All toddler mums know how hard it is sometimes to make sure that your young and old beloved ones as well as yourself get three healthy meals a day. In between sniffles, theething, working or like in my case studying, constantly alternating culinary preferences and tidying up the mess of a little tornado several times a day, moments of inspiration come often too short, while standards are rising to ensure good health through good food to our little darlings!
What I have experienced since I’ve become a mum is that time has gotten more precious than ever. I am simply neither able nor willing anymore to spend hours and hours in the kitchen like I used to do back in the days in my childless free time evenings with wine, music and often friends. Nowadays, when Zoe is in bed, evenings are sacred time for talking to my hubby, resting and recharging batteries thus nowadays our meals got simpler and less time consuming. What has never changed though is my deep belief into the quality of food, even more so since I started studying to become a Holistic Health Coach for Integrative Nutrition. The saying “You are what you eat” is definitely true, and what we don’t want, neither for us nor our children, are nasty pesticides, herbicides, toxins, preservatives or additives in our bodies. And no, EU regulations about allowed pesticide levels are sadly not protecting you enough (read the recent article One in every five vegetables contains illegal amounts of pesticide if you haven’t done so yet). Next to clean air, water, cosmetics and cleaning products, food is one of the biggest sources of what our bodies absorb, so we better be aware and take good care of what we put on and inside ourselves.
Buying organic has therefore become second nature for us. It’s the cleanest produce we can get and allows me to put my anyway constantly worrying mummy-mind at rest. As some of you know from my Instagram and Facebook Feed, Incampagna Malta, amongst others, is one of our favorite suppliers for organic produce. They offer a wide variety of local and Sicilian vegetables and fruits, herbs and free range eggs but also a great range of other organic products from small suppliers who run small and sustainable businesses. Their greatest asset: they know every producer in person and have a relationship with them. This builds trust, also for us as consumers. Ordering works easy peasy via their website/ per email and the only thing you have to do after is waiting eagerly for the delivery of your box. When it arrives, we know our weekly fix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is sorted. Be aware to keep your diet’s majority with fresh fruit and veg, add your proteins via legumes and/ or organic dairy and meat if that’s part of your diet, chose whole grains or wholemeal products for your carb intake and don’t forget your healthy fats, plenty of water and of course and most importantly, vitamin L(ove) ❤
But now, let’s have a look into Zoe’s box, which contains a lovely range of many of the yummy and gorgeous products which have become dear to us over the last months and a little inspiration what to cook with them.
Vegetables, like delicious, creamy avocados, sweet carrots, fennel, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines, jerusalem artichokes, chard, brussel sprouts, leek, pumpkin and more. The saying “Eat a rainbow” is particularly true when it comes to vegetables. The more colours you incorporate on a regular basis, the more variety of vitamins you can ensure you receive. Zoe just loves digging into a soft avocado, often mixed into a nice salad with juicy tomatoes and a tangy dressing of freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. Another great staple dish is a simple veggie gratin e.g. potato with fennel and jerusalem artichokes (but it works with any veg, just play around). Just slice all veg in thin slices, put them in a baking dish with some cream (we usually use a vegan alternative like rice or oat cream), some grassfed butter, nutmeg, herbs of your liking and a hint of Himalayan salt and pepper and then bake it for about 60min. If you like you can add breadcrumbs and/ or organic cheese, nuts or seeds on top for the last 15min. Fresh aubergines make a lovely parmeggiana bake and carrots and/or pumpkin are great additions for one of Zoe’s favorite lentil stews which I’ll describe further down.
Fruit, like wonderful seasonal winter citrus like lemons, mandarines, oranges and blood oranges. Citrus fruit provides tons of vitamin C and is particularly great to strengthen our immune systems in the winter months when most bugs are around. Great fact to know: foods rich in vitamin C also help our bodies to absorb iron rich foods! Zoe loves her sweet mandarines as a snack, little pieces of blood orange and its juice for her porridge or chia pudding in the morning. Lemon juice is simply amazing in dressings, e.g. over steamed chard, broccoli or spinach but also for immune and metabolism boosting lemon water in the morning (for Zoe with a hint of great quality honey 🙂
Legumes, which provide most of Zoe’s protein/ iron intake. If you want to reduce your meat consumption, legumes and beans are great plant based alternatives. Lentil stew with red lentils, cumin and different veggies is one of Zoe’s favorite dishes (you can find our recipe here) or you can make a great warm lentil salad with brown or black lentils, cumin, coriander and roasted carrots or pumpkin. Chickpeas (Incampagna even has black ones!) are a great staple for homemade hummus or curries which we like to make with lots of different veg, mustard seeds, turmeric, curry powder and coconut milk.
So yes, like sceptics say, going organic may be a bit pricier, but in my opinion it’s so worth it. It puts my mind at rest to get the best quality with highest levels of nutrients without all the toxic nasties, it supports sustainable and nature friendly farming, and on top of that it never gets boring as constantly changing seasonal produce excites culinary creativity and makes me try new things.
Until next time lots of sunshine, love & healthy food
Nadine & Zoe aka avocado queen 😉
P. S. If you feel like you need some support improving your own or your family’s life to a healthier lifestyle, feel free to get in touch for a first free Health History consultation!