A Happy New Year 2020 from the Hull Food Partnership
After a festive period when many of us might 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 in 5 parts written by three local experts offering dietary advice: functional nutritionist Milena Minichiello, Hull-based dietitian Victoria Clifton, and nutrition student Holly Stephenson.
Thurs 2nd – Milena – The power of veggies!
Mon 6th – Holly – Eating healthily on a budget (part 1)
Mon 13th – Victoria – Eating the rainbow
Mon 20th – Milena – Getting children to eat healthily
Mon 27th – Holly – Eating healthily on a budget (part 2)
We begin our 2020 blog with a piece from Milena Minichiello called ‘The Power of Veggies’.
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 your daily meals. I am a big advocate of incorporating healthy veggies into our daily diets to nourish us that will pay dividends to our overall health and wellbeing.
Don’t be too overwhelmed, my shortlist 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 plenty of variety each 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 veggie-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. A source 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:
1) Roast in the oven with red onions and garlic. Serve with your favourite seeds or nuts over the top.
2) 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.
3) Lightly pan fry sliced sprouts in butter, salt and pepper. Add to pasta sauces and stews.
Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value, especially the greens, which are rich in iron and vitamins A and C. Beetroot is an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. 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:
1) In a fresh juice or cut half a beetroot into a home-made smoothie. You won’t even taste it!
2) 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.
3) Grate raw into fresh salads and slaws. Dress with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt.
Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. The range of health benefits are astounding, such as vitamin K aiding the process of blood clotting. Celery is best eaten raw to preserve all its delicate nutrients which can be lost in cooking.
How to use it:
1) If you have a juicer, drink a large cupful before breakfast every morning. Your body will thank you!
2) Slice finely into salads.
3) Fill celery sticks with homemade hummus or a preferred nut butter.
A wonderfully grounding and nourishing vegetable packed with health benefits. Sweet potato is fantastic to add bulk and nutrients to meals.
Remember: the beneficial amounts of beta carotene found in sweet potato can only be converted to vitamin A when we eat them with fats such as butter, olive oil or eggs.
How to use them:
1) Slice into ‘chips’, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven till cooked.
2) Cube the sweet potatoes along with a selection of your favourite veggies and roast tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3) Make into a mash with a knob of butter, salt and pepper.
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 encourage 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,
January 2020 Blog