Spring Stew

This dish is a great way to include many vegetables in the diet. To make this vegan dish gluten free, simply swap the soy sauce for tamari (or look for gluten free versions) and the cornflour/flour for gluten free oats. Blend them to a ‘flour’ beforehand if wished but either way, it will still thicken.

Nutritional Benefits:

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage are an excellent source of natural antioxidants as well as essential vitamins (especially vitamin C which helps boost immunity and vitamin K which helps to keep the skeletal system healthy and aids blood clotting), soluble fibre, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. Cabbage is also a source of calcium helping to build and protect bones and folate needed for cell reproduction, making red blood cells and preventing birth defects such as spina bifida. Cruciferous vegetables have the ability to help prevent chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, various forms of cancers and more. The antioxidants have the ability to reduce what is called oxidative stress and the presence of free radicals in our body. Free radicals have the potential to cause inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, increase the signs of ageing and cell changes which can lead to cancer. It is worth noting that the darker the cabbage, the more nutrients it contains.

Onions of all types (including leeks) are truly a superfood containing vitamin C and compounds which have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, help to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease as well as regulating insulin response (insulin resistance is often a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes).

Carrots are full of alpha and beta carotenes (antioxidants which help prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of certain cancers and lower the risk of infections amongst other benefits). Beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A; essential for growth, boosting immunity and healthy eyesight. As vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, cooking with a little oil helps the body to absorb more of this nutrient. They are also a source of vitamins C and E, rich in soluble fibre and help to keep blood sugars steady.

Butter beans like all pulses offer both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol , prevent blood sugars from rising rapidly and prevent heart disease. Both fibres are essential for good digestive health. They are also a source of B vitamins, protein, iron and calcium.

Potatoes cannot be counted as one of your 5 a day but are high in vitamin c, soluble fibre as well as filling.

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