All things bright and beautiful
Australian vegetable growers have worked tirelessly though a cold and windy winter to produce an array of fresh, nutritious and tasty in-season vegetables that you’ll find in abundance at farmers’ markets, greengrocers and supermarkets this spring. And since it’s Meat Free Week, there’s really never been a better time to branch out and try something new, or even experiment with new ways to cook and eat your favourite vegies.
To help more Aussies get more of the good stuff into their daily diet, AUSVEG – the peak industry body representing Australian vegetable and potato growers – has created the eat more AUSVEG initiative. The aim is to provide people with practical information about how they can make appetising and healthy meals with a variety of in-season vegies. eat more AUSVEG will also be sharing the stories behind the farmgate, to showcase the hardworking growers that keep our nation well-fed and healthy.
“The aim of eat more AUSVEG is simple – get more people to eat more vegetables,” says AUSVEG National Manager, Communications, Shaun Lindhe. “Some of the barriers for people are that they don’t know what’s in season, don’t know how to use them and don’t want to waste them by not making them delicious – we want to try and change this.”
AUSVEG will be looking to partner with the broader industry, including growers and the entire supply chain, to give people info on how to make their veg the hero of the plate.
“While people may think they’re doing the right thing and buying vegetables at retail, disruptions to the food service sector means that people who like eating out at cafes and restaurants will need to buy more vegetables to give themselves the best chance to meet the recommended daily intake of five or more serves,” Lindhe says.
Spring tips to up your veg intake
1. Substitute your regular daily snack with a vegie-based one, such as carrot or celery sticks, with some dip or by themselves.
2. Add an extra serve (or handful) of vegies into each meal throughout the day – you’ll be eating healthier, remain fuller throughout the day and reduce your vegetable waste.
3. Aim for one meal each week that has at least three or more types of vegies, then work your way up to adding one more meal each week.
So, what’s in season right now? Check out our guide to making the most of spring produce. To find out more about how to easily make the most of your vegies, to access some great recipes and to learn more about our vegie growers, follow eat more AUSVEG on Instagram. You can also find a huge range of recipes available at abetterchoice.com.au
To give you even more veg inspiration in the kitchen, entrepreneur and personal trainer Ashy Bines has shared a beautifully bright and nourishing recipe from her new book, 15 Lessons That Changed My Life. Try it for dinner tonight – it’s quick and easy, and it’s also packed with nourishing vegies, herbs and protein-rich seeds. It also uses coconut aminos – a savoury seasoning sauce that’s a great substitute for soy sauce, as its packed with amino acids, potassium and vitamins B and C. You’ll find it in supermarkets and health food stores.
Sweet potato stir fry
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into rounds
1 red onion, cut into wedges
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tsp coconut aminos, plus extra to serve
1 cup coriander leaves
Toasted sesame seeds, to serve
Toasted pumpkin seeds, to serve
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan or wok. Add the sweet potato and onion and stir until coated with oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for about 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally; add more coconut oil if it starts to stick.
2. When the sweet potato is almost soft, stir in the spinach and coconut aminos. Put the lid back on for a few minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
3. Remove from the heat and stir the coriander through.
4. Serve sprinkled with toasted sesame and pumpkin seeds, and a dash more of coconut aminos if needed.
15 Lessons That Changed My Life by Ashy Bines is published by Macmillan. RRP $39.99. Photography by Jeremy Simons.