Eating well is important for people of all ages, but especially for older adults. Proper nutrition can help decrease inflammation and manage diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. As we age, our calorie needs decrease, but nutrient needs remain the same or even increase. Ensuring that aging loved ones have the necessary tools and proper access to ingredients in order to prepare nutritionally dense foods is important.
There are many things that can prevent seniors from getting proper nutrition, including limited access to grocery stores or fresh ingredients, inability to prepare complicated meals, and lack of motivation to eat wholesome food. It can also be challenging to cook for only one or two people at a time. Thus, leftovers can be a great way to limit waste and make a meal last for a couple of days.
In the end, your loved ones’ safety and health is of utmost importance. The following recipes are a fresh and healthy take on summertime favourites that involve minimal preparation.
Banana Split Oatmeal
Frozen yogurt and bananas turn oatmeal into a healthy twist on breakfast or satisfying summertime afternoon snack.
- 1/3 cup oatmeal (dry, quick-cooking)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water (hot)
- 1/2 banana (sliced)
- 1/2 cup frozen yogurt (low sugar)
- In a microwave safe cereal bowl, mix together the oatmeal and salt. Stir in water.
- Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on high power for another minute. Stir again.
- Microwave an additional 30-60 seconds on high power until the cereal reaches the desired thickness. Stir again.
- Top with banana slices and frozen yogurt.
Warm Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is as easy to cook as rice, and it contains twice as much healthy protein. It also serves as a great source of calcium and dietary fibre. This colourful recipe serves six to eight people, but it can be easily packed up and re-heated for leftovers!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup tomatoes
- ¼ cup green peppers, seeded and chopped (if possible)
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (if possible)
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the quinoa and water in a pot. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, cover tightly, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- Combine quinoa and remaining ingredients. Season to taste.
Pan-Grilled Salmon with Pineapple Salsa
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a heart-healthy alternative to red meat. This simple dish is ready to eat in under 15 minutes.
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple (most grocery stores sell cored or prepared pineapple)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- Cooking spray
- 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1/2-inch thick)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine first 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl; set aside.
- Heat a nonstick grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt. Cook fish 4 minutes on each side or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork.
- Top with salsa.
Blueberries are nutritious, delicious, and packed with antioxidants. Plus, they’re in season across most of Canada during the summer, giving you a great reason to visit the local farmer’s market! This generous dessert can be split between eight to ten people.
- 5 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar, split
- 1 cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt, split
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground mace
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spread blueberries in a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, milk, butter, baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, vanilla, nutmeg, and mace. Spoon over berries in an even layer.
- Combine remaining 1 ½ cups sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and cornstarch. Sprinkle mixture over the batter.
- Pour boiling water evenly over top of cobbler. Poke a few holes down in the batter with the handle of a wooden spoon.
- Bake cobbler at 350° F for 1 hour or until berries are bubbling and top is golden brown.