15 Things to Do With the Health Food You Bought January 2
You started the year with the best of intentions. You were going to eat more vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, and vitamin-rich superfoods. According to Nielsen, the top 2 New Year’s resolutions for 2015 were staying fit and healthy and losing weight. What Women’s Health has learned, though, is that most resolutions break on February 2. Well, it’s that time. Don’t just let your best intentions fall flat. You bought all that health food, now put it to use! Don’t just wait for the inspiration to strike, though, because that’s a recipe for failure. Instead, keep resolving to try these recipes and put the health food you bought a month ago to good use.
Until you really love chewy, toothsome whole grains like farro, you’re never going to make a farro risotto. It sounds so great and like it’s a good way to trick yourself into eating more of the big bag of farro you bought, but you’ll never make it again if you have to stand there over the stove for an hour, stirring constantly. Instead, make this Farro With Pistachios and Herbs from Eating Well and eat it with salmon or chicken.
If you’re not on the quinoa train already, we bet you’ve said for years that this will be the year you’ll start eating more of this protein-packed grain. Assuming that this hasn’t gone well, try throwing it in a Creamy Squash Curry Quinoa bowl of comfort from Pinch of Yum. It’s almost like you aren’t eating quinoa, but you totally are. It’s not cheating, it’s inventive problem solving.
Oatmeal. How many times have you bought a box of oats just to have them end up in cookies? Stop that. Or, at least, do it less often because you’re actually making oatmeal. Rather than counting on your future, sleepy, still-improperly-caffeinated self to make oatmeal for breakfast, make this Overnight Honey-Almond Multigrain Cereal from Cooking Light via My Recipes with steel-cut oats and barley the night before so “future you” has no excuse.
You said you were going to be one of those people drinking chia drinks and eating chia puddings, but it never happened. It’s ok; chia seeds have a gelatinous texture that takes some getting used to. To reap the health benefits of nutrient-rich chia seeds without the texture, make up a batch of these Honey Lemon Chia Seed Muffins from Table for Two. Here, they’re just like poppy seeds, only with more omega 3s. It’s a great chia primer.
When you’re ready to start getting into the realm of chia seeds and liquid, start slow with this Chia Seed Jam from The Daily Meal. Most store-bought jams and jellies are loaded with sugar to make them thick, but using chia seeds means you can dramatically reduce the sugar in your jam. You get to choose your favorite frozen fruit, too. And if you can deal with raspberry seeds, you’ll be more than fine with this.
Put it in a smoothie! By blending it, you won’t be chewing on chia seeds, but you’ll still reap all the benefits. This Peach Oat Smoothie from the Minimalist Baker utilizes frozen bananas and chia seeds to create a thick, indulgent, and totally healthy vegan smoothie. Start your morning right! Or your afternoon. Or drink one of these frosty bad boys for dessert. It’s all good.
If you’re not in the habit of eating fresh fruit, it can be a challenge to incorporate more of it into your diet — especially if you’re not a fan of just snacking on a raw apple. Instead, try any of these 20 Super Healthy Smoothies from Prevention. It’s a great way to pack in a bunch of whole fruit, fiber, and all, and barely notice it.
If you have an ice cream habit you’re not willing to give up, top your scoop with a bunch of fresh fruit. Peaches, mangoes, pears, berries, and kiwi are particularly good over ice cream.
Go ahead and dip them in a little dark chocolate. Cooking Light points out that fruit-based desserts offer light, refreshing, everyday sweet indulgences.
Nuts are chock full of healthy oils and omega fatty acids and minerals. If you’re looking for a way to get them into your daily diet but you’re not one for snacking on handfuls, try making this Cashew Cream Caesar Salad Dressing from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Rather than cheese and egg, it’s made with soaked cashews! Delicious and nutritious.
Throw some pistachios into a blender with a little mint and a handful of other recipes for a Pistachio Mint Pesto from Eating Well that’s the perfect accompaniment to broiled salmon or lamb.
Turn pecans and a craving for fries into these Pecan Crusted Sweet Potato Fries from Shape. They’re a little spicy, a little sweet, and super crunchy. They’re so good, you won’t realize you’re eating fries that weren’t fried.
Leafy green vegetables
Ah, the green monster. You’ll load up your shopping cart with kale and spinach and chard, and then it will probably yellow and wilt in your produce drawer. Go back and grab a fresh bunch, making good on your resolution to eat these healthy leafy vegetables, and make this Kale Pesto With Toasted Walnuts from Fifty Shades of Kale via Epicurious. Everything is better on pasta.
The Daily Meal suggests putting leafy greens in your guacamole. Finely chopped, you won’t even notice they’re there! It’s a sneaky way to eat more greens.
Are you ready for this? Maybe you should sit down. Ok. Spinach Brownies. Seriously! Disguising greens with chocolate is a great way to add something you know you need more of in your diet to something you’re going to eat anyway. This recipe from Popsugar combines whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and spinach in a way you won’t even notice you’re eating more greens. Go ahead and eat another brownie, it’s full of iron.