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  • Writer's pictureJacqui Grant

Nutrition - Nourishing Winter Wellness: Embracing Plant-Based Nutrition for Radiant Health

Connect and Grow Magazine - Edition 10 June - July 2024

I am super excited to share Kathy's article and recipe for us this month.

You can also listen to the podcast and watch the YouTube video we did together recently; they can be found in the Connect and Grow Podcast section.

As the chill of winter settles in and the days grow shorter, nature begins its annual cycle of hibernation, drawing energy inward for a period of rest and renewal.

Similarly, humans, too, can embrace the rhythm of the season, turning inward to care for themselves and engage in moments of reflection and introspection. Winter, often viewed as a time of dormancy, presents a unique opportunity to prioritise self-care and nurture the body, mind, and soul.


Amidst the frosty landscapes and cosy hearths, plant-based nutrition emerges as a beacon of vitality, offering a treasure trove of nutrients to fortify our bodies and bolster our immune defences. Embracing a diverse array of seasonal fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and nourishes the soul with every delicious bite.


Winter's harvest boasts abundant nutrient-rich produce, each brimming with the season's vitality. Vibrant root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets infuse our meals with earthy sweetness and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. At the same time, cruciferous greens such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli offer a powerhouse of antioxidants to ward off seasonal ailments. Citrus fruits, bursting with tangy goodness and vitamin C, lend a refreshing zest to our plates, while hearty grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats provide a comforting foundation for nourishing meals.

As the allure of comfort foods beckons with promises of warmth and indulgence, it's important to remember that nourishing our bodies with wholesome, plant-based fare is the truest form of self-care.



While it may be tempting to succumb to the siren call of sugary treats and processed delights, let us instead choose foods that nourish and sustain us through the winter months.

Swap out refined carbohydrates and sugary snacks for nutrient-dense alternatives like roasted root vegetables, hearty soups and stews, and warming herbal teas. Savour the season's flavours with aromatic spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger, which not only add depth to our dishes but also boast anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.


In the midst of winter's hibernation, let us cultivate mindfulness in our eating habits, savoring each bite with gratitude and intention.


Eating slowly and attentively allows us to fully appreciate food's nourishment, fostering a deeper connection to our bodies and the natural world around us. Moreover, let us not hibernate from our good eating habits but instead embrace the opportunity to explore new culinary horizons and expand our plant-based repertoire.

Experiment with exotic spices, seasonal produce, and innovative cooking techniques, allowing creativity to flourish in the kitchen and nourish the body, mind, and spirit.


As we navigate the winter months ahead, let us remember that the key to radiant health lies in the nourishing embrace of plant-based nutrition. By honoring the season's bounty and embracing mindful eating practices, we can fortify our bodies, uplift our spirits, and emerge from winter's hibernation with renewed vitality and a deeper sense of well-being. So, let us gather around the table, savouring the season's flavours and celebrating the nourishing power of plant-based cuisine, one delicious meal at a time.



June – July Recipe

Winter Vegetable Stew


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 parsnip, peeled and diced

1 cup diced butternut squash

1 cup diced cauliflower

4 cups vegetable broth

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish



Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.


Add the diced carrots, celery, sweet potato, parsnip, butternut squash, and cauliflower to the pot. Stir to combine and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften slightly.


Pour in the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes with their juices. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.


Once the stew is cooked, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If you prefer a thicker stew, you can mash some vegetables with a fork or potato masher to thicken the broth.


Serve the Winter Vegetable Stew hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of freshness.


This hearty and nourishing Winter Vegetable Stew is packed with seasonal produce and warming spices, making it the perfect comfort food for cold winter days.


Enjoy it as a satisfying main course, or serve it alongside crusty bread or cooked grains for a complete and wholesome meal.


On the next page is a recipe for an amazing dessert.


Vegan Spiced Apple Crisp 


For the apple filling:

6-8 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon cornstarch


For the crisp topping:

1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free if needed)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup chopped nuts (such as pecans or walnuts)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt



Preheat your oven to 175°C. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with coconut oil or vegan butter.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, maple syrup, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and cornstarch. Toss until the apples are evenly coated in the mixture.


Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out into an even layer.


In another mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, almond flour, chopped nuts, coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Mix until the ingredients are well combined and form a crumbly texture.


Sprinkle the crisp topping evenly over the apple mixture in the baking dish.

Bake the apple crisp in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender.

Remove the apple crisp from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serve the Vegan Spiced Apple Crisp warm, optionally topped with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream or a dollop of coconut whipped cream for an extra indulgent treat.


This Vegan Spiced Apple Crisp is a comforting and wholesome dessert that captures the essence of winter with its warm spices and tender apples.


Enjoy it as a delightful ending to a nourishing meal, savouring each spoonful of sweetness and spice.


If you are ready to embark on a plant-based diet but are unsure where to start, book a time with Kathy.


Kathy Ashton

Registered Clinical/Medicinal Nutritionist


T: 1300 003 082 

F: (03) 8488 9934

104 Canterbury Rd, Middle Park VIC 3206

Website:  Health 104

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(c) 2024 Break Free Consultancy Connect and Grow Magazine

Disclaimer: All information is correct at time of publication. It is the reader's responsibility to seek professional input for specific advice.

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