Earlier this week I was meandering through the supermarket with a friend, discussing why as the weather gets colder, we both always crave the big C -CARBS CARBS CARBS, and those bigger, heartier meals our boyfriends would be proud of.
Ever noticed how on a winter’s evening there’s nothing that floats your boat more than a hearty bowl of pumpkin soup, but in the summer you’ll happily skip off into the sunset having consumed only a salad and a few slices of watermelon?
It’s barely the beginning of winter and I’m already combining my old faithful green smoothie with a bowl of warm oats to even myself out.
So why do we crave different foods during the winter?
I’ve come to learn that our bodies know their shit for lack of a better word. They are a lot smarter than we give them credit for … they know how to create another human, they ensure you keep breathing, blinking and your heart keeps beating.
What I’ve been studying is that your body innately knows what it needs and at what time of year it needs it. As the weather gets colder your body tells you it needs warming foods such as soups and stews, it needs extra sleep and it needs dense, immune boosting nutrients.
It’s no accident that starchy vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, parsnip and beetroot are all winter vegetables – and come into season just was we need them! When you eat in-season, wholesome foods you know you’re treating your body properly and giving it the tools it needs to stay balanced and happy. Yeah life!
To give your immune system a boost this winter try preparing broth based meals such as miso soup, or consuming foods high in Vitamin C – such as garlic and of course the humble Brussels sprout (packed with Vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants and the elusive Vitamin K!)
I had a hunt around the kitchen and prepared these honey-balsamic Brussels sprouts in about 20 minutes. The best thing is you can prepare the same meal with different types of veggies (such as sweet potato, pumpkin, fennel) for an easy mid-week meal.
- Two big handfuls of Brussels sprouts, halved and stems trimmed (you can also score the stem end with an X to let more flavour if you have time)
- 6 whole garlic cloves
- 1 can of organic chickpeas, drained
- A few fresh sprigs of thyme
- 1/3 cup walnuts toasted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- Sea salt and ground pepper
- Heat your oven to 200 C
- Place the Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, garlic and thyme onto a baking tray lined with two layers of baking paper
- Drizzle with honey balsamic dressing
- Roast for 10 minutes, stop and shake the tray making sure the sprouts get a good move around, before baking for another 10 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes in total – or until sprouts are a lovely crispy golden brown.
While this is happening, lightly toast your walnuts in a touch of coconut oil (you can also serve them raw – up to you) and add to the sprouts once they finish roasting.
Serve on a big board – rustic style.