The colder months might increase the temptation to hunker down with comfort foods like pizzas, pastries and puddings, but there’s no reason why you can’t eat cleanly and healthily throughout the winter. There are plenty of tasty, nutritious vegetables which continue to flourish right through the frost, so stock up your pantry in preparation for these winter recipe stalwarts and keep that diet fresh and clean until the spring thaw sets in.
1. Overload on Oatmeal
Have you ever heard anyone say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Start things as you mean to go on by loading up on a warming bowl of porridge, which is packed with slow-burning oats that will keep you feeling full and energetic all the way until lunch. For added flavour and texture, throw in a handful of nuts and seeds or get an extra nutritional boost with winter fruits like cranberries, blackberries or dates.
2. Super Soups
Icy temperatures outside are the perfect excuse to whip up a big batch of hearty broth. This curried butternut squash soup recipe is an excellent choice for those with time on their hands, since all ingredients can be placed into the slow cooker and simply forgotten about. Meanwhile, you can’t go wrong with an old classic like this creamy tomato soup, guaranteed to satisfy all the family on those cold winter evenings.
3. Make Friends With Salads
Who said salads were for summer? With many leafy greens thriving in the winter months – such as spinach, kale and cabbage – there’s plenty of opportunity to get back to the salad days of summer. For some extra carbs, why not try out this winter pasta salad with mushrooms, spinach and leftover ham or turkey, or this hot buckwheat noodle salad with an oriental twist and a splash of spice.
4. Let It Stew
As with soups, stews and casseroles are an easy and intoxicating way to fill your house with irresistible smells and whet that appetite of yours. A traditional Irish stew, packed with tender chunks of lamb and plenty of seasonal nutrition in the shape of carrots, onions and potatoes, is always a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. For seafood fans, this Korean-influenced affair is sure to warm the cockles and satisfy the taste buds at the same time.
5. Revitalise With Vitamins and Minerals
Winter is infamous for the amount of colds, viruses and infections flying around, so fortify your immune system by upping your intake of vitamins and minerals such as B12, iron and zinc. Fish, cheese, eggs and milk are all good sources of the former, while those aforementioned leafy greens, lentils and red meats can meet your iron requirements. A generous helping of legumes will ensure your zinc levels are up to scratch.
6. Natural Sweets
With Christmas on the horizon, it can be tempting to submerge yourself in all things sweet and sickly. While one or two indulgences won’t do too much harm, try to stay away from cakes, candies and pastries as much as possible, substituting that artificial sweetness for the natural sugars found in winter fruits. Apples, berries, passion fruit, pears and oranges are all excellent alternatives.
Calling all Cold-Weather Cooks!
Do you have a secret winter recipe that you swear by during the colder months? If so, share your own tips for clean and healthy eating during wintertime in our comments section below.