We thought that in the spirit of giving thanks, it would be fun to talk about how thankful we are for some of our favorite, most nutritious foods. There are too many great ones to list them all, so we narrowed it down to our top 5 for the year. Here they are in no particular order.
Oh, our criteria was determined by the food being versatile and having at least one characteristic that enhances our lives (health, flavor, and/or fun!)
Carrots: They’re sweet, delicious, and packed with beta carotene and antioxidants that keep your eyes, heart, and liver functioning at their best. Our favorite ways to eat them are raw dipped in hummus or cut into fry-like shapes and roasted, like in this recipe. If you like your carrots boiled, try lightly steaming them instead to avoid destroying the beta carotene and other nutrients during the cooking process.
Yellow onions: This is definitely the most versatile of the foods on our list. Yellow onions are mild enough to add to dishes like tuna salad, raw. But, sauté or roast them and they release a deep, subtly sweet flavor that pairs well with anything from pumpkin soup to pork tenderloin to turkey burgers. Try tossing quartered yellow onion, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, and sweet potato in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper and roasting at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes (or until tender). Use these roasted veggies in a wrap with Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore in Water® or use as a side dish to almost any dinner or lunch.
Salmon: It’s not exactly surprising to see salmon on a healthy foods list, but it’s truly deserving of its list-topping successes. Salmon is one of the best sources of the heart and brain health super-nutrient omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a delicious source of protein and can be a cinch to prepare. Try out our maple mustard salmon recipe or this speedy salmon taco recipe using the convenience of canned salmon.
Chocolate: We couldn’t make a “thankful list” without including chocolate. While certain types of dark chocolate definitely have health benefits, such as flavonols that may ward off disease and keep your heart healthy, chocolate made this list just as much because we just can’t imagine living without its rich, delicious, sweet flavor! Feeling like something chocolatey? Warm up with this hot dark cocoa recipe! Remember that chocolate is still a treat, so keep your portions at about 150 calories or less (that’s about 1 oz of chocolate) at a time.
Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese provides umami – a flavor that is described as “hearty” or “meaty”. This flavor is associated with many other comfort foods, like burgers, steak, mac ‘n cheese, etc. We love using Parmesan cheese to add a hearty, meaty element to our cold weather comfort foods without adding an over-dose of fat, sodium, and calories. Try sprinkling some freshly grated Parm onto whole wheat pasta with spinach, tomatoes, and sautéed shrimp. Or add it to Bumble Bee canned crabmeat, along with whole wheat breadcrumbs, reduced fat mayonnaise, and chopped celery to create savory crab cakes.
What foods are you most thankful for this year?