In the southern United States, a traditional New Year’s Day meal includes black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. It’s said these foods bring good luck and prosperity for the year ahead. The peas represent coins, the greens represent paper money, and the cornbread represents gold. In addition to luck, these foods can also pack a nutritious punch! You don’t have to enjoy these foods only on New Year’s Day. You can incorporate them into your meals all year long.
Black-eyed peas are legumes. This is the same food family as chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. Black-eyed peas are a good source of fiber and nutrients. You can prepare black-eyed peas as a side dish or add them to soups or salads. Here is a basic Black Eyed-Peas recipe from Cook for Your Life. If buying canned beans, check the nutrition label to find a low-sodium option.
Collard greens are part of the cruciferous vegetable family. This is the same food family as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli and more. Collard greens, like all dark green leafy vegetables, are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. When cooking collard greens, instead of using ham to season your greens, try using garlic or herbs for a healthier take. Try this recipe for Sautéed Collard Greens. (Leave out the jalapeno peppers if spice bothers you.)
A small piece of cornbread goes perfectly with a cup of warm soup or chili during the winter months. This Cornbread recipe uses corn kernels for sweetness instead of sugar. If you already have a favorite cornbread recipe, try replacing some of your dry ingredients with whole-wheat flour for added fiber. You can also add veggies, peppers or beans to your cornbread mix to play with texture and flavor.
For more recipes and tips, visit Cook for Your Life.
From all of us at PearlPoint Nutrition Services, we wish you and your family a happy New Year!