As we shift into colder weather this fall and winter, warm comfort foods can be a popular go-to. Stews and soups using earthy vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and squash are common ingredients to a warm fall dish. Eating with the seasons can help boost a natural rhythm and connection to the land around you, helping with seasonal “blues.” Not to mention having a big pot of stew is a great dish to share to connect with your loved ones who can’t get out to enjoy a meal with friends. Another huge benefit to eating in-season is the cost. Buying fresh items while they are in season is a great budget tip.
Additionally, these cool-weather meals are easy to scale in order to have leftovers to freeze for quick but hearty meals during the colder months. Allowing earthy veggies, heart-healthy whole grains, and lean proteins to stew for hours in delicious seasonings can make any meal easy to eat and enjoy. There’s nothing like some potatoes, carrots and onions that are seasoned full of flavor in a large bowl of seasoned broth!
The expert team at The Haven at North Hills Senior Residence, a personal care and memory care community in Pittsburgh, PA, serves residents foods from the Rush University Medical Center MIND Diet, which has proven to support memory and a healthy lifestyle. Here are some MIND Diet-approved ingredients to add to meals to share with your loved ones to give them that hearty, flavorful experience this fall and winter:
Roasting vegetables, especially seasonal root vegetables, is a convenient way to create healthy meals that are not just tasty, but easy to cook and eat. A large baking sheet full of Brussels sprouts or squash is just asking for a colorful combination of spices! Adding a heart- and brain-healthy dash of olive oil on the veggies could make you want to snatch a piece right from the oven! Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness and gives a light crisp on the outer layer. Pairing your veggies with some savory seasonings make a delicious, quick side dish or finger food to get your loved one from lunch to dinner. Making a quick pan of seasoned, roasted veggies can be a healthy way to round out a special meal delivery to your favorite senior!
Another easy and filling ingredient to incorporate during the fall months is grains. From wild rice to quinoa, grains are not only healthy and simple to prepare, but they are versatile, too. Grains can pair with meals as a side dish, as the base for a stir fry dinner, or even with fresh fruit for breakfast. Adding grains to meals can not only increase your loved one’s fiber intake, but also makes a meal very filling without adding empty carbohydrates. While some fiber options can sometimes be hard to chew or have a strong flavor, grains like rice can absorb the types of flavors you and your loved one most enjoy. Not to mention grains can be bought in bulk, making them budget-friendly.
Fall is the season for apples and their best friends–warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The great thing about these ingredients is that they not only have a longer shelf life than other options, but they can be included in a ton of recipes. From breads, to drinks, apple spice pies, cakes and treats, these flavors can add something a little special to any event or meal. They are a great way to add rich flavor without adding too much artificial sugar.
Finding healthy meals that “stick to your ribs,” like flavorful grains or earthy vegetables, is a great way to stay warm, full and healthy during the season change. As we deal with different seasonal allergens and the annual flu season, incorporating healthy fiber, fruits, and vegetables can help boost our immunity, promoting our health during the cooler months.
Many of these foods make a great base to any type of cuisine you’re craving. Each night can be a completely different meal with the proper seasonings. So get that stew on the pot for a few hours, roast some veggies for a snack and grab a cup of warm apple cider and enjoy the beautiful fall foliage as your home fills with amazing aromas!
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of The Haven at North Hills, contact our friendly team today.