The weather is improving and many of us start spring cleaning, but don’t forget your fridge and food cupboards also need attention! Well, if you are still feeling the winter blues and need some inspiration. Isabel Butler, Company Nutritionist at Spoon Guru, has compiled tips on how to leap into spring and refresh your meal repertoire, combing seasonal foods with store cupboard staples.
A Russian salad is great way to combine potatoes fresh in season and tinned oily fish along with mayonnaise. Potatoes are a source of vitamin C, needed by our bodies to keep our skin and bones healthy and will provide fibre for your gut. Tinned oily fish, like sardines, are high in omega 3, like fresh fish and omega 3 can help reduce LDL cholesterol to keep your heart healthy.
If you are looking to make a pasta sauce, use tinned tomatoes and add mushrooms and peppers to be seasonal. Mushrooms are full of B vitamins, used for your immune system and vitamin D which helps absorb calcium. Peppers are rich in vitamin C, used to maintain your skin and bones keeping them healthy. Also tinned tomatoes are higher in antioxidants than fresh tomatoes, so using them is perfect. Antioxidants are used to help stop oxidation reactions in your body and prevent cell damage.
For a pasta dish, add cabbage and bacon to whole wheat pasta. Fresh cabbage is high in vitamin K and C. Vitamin K is needed for our blood to clot, the same as vitamin C, which also keeps cells protected and healthy. Bacon will add protein to the dish needed by your body to build and repair cells. Whole wheat pasta will be high in fibre and used to keep your gut healthy and functioning properly.
Why not make carrot and lentil soup? You can buy pre-cooked lentils to add in and they will boost your protein intake, which is vital for cell growth and repair. Carrots are currently in season and not only add sweetness to the soup, but contain vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is converted by your body for your night vision. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and helps protect cells against damage.
There are many healthy combinations you can make with packaged food and will give you a range of nutrients needed in your body. Try avoiding any products labelled high in fat, salt and sugar to make sure you’re balancing your diet.