I am talking about fruit and vegetables of course!
It has been in the news this week that for optimum health we should be aiming for 10 portions of fruit and vegetables each day, which is consistent with my nutrition training where we were told to advise 7 to 11 portions per day. The benefits are outlined in this article:
Now even I am prepared to admit that this can be difficult to achieve every single day. If you are a meat eater it is a good idea to ditch meat for one or two days a week, this will help to up your quotient of veg. Three heaped tablespoons of chick peas, beans or pulses count as a portion so start loving your beans! One of my favourite veggie meals are falafels with salsa, I have tried LOTS of falafel recipes and have come up with this amalgamation which works for me. I always make lots because they can be eaten hot or cold and are portable for lunches.
2 x 400g chickpeas drain and dried
2 generous teaspoons ground cumin and coriander
1 or 2 crushed cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh coriander
2 tablespoons plain flour
Big handful of ripe tomatoes
1 red chilli (or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried flakes)
2 spring onions
1 clove garlic
small bunch of fresh coriander
Slug of olive oil
salt and pepper
dash of honey
You can chop and mash the ingredients by hand but this is much better made in a food processor.
For the falafels put all ingredients in a food processor with the zest of the lemon, whizz up to a smooth paste. Shape into balls by hand (children could help with this) and then bake on a lightly greased oven tray on 200C for 20 to 25 mins turning once when halfway through cooking time.
For the salsa put the chilli, spring onions, garlic, coriander and the juice of half the lime and olive oil into the smaller bowl in the food processer (if you have one, of not finely chop). Just process until fairly roughly chopped, then add the tomatoes and really gently just use a couple of pulses to leave them in chunks. Then add salt and a dash of honey (or a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar) to taste.