Happy January! The start of a new year usually comes with resolutions to eat healthier and work out more. What better way to start the new year off right than with a haul of fresh produce.
Apples, pears, and all citrus are the most common seasonal fruits available this month. With many varieties, apples and pears can easily go sweet or savory and enjoy as a snack, dessert, on a salad - the possibilities are endless! Citrus fruits like tangerines, oranges, and grapefruits are full of Vitamin C, boosting our immune system to fight off diseases. Other fruits like banana, kiwi, and pineapple also provide essential vitamins and nutrients that our body needs in a daily basis.
Vegetables are not always the most popular thing on one’s plate. Most people find consuming vegetables a chore due to their taste and texture. However, you should include veggies in your everyday diet to get sufficient nutrients and fiber.
Vegetables aim to improve your overall digestive health by providing sufficient dietary fiber, which is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that helps to pass food through the digestive system.
Potassium-rich veggies, such as beets and spinach, can help reduce the damage of a high-sodium, effectively lowering your blood pressure. Nearly all vegetables are full of cancer-fighting antioxidants that may reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. These veggies include cruciferous vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Vitamin C is a key nutrient that is found in many different vegetables. This vitamin helps boost your immune system and keeps your immunity strong.
The bottom line is eating more healthy fruits and vegetables mean healthier body!
Try this Beet & Spinach salad with fresh pears from Salt & Lavender - it's healthy and will look lovely on your table.
2 medium beets peeled & grated
2 pears cored & sliced
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (or to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion (or to taste)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced
Salt & pepper to taste
Make the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients in a drinking glass, small bowl, or jar. Stir/shake well. Give it a taste and adjust ingredients as needed (e.g. add more honey or vinegar).
Peel the beets and cut off the ends. Using a regular box grater, grate them. Prep other salad ingredients and add them to a large bowl. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6 as a side salad or makes 2 fairly large portions (more main course-sized).