By Prachi Mandholia
Winter means a season of fresh produce. It is that time of the year to focus on vegetables that provide health benefits, especially immunity-boosting nutrients. These will help to keep your child’s cough and sniffles at bay.
As it gets colder and the season undeniably changes, so should your shopping list. Getting kids to eat vegetables could be a task for many parents. If you are wondering how to incorporate winter vegetables, there is a recipe attached with the benefits of each vegetable.
Kids love peas. They love playing with it and would pop a few when they see it. Green peas are a great source of fibre, protein, folic acid and Vitamin C. Fibre helps to relieve constipation in kids and Vitamin C will help fight infections. There are a million ways you can use green peas in a child-friendly way-soup, veggie preparation, peas pulao, green peas hummus and more.
Green Peas Hummus Recipe
Fresh Green Peas – 1 cup
Cooked Chickpea – 1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley – 1/4 cup Yogurt – 1/4 cup Chopped green of spring onion – 3 tbsp
Olive Oil – 2 tsp Fresh lemon juice – 2 tbsp Salt to taste
-Puree all ingredients in the food processor until almost smooth.
-Serve with salad veggies or multigrain cracker.
Flu-fighting antioxidants like Vitamin A and C are present in sweet potato. Many kids love sweet potato but many dislike it too. Keep sweet potatoes on the menu. Make interesting preparations like baked sweet potato fries, coal roasted sweet potato, sweet potato dosa and more.
Sweet Potato Dosa Recipe
Grated Sweet Potato – 1/2 cup
Dosa Batter – 1 cup
Cumin seed powder – 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida(Hing) – 1/8 tsp
Oil for Dosa
Salt to taste
-In a blender, add grated sweet potatoes, cumin seeds and hing. Add a little water and grind it to a smooth paste.
-Add the ground sweet potato mix to the dosa batter and mix well. The batter should be slightly thick like regular dosa batter.
-Heat a dosa tawa, add a ladle of batter to it and spread it to form a circle.
-Sprinkle oil. Cook until brown on one side for five minutes and flip the dosa.
-Cook for a minute and remove from the tawa.
-Repeat the same process for the remaining batter.
Carrot sticks are a favourite among all kids. Red carrots in winters are even better and sweeter in taste. A root vegetable, it’s a rich source of Vitamin A, which is good for eyes, skin and for improving immunity. Prepare a carrot juice, soup, salad, vegetable, cutlets, dosa, halwa and more.
Red Carrot Halwa Recipe
Grated Red Carrot – 1/2 kg
Milk – 250 ml
Grated Jaggery – 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Saffron – few strands
Slivered almonds for garnish
-Heat ghee in a wide pan and add the grated carrots.
-Saute for few minutes until little dry, soft but firm.
-Pour in milk, saffron and bring to a boil.
-Simmer, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.
-Add the jaggery and stir till it melts.
-Allow to cool.
-Garnish with almonds and serve.
Rich in Vitamin C, this floret will help keeping colds at bay during this season. Try it in super simple, fast preparations and kids will love it-broccoli cutlet, khichadi, risotto, dosa, soup and more.
Broccoli Soup Recipe
Broccoli florets – 1 cup
Broccoli stalk – 1/4 cup
Spinach – 1/3 bunch
Onion – 1
Soaked and peeled almonds – 5
Milk – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
-Pressure cook broccoli, spinach and onion by giving one whistle. Add only enough amount of water.
– Allow it to cool.
– When cool, process it in the grinder adding almonds.
– Add milk and bring it to a boil.
– Serve hot.
This winter green is packed with Vitamin A and fibre. Kids may not enjoy this green as it is, so combine it with other greens like spinach and kale. A number of recipes are possible with mustard leaves like green juice, smoothie, salad, vegetable preparation and more.
Mustard Greens and Paneer Vegetable Recipe
Mustard leaves – 1 bunch
Baby Spinach – 1 bunch
Homemade Paneer – 200 gm
Onion – 1
Garlic clove – 2
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) – a pinch
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tsp
– Blanch the spinach and mustard leaves for 2 minutes in hot water.
– Once done, run it under cool water and stop the cooking process.
– In a pan, heat oil, add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
– Add hing and onion and saute.
– In a small bowl of water, add turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder and mix well.
– Add this mixture to the sautéed onions and cook for one minute.
– In a processor blend spinach and mustard leaves to make a puree.
– Add the puree to the onion mix.
– Add paneer and mix well.
– Serve hot with makai roti or paratha.
(The writer is a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator. She is a practicing Clinical Nutritionist, based out of Mumbai. For more ideas, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)