If you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving the mess that was 2016. We’ve made it to January, and thus must remember the good in the world—food. It’s also the end of an era, as this series started last February.
Resolutions to eat healthier drive January are National Fat Free Living Month, although cutting out fat is actually not good for you. January 13, National Gluten-Free Day, also commemorates a diet choice. There are several days honoring healthy bites, namely National Bean Day (January 6) and National Apricot Day (January 9).
Meanwhile, the entire month is also dedicated to slow cooking. January has additionally designated national holidays for shortbread (January 6), pie (January 23) and croissants (January 30) as a reminder that baked gluttony is acceptable at any time of the year.
January 16 brings International Hot and Spicy Day, which can serve as an opportunity to celebrate the world’s more flavorful cuisine and cure your cold if you’ve happened to pick up an ailment. In terms of beverages, January 11 celebrates hot toddies, perhaps the greatest winter warmer of all time, while January 18 is dedicated to gourmet coffee.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Food’s assistant editor. Her eternal food baby is named Frederick.
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Years ago, the USDA declared January National Fat Free Living Month, and with the January rise in dieting, the holiday seems constructive at its surface. But let's be honest: a life without fat isn't realistic and is actually bad for you, especially if you stock up on fat-free (translation, pumped up with sugar) products. Instead, avoid trans fats and cut down (but not completely) on saturated fats like dairy products in favor of omega-3 fatty acids, which you'll find in fish, soybeans and spinach.
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January also happens to be National Slow Cooker Month, which fits the seasonal gloom quite well. Read up on our essential tips here.
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January 4 celebrates spaghetti, a go-to choice for broke students and frazzled parents everywhere. On National Spaghetti Day, boil up a cheap, easy dinner and appreciate the noodles' history, which reaches back thousands of years.
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Beans are one of the longest cultivated plants, but their benefits certainly aren't outdated. They're rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates, folate and iron without containing much fat. January 6, National Bean Day, honors the simple food that packs a huge punch.
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Somehow, tempura made fried food better, and on January 7 we celebrate it. Tempura is associated with Eastern Asia, but the batter actually reached Japan through Portuguese and Spanish missionaries and merchants at the end of the 16th century. Today, people fry tempura style around the world.
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Although apricots won't be in season for a few months, January 9 is designated to the fleshy, fibrous fruit. Aside from vitamin A, apricots are a good source of potassium and copper, which helps build tissue.
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January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day, a great excuse to enjoy one of the only good things about winter. Hot toddies emerged in Scotland during the 18th century to ease the taste of Scotch whisky. It certainly worked.
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If you have Celiac disease, you know how hard a gluten-free lifestyle truly is. Take some time to see how people who truly can't eat wheat live on January 13, National Gluten-Free Day.
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Spice is crucial to cuisine and dramatically shaped human history. In addition to bringing out tastes, spices help our bodies as well: certain spices are anti-inflammatory, aid digestion, prevent blood clotting and can help relieve a variety of common maladies.
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On January 18, make sure to start your day with a cup of quality bean juice in honor of National Gourmet Coffee Day. Like spices, coffee encouraged exploration and colonialism. Additionally, coffee is the world's most popular stimulant.
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