HEALTHY HALLOWEEN PLATTER AND OCTOBER WELLNESS BY KATE DEVINE

HEALTHY HALLOWEEN PLATTER AND OCTOBER WELLNESS BY KATE DEVINE

HEALTHY HALLOWEEN PLATTER AND OCTOBER WELLNESS BY KATE DEVINE

Healthy Halloween platter and October Wellness 

October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes.

I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with…

There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days are getting more and more. Thankfully, these include crisp, sunny days but so far, there’s been more rainy and dull days. This is the reason why I wanted to quickly discuss something that has been cropping up a lot in my clinic recently…Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

SAD is a hormonal imbalance between melatonin and serotonin; due to the reduced amount of time we spend outside during the colder months. It affects approximately 2 million people just in the UK alone and is predominantly more common in women than men.

As the days begin dark and draw to a close earlier and earlier, you may find yourself feeling a bit ‘meh’ more than usual. Here’s the sciencey bit – a small gland in the brain called the pineal gland, produces more of the hormone melatonin during the winter months, which regulates glandular function and makes us feel more sleepy. Serotonin, Melatonin’s counterpart, is known as the ‘happy hormone’ and is secreted during daylight exposure. Therefore, the less daylight, the less serotonin and the more out of balance the two become.

Symptoms may include:

  • Low mood
  • Appetite increase/food cravings – when there is insufficient daylight available, the body will try and boost its serotonin levels by craving sugary, starchy carbohydrates and fatty foods
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low libido
  • Depression
  • PMS-type symptoms
  • Increased desire to sleep – sleepy during the day but unable to sleep at night
  • Increased feeling of ‘feeling useless’

I always recommend to my clients to try to get outside as much as possible; for a walk/exercise, enjoy your down time by sitting reading a book outside/drinking a mug of something warm, gardening, walking your dog/cat (that’s a thing, right?). It doesn’t have to be anything too overwhelming, but getting that exposure to natural daylight will help to keep a balance between the sleepy and happy hormones!

Light therapy is another good way of balancing those hormones for those times when you can’t get outside. A light therapy box or lamp mimics outdoor light. It is composed of fluorescent lights on a metal reflective base with a plastic screen on top to diffuse the light and filter out harmful UV rays. All you have to do is sit in front of it, close enough so that your eyes and skin can absorb the light (follow the manufacturers instructions as they all differ slightly). The machine gives off a bright light that simulates outdoor sunshine, therefore boosting serotonin, melatonin and vitamin D, as well as other beneficial effects. You can find them at www.lumie.com or Amazon but make sure it has no less than 10,000 lux.

Supplementation of Vitamin D (especially D3) is a must as well, for the same reason as above – lack of sunlight exposure on the skin. Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone and maintaining teeth and muscle health. It can also help reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. It is naturally present in only a few foods like the flesh of fatty fish and in smaller amounts in egg yolk and beef liver; but added to some foods like fortified cereals, orange juice, dairy & non-dairy milks.

I would recommend to supplement during the months of October to March as these are the months we are likely to spend less time outdoors. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D supplementation for adults is between 800IU-1000IU per day and babies and children between 400IU-600IU per day, with the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for adults and children age 9 and over is 4000IU per day.

Avoiding/reducing intake of certain foods and drinks can help alleviate SAD symptoms, such as:

  • Caffeine – coffee, black tea, fizzy drinks/energy drinks
  • Sugary and starchy carbohydrates – chocolate/sweets/processed foods
  • Alcohol – it lowers brain levels of serotonin (happy hormone) so reduce and limit

Friendly foods to incorporate into your daily diet to help alleviate SAD symptoms would be:

  • Serotonin-boosting foods – poultry (chicken/turkey,) cottage cheese, eggs, spinach, soy, bananas
  • Omega 3 brain-boosting foods – oily fish (salmon/sardines), nuts, seeds, avocado
  • Fibre-rich foods – beans (canellini/kidney), lentils, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bright colour fruits and vegetables
  • B Vitamin foods – liver, poultry, seafood, dairy products (milk, cheese), leafy greens, eggs, legumes (beans/peas/lentils/chickpeas)

Oh a slightly brighter note (kind of), it’s Halloween month! I’m already stocking up on decorations and costumes for the younger boys (the oldest is too cool for school these days and would definitely not wear a halloween costume) and thinking about what food to prepare, of course!  

I’ve been working on some healthy, scary, fun ideas and the winner, with my kids, was a Halloween sharing platter. It’s basically lots of snacks all placed creatively on a platter and decorated for the occasion. Here’s a few ideas, should you wish to create your own!

Things you’ll need:

  • Halloween cookie cutters – I got mine from Amazon or I have noticed them in the baking isles at supermarkets at the moment
  • Edible eyes – as above
  • White cooking chocolate
  • Small marshmallows like what you’d have in hot chocolate
  • Drinking straws – two sizes
  • The rest of the things are basic cupboard/fridge staples
  • Pesky Pumpkins – made from whole, peeled tangerine with a small piece of celery for the stem
  • Strawberry Yummy Mummies – whole strawberries including stem, with melted white chocolate drizzled using a fork to create the bandages and an edible eye in the centre – keep in the fridge until ready to use
  • Monstrous Mouths – using an apple, cut into four equal quarters, remove the core and slice evenly to create ‘lips’, spread with soft nut butter on one side of each slice and put in pairs to use as top and bottom lips. Add small white marshmallows to one piece using the nut butter to stick to and place the other on top. Put out last as they tend to brown quickly
  • Boo Bananas – use 2 bananas, cut in half and slice down the centre to make 4 banana ghosts. Using a knife, cut out small triangle shape around the straight edge to make the bottom of the ghost. Add two chocolate chips for eyes on each piece. Put out last as they tend to brown quickly
  • Creaking Coffin Pittas – using the coffin cutter, cut out as many coffin shapes as required and lightly toast – I paired with hummus/guacamole to dip and placed the edible eye on top
  • Creepy Cucumber Skulls – cut the cucumber into discs, using the bigger of the straws poke out the eye holes and use the smaller for the nostril holes. Using a knife, cut a small semi circle from the sides on the nostrils to the chin to create a skull shape
  • Crustless Spooky Sandwiches – Make a sandwich with a filling of your choice, cut out different shapes using the cookie cutters to make different Halloween themed creations
  • Boiled Bat Cheese – Using the bat cutter, press into hard cheese slices
  • Edible Evil Eggs – Hard boil as many eggs as necessary, wait to cool and remove the shell. Cut in half, lengthways and use black olives, sliced into small triangular pieces as the eyes.

I hope you have fun creating Halloween goodies with your families and don’t forget to tag @the.devine.life and @broodmagazine if you post any pics on social media. We love seeing all your creations!

Happy Halloween!!

      Halloween Foods by Kate Devine
      Kate Devine's Kids tucking into a healthy halloween platter
      written BY KATE DEVINE

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      KATE DEVINE’S: NO BAKE RASPBERRY & CHOCOLATE ENERGY BARS

      KATE DEVINE’S: NO BAKE RASPBERRY & CHOCOLATE ENERGY BARS

      KATE DEVINE’S: NO BAKE RASPBERRY & CHOCOLATE ENERGY BARS

      It’s back to school time!! Hallelujah!! Of course I love my kids unconditionally but WOW, I’ll definitely be that parent skipping and smiling out of the school gates at drop off on their first day back! 

      I’m sure many of you have been juggling work, summer holidays, life in general and now uniform shopping, queuing in school shoe shops and spending too many hours searching for just the right pens, pencils and protractors for your cherubs new, squeaky clean pencil case! I do have to laugh though, I mean, it’s as if my kids were last at school a year ago and absolutely nothing will fit them and I must absolutely buy them everything new or else…..what?! They’ll just wear the uniform they wore 8 weeks ago which pretty much still fits them! The sheer panic when trawling the shops is funny really.

      Anyway, onto food talk….more specifically, packed lunches. Trying to find healthy foods that our kids will eat when left to their own devices in the dinner hall is near impossible. They’ll always pick the tastiest options or just not eat what we put in their lunchboxes and go hungry. Neither is ideal. So, I find building their lunchboxes with them the most effective way to get them to eat well. Okay, so let’s be realistic here as well….you’ve been working late or done a million after school clubs and just about manage to feed your kid(s) dinner and get them in bed at a decent hour, then you realise you’ve got to do their lunchboxes! You’re not going to wake them and get them to join you in the slightly tedious process of creating a nutritious yet tasty lunch for the following day. BUT, you can perhaps spend some time over the weekend/evenings chatting and swapping ideas of what they might like to have for the coming weeks lunches. And if you are organised one night, before bed, ask them if they want to help you make their lunch for the next day and that you want to make sure they’re going to enjoy and want everything you put in there. Also, don’t forget they can take leftover dinners such as pasta or rice dishes, which they can eat cold or pittas, wraps or bagels. It doesn’t have to just be soggy sandwiches, crisps and chocolate bars!

      One of the main things I would recommend to incorporate into their lunches is variety. Try to add different texture foods – sweet, salty, crunchy and soft, like pretzels, raisins, grapes, tortilla chips, chocolate rice crackers and nuts (be aware of allergies of course, or anyone in their class or who they sit with that may have nut allergies!). I also find putting their food into individual containers, not only keeps it fresher for longer but you can get really cute little jars and pots for their snacks that they will love as it’s something to show their friends and makes their food more interesting. I get mine from Amazon, they’ve got a huge variety that your kids can get involved in choosing with you.

      I also find that when I pick mine up from school, they are STARVING – and must eat right now or else they’re going to collapse from the hunger! So dramatic. So I’ve been experimenting with healthy energy bars to take at pick up so they can survive the journey home and not collapse along the way! The most popular ones are the Raspberry and Chocolate ones, they are no cook and quick to make with minimal fuss. You can also cut into smaller portions and use in their lunchboxes to help avoid that afternoon sugar dip and keep them alert and brainy! Here’s the recipe for you to try…

      No Bake Raspberry & Chocolate Energy Bars

      You will need:

      • Rectangular baking tin – like a bread tin (9inch x 5inch approx)
      • Parchment paper
      • Food processor
      • Spatula

      Ingredients:

      Base – 

      • 1 cup almonds
      • 1 cup cashew nuts
      • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
      • 2 tbsp Maca powder
      • 2 tbsp cacao powder
      • 1 cup dates
      • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
      • 1-3 tbsp almond milk

      Top – 

      • 2 cups frozen raspberries
      • 2 tbsp acai powder
      • 1-2 tbsp rice malt syrup/maple syrup
      • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
      • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
      • 1/4 cup chia seeds
      • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
      • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract

      Optional – 1 cup dark/milk chocolate for the top – melt in a saucepan and use a folk to drizzle over the top before freezing

      Method:

      • Line the baking tray with parchment paper
      • Place all base ingredients – accept almond milk – in the food processor and blend until fine and crumbly – if mixture is too dry and doesn’t bind when pushed down, add a small amount of almond milk until sticky
      • Using the spatula push the base down firmly and place in the freezer while you prepare the top layer
      • Place all topping ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth – the mixture will still be fairly thick due to the frozen berries
      • Remove the base from the freezer and place the mixture on top of the base and push down with the spatula until firm
      • Add the chocolate drizzle at this point if using
      • Place in the freezer for half an hour and once set, cut into bars or squares if using for lunch box snacks
      • For storage – keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month and remove a piece at a time prior to eating to allow it to thaw.

        NO BAKE RASPBERRY & CHOCOLATE ENERGY BARS
        written BY KATE DEVINE

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        Salmon and Chorizo Kebabs with a Tamari Glaze by Kate devine

        Salmon and Chorizo Kebabs with a Tamari Glaze by Kate devine

        Salmon and Chorizo Kebabs with a Tamari Glaze by Kate devine

        Let’s TALK HOLIDAY AND EXERCISE

        I’m lucky enough to be writing this months article while still on my holiday in Spain. I get asked a lot by clients and friends about how to stay healthy but still enjoy yourself while away; and to avoid the guilty feeling of less exercise and eating and drinking too much because, lets be realistic here, we are all going to do that to some degree while on our well deserved holiday.

        Firstly, and most importantly, your holiday is supposed to be a period of time that you get to break away from ‘every day’ life and recharge. Try to completely switch off from any feelings of what you should be doing and focus on what you actually want to do for a change – that could involve exercising or it could be sipping strawberry daiquiri’s by the pool. It’s only for a week or two and I can assure you, you’re not going to return home looking anything but hopefully a little bronzed and rested.

         

        Personally, I give myself at least a week off my usual exercise (this is classed as a de-load week in the fitness world) and can be anything from walking or a light jog/cycle a few times a week. Honestly, I try not to focus on exercise too much while away and think of it as more of a walk to the beach listening to a podcast or swimming a few lengths/playing in the pool with my kids. These are all things we don’t get to do while at home and it all counts as exercise! Any movement is good and sometimes it can be pretty fun!

         

        When it comes to food, I understand how my body works e.g. how it reacts to certain foods/drinks, how they make me feel and how I metabolise things, so I try to make my food choices based around this. I am gluten intolerant and have low blood sugar levels, so I have to pick wisely or else days of my holiday could be lost to illness. I have limited choices, whether I like it or not and that’s something I have learned to work with and now has very little impact on my life.

         

        I offer these 6 points of advice to my clients when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on holiday or when socialising:

         

        1. Live your life – try to not make the enjoyable experience of eating out about ‘going off plan’ or ‘overindulging’. Your plan will still be there for you to continue when you’re ready. Restricting yourself will take the joy out of the experience of living your life. Spending time with friends and family has been scientifically proven to be good for your mental health; this is something that should be seen as an important area of your life and should be just as significant as the foods we consume.
        2. Plan ahead – Find out where you’re eating/drinking and research the food and drink menu before you get there. This will avoid you being overwhelmed with choices and help prevent making impulsive, unhealthy decisions under pressure.
        3. Push the boundaries – Opt for foods that are healthy but maybe something that you’ve not tried before or don’t often get the chance to have at home. Learn to enjoy the different tastes and textures of foods and drinks and appreciate the opportunity that you’ve created to be where you are now.
        4. Learn to make better choices – like you would when planning your meals and going to the supermarket, you will begin to learn what works for you and the healthier options you enjoy the most.
        5. Don’t feel obliged to have all 3 courses – Of course, if you want to and feel you have a good relationship with food, then absolutely go of it. Know you deserve to eat delicious food and that food is a privilege and should be enjoyed guilt free.
        6. Count nutrients not calories – counting calories is not something I promote in my clinic. I find it creates unhealthy boundaries and turns food into numbers that people base their choices on. Instead, maybe research the nutritional qualities of the foods you enjoy and discover what amazing benefits they can have on your health. Feel fulfilled with the choice you’ve made based upon how it best serves you, instead of the guilt of consuming too many calories.

         I’ve been experimenting with BBQ foods recently and trying to move away from the traditional sausages and burgers. I need more variety in my life and they’re just not cutting it anymore! Also our random British weather means that just as you’re all ready to get the BBQ lit, the heaven’s open and your all legging it inside! So I’ve roped my kids into helping me find a few more interesting recipes that they can get involved in preparing and cook themselves on the BBQ (with my assistance obviously!) or on the griddle, should the rain set in.

        One of our favs are kebabs. We use salmon and chorizo with a few veggies thrown in there. The kids love putting them together and chopping the veg and fish and building up each kebab whichever way they want. You can use any ingredients really – chicken, tofu, etc – and I serve these with a side of new potatoes (see my pesto and broccoli new potato recipe from last month’s article) or whole grain rice. Here’s our recipe for you to try with your brood…

         

        Salmon and Chorizo Kebabs with a Tamari Glaze 

         

        Makes 4 Kebabs

         

        What you will need:

        • Kebab skewers – either metal or wooden – if wooden, soak in water for 30 mins before using to avoid burning when cooking
        • Saucepan
        • BBQ/griddle pan
        • Whisk
        • Clingfilm/tinfoil
        • Baking tray

         

        Ingredients:

        • 4 salmon fillets – remove from the fridge to ensure they are at room temp before cooking and chop into chunks big enough to slide onto the skewers
        • Chorizo sausage – chop into chunks big enough to slide onto the skewers
        • Vegetables of your choice – we chose courgette and red pepper – chop into chunks as above
        • Lemon (optional) – chop into chunks as above – place next to the fish on the skewers if possible

         

        For the glaze:

        • 2 tsps ground ginger
        • 1 tsp five spice powder
        • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
        • 100ml tamari
        • 1 tbsp honey

         

        Method:

        • Firstly, make the glaze…In a small saucepan combine the tamari, ginger, five spice and chilli powder
        • Using a whisk, bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat and cook for 6-7 minutes to reduce
        • Remove from the heat and add the honey while it’s still warm – continue whisking to combine and allow to cool
        • Place the chopped salmon, chorizo, lemon and vegetables on the kebab skewers and place on a baking tray
        • Drizzle the glaze over each kebab and cover with clingfilm/foil
        • Place in the fridge to marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes before cooking
        • When ready, place on the BBQ/griddle and rotate every few minutes until the salmon is cooked in the middle and the vegetables are charred on the outside
        • Serve with new potatoes and side salad – Enjoy!
        written BY KATE DEVINE

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        Kate’s healthy ice cream and fruit popsicles

        Kate’s healthy ice cream and fruit popsicles

        Kate’s healthy ice cream and fruit popsicles

        Summer is officially here…..!

        Schools are winding down, holidays are beginning to be had, and life feels kinda back to normal post Covid. But, the question that I think many parents will face – I know I’m slightly concerned about this – is what on earth are we going to do to entertain our brood for the summer holidays?!

        Well, we’re lucky enough to be going away for 2 weeks but we’ve a whole heap of time afterwards that will require planning activities, working things around work, yet still making sure the kids don’t spend days indoors sat on their Xbox. Sometimes that has to happen, I get it, believe me, and mum/dad guilt will probably set in at some point, but let’s not worry about that too much. Our kids aren’t that bothered; mine are just ecstatic to not be in school! This perception of having to be perfect in every aspect of life lies in each and every parents mind, and it’s a little internal battle of what we’re ‘supposed’ to be doing; rather than what we want to be doing and what actually works for us. We need to give ourselves a break!

        Of course, I will be encouraging my boys to look up from their iPads/phone for a while and join me in making delicious food together, eating and spending more time outside, seeing friends and family and to try not to kill each other!

        Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month? So, there’s no better excuse to get the kids involved in making healthy ice cold treats! Also, there’s one for us grown ups – National Cheese and Wine day on July 25th – it would be rude not to celebrate our appreciation for two of the finer things in life, wouldn’t it?!

        Here’s a couple of quick and easy recipes to make healthy ice cream and fruit popsicles which will hopefully keep your brood entertained, if only for a little while, and help keep their constantly hungry tummies full with healthy treats, a little bit longer.

         

        Easy Peasy Banana & Strawberry/Banana, Peanut butter & Cacao Ice Cream

        You will need:

        • Baking trays
        • Parchment paper
        • Food processor/blender

        Ingredients:

        • 5 ripe bananas (must be ripe)
        • Fruit of your choice 450g – I recommend strawberries/mango/mixed berries or cacao & peanut butter (1 tbsp of each)

         *Optional – Caramel Sauce to accompany the banana, cacao and peanut butter version:

        • 7 medjool dates – pitted and chopped
        • 1/4 tsp sea salt
        • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
        • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
        • Add all the above ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth

         

        *Optional – Raspberry Sauce to accompany the fruit version:

        • 200g fresh raspberries – heat slowly in a saucepan, stirring gently, until smooth
        • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut – stir into the raspberries once cooled.

        Easter Eggs Leftover

        Method:

         

        • Chop the bananas and fruit of your choice into 4cm pieces
        • Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and place all fruit on both trays in single layers
        • Freeze for 4 hours or over night
        • Once frozen, place all the banana and fruit/cacao and peanut butter, into a food processor until smooth. This make take a while – the texture will go from solid to bitty and eventually smooth. Add a little coconut milk, or milk of your choice, if you find the consistency too thick. You will need to regularly scrape the fruit from the sides
        • Serve immediately and drizzle over either of the optional sauces above if necessary
        • If you require a thicker consistency, freeze for a few hours then place in the fridge until you get the desired consistency.

        Blueberry & Basil Popsicles – makes around 10

        You will need:

        • Food processor/blender
        • Popsicle moulds & sticks

         Ingredients:

        • 3 cups of blueberries
        • 2 cups of live yogurt/Greek yogurt
        • 2 tbsp honey
        • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
        • 2 tbsp roughly chopped basil

         Method:

        • Place all the ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth
        • Evenly distribute the mixture between the popsicle moulds and insert the stick 3/4 of the way into the mould
        • Place the moulds in the freezer and freeze overnight
        • When ready to eat, run the end of the mould under hot water to loosen the popsicle slightly then pull slowly with the stick until free

        Enjoy!

        Easter Eggs Leftover
        written BY KATE DEVINE

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        Kate’s Summer Seasonal foods and her easy Jersey Royal New Potato Salad with Pesto, Peas and Broccoli recipe

        Kate’s Summer Seasonal foods and her easy Jersey Royal New Potato Salad with Pesto, Peas and Broccoli recipe

        Summer Berries
        Kate’s Summer Seasonal foods and her easy Jersey Royal New Potato Salad with Pesto, Peas and Broccoli recipe

        SUMMER SEASONAL FOODS

        I don’t know about you guys but I’m so ready for the summer! With the change in season happening this month, it got me thinking about seasonal foods. There are many benefits to choosing foods that are in season…

        • Becoming at one with nature! It gives us the chance to reconnect with nature’s cycles, the natural passing of time and the delicious and diverse foods that’s our seasonal climate provides.
        • It makes economic sense! Seasonal foods tend to be cheaper as they grow in abundance and have less distance to travel – this, therefore, reduces the energy and CO2 emissions needed to grow and transport the foods and supports our local economies and communities.
        • Mother Nature’s medicine! Seasonal eating works in sync with our bodies and what we require to eat at certain times of the year. The foods that grow in abundance at these times are more nutritionally specific. This ensures we are supported as much as possible through our 4 different seasons.
        • I have put together a list of my top seasonal fruits and vegetables for summer, along with their nutritional and medicinal benefits. Try to incorporate these into your daily diet as much as possible; to help you feel your best throughout this new season.
        • Blackcurrants – Helps regulate blood pressure, protect the brain against neurological damage associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia, contain 3x as much vitamin C than oranges and combined with its high amount of antioxidants, help boost immunity, and promotes eye health.
        • Blueberries – Slows the growth of prostate cancer, helps maintain a healthy gut due to containing antibacterial compounds, helps prevent cognitive decline and eye health.
        • Cherries – Specifically Montmorency cherries – bright red in colour – the most medicinal of all cherries, are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, help promote sleep and increase insulin production.
        • Gooseberries – Specifically Indian gooseberries – Are high in antioxidants and vitamins, especially vitamin C, helping to boost immunity, support memory and brain health, protect eye health and aids digestion.
        • Raspberries – Minimise the absorption of fat, helps regulate metabolism, tone the uterus and are cancer-protective.
        • Rhubarb – actually a vegetable not a fruit; helps strengthen bones, protects against neurological damage linked to Alzheimer’s, helps lower cholesterol, is a good source of fibre and vitamin C and helps protect eye health.  
        • Strawberries – Helps maintain optimal heart health by preventing blood vessel damage, helps soothe stomach upsets and aids digestion through its fibre content and contains anti-cancer properties.
        • Asparagus – Helps to support the gut, removes energy-draining toxins, helps strengthen the immune system, has a purifying effect on the skin and helps keep blood vessels supple.
        • Artichoke – An absolute fav of mine and here’s why – It is among the top 10 highest antioxidant-rich foods, high in dietary fibre, eases digestion (particularly helpful in people with IBS), aids detoxification, helps balance blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol.
        • Aubergine – Opt for the purple variety as they contain fibre that benefits digestion, beneficial amount of antioxidants which help to balance blood sugar levels and prevent cell damage.
        • Beetroot – Contains phytochemicals which have a liver cleansing action, improve blood’s oxygen uptake, strengthens the heart, and contains a B vitamin that supports heart health.
        • Bell Peppers – Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, especially vitamin C, they help support eye health, protect against neurological damage, and promote heart health and contain anti-cancer properties.
        • Broad Beans – Rich in isoflavones which are plant hormones with heart-protective and anti-cancer properties.
        • Broccoli – Another fav of mine and one of the veggies I make sure my kids have daily! It helps strengthen the immune system, contains vitamin C which promotes collagen synthesis, promotes prostate health, helps protect eye health, and is an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which helps DNA repair in cells and is believed to block the growth of cancer cells.
        • Cabbage – Specifically red cabbage as it contains 2-8 times more vitamin C than other cabbages, but all brassica cabbages help to heal ulcers, support healthy liver function and fight free-radical damage to skin.
        • Carrots – Rich in beta-carotene (needed by the body to make vitamin A), aid digestion, helps weight control, promote healthy skin and nails and helps maintain good eyesight.
        • Chilli – Helps remove toxins from the body, clear congestion, helps with weight management by reducing appetite and cravings, helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels.
        • Courgette – Aids water balance, low in calories, cleansing, help reduce an enlarged prostate, lowers cholesterol and stroke risk and supports efficient metabolism.
        • Fennel – Helps soothe stomach cramps, encourages healthy digestion, helps with hormone regulation through its oestrogenic qualities and helps relieve water retention.
        • Garlic – Another daily must have for me, due to its antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds, its ability to help strengthen the immune system, remove toxins and pollutants, containing anti-cancer substances and being a natural anti-coagulant.
        • Jersey Royal New Potatoes – Anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood pressure, a natural sedative, a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fibre, and B vitamins. Try to eat with the skin on as much as possible to increase fibre. 
        • Lambs Lettuce – Similar looking to spinach, it’s rich in beta-carotene (see ‘carrots’ above), supports a healthy immune system, promotes good skin and eye health and helps strengthen bones.
        • Pak Choi – Part of the cabbage family (as above), containing powerful antioxidants contributing to protecting cells from free-radical damage.
        • Peas – Specifically garden but including sugar snap and mange-tout – Rich in vitamins and minerals, their insoluble fibre content helps maintain digestive health, boost energy, fight infection, and promotes healthy sperm.
        • Radish – Supports healthy liver function, helps with detoxification, lowers blood pressure, fights hypertension and clears congestion.
        • Spinach – Helps strengthen bones, supports eye health, fights inflammation, helps prevent atherosclerosis and contains anti-cancer properties.
        • Spring Onions – Contains immune-boosting sulphur compounds, helps lower cholesterol, and feeds the good gut bacteria.
        • Tomatoes – Red tomatoes contain all four carotenoids, unlike the green and yellow variety; but all help to remove toxins from the body, boost immunity, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of prostate cancer. 
        • Watercress – Promotes clear skin, can help reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum and bladder, aids optimal digestion, maintains water balance and help fight colds and flu.

        Here’s an easy and as always, healthy recipe that includes some of the foods listed above. Why not give it a try and take to one of the many BBQs you’ll be attending over the summer?!

        Jersey Royal New Potato Salad with Pesto, Peas and Broccoli
        Nutritionist Kate Devine

        Jersey Royal New Potato Salad with Pesto, Peas and Broccoli

        Serves 4 

        Ingredients:

        • 1Kg Jersey Royal new potatoes, chopped in half
        • 2 heaped tbsp mayonnaise/vegan mayonnaise if required 
        • 400g broccoli florets, chopped into bite size pieces
        • 300g frozen garden peas 
        • Cracked black pepper, to taste

        Pesto Ingredients:

        • 1 cup/30g fresh basil 
        • 1/3 cup/45g pine nuts
        • 1 garlic clove, peeled
        • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast/vegan parmesan if required
        • Juice of half a lemon
        • 1/2 tsp salt
        • 1/4 cup/60ml olive oil

        Method:

        1. Cut the potatoes in half so that they are roughly the same size
        2. Place in a pan of salted boiling water for 20-25 mins until soft – poke one with a fork and if it slides off they are cooked
        3. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, make the pesto…
        4. Add the pesto ingredients above, except the olive oil, to a food processor. Blend until the pine nuts are broken down and the basil is chopped
        5. Continue blending and slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture until it is smooth and turns into pesto consistency
        6. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them under cold water to cool them down
        7. Bring a pan of boiling, salted water back to the boil. Add the peas and broccoli and let simmer for 6 mins or until the broccoli turns a bright shade of green. Drain and leave to one side to cool
        8. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and add the pesto, mayonnaise, lemon zest, peas and broccoli and generous amounts of cracked black pepper. Use a large spoon, gently coat all the ingredients with the sauce and sprinkle a few pine nuts to finish.
        9. Serve and enjoy! You can keep this in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

        Don’t forget to share your creations with us here at BROOD by tagging us on Instagram @broodmagazine @the.devine.life

        written BY KATE DEVINE

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