Spring Up with Veggies
Spring means loads of great vegetables coming into season. We all know that vegetables are really healthy and good for us but did you know that some of the most ordinary vegetables have extraordinary benefits?
Good Fresh Food Offers Gourmet Possibilities
If you have a farmers market nearby then I recommend you visit them regularly. I believe the vegetables sold at these types of markets seem to be fresher, more colourful and cheaper, all factors in preparing a gourmet meal.
I also recommend that you buy what’s in season as you not only get the vegetables at their peak, but you also buy them cheaper as well. When it comes to taking plain Jane vegetables and turning them into gourmet goodies, the key is to buy the ones you need (considering vitamin content), then prepare and cook them while they’re still crisp and fresh. If you allow veggies to wilt and age, those healthy minerals will begin to deplete.
Fashioning Spring Foods – Mixing Greens with Colour
Here’s an example of fashioning your spring diet around your health needs; if you have been taking fluid tablets for some time you will need to add some potassium into your diet. The best way to do this naturally is with vegetables high in potassium such as beetroot, cauliflower, white onions, pumpkin and spinach.
Spinach really is the wonder food with loads of vitamin C, A, folate, some fibre, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium, hence it’s healthy reputation. However, do you know the properties of other great greens and their colourful contemporaries?
• Asparagus is a good source of folate, vitamin C, E and dietary fibre
• Broccoli provides an excellent source of vitamin A, C and folate
• Cabbage has loads of vitamin C and fibre
• Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre, some folate and potassium
• Leeks which are in season right now provide vitamin C and A
• The humble lettuce offers folate, vitamin C, A and fibre
• Mushrooms boost our health with riboflavin, niacin, fibre and some B12
• Pumpkin, a popular vegetable has vitamin A, C, folate and potassium
• Tomatoes are a bonus with vitamin C, A, folate and fibre
• Finally, the good old zucchini which has vitamin C, folate and fibre
Gourmet Framework for Spring Cooking Vegetables
Okay, we know they are good for us but I have a couple of ways for you to add flavour and also make vegetables more interesting. Begin by chopping up some carrots, broccoli, onion, and crushed garlic then cook them in a wok; add some spices or fresh herbs that you like, such as Moroccan or Cajun seasoning and serve this as a side dish. It’s much more interesting than boiled veg, and hence they become gourmet greens.
Alternatively, top your veggies with low fat white sauce then sprinkle light grated cheese over the top and place under the grill until browned – YUM!
The more vegetables you eat the healthier and less hungry you will feel so “veg up” your diet and reap the benefits of delicious, gourmet greens. Don’t forget to fashion your food by mixing in the coloured ones as well, also full of vitamins and minerals that will lighten you up from the inside out.