Disclaimer: This is not intended as dietary advice, I am just a veg grower interested in providing healthy food. This post was simply written to encourage the addition of more fruit and veg into ones diet.  

It’s January! A dark and cold time but also a good time to focus on making small lifestyle changes to bring more
healthy fresh food into your diet for thriving health.

These are some of the most effective ways to add extra fruit and veg into any diet. I hope they are of use to you.

1) Add an extra bit on the side

No, not that kind of bit on the side… If you are cooking up a meat-and-two-veg storm or a veggie storm, why not add an extra side of veg – about a handful per person would do nicely. Think rainbow! Question yourself, are there any colours missing? Cooking is an art so why not use a full pallet of colours! Aim to eat the full range of colours throughout the day. Here are some suggestions of veg with their different colour pigments:

Green: Spinach, Chard, Kale, Watercress, salad, parsley, coriander, basil, courgettes
Orange: Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes
Purple: Beetroot, Purple Kale, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, orache, purple carrots, red cabbage, berries
Red: Tomatoes, red peppers, chiilies, strawberries, red currants, cherries
Yellow: Swede, turnip, courgettes
White: Potato, celeriac, cauliflower

This way, no meal ever need be dull!

2) Swap the carbs to nutritious vegetable carbs

Some examples:

– Lasagna: use spinach or chard instead of pasta sheets
– Use a baked potato or sweet potato instead of a wheat or grain based carb
– There are some interesting new pasta and noodles on the market with added veg or beans – give them a go

3) Add more veg to the potato mash

Combine the following with classic potato mash to get that extra bit of nutrition into your diet:

– carrots
– swede
– celeriac
– peas
– sweetcorn
– raw onion
– leeks

4) Green smoothie

Have a dose of greens with a smoothie. All you need is a banana, a handful of greens, water or plant milk and then a bit of anything else on the following list:

– dates for sweetness
– ginger powder
– cinnamon powder
– hemp seed
– ground flax seed
– dried goji berries

Experiment and have fun but perhaps limit the fruit so less sugar is consumed.

5) Fruit with cereal or porridge OR veg with a Full English

Puree some fruit and stir it in with your porridge, eg. apple and banana. This will add natural sweetness too.

Add a handful of spinach, some tomato and baked beans to that Full English to add vibrancy and more nutrition to the dish.

6) Sauerkraut (unpasteurised is best)

Make / buy some of this tasty fermentation and add a table spoon to any meal to ramp up the flavor and umami.

One of my favourite recipes is:

Fermented red cabbage and apple recipe

7) Soup

Like a hot savoury smoothie. Have a themed soup of the week to showcase a vegetable you like. Some delicious flavour combinations are:

– Carrot and cumin seed
– Beetroot, apple and horseradish
– Squash, ginger and coconut
– Curried parsnip and carrot (garam masala)
– Celeriac and apple
– Any leafy greens with Crème fraîche (or coconut milk) with apple, nutmeg and coriander powder

There we have it. I wish you all a happy healthy January! 

By the way, if you live within 10 miles of our garden in Shepton Mallet we now offer to deliver veg boxes to your door. Let us do the growing and the gathering and bring it to your door! 

Veg box shop: www.bengrovebountybox.co.uk