You hear so much about ‘superfoods’ these days, but in reality the original superfoods are vegetables. Vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Did you know if all New Zealanders ate 5 plus a day fruit and vegetables, there would be approximately 1558 fewer deaths each year? They really are vital for our health and wellbeing.
When it comes to vegetables, different colours means different nutrients, phtyochemicals and antioxidants. The compounds that give vegetables their colours are known as phytochemicals and they have a wide range of beneficial effects for our bodies. I’ve included orange, red and green vegetables which makes it both pretty and nutritious 🙂
This salad provides a source of: fibre, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorus, B vitamins including folate; and zinc as well as the following phytochemicals and antioxidants:
Lycopene – protective against cancer, especially prostate cancer
Anthocyainins – found in red/purple vegetables and fruit, they are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers and diabetes and can help protect against signs of ageing
Betalins – a powerful antioxidant found in beetroot. A study ranked beetroot among the 10 most potent vegetables in terms of antioxidant activity
Isothiocyanates – thought to protect against cancer
Carotenoids – beneficial for eye health
1 large wedge of pumpkin
1 large kumara
1 potato, washed
3 zucchini cut into large chunks
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch baby beetroot (or to make it easier you could buy the Leader Brand prepackaged, cooked beetroot)
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
12 slow roasted tomato halves (click here to see how to make these, or you could buy sundried tomatoes)
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Handful of whole raw almonds
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Peel and cut the pumpkin into chunks, and cut the kumara and potato into similar sized pieces. Place these plus the zucchini in a roasting dish, drizzle over the olive oil and rub in the garlic. If you’re roasting your own baby beetroot, cut these in half and roast in a separate dish so not to turn everything pink! Roast for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and slightly crisp on the outside.
While the vegetables are roasting, cut the broccoli into small florets and steam until cooked. Don’t overcook! Set aside.
When there is five minutes left to go for the roast vegetables, add the broccoli to the roasting dish to slightly crisp up.
When the roast vegetables are cooked, place in a bowl with the broccoli , baby beetroot and slow roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and whole almonds (I took my photo before adding the almonds, so make sure you add them – they add a delicious crunch plus heart healthy fats that help you absorb some of the vitamins in the vegetables).
Serve this with a source of protein to make it a meal.