Cooking with fresh and local produce is not only beneficial for you but this also helps the environment whilst supporting local businesses. Here are four tasty vegetables packed full of nutrients and available on your doorstep right now!!
Kale is a warming, sweet and slightly bitter dark green leafy vegetable rich in calcium, iron and vitamin A. Calcium is important for your bones, iron is required for the production of red blood cells and converting blood sugar into energy, while vitamin A is involved in immune function and vision.
Carrots are one of the richest sources of antioxidant beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, a surge of other anti-oxidants are further released during cooking.
Leeks are packed with vitamin K needed for wound healing and strong bones, and contain fructo-oligo-saccharides (FOS), which act as a pre-biotic to the beneficial bacteria in your bowel.
Savoy cabbage is a vegetable with too many benefits to list here, its most abundant nutrient is vitamin K and has been the focus of many cancer-preventative studies owing to its antioxidant richness and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can lightly steam all of the above to accompany any meal but if you feel more adventurous, try one of the recipes below:
Savoy cabbage with leeks
Serves 4 as a side dish, can use leftovers in a salad or to add to a soup.
Core and shred 1 cabbage and thinly slice 1 leek.
Bring 50ml water to the boil in a heavy based saucepan and add 1tsp olive oil, cabbage and leeks, cover and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in plenty of freshly ground pepper, a pinch of sea salt, 1tsp of freshly chopped thyme and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Roasted carrots and kale
Serve 4 as a side dish
Combine the following ingredients in an oven-proof dish and bake for 30 minutes.
250g diced carrots, 250g sliced kale, 1tbsp olive oil, 1 sliced onion, 2 crushed cloves garlic and freshly ground pepper.
Garlic is easy to grow, plant now for a harvest in July/August (I will be writing a blog on the health benefits of eating garlic in time for this). You can plant it in the ground outside now, as it won’t be affected by the frost, or you can grow in pots. You can start to grow your own herbs inside on a sunny windowsill, which can be planted outside once the frost has passed (usually April/May). Strawberries can be planted in a greenhouse for an early summer crop.
Leah Heathman is a fully qualified and insured Nutritional Therapist and a full member of The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT). She offers Nutritional Therapy consultations here at The Wellbeing Centre on weekday evenings and at the weekends.