I’ve written previously about the benefits of eating seasonally so I won’t go into to them again. Suffice to say that, the more you adopt food choices that reflect the season, the better for your wallet, the environment, your taste buds and your health. (Want to know more? Read How eating with the seasons can make you happy).
So what’s in season for winter….
Winter is upon us and for the next few months here in Melbourne, it is going to be cold and possibly wet. If you have a slow cooker or a heavy casserole dish it’s time to pull them out of the cupboard and make good use of them. They are fantastic for soups, stews and all sorts of slow-cooked recipes…perfect for winter (and great for the freezer).
Many of the winter fruits and vegetables start coming through in autumn so you can catch up with them in my autumn guide. However, there are a few different varieties which come into their prime when the days are at their coldest.
- Beurre Bosc pears – try them poached with a stick of cinnamon
- Mandarins and Seville oranges– full of vitamin C to help fight winter bugs
- Rhubarb – grows all year round but it’s at its peak over winter and it’s lovely stewed or in a crumble with some natural yoghurt
- Broccoli–fantastic for your liver and cancer prevention amongst other things. I like it lightly steamed and served as a side or in a stir-fry or a pasta dish such as Super easy pasta with pesto and greens
- Cauliflower – Similar to broccoli. Cook it in a similar way or try adding it to some mash. Or how about cauliflower “rice”…just blitz it in a food processor, warm it through and add spices and vegies to suit.
- Brussels sprouts – Some people love them, others hate them. I used to be in the latter group but I’m growing to like them…steamed and sprinkled with some dukkah or roasted in the oven.
- Kale – wonderfully full of leafy green goodness. Toss a few leaves (minus the “spine”) into your smoothie or try steaming and drizzling with lemon juice and tossed with chopped almonds.
- Broad beans –also known as fava beans, they are a great source of key minerals such as iron, copper and manganese as well as some B vitamins and fibre. Add them to soups and casseroles or make your own baked beans.
- Artichokes – globe artichokes are used in herbal medicine to support liver function. They can be a little tricky to prepare (so I love it when I see them on a restaurant menu) but they are beautifully nutritious. Try them with pasta or risotto.
- Beetroot – Mmmm, I love beetroot. Recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of beetroot on blood pressure and the cardiovascular system as well as improved athletic performance. Toss a few beetroots in with your next roast.
Hmmm….thinking about winter foods somehow makes the cold weather a little more bearable don’t you think?
If you have a favourite winter fruit or vegetable please add your suggestions in the comments below.
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