Setting and Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution!

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Many of us bring in the New Year with resolutions that include healthy eating. Keep these superfoods in your diet to help prevent disease, control your weight and maintain overall good health.

Sweet Potatoes

Often called the “perfect food”, one medium sweet potato contains more than 400 percent of you daily dose of beta-carotene and the antioxidant lycopene. They are also a good source of vitamin C, fiber and heart healthy potassium. The beauty of the sweet potato is that you can mash, puree or bake; you can even bake and freeze for quick dinners.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

  • For the Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, (2 medium or 3 smaller)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • For the Salad
  • 1 bunch kale (about 10 cups chopped)
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • For the Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast pecans on a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently for a few minutes until golden and fragrant then transfer to a plate to cool.
To Roast the Sweet Potatoes: Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1/2” thick pieces and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp sea salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and toss to combine.
Spread sweet potatoes out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 425˚F for 30 minutes, flipping the sweet potatoes after 20 minutes to promote even roasting. Remove from the oven and let cool while preparing the salad.

How to Make Salad Dressing: In a small bowl or mason jar, combine all of the ingredients for the salad dressing in the order they are listed and thoroughly whisk together until well combined. You may need to re-whisk before dressing the salad since the dressing can separate as it sits.
To Make Kale Sweet Potato Salad: Strip the kale leaves and discard the stems. Rinse and spin dry leaves then finely chop them into thin strips and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 3/4 of the dressing. Toss for a few minutes with two forks until kale is slightly softened, evenly coated in dressing, and reduced by about 1/4 in volume. Let salad rest for 15 minutes while you add the remaining ingredients.
Scatter roasted and cooled sweet potatoes over the kale then sprinkle on remaining toppings: sliced apple, toasted and cooled pecans, dried cranberries, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle the top with the remaining 1/4 of the dressing or add to taste then enjoy.
Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 375, Carbohydrates 41g., Protein 5g., Fat 23g.

Dark Chocolate

Everyone’s favorite superfood, one ounce a day has been shown to help reduce inflammation and help lower blood pressure. Remember the darker the chocolate, the more nutrients you will get. Dark chocolate contains the very potent antioxidant theobromine.

Dark Chocolate Bark

  • 16 ounces dark chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, extra fine
  • ½ cup of chopped nuts, for example pistachios, and almonds
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit, for example, cranberries, apricots, goji berries, or candied ginger
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, melt chocolate and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute. Stir and then microwave in 15-second increments, stirring after each one, until chocolate is smooth and there are no lumps.
Spread chocolate evenly over center area of baking sheet using a rubber spatula. Chocolate should be about 1/4-inch thick.
Sprinkle nuts, coconut flakes, and dried fruit evenly over chocolate. Lastly, sprinkle flaked sea salt on top.
Allow chocolate to cool at room temperature, until completely hardened, about 2 hours. Once chocolate is hard, use your hands to break it into pieces.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Serves 16, each serving contains; Calories 199., Carbohydrates 22g., Protein 2g., Fat 12g., Fiber 3g.

Almonds

Almonds are loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, protein and the antioxidant vitamin E.
They’re a good source of fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. Research shows 6-9 almonds a day can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s. Choose unsalted raw or blanched almonds to keep sodium out.

Spiced Honey Almonds

  • ¼ cup honey, local preferred
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups almonds, whole natural, toasted
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Warm honey and crushed red pepper in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in almonds. Remove from heat and spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 18 minutes, cool.
Combine sugar, salt and chili powder in a medium bowl. Place almonds in the same bowl and toss gently. (this step may be done in a large Ziploc bag) Spread nuts on parchment or wax paper to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Yields about 10 nuts per serving.
**This is a Weight Watcher Recipe and has 3 points per serving.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has become increasingly popular and more widely used over the past few years. It is becoming easier and easier to find in a wide variety of flavors. Greek yogurt packs more than twice the hunger-fighting protein per ounce than traditional yogurt. It is a tart and creamy yogurt and can be used in a variety of recipes. I mix it with spices for a baked potato topping, and with dip mixes to cut calories and fat.

Blue Cheese Yogurt Dipping Sauce

  • (can be used for chicken, celery or pita chip dipping)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the yogurt, blue cheese, red onion, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
Beans
Beans are not just for New Year’s Day; they are packed with protein, carbohydrates (good ones) and fiber, the type that lowers your risk for colon cancer and decreased cholesterol. On top of that they are a heart healthy menu item that can keep your budget low. Beans are a staple on the
Mediterranean and Blue Zones diets.
Eggs
Did you know that eggs are the perfect protein? One egg provides close to 100 percent of your daily-required building blocks. For years eggs have had a bad reputation, but no more than 1-2 a day will keep your cholesterol at bay.
Salmon
This fatty fish contains a large amount of omega-3 fats, which has been proven to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, sudden death heart attacks, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.
Broccoli
This favorite can be cooked, served raw, or chopped and is best known for fighting cancer. The green delicious vegetable is also packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A.

Blueberries

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants including vitamin C and anthocyanidins, which accounts for the blue color and may protect against prostate cancer and glaucoma. One cup of blueberries has 84 calories, 21 grams of carbs (again the healthy ones) and nearly 4 grams of fiber.

Winter Fruit Salad

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups mandarin orange sections, about 4-6
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 cups kiwi chunks, about 4
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Honey Lime Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, grated
  • 2 tablespoons local honey

Begin by prepping all of your fruit, making sure everything is in bite sized pieces.
Next whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, and honey until combined.
Add the fruit to a serving bowl and pour the dressing over the top.
Toss to combine and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving.
Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 218, Carbohydrates 54g., Protein 3g., Fat 1g., Fiber 8g.