Fight off the winter blues

Root vegetables are plentiful at this time of year, containing complex carbohydrates. They are slow-burning, keeping you warm and fuller for longer. They are packed with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant to help fight off any winter chills.

Butterbeans are a great source of protein and fibre which has beneficial effects on the digestive system and heart health. They can help stabilise blood sugar levels, providing steady, slow-burning energy. They are also an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral which helps us feel relaxed and better able to handle stress, by supporting nerve-signalling and the production of the ‘happy’ brain chemical – serotonin.

The added mushrooms contribute beta glucans, a compound with powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 parsnips, thinly sliced

12 small shallots, cut in half

300g carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

250g turnips, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

200g swede, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

200g button/small chestnut mushrooms

1 tin of butterbeans, drained and rinsed

1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 450ml boiling water

200ml apple juice

1 bay leaf

1 heaped tsp corn flour

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp Butter or ghee

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • In an oven dish, heat 1tbsp of butter, add shallots and garlic, cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add carrots, swede, turnips, mix well and cook for 5 minutes with lid on.
  • Add mushrooms, butter beans and bay leaf, mix and cook for a further minute.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish, add vegetable stock and 150ml apple juice.
  • Mix 50ml apple juice with corn flour and add to casserole dish. Mix, cover and cook in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes.
  • Brush parsnips with melted butter, season and roast on the top shelf for about 15 minutes, turn and continue roasting for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve the stew topped with parsnip crisps and a thick slice of granary bread for soaking.
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