By Tracey Hall
Meat Free Monday is a good day to talk about the fresh fruit and vegetables to use in the month of January. When we eat food in season we get extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only is this healthy, it’s good for the environment. Seasonal food means that it is most likely local and less transportation is needed. This is also beneficial for our local farmers and our local economy.
The best nourishment comes when we get fresh food because the produce is picked when they are ripe and fully developed. This means optimal flavor and high levels of antioxidants. This also enables us to cook healthier and make better choices for ourselves and our families. Why not take your child to the produce stand and pick out something you can go home and make together? Not only is this a fun activity, it teaches kids how to cook and eat in a healthy way.
Seasonal Produce for January:
Here’s a simple recipe for Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
- 2½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
- 2 Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.
- 3 Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.
- This recipes does well when pre-made a day or so prior and reheated for dinner. It a great time saver! You may want to double the recipe- it’s a crowd pleaser!