Ah, the sunshine vitamin. We all know it, we all love it. Vitamin D is full of health benefits, from happier moods to healthier bones – and who doesn’t want more of that?
As we age, it becomes even more critical to increase our Vitamin D intake. The right amount can help prevent osteoporosis, maintain strong teeth, and ward off depression. It’s an explosive burst of goodness in one tiny ingredient. But the days are getting shorter, and those blazing yellow rays are a thing of the summery past. So how can we guarantee an ample dose of our beloved Vitamin D, even as fall turns to winter?
“Nutrition plays a major role in a person’s overall health”, said IC Care director of marketing and community outreach Tate Blanchard. “That is why providing meal preparation is part of our normal scope of services for each of our patients. We want to make sure our patients are maintaining the health and strength, without the hassle of worrying about cooking their own meals”, Blanchard added.
We can eat it, of course! Here are five of our favorite recipes featuring the perfect boost of Vitamin D.
Delicious Sockeye Salmon
If you’re looking for a boost of health, look no further than sockeye salmon. Just 3.5 ounces of this fatty fish contains 66% of your daily Vitamin D requirements. Here’s how to bake your most mouthwatering salmon yet:
- Four 6 oz. salmon fillets
- ½ medium lemon
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. garlic
- 1 tsp. herbs de provence
- A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. (Salmon can take the heat!)
- Put the fillets in a greased baking pan, and shake on the salt and pepper.
- Stir the juice from half of a lemon with the oil, garlic, and herbs, then drizzle over the salmon.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the fish is just flaky enough to melt in your mouth.
Serve with a warm, buttery baked potato and a side of asparagus for the perfect weekday dinner!
Classic Tuna Salad
Don’t forget those cans of tuna lining the back of your pantry! They’re hands down the easiest way to meet a quarter of your daily Vitamin D goals – and with the help of a couple of veggie sidekicks, tuna can be downright delicious! Here’s our take on the perfect tuna salad:
- 1 can of dolphin-safe tuna (water-packed is the way to go!)
- 1/5 stalk of celery, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. sweet pickle relish
- 1 small slice of red onion, chopped
- ¼ clove of garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tbs. mayo (add more to your liking!)
- A pinch of salt and pepper
Got 5 minutes? That’s all it takes. Just crack open the tuna, chop your veggies, and stir in the mayo! How’s that for a simple lunch?
Perfect Yogurt Parfait
Fair warning: not all yogurts are created equal – at least not when it comes to Vitamin D. To get a good boost in a sweet dessert or breakfast, opt for a parfait that includes a fortified yogurt brand. We love stirring up this simple D-laden recipe (this recipe makes 8 servings-perfect to freeze!):
- 6.5 cups frozen raspberries
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar (you can substitute honey or maple syrup!)
- ¼ cup of orange juice
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
- 4 cups yogurt
- 2 cups granola
- 2 cups of blueberries (another health giant!)
- 2 cups blackberries
- Blend raspberries and brown sugar until they’re puréed; then press through a sieve to eliminate seeds.
- Combine purée, orange juice, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it starts bubbling, then reduce heat and stir for 2 more minutes.
- Layer yogurt, granola, berries, and raspberry purée in eight cups (or into a muffin tin for easy freezing) and enjoy!
You already know how good salmon is for you. But when you combine it with eggs, you’re packing a one-two punch of the sunshine vitamin! Here’s how to make it:
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbs. milk
- 1 tsp. butter
- ⅓ cup cooked salmon
- ½ cup shredded swiss cheese
- 1 tsp. fresh dill
- 1 Tbs. sour cream (or substitute Greek yogurt!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Melt butter in a skillet.
- Pour egg mixture into skillet.
- Add salmon, cheese, and fresh dill and stir together.
- Cook 1-2 minutes, then fold and garnish with cream!
Mm-mm Good Creamy Mushrooms
Get this: mushrooms naturally have a tiny bit of Vitamin D. But just like humans, they create their own when exposed to sunlight or UV-light. Plus, these miraculous fungi have been linked to lower cancer rates and decreased depression. Why not stir up a pot?
- 3 lbs. sliced mushrooms
- ½ cup of butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2.5 cups of whole milk
- 1 cup of evaporated milk
- A pinch of salt to taste
- Add mushrooms and enough water to cover them in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 3 minutes; then drain.
- Melt butter in Dutch oven and then stir in flour until it’s smooth.
- Whisk in milk and evaporated milk ever so gently, then bring the whole mixture to a boil.
- Add in salt and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
And voila! There you have it; our 5 Vitamin-D boosts for a healthy and happy fall season. Now go ahead and illuminate your internal sunshine!
Active Aging is presented by IC Care