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Improve Your Diet With These Vitamin B-Packed Recipes

Your body's ability to ward of diseases and keep you healthy as you age has a lot to do with what you eat. Consuming vitamins regularly is an important part of maintaining a nutritious diet. Vitamin B in particular helps to maintain a healthy metabolism and has also been linked to a lower risk of stroke, according to Everyday Health. Introduce more vitamin B to your diet with these recipes.

1. Winter Squash Soup
Winter squash, such as acorn, spaghetti and butternut squash, has high amounts of vitamin B in its skin. It's also packed with vitamins A and C. Roasting the squash before making your soup will bring out a sweet flavor for a delicious meal. 

Ingredients

  • 1 3-lb. butternut squash
  • 1 2-lb. acorn squash
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • Chopped fresh thyme (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut both squashes in half lengthwise, disposing of the seeds and membranes. Cut side down, place the squash on a jelly-roll pan lathered with cooking spray. Mix the oil and onion. Toss together and spread onto pan around squash. Bake for 45 minutes or until squash and onions are tender. After cooling slightly, remove squash pulp from skins and discard skins.

Put the squash pulp and onion in a Dutch oven. Add the broth and next five ingredients through the pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Put half of the squash mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and repeat process with remaining mixture. Pour final mixture into pan and stir in half-and-half. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes and garnish with thyme, if preferred.

2. Quinoa Vegetarian Chili
In addition to vitamin B6, this recipe is also high in protein and fiber to ensure you're feeling energized throughout the day. One of the best parts about whipping up this mouthwatering chili dish is that once you have the ingredients and your stock pot or slow cooker, preparing the meal is very simple.

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can corn kernels, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

Pour all of your ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let simmer for 40-50 minutes uncovered or until consistency is as desired.

3. Fettuccine With Clams and Tomato Sauce
Clams offer a surprising amount of B12 - just 3 ounces of clams (about 20 small clams) contain more than 10 times the recommended amount of B12, which is essential to maintaining a healthy nervous system. Combined with pasta and a tasty tomato sauce, you'll have yourself a meal that's both nutritious and delicious. 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 48 littleneck clams in shells, scrubbed (about 2 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)

Directions

Over medium heat, warm up the oil in a large Dutch oven. Add garlic and onion. Cook and stir occasionally for 4 minutes, or until onion is tender. Pour in the juice and next five ingredients, through the tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, letting simmer for 8 minutes or until shells open. 

Remove clams from the pan and throw away any shells that didn't open. Add parsley to the pan and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to 4 cups. Top plate of cooked pasta with the clams.

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