In the summer it’s easy to be motivated to eat well. The warm weather invites shorts, tank tops, swimsuits, and other, more body-fitting, clothing. But a truly healthy lifestyle doesn’t exist only 3 to 4 months out of the year. A well-balanced diet should extend through every season, no matter the temperature. Soups, chilis, and grain bowls are just a few of the hearty nutritious recipes that you can enjoy this autumn and winter season. For some inspiration, check out the recipes down below.
Chii is an excellent choice for a winter meal. It can be both nutrient-dense and hearty. Depending on your diet preferences, whether you’re keto, vegan, or vegetarian, you can customize your ingredients to meet your needs.
Zesty White Bean Chili
For the chili:
- 2 Cans Great Northern Beans
- 2 10-12 oz bags of frozen corn
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 can diced green chilis
- 32 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 16 ounces ground turkey or other meat (omit if vegan or vegetarian)
In a slow cooker, coat the bottom with good quality oil. Add the frozen corn, can of tomatoes, can of chilis, broth, and the seasonings to the slow cooker pot. Take one can of beans and rinse, then add to the pot. Take the second can and puree in a blender or food processor, and add to the mix. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Cook for 3 hours on high. If opting for a protein, saute in a different stove then add at the end.
Topping suggestions: tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, avocado, salsa, or green opinions.
Breakfast Protein Pancakes
You’ve probably heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. And for many, this is very true. If you’re a breakfast eater, it is important to fill your stomach with nutritious and energizing carbs and proteins that will keep you full and moving throughout the day.
Pumpkin Spiced Protein Pancakes
For the pancakes:
- 2 Scoops Protein Powder (Vanilla)
- 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1/2 Cup Egg Whites
- 1/2 Flour of choice (Oat Flour)
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (almond milk)
- 1-2 Tbsp Agave, Maple Syrup, or Honey
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients until combined. Heat a griddle, skillet, or pan on medium heat and spray with cooking oil. Scoop the batter onto the griddle in whatever size dollops you prefer. After a couple of minutes, or until the sides look set, flip over. Drizzle with a syrup of your choice and enjoy!
Topping suggestions: pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips, whipped cream, or cinnamon.
In the past, potatoes have sometimes gotten a bad rap. We often think of them in the form of french fries and potato chips. But potatoes, especially sweet potatoes, can be an especially healthy and filling meal.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
For the sweet potatoes:
- 6 Sweet Potatoes
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Chopped Green Apples
- 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Cup Dried Cranberries
- ¼ Cup Chopped Pecans
- ¼ Cup brown sugar
Begin by preheating an oven to 400° Fahrenheit. On a greased or lined baking sheet, bake the sweet potatoes for 50 minutes or until fork-tender. Decrease oven temperature to 350° Fahrenheit. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. At the nutmeg and the chopped apples and saute until soft.
Take our semi-cooked potatoes and slice them through the middle to create a pocket.
Scoop most of the inside, leaving the sides lined. Mash the potato flesh in a bowl with the apples, salt, and cinnamon. Scoop the mixture back into the potato shells and add the remaining apples to the tops.
Combine the dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and brown sugar. Top the potatoes with the mix. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy while still warm.
You might be thinking since when is gingerbread healthy? Truly balanced diets are just that, balanced. Eating well doesn’t mean you can never indulge in a sweet treat to satisfy a craving. Gingerbread is an excellent dessert that can be made a little more nutritious. Not to mention, ginger has a lot of healing properties that benefit the gut and digestive system.
Healthy Gingerbread With a Maple Glaze
For the bread:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt or applesauce
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3 tbsp milk or milk substitute
For the glaze:
- 3 tbsp greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
To start, preheat your oven to 325° Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, yogurt or applesauce, maple syrup, molasses, and milk or milk substitute.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the inside batter has set.
To make the glaze, combine the yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Top your loaf with enough glaze for your liking and enjoy!
The fall and winter months may rid us of our favorite summer treats, but open a whole new door of hearty, warm goodies. Staying healthy may seem difficult during colder periods. It is easy to just bundle up in big coats and go about our days. But with these healthy recipes and many more, there are more than enough ways to enjoy delicious foods while keeping up with a well-balanced lifestyle.
What's Your Reaction?
Melissa Weimer is a nutrition expert who has helped thousands of people to create a healthy diet for weight loss and to maintain a good health.