Delightfully Healthy! Warm & Sunny

Tasting Friday, 2/22, 6:00 – 7:30pm

We’ll serve Cream of Broccoli Soup and Citrus & Avocado Salad!

With a new layer of snow on the ground, nothing sounds better than curling up with some beautiful, heart-warming comfort foods!

Our first recipe for this week is a well-loved favorite with a healthy spin—Cream of Broccoli Soup. Broccoli is clearly the main star in this recipe that packs in a bunch of nutritional benefits while brightening your day with its vibrant green color.

Broccoli is a good source of many vitamins and minerals, whether raw or cooked.  It is especially high in vitamin C—one cup of raw broccoli contains more than a day’s worth of vitamin C. In addition to being an antioxidant that supports immune health, vitamin C is also involved in protein building in the body and supports wound healing. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin K, which plays a vital role in blood clotting and bone health. However, blood thinner medications (like Warfarin), which help prevent blood clots, work against the action of vitamin K. Individuals who take these medications are recommended to have a consistent intake of vitamin K to help their blood remain stable. Vitamin A is also found in broccoli. Vitamin A is essential for eye function and vision; it is part of a protein in the eye that absorbs light and allows us to see. Broccoli has many other health benefits, but these are just some of the important and interesting ones!

For our second recipe this week, we will serve a Citrus & Avocado Salad which includes mixed citrus (such as oranges, navel oranges, blood oranges, and grapefruits). On a cold winter day, nothing adds a burst of sunshine more than a taste of juicy citrus fruit. But winter citrus fruit also adds a burst of healthful nutrients to your diet. Everyone knows citrus is a good source of vitamin C, but it also has folate, potassium, calcium, dietary fiber, niacin, and magnesium, among other nutrients. Plus, citrus fruits have phytochemicals whose antioxidant powers helps fight diseases. If those aren’t reasons enough to add more citrus your diet, it is also good to know that these and other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus and other plants (phytochemicals) can also help to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Epidemiological studies have shown a significant association between vitamin C intake and protection against cardiovascular mortality, but the precise mechanism of protection is still unclear.

Now is a great time to take advantage of all that citrus fruit has to offer, many varieties are at their peak during the winter season. Here are some to look for: navel oranges, blood oranges, mandarin oranges, kumquats, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.

And as there are many types of winter citrus fruits, there are also many ways to incorporate them into your diet. Nothing beats the bright, clean taste of a mixed fruit salad. You can encourage your family to be more adventurous by trying a variety of fruits and vegetables. Check out these easy recipes to start!

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Adapted from culinaryhill.com
Photo credit: Culinary Hill

Serves 4

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup minced onion
½ cup chopped celery
4 cups chopped broccoli
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup evaporated milk
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Directions

1. In a 3-qt saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and broccoli. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned about 1 minute. Whisk in 2½ cups broth and bring to simmer.

3. Simmer until veggies are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to blender and puree until smooth.

4. Wipe out saucepan. Return pureed soup to pan. Add remaining broth and evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer and stir until heated through.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

Citrus & Avocado Salad

Adapted from epicurious.com
Photo credit: Alex Lau

Serves 4

Ingredients

2½ lbs mixed citrus (such as navel oranges/blood oranges/ grapefruit)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
1 avocado, cut into large pieces
3 tablespoons salted or unsalted, roasted pistachios, finely crushed
3 tablespoons tarragon leaves
2 cup of blueberries
Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
Optional: ½ cup kumquats, thinly sliced, seeds removed

Directions

1. Using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from citrus, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh. Slice citrus into ½”-thick rounds, then cut into 1½” pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl and add kumquats, if using, lemon juice, and salt. Toss and let sit 5 minutes so citrus can release some of their juices.

2. Transfer citrus, leaving juice behind, to a large plate. Tuck avocado in between and around citrus.

3. Spoon citrus juice over salad, scatter pistachios and tarragon over the salad, and drizzle with oil.

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