What is your favourite winter fresh produce?

Thing is, for most of us, winter=comfort food … see, already you’re smiling inside!

We all know that eating fresh fruit and vegetables naturally provide numerous benefits in the fight against pesky colds and flu. But, as the temperature drops, eating more fruit and vegetables become more challenging. July is peak comfort food season; hearty curries and stews covered in a pool of gravy with a mound of buttery mashed potatoes, yum!

Feeling cold triggers a self-preservation mode that sends the body a message to heat up fast. And that message is often played out as a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods – sugars and starches provide the instant heat boost your body is longing for.

But, what if you can eat all the decadent foods that tantalize your taste buds without compromising your health, or sacrificing taste? Truth is winter brings with it plenty of opportunities to eat healthy. The secret is to keep it simple. Don’t overthink the idea of including fruits and vegetables – simply include them in your daily eating plan.

Winter superfoods pack a serious punch and are just waiting to be worked into your favourite cold-weather recipes. Here’s how:

  • Start with breakfast. Make oatmeal awesome by topping it with a handful of raspberries, or add a few slices of banana with a teaspoon of honey for some sweetness. Include grilled tomatoes, sliced mushrooms or beans to poached eggs. Or blend fresh blood oranges into your smoothie for a fresh OJ flavour.
  • Embrace soups. Get more fibre-filled veg into your winter diet since you can toss just about anything into soup – greens, beans, lentils, whole grains and off course, plenty of vegetables. Add a lean protein such as chicken or shrimp and you’re set. Make sure to choose a broth-based soup over a cream-based one.
  • Be sneaky and grate your way to goodness. Grate zucchini or carrots into your meatballs or burger patties, adding both moisture and nutrients.
  • The secret is in the sauce. Make a mean marinara that’s loaded with veggies. In addition to your tomato sauce base, add chopped mushrooms, eggplant, onions, peppers and carrots. Spread it over a whole wheat pizza base, use it as a dipping sauce or in a vegetable lasagne.
  • Recreate the chip. Oven bake sweet potato or kale, bag them for your on-the-go snack or use them as dippers.
  • Dig the dip? Go sweet. Dip pears, apples, sliced banana or pineapple spears in a creamy pumpkin dip. Or go savoury. Cut a few carrots and celery sticks and pair them with creamy avo or a nutty hummus. Now we’re talking!
  • Love noodles? Try zoodles, zucchini noodles – all you have to do is google “low carb recipes” and you’ll be inundated with ideas.
  • Baked fruit such as pairs and apples are great with honey and cinnamon as a dessert.

Stay warm, stay healthy.

Source: cosmopolitan.co.za, cookinglight.com, cookingclassy.com, goodfood.com.au, dailymail.co.uk, nbcnews.com, countrylife.co.za, bodyandsoul.com.au, magazine.vitality.co.uk, npr.org, stuff.co.nz, webmd.com, diabetesdaily.com, baycare.net, eatthis.com, laughinglemonpie.com, thekitchn.com, foodloversmarket.co.za, awpnow.com, everydayhealth.com, fitday.com, cookinglight.com  

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.