Hearty, wintertime recipe ideas for seniors often involve warming comfort foods like stews and soups. When the cold winds blow outdoors, a delicious soup can really hit the spot, especially for older adults who become more susceptible to the cold.
National Soup Month is the perfect time to explore the secrets to making healthier, heartier soups for seniors. Follow these dietitian-approved tips for recipe ideas your residents are sure to enjoy.
Start with the Right Base
Generally speaking, broth-based soups are lower in calories and fat than those that are cream-based. Low-sodium beef, chicken or vegetable broth or stock make for a healthier starter for soup recipes. If your adult care residents prefer creamy soups, use starchy vegetables like potatoes or butternut squash, or make a roux to get the right texture. Or, swap out the heavy cream for reduced-fat milk or half-and-half.
Add Plenty of Veggies
Doubling or even tripling up on the veggies can make for much healthier, heartier soups. Chopped or diced carrots, celery, broccoli, turnips and cauliflower can work for many soup recipe ideas for seniors. Or, you could toss in a handful of fresh arugula or baby spinach. You can also stir in a vegetable puree for added nutrients and a thicker texture.
Make Smart Protein Choices
Most seniors need protein with every meal, and serving it up in soup is a great way to deliver this important food group. Beans, chicken, fish, turkey and tofu are among the healthiest proteins you can use in soup recipes, but other protein picks can be used in moderation at adult care facilities.
Serve Soup on a Bed of Whole Grains
Instead of simply ladling soup into empty bowls, why not provide a nutritional boost by serving it over whole grains? Brown rice, barley and whole grain pasta can add fiber and flavor, which makes for healthier, heartier soups.
Garnish with a Healthy Topping
Crackers are often the go-to garnish for soups, but other toppings can add crunch and/or flavor without adding an excessive amount of sodium, calories and fat. Cubed and toasted whole wheat bread or baked whole grain tortilla strips are healthy options. Or adding a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds works for some recipe ideas. For a flavor boost without the crunch, serve up soup with a dollop of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt, fresh herbs or a small amount of finely-shredded hard cheese.
Creating healthier, heartier soups to celebrate National Soup Month is simple with the Grove Menus meal planning software system. And, all of our tasty recipe ideas for seniors are dietitian-approved, designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of older adults.
For a free, no-pressure demonstration of the Grove Menus food menu program tools, contact us today. We would love to show you how our user-friendly software system can offer you hundreds of cost-effective, well-balanced recipe ideas for seniors.