Taste of Health Francesca Ballicu | one year ago

Let’s Get Fruity with 3 Sweet Recipes for a Cold Free Winter

Eat your way to better health with 3 sweet ways to boost your immune system this winter.

While some fruits disappear from supermarket shelves as temperatures drop, others can be enjoyed all year long. To boost your family’s immune systems in a sweet way, make fruit the star of your winter dishes. “It’s especially important for kids to get a lot of vitamin C in the winter, when illness is going around at school,” says Perry Almquist, MD, at Charlotte Pediatric Clinic-SouthPark, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “Make sure your kids get enough fruit in their diets to reduce their risk of getting sick.” We’ve got simple recipes to keep you and your family feeling strong and healthy all season long:

Dates & Plums

Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, dates and plums are perfect for keeping holiday weight gain at bay. Plus, they’re a great way to naturally sweeten a dish. No artificial sugar needed! APPETIZER RECIPE: Goat Cheese & Honey Stuffed Plums
  • 6 sugar plums (or 4 regular plums), sliced in half with pits removed
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon honey, plus more for garnish
  • 3 leaves basil, chopped and divided
Directions: In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, one tablespoon of honey and one leaf of chopped basil. Spoon cheese mixture into the well of each plum half and top with remaining basil. Drizzle with more honey before serving.

Citrus Fruits

There’s nothing like a splash of citrus to brighten up dark days. Lemons, limes and oranges provide a healthy dose of vitamin C – boosting your immune system and fighting everything from the common cold to the flu, so that you and your family can enjoy your normal routine without feeling under the weather. MAIN DISH RECIPE: Citrus & Garlic Roasted Chicken
  • 4 large bone-in chicken breasts, about 3 pounds
  • 4 large whole chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
  • 1/2 navel orange, zested, plus the juice of 1 whole orange
  • 2 limes, 1 zested, both juiced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • Kosher salt (as needed)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Put the orange and lime zests in a small bowl and add the fruit juices. Whisk in the olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss until well coated. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes and bake for 45 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Kiwi

Looking for a mental getaway from the cold outside? Take it to the tropics! Kiwi is known as a powerhouse fruit for a reason, containing more than 20 vital nutrients (one serving has more than 5 times the vitamin C of an orange). Use it to make a light and satisfyingly sweet dessert. DESSERT RECIPE: Kiwi Squares
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 kiwis, pared and purėed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated lime peel
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour and ¼ cup powdered sugar; cut butter into flour mixture until mixture looks like cornmeal. Pat into 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Combine sugar, kiwi, eggs, lime juice, lime peel and baking powder; pour over baked crust. Return to oven. Bake for 25 more minutes. Cool and sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar before cutting into squares. Which fresh fruits should you add to your winter menu? Visit choosemyplate.gov/quiz and take the fruit quiz to find out. Do you wish you had a community to inspire you and support the choices you make to improve your family’s nutrition habits? Now you do. Join the conversation, or start your own, using #TasteOfHealth