Do you tend to put on extra weight in winter? If so, you may not be alone.
Whether due to a decrease in physical activity, a holdover from the holiday season’s eatings or from the temptation to fight freezing temps with high-calorie, fatty comfort food, studies suggest that some Americans pick up anywhere from an extra pound to five pounds during the colder months.
What could be more warming on a chilly day than a steaming bowl of soup or stew? Pureeing vegetables to thicken stock adds nutrition and a velvety feel without flour or fat. And creative use of on-point additions – red bell peppers or caramelized onions – intensifies flavors, without added salt.
Black beans, sweet potatoes and lean turkey breast give this warming bowl a healthful heartiness the whole family will love. Red bell peppers, tomatoes and spices pump up the flavor and veggie content. For extra warmth, add minced chipotle and an extra pinch of cayenne.
Two-for-one: Make double what you’ll need and freeze a second meal for up to three months. Get the recipe.
This light but satisfying soup is packed with legume-powered protein and pops with flavor thanks to a tantalizing dash of ginger, lime and cilantro. Dole out a cup and pair with a half sandwich, or fill a bowl for a midday meal.
Tasty tip: Add dollop of low-fat Greek yogurt for a bit of tang. Get the recipe.
You can still hit the spot with classic faves, slightly modified. Sneak slices of zucchini into a tried-and-true lasagna recipe, or swap half of the butter and sugar in baked goods with pureed apples for light cakes, or pumpkin for quick breads and muffins.
Easy trick: If you can’t stand the idea of altering grandma’s buttermilk biscuits and gravy recipe, try a mini portion. Get more tips and ideas.
Sometimes just the smell of something simmering can be a comfort in itself. A slow cooker may be the solution for fully flavorful and impossibly tender meats and vegetables while you go about your day, worry-free – and aroma full. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste to boost flavor with minimal calories; for a creamier dish, add a bit of Greek yogurt before serving.
Timely tip: Prep ingredients the night before, and toss in the slow cooker in the morning. Get more slow-cooking ideas.
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© 2016 The DX: The Diabetes Experience