The Power of VEG!

Happy New Year from the Hull Food Partnership!

After a festive period when many of us night have overindulged, January is the perfect time to start new eating habits. This month, in the spirit of healthy eating, the Hull Veg City theme is nutrition and we’ll be featuring a veg-based blog written by two local writers offering us some good dietary advice. Later in the month Cottingham-based nutritionalist Diana Sandy will impart some pearls of wisdom, but we begin with Milena Minichiello, mother of three and wife to Hull FC star Mark.

The power of Veggies!

By Milena Minichiello

An easy way to make sustainable, healthy changes in the new year is by incorporating loads of seasonal veggies back into our daily meals. I am a big advocate of incorporating detoxifying veggies into our daily diets to clean our cells, nourish them and in turn this will pay dividends to your overall health and wellbeing. Don’t be overwhelmed with ‘how to use veggies’. I’m hoping my short list selection of seasonal vegetables and suggestions on how to use them are helpful to kick start your health goals for the new year. Remembering that you can never eat too many vegetables! I like to recommend a minimum of 8-10 different types per day to ensure our bodies are gaining all the unique nutritional benefits from as many vegetables as possible.

A great way to do this is to nominate a minimum of one day a week to be a veggies-only day. Head to your local library, borrow some vegetarian recipe books or browse the internet to empower yourself with endless ideas and options. You will soon be a pro at whipping up a family meal entirely made from vegetables. Why not set yourself the challenge?

 

Brussel sprouts (not just for Christmas!)

Abundant in vitamins C and K – necessary in keeping our immune system high during winter. High levels of antioxidants, fibre, folate and other nutrients make these tiny cabbages way more beneficial that you may have thought. To keep nutrients intact, lightly cooking them is best.

How to use:

  • Roast in the oven with red onions and garlic. Serve with your favourite seeds or nuts over the top.
  • The fat soluble vitamins found in sprouts need fat to be absorbed properly, so always serve and/or cook in olive oil or organic butter.
  • Lightly pan fry sliced sprouts in butter, salt and pepper. Add to pasta sauces and stews.

 

Beetroot

A master at detoxifying the blood and liver, good for heart health and relieving inflammation. Its antioxidant effects are hugely beneficial too. Don’t throw the leaves! Cook them just as you would kale or spring greens or sliced into a soup or stew for extra nourishment.

How to use it:

  • In a fresh juice or cut half a beetroot into a home-made smoothie. You wont even taste it!
  • Roast with a bunch of other veggies. Coat in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. There you have a gorgeous vegetable based meal or side dish.
  • Grate raw into fresh salads and slaws. Dress with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt.

Remember to ensure your fridge is well stocked with a variety of vegetables for the start of the week. It’s a good way to force yourself to use them as no one likes to waste! Make it fun and experiment as they are such a brilliant way to add flavour, nutrients and bulk to any meal at a minimal cost. Challenge yourself and your family to see just how many you can include in your daily consumption…I bet you will surprise yourself with just how easy it can be!

Yours in health,

Milena

The Life Harvest

In her next blog posts, Milena will be writing about how to make vegetables appetising to children and will be telling us about two more seasonal veg and preparation ideas.

 

Veg Cities – Peas Please video