Vegetable shortage: Best way to get 5 a day

The best way to maintian your 5 a day during the vegetable shortage. Stock image
The best way to maintian your 5 a day during the vegetable shortage. Stock image
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These tough times of aubergine and courgette rationing can make it even more difficult to think of ideas for smart, healthy meal ideas that also taste delicious.

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The much-reported crisis in Spanish farms has swiftly affected kitchens around the UK - popular crops such as courgettes and iceberg lettuce have wilted in the face of freak weather conditions hitting southern Europe as supermarkets limit the amount of these vegetables in their customers’ baskets.

But there are many other inventive, creative ways to stay healthy that won’t strain the purse strings, according to Weight Watchers Programme Development Manager Julia Westgarth.

She recommends using tinned and frozen vegetables when cooking - not only are they just as good for you as fresh, but they last longer as well, so it’s a good idea to stock your cupboards and freezer with them so that you’ll never be without.

Another way she advises to get your greens is eating seasonal, British-grown vegetables that are readily available from your local grocer’s. Not only is the produce usually cheaper than supermarkets, but you’ll be helping to support local business and community farming. Onions and parsnips are still high in stock and high in health benefits - parsnips are a great source of potassium which is required for regulating fluids in the body and healthy heart function, while onions contain all the vitamins needed to give your hair, skin and nails a healthy glow.

Iceberg lettuce may be harder to come by, but there are still many more vegetables that aren’t in short supply - the humble carrot, for instance, is a great way to get a dose of vitamin A and beta-carotene. With the winter weather far from waning, Weight Watchers has some great hearty and healthy recipes packed with nutrients to keep you warm.

Spiced lentil and carrot soup is a cold-weather classic and contains a cocktail of vitamins C and A, which are essential for healthy gums, teeth and bones. It’s also a great source of fibre, helping your immune system beat the winter chill and keep you fuller for longer.

Another recipe to try is the All-in-One Roast Chicken, a great one to try on the weekend with friends. Chicken legs contain more iron than the breast and together with the vitamin C in the carrots and potatoes makes it a great immune-boosting, germ-fighting winter warmer.

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