Christmas · Healthy Eating

24th December

Our last stop on the vegetable tour today! It’s Christmas tomorrow! Make sure you have this one in your trolley today, it’s tradition after all. But don’t forget about these after Christmas, if they are cooked fresh and not for too long (preferably steamed), they don’t need to have quite a strong a taste. One magazine tried to convince me a couple of years ago to stir fry them but I think we just need to remember to steam them and have them. Have you guessed yet?

advent calendar 24th

Brussells Sprouts

These contain lots of vitamin K (for good blood health) and C (for a healthy immune system), folate (for healthy brain function) as well as lutein and zeaxanthin (for healthy sight. They are little balls of goodness 🙂

I am not going to suggest a recipe today but suggest you don’t overcook your sprouts tomorrow and you continue to have them throughout 2018.

 

I hope you have managed to try some new veg this advent and been reminded of some you have not had for a while.

I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and best wishes for a healthy 2018.

Christmas

23rd December

A long time ago, my mum was in hospital for her Christmas dinner, she said it was the best Christmas because not only had she just had a baby but she didn’t have to cook the turkey! Whether Christmas dinner fills you with dread or makes you excited, there is often the question of what you should do with the leftover turkey. Today’s vegetable will help you out.

advent calendar 23rd

Peppers

Bright and vibrant, these vegetables are incredibly versatile. They can be used in salads, stir fries, soups, stews, pasta sauces, with dips and you can even stuff them. Your recipe for today was brought to you by Change4Life which has a host of recipes for you to try. You can use up some leftover Christmas turkey if you save this recipe for Boxing Day (as long as you cooked your turkey properly, made sure it cooled within 90 minutes and went in the fridge and make sure it is reheated thoroughly)

Note, if you are using cooked turkey, you don’t need to cook it again in the dish so just add it with the tomatoes and then make sure the peppers are cooked straight away – not prepared in advance.

Christmas · Healthy Eating

22nd December

Twas the Friday before Christmas and all through the country people were panicking that they hadn’t done all their Christmas shopping… Are you ready for Christmas? It is ok if you are not.

Today’s vegetable is in season although we are nearing the end of the season. It is in the cabbage family.

advent calendar 22nd

Did you manage to guess from the picture – it’s kale

Kale is a source of non dairy calcium so it is great for vegans. It also contains folate, vitamins A, C and K, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and iron.I remember this vegetable from my childhood and it seemed to go out of fashion. Now it has come back into fashion but do we really know what to do with it. Kale can be used in soups, risottos, pasta sauces, and stir  but surprisingly, given the status of this vegetable being incredibly healthy, many of the recipes on the web are very high in fat.

I am therefore going to suggest you make a regular tomato based pasta sauce and try tossing some kale in towards the end – it will take about 5 minutes to cook.

 

 

Christmas · Healthy Eating

21st December

If you work Monday to Friday you have just today and tomorrow left in work. Most work places are full of high fat and high sugar treats which tempt us to eating far too much. This vegetable has often been seen as a weight loss aid because it is low in calories and high in fibre but most veg could fit this category.

advent calendar 21st

Celery

Celery is an good source of vitamin K (needed for healthy blood), molybdenum (needed for the breakdown of amino acids, folate, potassium, and fibre. It is full of flavour and is great in stews and soups.

Today’s recipe idea is a way to get some calcium and fibre without the empty calories. Simply put some low fat cream cheese into the middle of the celery sticks and you have an attractive nibble with a few more nutrients than the stollen bites! You could also try filling them with mackerel pate and get some omega 3 in the process.

Christmas · Healthy Eating

20th December

With the boy’s school finishing today and all the festivities at the end of term, they are exhausted, which means tempers run high and the need for something quick and easy to cook in the way of veg is essential. Frozen vegetables have come a long way since they were first sold. Now vegetables are packed very soon after they were harvested and so they retain most of their nutrients. Sometimes they are fresher than the ones you bought at the supermarket and then left in your fridge for a week before eating them.

Frozen veg are great for reducing waste as well. So if you struggle to plan meals, frozen veg could help. I wouldn’t recommend all your veg are frozen but they make a valuable addition.

Today’s vegetable is one of those which freezes well.

advent calendar 20th

Beans

I would recommend buying whole beans rather than sliced because less nutrient will leach out during the cooking process. I think they also cook better. You just need to defrost them so plunge them into boiling water and cook until they are hot.

Beans are a good source of protein as well as having lots of B vitamins, vitamins C, A and K, and lots of minerals such as folate, manganese, calcium, iron and potassium.

Today I am not going to give you a recipe but suggest you have some of these with your evening meal. You could steam them, pop them in a pasta sauce, stir fry them or pop them in a curry.

Christmas · Healthy Eating

19th December

Christmas is a time when we remember a baby born a long time ago and a star which appeared in the sky. The sky has fascinated many for generations but what do you need to get up into space?

advent calendar 19th

 

A rocket!

Well you won’t get far on salad leaves when it comes to space travel but these little leaves are packed dietary fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. Rocket is great in salads, sandwiches or wraps but did you know you can also make soup out of it? This recipe is from Sainsbury’s – you don’t have to use Taste the Difference potatoes though, any white potatoes will do the job. Make sure you use reduced salt stock

Christmas · Healthy Eating

18th December

Only a week until Christmas. For many of us, we have already started consuming Christmas treats and perhaps our capacity to eat our 5 a day seems diminished. Our bodies need our 5 a day more than it needs the Christmas treats though so the challenge is to prioritise. I’m not saying no to Christmas treats but if we focus on our 5 a day then hopefully we will be able to pace ourselves on the treats.

Today’s stop on our greengrocer tour is another which we grew in our garden this year. We came back from holiday to a monster in the garden. The plant took up half the patio but it did produce some good fruit.

advent calendar 18th

Marrow.

In the same family as courgettes this vegetable is often ignored because courgettes are easier to manage. It often gets a bad reputation of being soggy and tasteless too. Marrow is a good source of vitamin C as well as providing fibre and other vitamins and minerals.

Today’s recipe is for stuffed marrow. This recipe is from BBC Good Food and it uses turkey mince which is a great source of protein whilst being relatively low in fat and often cheaper than beef mince.