Picking the Right PortionsJune 22, 2017
PeanutsJuly 24, 2017
A different kind of comfort food
It's winter in South Africa, and it's during this time that your taste buds crave a different kind of comfort food. Often people find it hard to stay on the healthy eating track because indulging in sweet, warm foods can do wonders for the soul when it's cold outside. Luckily, we have found a few fresh ideas that will soothe your need for comfort food while also providing you with heaps of nutrition. By adding nuts to your favourite winter dishes, you are adding another level of balanced nutrition to your diet.
Nuts can be an athlete's best friend when you need to plan good quality food on the run. Pecan nuts are little nutrition bombs that can give your body much needed nutrition during times of exercise and training. Pecans contain unsaturated fats, minerals, fibre and protein which helps your body to cope with and recover from exercise. Athletes have used nuts in different ways during training because it's a great form of natural and essential nutrients. Here are a few ways you can integrate pecan nuts into your daily routine to help you during training:
1. Honey Roasted Butternut with Crunch
This easy recipe combines several delicious winter flavours by combining butternut, honey, cinnamon and pecans. Combine one-kilogram butternut cubes with one cup pecans, olive oil, two tablespoons honey, half a teaspoon cinnamon and salt to taste. Roast it in the oven on 200°C for approximately 30 minutes or until tender, stirring halfway through. You can also vary the spices to keep the taste exciting. Add spices like nutmeg or cumin to give the recipe a savoury edge. This straightforward and convenient recipe will soon become a household favourite as it requires minimal effort for great tasting winter food!
2. Winter Salad
It's much harder to eat your fill of salad in the winter as winter cravings often favour warm food. The combination of butternut and pecan nuts is a winner during winter, making it's easy to convert it into a salad dish for a simple meal on its own or as a side dish to your favourite protein. Make this Warm Butternut, Feta and Pecan Salad by combining butternut and pecan nuts with feta, baby spinach, rocket and salt to taste to create a winter-worthy salad that includes a fresh twist..
3. Colourful Winter Side Dish
This Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cinnamon, Butternut, Pecans, and Cranberries dish is a super nutritious meal and will look beautiful on the table for that Sunday afternoon braai with the family. A warm combination dish like this is also great if you struggle to otherwise consume vegetables like Brussel Sprouts, as the crunch of the pecans can turn anyone into a fan. Brussel Sprouts are an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K, making it a perfect food to boost your immune system in the winter. It's easy to make a conversation-starter dish at your social winter events by making this warm, crunchy and healthy side dish.
4. Spicy Pecan Snack
Candied nuts can be a delicious and satisfying treat but also be so tasty that you don't know when to stop. Try this recipe that makes Spiced Nuts, which uses less sugar but still gives you the comforting crunch of roasted nuts. Use the recipe as is or play around with your favourite spices to create your own unique combination. Cumin and cayenne pepper are known for its various health benefits so be sure to try this variation first. Aim for using as little sugar as possible or supplement with a sweetener like Xylitol if you are trying to go completely sugar-free. These candied nuts work very well as an easy snack which makes them great to have in the house during the holidays, so make a big batch if you plan to share. It also goes well with salads, depending on your combination of spices.
Don't let winter get you down or let you fall behind. Eat nutritious food and stay healthy this season by trying out these recipes. It's easy to eat healthy if you know a few tricks on how to combine fresh ingredients, nuts and spices. These recipes will help you to stay inspired in the kitchen using just a few ingredients so that you can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying life – whether it's conquering the icy wind on your mountain bike or enjoying a warm fire with your family.
Petrovska, K. (2016, October 12). Diethood. Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://diethood.com/honey-roasted-butternut-squash/
Julia. (2015, October 22). Julia's Album. Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://juliasalbum.com/2015/10/roasted-brussels-sprouts-cinnamon-butternut-squash-pecans-and-cranberries/
Louise. (2015, September 8). Just Easy Recipes. Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://justeasyrecipes.co.za/2015/09/08/warm-butternut-feta-and-pecan-nut-salad/
Brown, A. (n.d.). Food Network. Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/spiced-pecans-recipe-1956279