Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare’s Health Note on Healthy Eating

During the summer and fall months eating fruits and vegetables is easy because of their abundance and full flavor. But come winter, all bets are off. Even though many fruits and vegetables are available in grocery stores year-round, they do not taste as good, are more expensive, or don’t seem as appealing during the winter months. You may think it’s a challenge, but fitting in fruits and vegetables during the dead of winter may not be as hard as you think:

• Eat what’s in season. Seasonal produce is more abundant and tastes better. Fruits in season this time of year include cranberries, citrus fruits (i.e. clementines, grapefruits, oranges, and lemons), kiwi, pears and pomegranates. Vegetables in season this time of year include root vegetables (i.e. carrots, parsnips, potatoes and rutabaga), Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, kale, snow peas and winter squash.

• Choose frozen, canned and dried. These fruits and vegetables count just the same as fresh ones and may be less expensive this time of year. If fruit is canned in heavy syrup, drain it well before eating, and if vegetables are canned with salt, drain and rinse before eating.

• Make it appealing. Many people crave warmth and spice during the winter months. Try baked pears or apples with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Add applesauce, bananas, raisins, or pears to oatmeal. Roast butternut squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots, and season with your choice of herbs and spices.

From: Carissa Wiersma, Freelance Communication Specialist, Marketing Communications Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare, 700 West Avenue South La Crosse, WI 54601

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