Making the Most of Winter Vegetables
The variety of fruit and vegetables in our stores decreases in the wintertime, so we have to be a little more creative with the ones we do have. Root vegetables are plentiful at this time of year think beetroot, carrot tops, parsnip and kohlrabi, swede celeriac and daikon.
One way to make the most of them is to use the green leafy parts as well as the roots. The leaves are often more nutritious than the root itself because of their chlorophyll content.
Think about edible weeds like chickweed, dandelion and mallow or the green herbs like chives, sage, parsley, rosemary, coriander, thyme, fennel, tarragon and bayleaf. And don’t forget rocket, spinach, kale and silver beet.
Chop these leafy greens and include them in soups, curries, salads and any baked vegetable dish. Herbs add wonderful flavour to everything. Almost all of them can be juiced or added to smoothies. You will feel the benefit in a very short time if you can eat some of them raw once or twice a week. Spirulina powder is also a very good source of chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants and is often called ‘plant blood’ due to its close resemblance to haemoglobin the red blood cells that transport oxygen to your blood. It has a good amount of magnesium too which many of us are deficient in. Vitamin A, C, E and K are also prevalent. Chlorophyll improves digestion, waste elimination, balances fluid levels, reduces constipation, improves skin and hair. Overall, it allows our body to function at an optimal level. There is also some suggestion that it acts as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant, and may bind with heavy metals, aiding their elimination from the body.
Here’s my simple formula for a green smoothie:
1 cup liquid (filtered water, coconut water)
1 handful of greens
1 handful of berries
1 -2 other fruit as desired
1 teaspoon spirulina (optional)
Put ingredients in order listed into a blender and whizz till smooth. The result may not be as smooth as you prefer – it depends on the efficiency of your blender. If so, pour the liquid through a sieve. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a little more liquid.
Cheers and here’s a toast to your good health !
If you’re interested in recipes for healthy foods, keep an eye out for my live demonstrations at the Nelson Farmers Market on Wednesdays every week at Kirby Lane..