All words by Isabelle Hoffman
Do you often find yourself in a rut with your nutrition, not knowing what to prepare and cook during the autumn after the hot summer? Well here are my five ways to spice up your nutrition this autumn and winter to make it all a bit easier, nutritious and still tasty!
INVEST IN A SLOW COOKER
Don’t have time? Don’t want to stand in front of your cooker all night? Well, go buy a slow cooker. These are fantastic for anyone, especially for those of us that are out the door in the early hours of the morning. You can prepare your food the night before, throw in the meat in the morning and the vegetables and carbohydrate when you get home. Slow cookers mean there is no standing around and you can complete other tasks or simply relax when you get home! I personally love a slow cooker in the winter as it allows me to try endless new dishes and flavours such as coconut dahl, beef stew and even stewed spiced apples for breakfast or dessert.
Shop slow cookers here.
INTRODUCE SEASONAL VEGETABLES
Autumn and winter see the introduction of many seasonal vegetables which are in their prime. Instead of sticking with the traditional carrots and broccoli for every meal, switch it up and involve a butternut squash or pumpkin into your dish for example. Click here to read all about the benefits of consuming pumpkin! Every vegetable has different benefits and helps you attain different vitamins and minerals, so make an added effort to consume a variety of vegetables and fruits this autumn to help increase your nutrition.
DRINK THAT HERBAL TEA
I know I’m not alone when my desire for cold water slowly decreases with the drop-in temperatures. Water is vital for our functioning body and keeping us hydrated. We need around 2-3 litres of water per day, however, this doesn’t need to be purely from solely drinking straight water. I introduce herbal teas into my daily routine as it allows me to still get my water intake while making it a bit more exciting as the options are limitless. I love to drink a peppermint or hibiscus tea in the day as I find the flavours more pleasing than other teas and, in the evening, having a relaxing camomile tea. My top tip is to carry a selection of tea bags in your handbag for easy access. Try them all and find what you enjoy!
BE A SOUP NINJA
Soups can be your saviour for lunches and dinners during the cold seasons and they give the opportunity to not only try new assortments of vegetables but also get your 5 a day, which we often miss. By making your own soups, you can also physically see what you are putting in and avoid the unnecessary sugars and salts that are often put in shop bought soups to keep the use by date long! Butternut squash is wonderful in soups and is known for its high content of Vitamin A, fibre, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, a homemade chicken and vegetable soup provides endless nutrition depending on what vegetables you select!
SPICE IT UP
Literally, spice it up! It sounds silly, but I know I’m not alone when I find myself cooking the same dishes every week and after a while, it all just tastes a bit bland. Well, herbs and spices can be your saviour. There are so many out there and so many to taste and test to see what your preference and favourites are. Spices can turn your average dish into a winning MasterChef delight! Each spice has its own properties and health benefits to the body, for example, turmeric has been associated with decreasing inflammation and ginger can soothe an upset stomach! My go-to favourites are paprika and rosemary for meats, sage and basil for carbohydrates and oregano and chilli for vegetables.