The weather is definitely getting colder, the days are shorter and darker (oh I do prefer the light and longer days!) We need to nourish ourselves in the colder months and often crave comforting food. We can make this comforting food healthy and tasty too! Eating well during the winter helps support our immune systems and our body to gather up reserves and strength.
Think Sweet potatoes – enjoy mashed, as chips, in stews, soups etc. They are rich in Vitamin C and A, beta-carotene, iron and B6 (which helps support hormones and heart health) as well as magnesium (which is our relaxing mineral). The humble carrot is also rich in beta-carotene and antioxidants, aids vision, slows down ageing and supports skin and digestive health.
Not every one`s cup of tea but parsnips can be roasted and added to soups. They have a delicate sweet flavour, Vitamin C, fibre, calcium and iron. This winter veg also helps support digestion and our pancreas. Onions and garlic have natural antibiotic, antifungal and anti-viral properties- great for the colder months. They aid detoxification, feed good bacteria in your gut and have good levels of Vitamin A, C and K.
Warming herbs to add to soups, stews, curries and casseroles are ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric and nutmeg for example.
For many people lots of salads and raw foods or cold foods are more depleting for the body in these colder months so what about nourishing yourself with lovely soups, stews, casseroles and curries.
There are no end to recipes in books and online or just from your head!. Here are a few of my favourite I make. I am a kind of bung it in the pot kind of girl!
Orange soup – saute a chopped onion in a little olive/coconut oil, add a chopped carrot, some cauliflower florets and chopped sweet potato. Add ½ tsp cayenne pepper. Cook for approx. 10-15 mins. Add some coconut cream (dissolved in a little water). Cook for a few further minutes then blend.
Pea and courgette soup – saute 1 chopped onion in a little olive oil and cook for a few minutes. Add the chopped courgette, peas, mixed herbs and stock and cook for approx 12-15mins. Blend and garnish with some natural or Greek yoghurt and chopped mint. Optional add a small potato to thicken.
Thai red or yellow curry – chop 2 chicken breasts and cook on a low heat for a few minutes in a big pan in some olive or coconut oil. Add some chopped red onion and a little stock and half a jar of red or yellow Thai paste. Add some red pepper/orange pepper, carrots, sweet potato and cauliflower florets. Simmer with a lid on for approx. 35-40 minutes. Add the end add a tin of coconut milk. You could also use prawns, tofu or chickpeas/butterbeans. Serve with rice or quinoa
Simple Butterbean and Tomato Casserole – use any other veg as well at hand such as onions, mushrooms. Saute the chopped leeks (1-2 leeks) and other vegetables in a little stock for about 5 mins until they are almost soft. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and drained tin of butter and rest of stock (150ml in total) stir and bring to the boil. Simmer for a further 10-15 mins or until the casserole has thickened. Accompany with new potatoes or brown rice. Anne xx