Hannah is a big believer in the saying "you are what you eat". The food we choose to put into our bodies not only affects how we look, but how we feel.
When I'm feeling sluggish and irritable I know that I need to pack lots of fresh veggies into my diet. A free-range omelette loaded with baby spinach, pan-fried tomatoes and grated baby marrow with a little crumbled feta and chopped chilli for breakfast, or a wok filled to the brim with crunchy stir-fried veg and glossy noodles for dinner goes a long way to making me feel better.
When any of the TASTE team is feeling under the weather, we always turn to food. Our designer Lene Sadie shared an article on the secrets of longevity from an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show: A recipe for longevity: 33 of the healthiest foods on earth (Huffington Post Healthy Living).
It was one of the most fascinating articles I have read in a while; they explore various regions of the world that are now dubbed the ‘Blue Zones’, where people have lived up to 100 years in age. The biggest contributors to their long lives was their diet, which means that food is the superhero of this story.
Fruit and vegetables come up first on every list of healthiest foods I could find. They play a big role in the quality of our lives in a way that I was never really aware of. Eating fruit and vegetables that is in season not only means that they are rich in natural nutrients, but they are also more affordable because they are so abundant.
Here are my favourite fruit and vegetables this month:
SPINACH and other dark leafy greens are rich in nutrients and promote mental alertness. Since spinach always wilts to almost nothing when cooked, I often use more than I think I need.
Making omelettes is one of my favourite ways of including leafy greens into my diet. I love the salty olives in this watercress and olive omelette.
I save this Gorgonzola and spinach omelette for a treat on the weekend, the Gorgonzola is delicious when it melts inside the omelette.
SWEET POTATOES are already famous for being good for us because they are low GI and just taste so good!
They also reduce the risk of stroke and certain cancers, and assist in protecting us from blindness. I love them baked until they are soft and their natural sweet taste is enhanced.
I always go back to this recipe when I bake potatoes. The atchar yoghurt is a nice touch without making it a heavy meal. Adding sweet potatoes to a basic bread recipe like this sweet potato bread, takes home-made bread to a new level; it is slightly denser in texture but lovely eaten warm with a little creamed honey.
APPLES are also in season this month and are known for lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and helping to support our body’s immunity. Abigail recently did a beautiful Seasonal Kitchen feature on apples in TASTE that opened my eyes to new ways of eating them.
I absolutely adore them cooked, when they are slightly soft and warm they are the definition of comfort. These stewed apples in crispy vine leaves are effortlessly elegant and perfect for dessert with friends.
Baked meringue apples with fluffy sabayon is another beautiful option for a winter dinner party dessert, it just requires a little more attention in the kitchen.
KIWI FRUITS have to be my new favourite fruit for this month, especially since I found out that they help combat wrinkles and assist in contributing to a healthy bowel.
This fruit cake is officially a summer fruit cake but it works just as well with winter fruit.
LIQUIDS, water especially, also play an important role in good health. I know that I don’t drink my share of the recommended daily amount and my skin often shows it. If we are dehydrated we inhibit vital organs from functioning properly.
Goat's milk is said to be highly nutritious because it's packed with calcium, which is essential for keeping us mobile and give us strong bones.
If you are partial to wine like I am, try to opt for a glass of red. Red wine contains an antioxidant compound called resveratrol, which is found in the skin of the grapes and is said to promote longevity.
Here’s to living the good life everyday!
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