HEALTHY LIVING

Pass the Soup: Warming Winter Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love

Warming Winter Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love

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Warm, comforting and satisfying, soup is the ultimate winter feel-good food. And it's a breeze to prepare!

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JAN. 25, 2021  3 MIN. READ
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Whether you're wondering how to add more vegetables to your diet or are simply craving healthy, hearty winter recipes, it's a good idea to think soup! You've probably heard that soup might even  ease the symptoms of a cold — but it does much more than that.

Soup is an excellent source of fluids and electrolytes to help you stay hydrated. It's also a great way to work in key nutrients to help you feel your best all winter long. It's so good for you that people who eat soup were found to consume more vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber than those who don't, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition.

While canned options abound, homemade options are easier to create than you might imagine.  Designed right, homemade options are often much lower in sodium. 

Your 5-Step Plan to Making a Healthy, Hearty Soup at Home

1. Start with a base. In a large stockpot, sauté 1 chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat for 5 minutes.

2. Add liquid. Increase to medium heat. Add 4 cups broth, which can be any of the following types and opt for a low-sodium option when available:

  • Bone broth – Slowly simmering beef or chicken bones for a day or longer yields a hearty, protein-packed broth (with as much as 9 grams of protein per cup).

  • Chicken broth – Whether it's canned or homemade, chicken broth is an easy way to add comforting flavor to your favorite soup. 

  • Vegetable broth – An ideal option when you're cooking for vegetarians or vegans, or simply want more rich vegetable flavor.

3. Stir in vegetables. Now toss in any of these nutrient-packed vegetables:

  • Carrots – Just one carrot delivers more than half your daily immune-boosting vitamin A. For extra convenience, try baby carrots. They're pre-cut, cleaned and ready to go.

  • Tomatoes – Move over bananas! Canned tomatoes are a concentrated source of potassium, an electrolyte that helps protect against high blood pressure and stroke. One cup supplies 450 milligrams of potassium, roughly as much as a medium banana.

  • Corn – Corn supplies lutein, a nutrient vital to eye and brain, where it works as an antioxidant to promote healthy vision and support brain development, memory and cognition.

  • Pumpkin – Don't just save pumpkin for pies! Pumpkin is loaded with fiber for a healthy digestive system. It's also an easy way to work in more lutein and vitamin A.

  • Mushrooms – Whether they're creminis, portabellas or shitakes, mushrooms are rich in selenium, a trace mineral that works to fight off illness by protecting your cells from outside invaders.

  • Kale, spinach or chard – If you'd like healthier skin, vitamin C might help. This nutrient, found in leafy greens, plays a pivotal role in the production of collagen, a protein that keeps skin firm and supple.

  • Beans and lentils – For a soup that's extra filling, toss in some beans or lentils (technically they're vegetables too!) Thanks to their slowly digested protein and fiber, they're the perfect way to turn a bowl of soup into a satisfying meal.

4. Add some oomph. Kick up the flavor with some herbs, spices, vinegar or coconut milk. For even more protein, stir in some shredded chicken or turkey!

5. Simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. Then remove from heat, garnish, ladle into serving bowls and enjoy!

Tasty Winter Recipes to Try This Season

There's nothing like a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter's day. Looking to make some yourself? Simply add these ingredients to your base of garlic, onions and broth — then sit back and relax while they simmer on the stove! Each recipe serves 4.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

  • One 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin

  •  1 teaspoon curry powder

  •  1 tablespoon maple syrup

  •  ½ cup light coconut milk

White Bean Tomato Soup

  • One 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes

  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 cups kale, finely sliced

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon basil

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Mushroom Lentil Soup

  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup dried lentils

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Spicy Chicken-Veg Soup

  • 2 cups shredded chicken

  •  1 cup frozen corn, thawed

  • One 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

Next time you're craving cold weather comfort, whip up a hearty pot of soup. All the delicious smells and flavors are sure to help you feel cozy and warm. It's the perfect winter convenience food and can help you feel healthy all season long!

Debunking Protein Myths for Better Nutrition

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Key Takeaways

• Protein is an essential nutrient needed for nearly every function in the body.
• Your protein needs may increase with age, activity level and illness, and during weight loss.
• Eating high-quality protein at meals and snacks can help make sure you get the recommended amount.

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Is a High-Protein Diet Good for Weight Loss?

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Key Takeaways

• Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet.
• Getting adequate protein can help with muscle loss associated with intentional weight loss.
• High-quality, high-protein foods can help you meet your protein needs.

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