Warm up with winter’s best seasonal produce
When the weather cools down, we start craving more comforting foods – and Mother Nature knows that. In Australia, we’re lucky to have access to abundant fresh produce all year-round, but in winter, the farmer’s markets start filling up with fruits and veggies that fill us up and support our immune systems.
Stay well with Winter's Best Seasonal Produce
By Peta Shulman the Founder of GoodnessMe Box and her team of health practitioners
When the weather cools down, we start craving more comforting foods – and Mother Nature knows that. In Australia, we’re lucky to have access to abundant fresh produce all year-round, but in winter, the farmer’s markets start filling up with fruits and veggies that fill us up and support our immune systems. There are plenty of reasons for eating seasonally. Since the produce doesn’t have to travel too far before landing on your plate, it’s a lot cheaper, and there’s a better chance it hasn’t been highly sprayed.
Plus, produce tastes best when it’s plucked as soon as it’s ripe!
Lemons, limes, mandarins, and oranges are juiciest during the cooler months. They’re bursting with health benefits, too. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and flavonoids to boost your immunity, memory and mood. Thanks to the flavonoids, citrus fruits are also known to reduce the risk of diabetes and cataracts. Squeeze lemon and lime over everything, and just peel and eat the other fruits – or turn them into a zesty tart!
Nothing beats biting into a crunchy apple. When the mercury drops, the quality of apples goes up – so now’s the time to take on the doctor’s advice and eat an apple a day! Along with being refreshing, apples are high in nutrients and vitamins A, C, K and B1. They’re an excellent source of soluble fibre, which not only keeps you feeling fuller for longer, but it can also help to lower cholesterol. The heart health benefits don’t stop there. Apples contain antioxidants that help to lower blood pressure and anti-inflammatories to improve immunity, making them a must in winter.
There’s a reason why roasts taste better in winter – and it’s not just because it’s cold outside! Root veggies like sweet potatoes, beetroot, carrots and parsnips are at their peak during the cooler months. Sweet and earthy in flavour, they work well in roasts as well as soups, stews and a hearty sweet potato shephard’s pie. Beetroots are rich in antioxidants called betalains, which help to fight degenerative diseases and carrots really do promote healthy eyes, thanks to a compound called beta-carotene.
Growing your own veggies?
Throw a handful of blood and bone on the compost heap to keep your veggie patch nourished and moving fast!
Think Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. This group of veggies is finally enjoying its time in the spotlight! The cold-weather crunchy bunch are high in vitamin C and are a great source of vitamin K, which helps to boost bone health and regulate blood clotting. Whip up a hearty stir-fry with as many varieties as you can or sneak these veggies into soups and casseroles.
With its crunchy texture and liquorice-like taste, fennel is one of our favourite veggies to eat year-round. For centuries, fennel has been used medicinally to soothe the digestive system, but the bulb’s favourite season is winter, so experiment with sautéing it, roasting it, and throwing it into salads and bowls for a satisfyingly crispy finish.
Herbs and spices
Did you know herbs and spices have seasons, too? If you’re buying fresh herbs and spices during winter, go for ginger, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, mint, dill and coriander. Herbs and spices are hard-hitters when it comes to flavour and are light on the waistline too, the perfect winter pick-me-up to top off your next family meal.
About Peta and the GoodnessMe Box team
Peta Shulman is the founder and director of GoodnessMe Box, a Sydney-based health food sampling service carefully curated by a team of health practitioners including nutritionists, dietitians, doctors and psychologists. The aim behind the name is to provide customers with nutritious bite-sized health food samples, allowing the customer to decide for themselves whether the products work for them. Peta is also passionate about getting people back in the kitchen and provides plenty of tasty recipes and ideas under the blog tab on her https://blog.goodnessmebox.com