fruit, and a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar."

To read more articles like this please visit www.thekitchn.com