As I write this the rain is beating against the skylight, its dark and I’ve no doubt in my mind what season it is. Winter is well and truly underway and I’ve a feeling we’ll experience all sides of it this year! On days like this it can be difficult to feel motivated, crawling under the duvet feels like the best option…
But there are things to get out of bed for! Like a chilli rice cake, topped with avocado, tomato and a fried egg…
Sprouts are another satisfying nutritious way of getting one of your five a day. Most seeds, peas and beans can be sprouted. I like a combination of Mung beans, Chickpeas and Adzuki beans. Buy them dried in bags in health food shops or the wholefood section of (dare I say it…) tesco (for those who may be on a budget!). Sprouting is ridiculously easy! Heres how:
- Add chosen seeds to a clean jar
- Cover with water and leave overnight
- Drain, cover jar top with piece of cloth or lid but allow air to get in
- Keep out of the light
- Rinse once or twice a day and watch them grow. Eat at whatever stage you like!
I love adding sprouts to salads
with toasted seeds to give a lovely crunch or on top of toast with guacamole. They are cheap to buy, easy to grow, local, sustainable, tasty, healthy, little nuggets of brilliance! Try growing them in the back of a campervan for 3 weeks, and you’ll see🙂
The one thing that I find myself craving more and more is soup. The endless varieties, flavors, spices all in one comforting colourful bowl. The common theme? Kale! For me it ticks all the boxes – Irish, in season and nutritious. But on these cold dark days it can be difficult to chomp through a salad of it. I find it best blended and mixed with other veg in a warming winter soup.
Spiced Carrot & Kale
Saute 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 4 chopped carrots, 1 leek and thumb piece size of ginger in some coconut oil. Add 1tsp of each: cumin, turmeric, garam masala. Sweat for 10mins. Add 1 litre stock and chopped kale. Stick a lid on and allow to simmer for roughly 30mins. Blend for a few mins to desired consistency. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
As well as soups and sprouts, my attention in winter turns to baking. Nothing compares to the smell of baking, spoon licking and warmth of the oven in a kitchen.This week I was inspired by GreenKitchenStories to make a healthy carrot cake. It was naturally sweetened with prunes and banana and I used a wholemeal spelt flour. The topping was a cream cheese-honey-lime concoction. Delicious and highly recommended. Needless to say it didn’t last long!
Homemade energy bars are another great easy source of nutrition. Free from refined sugars, unpronounceable additives and preservatives they are a travelers and athletes best friend. The No Meat Athlete has a handy formula for making numerous varieties of bars. Today I tried a combination of oats, spelt flour, honey, peanut butter, cocoa and (for protein) chickpeas. Watch this space for some more combinations over the next few weeks…