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Cleansing Foods for New Year’s Celebration

Posted Dec 29 2011 6:00am

After the cookies, candies and other other holiday treats that may have thrown healthy eating aside, the thought of cleaning out the system may sound like an excellent idea. It’s not a new concept since many New Year’s meals across many cultures are full of healthy ingredients that are not only full of  antioxidants , nutrients and vitamins, but are known for their abilities to rid the body of toxins and other undesirables.

Enjoy these cleansing foods for New Year’s celebrating.

cabbage from a kitchen garden

Cabbage from a kitchen garden

Sauerkraut is not only a favorite in Germany, it is also found in many parts of the United States where the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions have taken firm hold New Year’s festivities making this dish a favorite. Often served alongside pork, sauerkraut usually has applesauce added for a contrasting sweetness to its sour. Ireland also rings n the New Year with this garden favorite alongside potatoes and even corned beef. It’s not just for St. Patrick’s Day, you know. Cabbage is constantly researched for its cancer fighting abilities and remains a good source of vitamins C and E.

{cc photo courtesy of   keepps  on Flickr}

kale

Sauteed Kale

The Danes offer a delicious and simple stewed kale for New Year’s festivities which has a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar along with a cream sauce. Traditionally this is a heavier dish but modern takes offer a more healthful version with milk replacing cream and olive oil replacing butter. In the U.S. you will find Kale gracing the plates of many southern homes during New Year’s parties. Usually sautéed with bacon and other types of pork, this dish is easily made with lower fat by adding olive oil as the main fat. Caramelizing onions with a sprinkling of red pepper brings a wonderful flavor to the entire dish and with it’s healthful qualities of high iron and vitamins K and C you are sure to enjoy its benefits.

{cc photo courtesy of elana’s pantry  on Flickr}

Black Eyed Peas

A trip down south for New Year’s Day might bring you a delicious plate of black-eyed peas, which are actually a bean . The dish, usually simmered with jalapeños for flavoring, is thought to bring good luck for the coming year. In parts of France and Italy it is lentils that don the dinner table to ring in the new year. Both beans and lentils are wonderfully healthy choices when cooked sans fats. They can have from 8 to 13 grams of fiber and also serve as an excellent source of protein. Beans and lentils are also a good source of iron and a great way to supplement this nutrient when anemic.

{cc photo courtesy of nep  on Flickr}

What foods do you enjoy while celebrating the new year? What’s your favorite New Year’s dish?

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