Other than valentine candy, what would you say is the most popular item filling store shelves right after Christmas? Storage of course! All those plastic boxes bring to mind the need to regroup and get organized. That includes the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer…aka food! While thinking about out with the old and bringing in the new…let’s start this fresh new year with the nine best tasting, most useful foods to stock up on in January! Be sure to fill up on nutrition to counteract the holiday goodies, adding foods that will warm you up during this cold winter month!
Oranges and Grapefruit
Oranges are still “in” and grapefruit tastes better than ever in January! With abundant colds and flu, there’s nothing like a tall glass or hot cup of vitamin C to boost you back to health! Plus, it fights bacteria, increases electrolytes, and is loaded with antioxidants. Mix up a cup of comfort with 3 navel oranges, 1 large pink grapefruit, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Using any juicer, extract all you can. Drink it cold or warm it up. Add a dash of cinnamon and a splash of maple syrup for a sweet touch and additional anti-inflammatory boosts!
Some like 'em hot, with butter and cinnamon. Some like 'em cold in sweet potato pie topped with whipped cream and nutmeg. Some like 'em in a pot of creamy, savory comforting soup, perfect for cold winter meals that will be ready in less than an hour! Whatever your preference, sweet potatoes last a long time, are extremely versatile for a multitude of recipes, abundant in January, and worth stocking up on! About that soup, here’s the recipe:
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion1 cup roughly chopped carrots (3 carrots) 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 7 cups chicken broth
-Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. -Add onion and carrots, cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. -Add garlic, cook, stirring for 1 minute. -Add sweet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, cook for one minute. -Add broth, bring to a boil. -Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are tender about 30 minutes. -Transfer potato mixture to a blender. (May have to do this a bit at a time) -Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape. Secure the lid on the blender, and place a clean towel over the opening in the lid. -Blend until smooth. -Pour into serving bowls.
Healthy Frozen Meals
January is when you’ll see the sales on frozen meals for health-conscious resolution makers. Stock up now while the price is right!
There are several reasons to stock up on broth in January. It keeps for a year or more. It’s a perfect go-to for hot soups on cold nights. Chicken broth has been proven to have healing properties for those inevitable, miserable, stuffy winter colds. It has anti-inflammatory attributes to relieve congestion by reducing the movement of white blood cells in the upper respiratory tract helping you to “cough up the culprit”.
Frozen food options are best because they last longer, but cereal goes on sale in the new year for the same reasons as healthy, convenient meals. Check into the organic, low sugar, clean options for the best sales and health choices.
With the holidays behind us, stores are clearing out the abundance of baking supplies. Flour, sugar, chocolate chips…whatever you bake with is now moving towards a better, sometimes clearance, price which is a score for you!
Snack Foods and Dips
Championship games and Super Bowl parties are underway making January the time to stock up on celebratory snacks. Store managers prefer to avoid the holiday excess syndrome while still wanting to stock enough. This brings a lower price to keep items moving…from the store to your pantry!
Red, Silver, or Gold Wrapped Christmas Candy
Whether wrapped or colored in holiday colors, Christmas candy and other edibles will be just as fresh in February, giving you a perfect Valentine treat at a fraction of the newly stocked prices!
Meats of all Sorts
If there are frozen turkeys lingering in your grocer's freezer or festive foil-wrapped hams that didn’t make it home for Christmas, now is the time to go hunting! They can remain frozen for the next occasion or used for back-to-school lunches that will win you the best parent award! Or, keep in mind those warm soups, stews, and tasty, toasty dishes waiting to be made for the blustery days that still remain. Keep an eye out for sales on lean ground beef, chicken tenders, and other options that will make a knock your fuzzy socks off lasagne or spaghetti, both of which freeze beautifully now for a delicious warm-up later. One last recipe idea is turkey tacos in case you want a different crowd….and even kid…pleaser! Simply sub chicken or ground beef for shredded turkey. Add cumin, cilantro, and all your favorite Mexican toppings for a taco Tuesday or any other day you want a happy, “hungry no more” crew!