The power of plants!
For those of you plant based vegans out there we are sure you can relate to getting asked on a daily basis about your diet! Questions such as ‘what on earth DO you eat?’ often come up for us! Even the mention of fruit and veg and some people look at you like you're speaking a foreign language. Either thinking the idea of eating fruit and veg is too boring, not tasty or hard work! Well we are here to talk to you about some of our favourite fruit and vegetables, their benefits and the ways we enjoy them. Organic vegetable and fruits are pure energy from the earth, developing a great relationship with fruit and veg can be so rewarding. Adopting a vegan lifestyle has encouraged us to learn and explore new ways to cook, bake, and eat them. Don't get us wrong before our journey began we were new to experimenting with fruit and veg, our go to staples used to be frozen peas and corn so we can totally relate to being a little intimidated by them! Here are a round up of some of our favourites that we recently picked up at our local green grocers and ways that we love to prepare them!
Celery - Celery is used in Eastern medicine to treat high blood pressure. It is also a great source of fibre and b vitamins. Fibre is integral in our diets to keep our digestive health tip top.
- Juice it! Pure fresh, raw celery juice on an empty stomach has incredible benefits. As it is a natural diuretic it helps to flush out toxins in the body and is alkalising and contains antioxidants. (Juicing does remove the fibre from celery).
- We also add it to soups, stews, salads!
- We love making 'tuna' mayo with diced up celery. Such an easy recipe to make find it on our mystories over on our Instagram page very soon.
- Fill it with your favourite nut butter, which is a great way to get kids munching on some extra raw veg!
- Dip it into some home made hummus. There are so many endless ways to enjoy celery.!
Cucumber - Cucumber is jam packed with water making it a very hydrating food, helping your body to maintain it's water balance, perfect for the incredibly warm weather we've been having. It contains many nutrients including minerals, vitamins & electrolytes.
- Our favourite way to enjoy cucumber is in our morning smoothies. As the taste is quite discrete we add in a very large chunk of it into the mix.
- Lacto - Fermented cucumber (not your store bought pickles) has the added benefits of gut-health promoting probiotics.
- Another great addition to any salad!
- Recently we have been making a great vegan tzatziki by grating cucumber and adding it to a plain vegan yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh mint leaves.
Beetroot - This beautiful root vegetable has been known to support circulation and the liver making it a great addition to your diet.
- We love making Deliciously Ella's Beetroot Cake. The colour is out of this world and we think its the perfect way to sneak vegetables into a dessert!
- Beetroot is the perfect addition to juices (even though it can get super messy!). It adds a sweetness and vibrant colour. Don't forget to juice the leaves too which contain protein, vitamins and minerals.
Tomatoes - a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Which is actually more bio available when cooked! (Meaning it’s absorbed better by the body).
- Tomatoes are delicious added to a pasta sauce. When a dish calls for a tin of tomatoes we love adding a few fresh tomatoes in too.
- Heirloom tomatoes are delicious sliced, drizzled in oil olive & topped with fresh basil and sea salt.
Lemon - As part of the citrus fruit family lemon has alkalising and detoxifying benefits.
- One of the most simple tips to brighten your day is water with lemon. One of our plant based guru's David Wolfe has a great guide to the benefits of starting your morning with lemon water.
- Add it to your juicer for a great kick to your juice. We often omit apples and other sweet fruit from of our green juices for a low glycemic beverage and instead like to add a little lemon which lightens the taste of the vegetables.
Mint: One of our favourite herbs has calming properties and can help to sooth an upset stomach.
- Perfect to add to salads in the summer!
- At the moment we have been enjoying endless watermelon smoothies with mint! Oh She Glow's Glowing Mojo-ito smoothie tastes like a cocktail and hits the spot on a warm summers afternoon spent in the garden.
- We love to sprinkle mint over freshly boiled new potatoes.
- Following a hearty meal or just before bedtime we have been making fresh mint tea which is great for indigestion.
Turmeric - Although not a vegetable we couldn't resist adding in this plant which is closely related to ginger. Turmeric has wonderful anti inflammatory properties so we try and use it daily. It tastes a little spicy and fragrant but believe it or not tastes great in a sweet beverage or smoothie.
- Lately we've been enjoying a variation of Mama Eats Plant's turmeric latte. Putting fresh turmeric into the freezer maintains its freshness & makes it last longer. For Mama Eats Plant’s great guidelines on the benefits and 'how to' check out her post for her sunshine latte (how cute is the name).
- Make sure to always add black pepper to any dish containing turmeric. Black pepper helps to support absorbency!
- Curry! Turmeric is a fantastic edition to a homemade curry.
Broccoli - Broccoli is renowned for its excellent source of vitamin C and fibre.
- Bored of steamed broccoli? We love it roasted & drizzled with Oh She Glows Roasted Buddha Bowl dressing!
- Broccoli is also a great addition to curries, stir fries & soups.
Avocado - Avocados contain beneficial monounsaturated oils which support joint movement as well as vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant, helping the body fight against free radicals. Believe it or not a lot of avocados nutrients are concentrated in the dark park near the skin so be careful when peeling your avo!
- Chocolate mousse; yes you heard right avocado in a dessert. This is Natalie's nephew's favourite (who is only four years old!)...It's almost impossible to taste the avocado in the mousse.
- Guacamole! An obvious one, but hey who doesn't love a fresh dip with tortilla crisps.
- Wondering what to do with any left over or really ripe avocados? Pop them in the freezer & add them to smoothies. We often use frozen avos instead of bananas. Don’t worry you won’t be able to taste it and you’ll get a super creamy smoothie!
Spinach - Spinach is incredibly high in iron which is integral component of hemoglobin, used to carrying oxygen in your blood from your lungs to your tissues.
- We add spinach to everything! Smoothies, juices, salads, mix it into quinoa or rice, curries, soups, stews!
- Pesto! One of our go to recipes for pasta is a spinach and basil pesto. Olive oil, pine nuts, spinach and basil create a delicious and easy pesto!
If you're still feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of trying new veg or a new way to prepare your favourites we encourage you to download Deliciously Ella's handy mobile phone app! It's so great if you're in a hurry in your local green grocers or supermarket and need a quick recipe. You can also search for a vegetable on the app and all the recipes that contain that veg will pop up! Or if you're looking to really improve your veg and fruit game we will be sharing our favourite seasonal picks with you from the UK very soon.