Winter Fruit & Vegetables Tips, Recipes (cont.)

Tangerine: (December-February, some varieties)
Nutrition Tip: One tangerine (2.5-inch diameter) contains 2.3 grams fiber (mostly soluble), 13% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, and 40% of vitamin C.
Storage Tip: Store tangerines at room temperature for up to one week or refrigerate, wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to two weeks.
Prep Tip: If you need the zest (outer peel) for a recipe, remember to do that first before you cut the tangerines. Tangerines are easily peeled and segmented by hand.
Cooking Tip: Tangerines are less acidic than most citrus fruits. Use them as you would oranges in fruit or green salads, stirred into yogurt or cottage cheese, or as a topping for dessert.

Winter Squash: (November-September for some varieties and August-December for others)
Nutrition Tip: One cup of uncooked butternut squash cubes contain 5 grams of fiber and around 9% of the recommended daily amount of folic acid; 13% of vitamin B1, B3, and potassium; 15% of magnesium; 17% of vitamin B6; 39% of vitamin C; and 150% of vitamin A.
Storage Tip: If uncut, winter squash with hard rinds can be kept in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place for one to four months. Once the squash is cut, though, you'll need to refrigerate the pieces in a plastic bag.
Prep Tip: It's often easier to cut the squash into pieces, remove the seeds, cook until tender, and then cut the flesh away from the thick outer shell. Use a hefty chef's knife to cut the squash into pieces.
Cooking Tip: Winter squash needs to be cooked -- steamed, baked, or microwaved. If baking, place the halves or pieces flesh-side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or canola or olive oil, and bake in a 375-degree to 400-degree oven until tender.

Winter Fruit and Vegetable Recipes

Roasted Garlic & Parsley Green Beans

An easy way to dress up green beans.

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
About 8 cloves of roasted garlic*
Pinch or two of salt
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
4 cups green beans, washed and both ends trimmed (cut longer beans into two-inch pieces)
Freshly ground pepper (optional)

  • In small bowl, combine olive oil, roasted garlic, salt, and parsley. Stir to blend, mashing roasted garlic with the round end of a small spoon.
  • Microwave green beans in two tablespoons of water just until crisp-tender but still a vibrant green. In colander, rinse beans with cold water and drain well.
  • In a large, nonstick skillet heat olive oil mixture over medium-high heat until hot (about one minute). Add the beans and continue to cook, tossing often, until hot and mixed together well (about one minute.) Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired.

*To roast garlic: Lay a sheet of foil on a flat surface. Cut about 1/4 inch off the pointed end of a whole garlic bulb. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over the exposed cloves; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap foil around the garlic and bake 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees until soft.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 83 calories, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 50 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 43%.

Cran-Pear Bake

This recipe makes individual desserts. You can make them ahead of time, pop them in the microwave to warm them up, then top off with a cookie-size scoop of light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

5 pears
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
4 tablespoons less-fat margarine (use a brand with 8 grams fat per tablespoon) or whipped butter
2 tablespoons lite pancake syrup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
Pinch of salt
Light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you haven't already, cut pears (discarding the core) into 3/4-inch pieces until you get about 5 1/2 cups. In a large bowl, add pears and lemon juice and toss to coat pears well. Stir in cranberries and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  • Divide pear mixture between eight, 8-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
  • In a food processor, combine whole-wheat flour with margarine and lite pancake syrup by pulsing for about five seconds. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, oats and salt to food processor bowl and pulse until moist clumps form (about five more seconds).
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over the pear-cranberry mixture in the individual baking dishes and bake until topping is golden (about 25 minutes). Let cool for about 15 minutes, then serve warm, each topped with a mini-scoop of light ice vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving (not including ice cream): 195 calories, 4 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.5 g fiber, 100 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 17%.

Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2007 Elaine Magee

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

SOURCES: ESHA Research Food Processor II Nutritional Analysis Software. Melissa's Great Book of Produce, Cathy Thomas, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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