Did you know that every winter, one septillion (one followed by 24 zeros or a trillion trillion) snowflakes fall from the sky?
And, although it’s not cold enough in Australia for us to get much of that snowfall, we’re still spoilt throughout the colder months with an array of delicious and hearty fresh fruits and vegetables.
Not only is eating in-season produce better for the environment (as it tends to be sourced locally which means lower greenhouse gas emissions), it’s usually fresher, tastier and generally cheaper.
We sat down with medical doctor and author of cookbook, The Doctor’s Diet, Dr Sandro Demaio to find out what to add to your winter shopping list and any tips and tricks for cooking warming winter meals.
Winter vegetable shopping list
Ready to start cooking with winter veggies? Sandro explains that winter vegetables make the perfect base for leftovers throughout the coming week – meaning meal prep will be a breeze.
“One thing I love to make this time of year is a big, hearty minestrone. We know that pumpkin, potatoes, parsnips and carrots, and leafy greens like silverbeet are all in season. They’re so great in a big pot of soup on the stove and it lasts the entire week,” says Sandro.
Roasting your winter vegetables is another delicious and simple way to create plenty of meals.
“You can’t go wrong roasting your favourite vegetables and blending them together with some good quality stock. Leftover roast vegetables also make winter work lunches a breeze. For a winter salad, mix together leftover roast veggies, with a large handful of parsley, barley, quinoa or lentils – and drizzle with olive oil. For something more hearty, leftover roast vegetables are also great additions to a frittata.”
Sandro encourages us to think outside the box this winter and choose a few vegetables that we don’t normally cook with.
“We often think of roasting potatoes or pumpkins as a classic side dish to our evening meal. But let’s get more adventurous this winter and try things like fennel, onions and seasonal purple carrots.”
Winter fruit shopping list
Although there’s not as much choice when it comes to in-season winter fruits as what we have throughout the rest of the year, the abundance of citrus available is a great way to boost your vitamin C intake.
Plus, Australia is lucky enough to have bananas in season all year around and we all know that you can’t beat a warm stack of banana pancakes on a chilly winter’s morning.
For more ways to create healthy, delicious and filling meals, check out our recipe collection on The Check Up.