By Blaise Stowers Naturopath BHSc. Nat., BHSc. CDT
Have you wondered what foods you should be eating to keep you healthy and warm in winter? Below is a list of the foods that are in season for the cold winter month of June.
- Cruciferous and Brassica family vegetables such as: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage.
- Beetroot, Asian greens, carrots, celery, fennel, pumpkin, shallots, parsnips, spinach, swedes, turnips, spring onions, silver beet.
- Apples, grapefruit, pears, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, olives, passion fruit, rhubarb.
- Parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, sage, coriander, bay leaf.
- Chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts.
You’re probably wondering why it’s so important to eat foods that are in season. Firstly, they are easily accessible at your local farmers markets and secondly, they are a lot cheaper than foods in the supermarkets that are out of season. Foods that aren’t in season are often packaged and shipped in from other parts of the world; this also affects its quality and taste.
We know that food can act as medicine. Now being winter, we need to eat foods that will help us stay strong, preventing infections and help give us the tools we need to recover from that awful cold and flu!
Lets look at Thyme the herb for example. Thyme is from the mint family and has sixty different varieties that I bet you didn’t even know about, such as French thyme, lemon thyme, orange thyme and silver thyme, there are so many to discover.
Thymol the most active component in Thyme has been shown by research to possess antibacterial actions, specifically treating upper respiratory tract infections. However when applied topically it provides strong fungicidal properties. Goodbye wet football fungus feet during winter! Not only is it antibacterial and antifungal, it also acts to help improve brain function by improving memory!
Lets not stop there; cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain large amounts of phytochemicals and vitamin C. They are also low calorie, which is a great winter food, especially when we want to eat more in those cold wintery days. Feel like making a soup now to help prevent and fight infections? Below is my quick delicious winter soup recipe, containing wonderful Wintery June produce!
Thyme and Cabbage Soup
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ cabbage, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
9 cups of broccoli (stems included)
2 cups of water
4 cups of homemade chicken broth or stock of choice (chicken/vegetable)
¼ teaspoon of Himalayan salt
Pepper to taste
- Heat oil over medium heat and add onion and celery. Cook until softens.
- Add Broccoli, cabbage, water and broth. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat.
- Once broccoli and cabbage has softened. Add thyme and garlic. Adding thyme at the end will reduce the loss of it’s volatile oils therefore maintaining its flavour. Garlic is best warmed, as this will reduce its main constituent being damaged.
- Puree soup and stir in pepper and salt.
- Serve and enjoy!