Fall Inspired Eye Healthy Recipes
Summer has come to an end and Fall has officially started! But that doesn’t mean that you should stop protecting your eyes. Here at Stanton Optical we’ve compiled some Fall inspired recipes with ingredients that will help improve and protect your visual health.
Don’t worry… they don’t all contain pumpkin.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Our first eye health recipe is roasted butternut squash with bacon, and pistachios placed over a bed of baby lettuce or mixed greens. This recipe will make approximately 6 servings.
The recipe calls for:
- Cooking Spray
- 1 ½ lb of peeled, seeded and chopped Butternut Squash
- 1 lb of Beets peeled, and cut into cubes
- 2 slices of bacon
- 3 tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
- ⅓ of thinly cut red onion
- 3 tbsp of chopped pistachio nuts
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 bags of mixed greens or baby lettuce.
Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients, heat the oven to 425℉ and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Next, spread the butternut squash on half of the cookie sheet and the beets on the other half of the cookie sheet. Make sure that they are evenly spread to make a thick layer. Add salt and pepper to taste and spray again with cooking spray. Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until beets and butternut squash are cooked and firm. (Make sure that the beets and squash do not touch since the the beets will color the squash.) While beets and squash are in the oven, cook the 2 slices of bacon in a small non-frying pan over medium to high heat until fully cooked and crisp. In a separate bowl take 2 tbsp of the bacon grease and mix in red wine vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and add crumbled bacon. Once completed, set aside and remove squash and beets from the oven. In another bowl mix baby lettuce or mixed greens with desired dressing, and place salad mix on 6 dinner plates. Finally, place equal amounts of butternut squash and beets on top of salad bed, and sprinkle with pistachios. Enjoy!
Eye Health Benefits
The ingredients used in this dish are proven to not only help your vision health, but they are also known to help prevent eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and visual acuity. Implementing these foods into your diet will not only nourish your body, but your eyes will thank you at a later age in life. Some of the nutrients in this recipe are:
- Vitamin C: proven to help lower the risk of developing cataracts, can slow the process of age- related macular degeneration and the loss of vision acuity.
- Vitamin E: known to protect the eye cells from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals which are known to break down healthy tissue.
- Zinc: is the nutrient responsible for bringing Vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, which is a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is highly concentrated around the eye in the retina and chroid – the vascular tissue layer under the retina.
- Lutein & Zeaxanthin: helps reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including cataracts and age- related macular degeneration.
- Beta – Carotene: is known to also help prevent age – related macular degeneration, dry eyes and night time blindness.
For dessert we’ve chosen a light pumpkin mousse, because it’s not Fall without some Pumpkin. Pumpkin contains beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body, and protects the cornea or surface of the eye. Furthermore, it helps in reducing age-related macular degeneration, and helps prolong vision in people with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
To make this light and tasty dessert you will need:
- 1 cup of Pumpkin Puree (it can be from a can)
- ½ cup of Greek 0% or 2% yogurt
- ½ cup of maple syrup
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 envelope of gelatin
- ¼ cup of very cold whipping cream
- ½ tsp of mixed spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger)
- The zest of one orange
After you have the ingredients together place a medium to large bowl in the freezer. Then, in a larger bowl mix the pumpkin puree with the greek yogurt using a whisk. Sprinkle the gelatin packet in the orange juice and let that sit for about 3 minutes. While you wait for that, in a small sauce pan, bring the maple syrup to a boil stirring constantly. Once that has come to a boil, pour it over the orange juice until the gelatin has melted. Take the orange juice, gelatin, maple syrup mixture and pour into pumpkin, and greek yogurt and mix well using a whisk. Add the orange zest and spices and mix together. Remove the chilled bowl from the freezer and whip cream to form peaks. Using a hand mixer, mix the pumpkin mix for about one minute. Take whipped cream and fold into pumpkin mix using a spatula. Ladle the mix into individual serving cups and place in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours until set. Enjoy!
Food can be a great resource in maintaining and promoting healthy vision, but getting an eye exam every year, is essential to ensuring that your eyes are as healthy as can be.
Schedule your FREE Eye Exam at a Stanton Optical location near you!