Think the Southern larder is only butter, bacon, and bourbon? Think again. Here are seven Southern superfoods we cook with all winter long.
Related: Lightened Up Southern Classics
1. Buttermilk Cultured buttermilk is one of the oldest Southern probiotic foods. Drink it until the cows come home because it aids in digestion, is super-rich in calcium, and is good for your complexion. Stir some into delicious cornbread croutons to top your soup.
2. Dark Leafy Greens Grace your table with a daily dose of these powerhouses. Filled with antioxidants, leafy greens such as collards, kale, and turnip greens can lower cholesterol. Editor's Tip! Retain nutrients by cooking greens just until they're a vibrant green.
3. Beans & Peas Canned, frozen, or dried, beans and peas give you long-lasting energy and loads of fiber. Plus, they're a cheap protein. Make a big batch on Sundays for the week!
4. Chicory Coffee Reason #158432 why we love New Orleans: dark NOLA-style grounds. The natural plant chemicals in chicory (a ground root added to coffee for body and to mellow bitterness) help protect against cardiovascular disease and relieve pain.
5. Pecans These crunchy snacks, salad toppings, and dredges are good for your heart. Their omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E can help lower bad cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots. Try using them in our pecan sticky buns that are less than 300 calories each!!
6. Sweet Potatoes With flesh ranging from vibrant orange to deep purple, these fiber-rich gems are loaded with antioxidants that hold up to heat-steaming, boiling, and roasting.
7. Stone-Ground Grits Not to be confused with instant or the quick-cooking kind, stone-ground grits are whole grains. Benefits include prevention of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
January 2013 More from Southern Living:
Winter Farmer's Market Recipes
Healthy Appetizer Recipes
SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an