Maintaining good nutrition during cold weather months can boost immunity and help provide seniors with much-needed nutrients to ward off ailments that often come with this season. A healthy immune system is better able to fight germs and viruses and can even help prevent infection.
Preparing healthy recipes that are easy for seniors to eat can help keep seniors healthy during the winter. Here are three recipes to prepare and enjoy:
Banana Split Oatmeal
This fun spin on a classic takes oats and makes them a little more enjoyable with the addition of sliced bananas and frozen yogurt. It’s easy to prepare as a meal or a snack. Makes one serving.
- ¹⁄₃ cup oatmeal (dry, quick-cooking)
- ¹⁄₈ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup hot water
- ½ sliced banana
- ½ cup non-fat frozen yogurt
- In a microwave safe bowl, mix together oatmeal and salt. Stir in water.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on high for another minute. Stir again.
- Microwave an additional 30-60 seconds on high until the cereal reaches the desired thickness. Stir again.
- Top with banana slices and frozen yogurt.
- Add sliced nuts and/or dried fruit.
- Instead of banana, use sliced apples and cinnamon.
Pork, White Bean and Kale Soup
This hearty soup is so satisfying in the colder weather. It is packed with nutrients and rich flavors that seniors will enjoy. Serve with a side salad. This will make six servings.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped (about 8 cups lightly packed)
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring, until no pink is on the outside. Move pork to a plate and keep juices in the pot.
- Add chopped onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, until onion begins to brown. Add garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
- Add wine and tomatoes. Increase heat to high and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add broth and bring to a boil.
- Add kale and stir just until it wilts. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in beans, and pork; simmer until the beans and pork are heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Use chicken or turkey breast instead of pork.
- Add additional vegetables such as carrots, celery and green beans.
Slow-Cooker Soy-Glazed Chicken with Vegetables
Using the slow cooker makes preparing meals a breeze. Caregivers can start them in the morning and serve them later that evening, or have seniors serve themselves. Makes four servings.
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¾ pound snow peas, trimmed
- 2 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, fish sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
- Cover and cook until the chicken is tender on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours
- Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
- Transfer chicken to a plate. Pour the cooking liquid into a large skillet and boil until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add snow peas, bok choy, bell pepper, scallions, and garlic and cook, tossing frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Serve with the chicken and rice; drizzle with the cooking liquid.
- Add or substitute vegetables to your desire. Additional ideas include carrots, celery, zucchini and edamame.
- Use beef or pork instead of chicken
Keep the recipes at the serving size they are, or double them, even if only cooking for one individual. You can freeze leftovers and have meals prepped for several nights with the same amount of prep work.
The caregivers from Assisting Hands serving Columbus, OH will work with you or your loved one to provide healthy meals, and for seniors who like to cook but need a little help, they can assist and work with them on food preparation. Give us a call today if you need an extra hand in the kitchen… or around the house.
Sources: ClearCare, RealSimple.com, EatingWell.com, USDA.go