February is American Heart Month, a time to remember to take care of your heart. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the still leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, claiming more lives each year than all cancers combined. A healthy diet, full of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to maintain heart health but as the long days of winter stretch on, it may be a challenge to keep up positive “plant-entions” set in the new year. One delicious way to make heart-healthy foods a central part of your diet is to serve more soups and stews!
When it’s cold outside, there is nothing better than a piping-hot bowl of soup or stew to warm the heart and soul. Soups and stews are a great way to enjoy winter feel-good foods and ensure your diet has enough vegetables to provide the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your heart loves. Keeping budget-friendly staples, like lower-sodium soups, canned vegetables and beans, pasta, nut butters and frozen vegetables on hand will make it easy to whip up a hot meal in a flash and your heart will thank you for adding extra fruits and vegetables.
The following three recipes are Guiding Stars-rated. These foods are evaluated by scientists and determined to have more vitamins, minerals and fiber and less saturated fat, added salt and sugar than other foods. When you choose a Guiding Star-rated food or recipe, you can be assured that you are getting better-for-you nutrition.
This affordable meatless soup uses a favorite winter comfort food, tomato soup, as the base. It is packed with fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and comes together in about 20 minutes! Choose lower-sodium versions of canned foods for even more health benefits. Veggie Tomato Soup with Fusilli
Instead of spinach dip, try this protein-rich Spinach-Artichoke Stew. It uses budget-friendly chicken thighs, canned and frozen vegetables and just a touch of cheese for a satisfying meal. Up the veggies even more by swapping out the polenta for a side of potatoes. Spinach-Artichoke Chicken Stew
Try using nut butter in a savory dish for a creamy thickness and boost of plant-based, healthy fat. Peanut butter and bright, colorful veggies are the stars of this spicy stew, ready in less than 30 minutes. Spicy Butternut Squash and Kale Stew with Peanuts
For more veggie inspiration, join The GIANT Company Dietitians in our free, virtual classes: The GIANT Company Nutritionists Events | Eventbrite