We still have quite a few weeks of cold weather ahead of us and for many, this can be a bit of a battle to stay healthy. With coughs and colds roaming rampant in the office, it seems the old saying of "the best defence is a good offence" has never been truer. Winter is a prime time for flu and colds.
It’s also a prime time for root vegetables. Root vegetables are wired for winter because their roots grow below the soil. Because of this they thrive through a cold season, as well as being deeply nourishing, and easy to store. Carrots, potatoes, turnips, garlic, and onions are highly nutritious and provide the body with important vitamins, minerals, and fibre; all excellent choices to nourish your body this winter.
The skin of root vegetables is rich in fibre, which aids digestion and helps you feel full. To get the most out of these wholesome winter treats, cook and eat them with the skin on. Most root vegetables also contain a lot of Vitamin C, which powers up your immune system to help fight colds and infections throughout the season. A great tip is to soak your root vegetables in water and white vinegar (1 tbsp vinegar for 1 litre of water) to any remove heavy metals and wash well with a brush.
Another great tip is to choose seasonal produce and make your own soups, broths and hot drinks rather than turning to high calorie processed alternatives to keep you warm. Afterall, we all know how tempting it is to turn to not-so-healthy treats when the days get cold and gloomy.
Here are some simple ideas to try using root vegetables:
Beetroot: Wash them well and slice or grate raw over salad, or roast them until juicy.
Carrots: Cut into sticks and serve with a dip of hummus or avocado. These are great for when kids are hungry after school or waiting for dinner.
Potatoes (red, white, or sweet): Cut into thin strips. Brush lightly with olive oil and your favourite spices, then bake in the oven for delicious homemade chips.
Garlic: Mince and sauté in olive oil with any leafy vegetable like kale, mustard greens, or spinach and a splash of tamari.
Ginger: Peel and slice or grate into a stir-fry to add warmth and help digestion.