Winter time is a great time for increasing vegetables in our diet, especially for those of us who struggle to enjoy steamed vegetables or salads. Winter gives us the opportunity to make warm and comforting meals such as casseroles, stews and soups and it’s so easy to maximise our vegetables in meals like these. You can also add legumes, lentils or chickpeas to meals for a bit of added protein too. One more benefit of these meals is that they are perfect for cooking in bulk and freezing portions for lunches and dinners in the future because let’s face it, we all have days when we can’t be bothered cooking but still want to eat healthily.
If you like to eat seasonally, winter vegetables to look out for are beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel, garlic, artichokes, kale, okra, olives, onions, parsnip, peas, potato, pumpkin, spinach, swede, turnip and zucchini.
Winter time is also a time when I hear more and more people stating that they don’t eat fruit because they prefer summer fruits. Well the fact is, we should be having 2 serves of fruit every day to get enough fibre and essential vitamins in our diets. Why not try keeping to winter fruits which are much more likely to be tasty and fresh such as avocados, cumquats, grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, navel oranges, pears, persimmon, quince, rhubarb, tangelos and tangerines.
Fruit can be a great snack between meals if you feel hungry and if you’re looking for a healthy winter meal then see the Dietitian’s corner for our beautiful winter soup recipe which will hopefully inspire you to increase (and enjoy) your vegetables too!
Fiona Stokoe, Dietitian