Foods for Winter Comfort and Nutrition
Make these seven easy foods this winter. Check out nutritious and filling dishes from this month’s first-week menu. Cook filling breakfasts, eat satisfying meals, and bake winter-friendly treats with natural sugars.
New Year’s Day began with homemade banana bread in the Kitchen Southern Hospitality cottage. Baked with natural raw local honey and whole grain flour made it more nutritious than sugar-laden sweets I’ve given in to in past New Year’s celebrations. During the first week of January, my favorite dishes were the ones on the following list:
- Honey Banana Bread
- Mini Applesauce and Zucchini Bundts
- Rolled Oats, Raisins, and Walnuts
- Cheesy Tomato and Cream Soup
- Charcoal-Grilled Half Sandwich
- Fried Eggs, Chicken Chunks, and Yellow Squash
- Salmon and Asparagus
The banana bread and bundts were inspired by my friend’s recipe book. The other items are simple and healthy meals from my own recipe creation. Breakfasts consisted of hot cereals like old fashioned rolled oats, perfect for chilly and lazy holidays. Cheesy Tomato and Cream Soup or Charcoal-Grilled Half Sandwich are both ideal as a light lunch or dinner. And it doesn’t matter if cooked for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a fried egg-chicken-vegetable medley is a filler-up kind of meal.
I found the Honey Banana Bread recipe from Shirley Engelhardt’s Victorious Recipe book. Her cookbook is mainly focused on nutritious and organic foods. Ingredients for the bread recipes include using natural sugars, specifically raw local honey and pure maple syrup.
Before going any further, I’d like you to know that there was an important reason (besides controlling my love of sweets) that the subject of this particular recipe book came up.
The day I received Shirley’s Victorious Recipe book in the mail, I had just begun recuperation from surgery. While in the hospital, the surgeon explained to my husband and me why the expected hour-and-forty-five-minute length of surgery turned into four hours. Cancer was found, and that resulted in testing the lymph nodes – which took more time.
Although I want to be healthy and eat nutritious foods, I am not in the medical field, am not a dietician, and I am not suggesting that you follow any certain diet. Contact your medical practitioner for dietetic recommendations. My purpose on this blog and in this blog post is to share nutritious and delicious recipes with you that I try out and like, or that I create and/or adapt to my preference.
When reading Shirley’s books (she sent me two other ones that pertained to her story and her journey into her research of sugar and other foods and their impact on cancer cells), I was waiting to hear the results from surgery. At the time, I didn’t know if chemo and/or radiation would be recommended for me. You can imagine the stress I was dealing with. However, I decided to not worry about it while I had to wait. Worrying wouldn’t change anything. Therefore, I made up my mind every day to trust God with the outcome.
Good news! No treatments would be needed! I’m so very thankful. Going through the season of Christmas, receiving gifts did not matter. What meant everything to me was LIFE.
I was staying with my daughter and her family as they lived fairly close to the hospital and my doctor. Before too long, I started cooking a little and made a few of the easier recipes from the cookbook. The funniest thing was trying them out on my three little grandchildren. They like sweets, too.
One recipe called for carob chips and about a half a cup of honey. The first honey-baked treats didn’t exactly suit my sweet tooth – or my oldest little grand’s. She informed me kindly that “this doesn’t taste so good.” Out of the three littles, she’s the pickiest one when it comes to sweets. But her little brother LOVED the banana bread. He helped himself to the last large piece of bread one day by pulling a chair over from the table to the counter, climbing up on it, and taking it off the plate. My daughter said, “Mom, I hope you weren’t wanting any more banana bread.” The grands bring me joy, and I love baking special treats for them.
Try out this yummy honey banana loaf, and tell me how you like it.
Honey Banana Bread
Banana bread made with natural sugar2
- 2 cups while whole grain flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed If you only have one banana, add 1/2 cup applesauce.
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix wet ingredients together, then add dry ingredients, and mix well.
Grease bottom of pans unless you're using nonstick baking pans.
Pour into four 3-1/2" x 6" mini loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (test with a toothpick - your oven may require a few minutes longer).
Fill 3/4 full as they do not rise much.
The Honey Banana Bread recipe above varies a bit from Shirley’s recipe. Hers calls for 1/2 cup honey, and I chose to add more honey. Add more if you prefer your bread real sweet. But to minimize carbs, you may want to only use the 1/2 cup. I’ve also tried this recipe with one banana and one-half cup of applesauce.
Every year during Thanksgiving and Christmas (plus my birthday is two weeks after Christmas), I have struggled with eating sweets and gaining extra pounds. Then, of course, every January (after celebrating my birthday), I start back on the work-out/eat-less mindset. It’s always the yo-yo syndrome. Pig out for two months. Try to lose weight the other ten months. Reality? The weight pretty much has stayed the same. Back and forth, gain a few pounds and lose a few pounds. But in December 2018, that cycle changed because of my surgery.
Giving serious thought to sugar, my tendency to eat sweets, and studies that suggest it feeds cancer cells, I determined to change my course. Already, I very seldom used white sugar except in baking. Surely, I thought, I can make the switch from baking with sugar to using natural sugars. My mind was made up to learn how to adjust my eating lifestyle.
My friend, Shirley, has been down the road of cancer. She chose to change her diet for life and has adjusted her favorite recipes. Her family has willingly tasted and approved of the recipes. Now I’m doing the same thing, trying out my new natural-sugar recipes on my family – and receiving encouraging results.
If you struggle with sweets and need encouragement to start eating healthier, I empathize with you. Think about your own comfort foods and adapt them to become more nutritious. Thank you for visiting Kitchen Southern Hospitality today.
Interested in purchasing Shirley Engelhardt’s set of two books: Victorious Health Recipes + Victorious Health God’s Way? Order your copy today by clicking on the following link: