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Cozy Winter Meals: Boosting Nutrition in Winter

Michigan winter can feel long and grey. While there may be less variety in food grown around the state, what is grown makes for some excellent comfort food. Potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and swiss chard, combine with other ingredients to create fabulous nutrient-dense dishes. 

Check out some of the dishes below that incorporate winter seasonal ingredients. Let us know if you try them out and if they helped you feel cozy on a blustery winter day. 

Mushrooms: 

Certain mushrooms, like oyster and wood ears mushrooms, can grow in the winter. If you can’t find fresh mushrooms, you can also hydrate dried mushrooms to make these comforting winter dishes. Mushrooms are packed with nutrients including B vitamins and the antioxidant selenium. Selenium supports the immune system which can decrease the severity of winter colds. Try one of these dishes to warm and nourish your body.  

Onions

While primarily used the depth of flavor imparted to dishes, onions can also hold their own when it comes to nutrition. They are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help support your immune system, rebuild tissues, and enhance iron absorption. Make onions the star of the plate with one of these dishes.

Swiss Chard

Certain winter greens can still grow hearty through the winter months. Swiss chard is full of vitamins A and K.  These vitamins act as antioxidants in the body protecting cells from damage. Swiss chard is also a great plant source of iron. It is in the same plant family as kale and shares the familiar earthy taste. Don’t throw out the colorful stems – try sautéing them to have alongside the leaves

Elise Gahan is a dietetic intern with a master’s degree in nutritional science through the University of Michigan School of Public Health. 

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