Gone are the days when summer alone could claim healthy meals as its own; winter meals can be just as healthy while still being satisfying and hearty.
All it takes is a bit of planning so that you have all the ingredients you need.
Here we take a look at 5 winter items to have in your kitchen for nutritious, winter-warmer meals:
Coconut milk adds a subtle flavour and lovely aroma to meals. It’s ideal for curries and stews and can replace all or some of the cream you would normally use. It’s also so easy to store and use. Who wouldn’t love that?
Try: The new Thai Green Curry Bowl at KAUAI, made with coconut milk – perfect for those cold days.
Spices such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon
The more flavour a meal has, the more satisfied you’ll feel. Make your meals winter-friendly by adding spices that not only add flavour but have a warm, inviting and mouth-watering aroma to up the enjoyment.
Try: Sprinkling some cinnamon on butternut soup, cumin on roast vegetables or coriander in curries.
Split red lentils
Stock up on these great little legumes as they are a cost-effective way to bulk up or thicken a meal without drastically changing the flavour. Plus they’re a great source of fibre. If you simmer them until soft and then blend until a smooth consistency is formed, you can use it for dhal, as the base for a sauce or to thicken up a soup. Or cook them until tender and add to your meat or mix into rice or quinoa. Even easier, chuck them into your stews raw and they’ll cook as the stew bubbles away.
Tip: Store them in a glass jar so that you are reminded to use them each time you open your pantry or cupboard!
Try: Kauai’s tasty Moroccan Red Lentil Soup jam-packed with goodness – just the right thing to have when you’re looking for a hearty, satisfying meal.
Fruits for dessert
Don’t walk away from fruit salads just because summer is fading; mix things up a bit and use fruit as a sweet treat.
Try: Grate an apple (with the skin on), warm it up and add a little cinnamon and about 1 tablespoon of plain yoghurt; slice a guava in half, cook it in a little water until warm and top with almond slivers; or simmer berries in some water with cinnamon, cloves and a dash of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Avocados are back in season and not only do they taste great, they are also a good source of mono-unsaturated fat, potassium and Vit C.
Try: Use avocados in salads, add them to just-out-the-oven roast veggies, and mix them into pastas or blend with some garlic, plain yoghurt and lime juice for a tasty dressing.
Keep your vitamin C levels up this winter with a little help from KAUAI:
Grab a C U Right smoothie made with strawberry, pineapple, honey, mango juice and 500mg Vit C
Try a freshly squeezed orange juice
Choose your favourite smoothie and add a Vitamin C Booster
Written for the Virgin Active blog and newsletter