When the winter hits and the words ‘raw veg’ don’t quite have the same appeal as they did back in July, it’s probably inevitable that we won’t want to include quite as many of them into our daily diet as we maybe should. There are however a few ways in which we can incorporate them into our meals in a more appealing way without even realising it; from soups to smoothies and juices to stews, it really can be easier than you may anticipate. Gone are the days where a few peas carefully placed inside your potato waffle lathered in cheese to cover any evidence of ‘green’ are considered a thing of health, if we are yearning to steer clear of the sniffles that come as a result of a diet low in nutritious food, sneaking in the spinach or bulking up the broccoli into your dishes will most definitely put you in good stead for the chillier months to come.
Seeing as juices and smoothies are among the easiest ways to slip extra fruit and veg into a meal, it’s probably best to begin with beverages – Especially seeing as they’re becoming widely accessible at local cafes and supermarkets due to popular demand, and as juice cleanses are advertised more prominently than the latest McDonalds fast food.
Many bespoke juice bars let you handpick your ingredients, so adding some extra green is easily done. As well as this, many pre-made juices have also got vegetables in them, and you don’t even notice! This is all well and good, however it can create an indent in your bank account if it becomes a daily ritual, so I’d suggest investing in a juicer or blender (cold pressed is best nutrient wise, but there are a lot of fantastic juicers/blenders on the market which do a fantastic job!) and making these drinks at home for a more cost efficient way of doing it!
When the only thing that’s calling is a bowl of pasta or a chilli (non) carne, an instant game changer can lie in the sauce that you use. It’s brilliantly convenient to buy a jar of your favourite sauce and use it on top of your dish of choice, however the added ingredients to preserve the flavour and shelf life are extremely unnecessary, costly, and come without the desired health benefits. It will only use a small portion of extra time to create a tomato sauce using naturally inexpensive ingredients like tomato passata, spinach, chopped veg and some salt and pepper to taste, and it is in fact a lot tastier, and piled with health benefits!
MAKE THINGS SOUPER!
Soup is up there with one of the easiest dishes to include veggies in (especially in the colder months), not only can you pack in the winter faves like butternut squash, leeks and kale, but they also taste so unbelievably satisfying. A great way of creating different flavours and textures in soup is by using ingredients like beans, lentils and bulgur wheat to bulk the soup out and add some extra fibrous goodness into your meal. By additionally adding flavours like thyme, garlic, mushroom stems or powders like cumin or chilli powder, this healthy dish will become a delicious staple in your Winter diet.
ALWAYS SAY YES TO DESSERT..
As people are becoming much more aware of the healthier alternatives that can be used to recreate some of our favourite desserts, slipping the veggies into your choccy sponge can be easier than it sounds without having to worry about the sacrifices in taste value. Courgette is a huge front runner at the moment, from being used as a substitute in brownies, and instead of oats (‘croats’ or ‘zoats’); there is also the humble sweet potato, infamously popular in brownies and cakes. Adding to this are carrots, black beans and beetroot sitting among some of the substituting faves in the healthy dessert world! They may sound like a dish worth avoiding however with the right recipe, they can be absolutely delicious and generally end up being naturally gluten/sugar free and vegan – win/win situation right?
If you need one final nudge to be convinced, the addition of as many veggies in your meals as possible this time of year won’t only give you the energy to make it healthily through the colder months, but will also allow you to feel absolutely incredible and leave you as far away from the sniffles as possible! Aside from all of this, they can make for some absolutely delicious additions to your winter meals, allow you to feel as wholesome as your meals will, and with absolutely no compromise on taste satisfaction!
Find many warming, veggie-packed recipes like the Winter Greens & Coconut Soup, the Glowing Green Smoothie, the Aubergine & Sweet Potato with Lemon Quinoa, and Sweet Potato & Spinach Korma, in the recipe section of the site.