Did you know that fatigue can wreak havoc on your immune system and make you more susceptible to chronic conditions like heart disease, depression and viruses? According to Health magazine, your daily nutrition is key to warding off these conditions and keeping you feeling energized throughout the day. This is something that National Nutrition Month celebrates every March, by encouraging people to consume a healthy, balanced diet and improve their mental and physical well-being. Try these nutritious meals that boost energy.
1. Oatmeal, Carrot and Apple Breakfast Squares
These tasty breakfast treats can be eaten on the go or at the comfort of your kitchen table. According to Delicious Living, each square contains 20 percent of your daily fiber requirement, eight grams of protein, 10 percent of the recommended daily calcium intake and an abundance of vitamin A. This nutritious breakfast recipe doesn't sacrifice taste despite its long list of healthy ingredients.
- 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups (5 oz.) whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cups (11.25 oz.) packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup organic canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups grated, peeled carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
- 1 cup grated, peeled apples (2 medium apples)
- 2 cups walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup (2 oz.) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup (scant 2 oz.) packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a baking dish. Combine the flaxseeds, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, flour and oats in a medium mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Add to the buttermilk and stir to combine. Pour in the apples and carrots and continue to stir until completely blended. Transfer the batter to the baking dish.
Create the topping mixture by placing the brown sugar, walnuts, coconut and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Blend and sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake the squares for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cake and it comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour before cutting into 12 pieces. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
2. Spinach and Tomato Pasta
Pasta lovers should try this quick and healthy dish that incorporates a good amount of plant-based iron, which provides people with energy by delivering oxygen to the body's cells. Combined, tomatoes and spinach create a powerhouse of vitamins and essential nutrients.
- 3/4 lb. whole wheat pasta shells
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 (5-oz.) package baby spinach
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 oz. grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (8-oz.) container grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm the butter and slowly add the crushed pepper and shallot. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent. Pour in the broth with the spinach, cover and cook for another minute. Add 3/4 of the cheese, black pepper and half-and-half. Stir thoroughly and cook for 3 minutes before removing the skillet from the heat.
Pour over cooked pasta and toss until completely covered. Garnish with remaining cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.
3. Fennel-Crusted Salmon on White Beans
Finish off the day with this recipe that boasts a high amount of potassium and cholesterol-lowering side effects thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and nutrients.
- 5 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 bulb fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
- 2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, rinsed
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
- 1 lb. salmon filet, skin removed (see Tip), cut into 2 portions
Over medium heat, place 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add sliced fennel and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Pour in the wine, beans and tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and add the mustard, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and chopped fennel fonds. Cover to keep warm.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and fennel seed. Sprinkle evenly on both sides of the salmon. Wipe down the pan and add the remaining 3 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat over high heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add the salmon facing skinned-side up. Cook until golden brown, for about 3-5 minutes. Flip the fish to the other side, cover and remove from the heat.
Let stand for 3-5 minutes until the salmon finishes cooking. Transfer to a cutting board and use a fork to flake. Serve on top of warm bean mixture.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living