A new year brings the inevitable round of resolutions we make to eat healthier. After a season filled with delicious treats it’s easy to feel disengaged at the grocery store when all we can think of is what we shouldn’t put in the shopping cart. For food lovers, this is the best time of year to get creative in the kitchen and find new ways to add apples to the menu.
Healthy eating and enjoying your food aren’t mutually exclusive goals. But we lead busy lives, and convenience hasn’t always been a natural partner for better food choices. Although we know what’s good for us and what should best be left to the occasional indulgence, it can be tough keep our goals in sight.
Small steps, big strides
Don’t bite off more than you can chew – literally, or metaphorically, with your goals. Those in the know advise us to find one small change that works for us and stick to it. A smaller difference that’s less restrictive can be easier to meet or exceed. Made one at a time, these small steps can take us miles.
Know the basics
Get familiar with food guides and what a balanced diet can include. Those restrictions we work so hard to adhering to might not be so helpful if we’re not getting enough protein and good fats. Yes, some fats are worse than others. Follow your heart – or at least what foods we know are better for it.
Sounds easy. But how should we actually do these things? Most of us have a few standard menu options on regular rotation and that’s okay. We don’t have to change the whole meal plan to make a few small differences that can help make eating healthier so much easier. And apples. Remember the apples. As always, we recommend substituting our nonbrowning Arctic® Goldens or Arctic® Grannys in these recipes to help with prep and reduce food waste.
Rock a winter salad
As a main course or on the side, winter salads focus on what’s more readily available in the off-season and can take advantage of what you’ve saved from the summer garden. Maybe we aren’t big on preserving fruits and veg, but a neighbor or friend has enough mason jars in the basement to last a few years. Offer to shovel a driveway or walk a dog in exchange for pickled beets or a bunch of that winter kale. Because cardio.
- our Arctic® Apple Kale Salad
- Apple Cheddar Salad with mustard vinaigrette
- Chickpea Apple Broccoli Salad with honey Dijon dressing
- Chorizo Apple Rice Salad
Switch up your sides
Going all-in on an entirely new recipe can be daunting and we just got through the holidays. Plus, there are times we crave the main attraction but want to switch up the side dish to keep things interesting. Give those rich sides a rest in exchange for a beautiful soup or try roasting those root vegetables. Mix and match. Consider your recipe book a “choose your own adventure” and go play.
- Grilled Salmon with Apple Onion Relish
- Souvlaki-Style Pork Chops With Celeriac Apple Tzatziki (or try this with the salmon)
- Maple Butternut Squash Apple Soup, because squash last all winter long
- Roasted Cauliflower and Apples With Dill, because apples + dill = mind BLOWN
That’s right: choose to try a favorite breakfast recipe for lunch, dinner, or a midday snack. Not just the cold cereal kind but the weekend brunch kind with fresh fruit – like apples. Your suppertime taste buds will think that breakfast burrito is an entirely new recipe
- Lean Turkey Apple Maple Sausage Breakfast Patties
- Apple Sausage and Smoked Cheddar Breakfast Casserole
- Hearty Sausage and Sweet Potato Bake
No one is an island and we hear the call of chocolate as loudly as the next person, so we might as well plan for the attack on willpower. Fresh sliced apples with good cheese is a great post-meal nibble, but there will be times when the siren call of sugary deliciousness is strong. Here are a few healthy-ish desserts with apples.
- Flourless Applesauce Brownies (only three ingredients)
- Gluten-Free Spiced Hot Fruit Bake, because the oven isn’t just for vegetables
- Apple Chai Oatmeal Cups
How are apples helping you keep your resolve? Take a photo of your fave and share it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest with the hashtag #arcticapples. And watch for our fresh sliced Arctic® Goldens and Arctic® Grannys plus Arctic ApBitz™ dried apples in stores soon. Like really soon.
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Until next time, happy healthy snacking.