Insider’s Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice
What’s in your grocery basket throughout December? Do you buy the same things as the rest of the year or do you step out and try new, seasonal foods? Here are 5 tasty holiday foods I put in my grocery basket (I recommend you do too). They taste great and add color, crunch, and good nutrition to your day!
Cranberries. Buy a bag of cranberries and chop up a handful to add to your yogurt snack or breakfast pancake batter. The recipe for super simple homemade cranberry sauce is usually on the bag. I use only about ½ the sugar noted in the recipe but I also add fresh orange juice for natural sweetness.
Nuts in the Shell. Offer nuts at a holiday party for a healthier choice. It’s easy to toss an assortment into a small basket along with a nut cracker or two. There are many options > hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts, and their shells are rich in color and texture.
Pomegranates. Treat yourself to a sweet/tart fruit that is a most beautiful red color. There are different ways to peel a pomegranate but I’ve found the easiest is to cut off the top and bottom, score it 4-6 times from top to bottom, then put the entire fruit in a bowl of water and gently rub the fruity seeds off the soft white membrane. It’s really worth the effort!
Butternut Squash. Conquer this fall squash with this simple cooking method. Turn on the oven to 350° F and cook your squash, whole [make a few pricks with a knife if you wish]. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash; it will take about 60 minutes for one that is 2-3 pounds. Lining your baking pan with parchment paper will make cleanup easier, so I always do that. The squash is done when it is soft to the poke with a fork or knife. Cut the cooked squash in half, top to bottom, and scoop out the soft and delicious flesh.
Cucumbers. Maximize the use of this versatile vegetable. Pick out firm cucumbers and peel them in a striped pattern with a veggie peeler. Cut into slices or narrow wedges and dip in hummus or guacamole, use them to top your salad, or add them to your sandwich for flavor and crunch instead of lettuce.
Cindy Silver, MS, RD, LDN
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