This month we are focussing on folate (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins. These are an essential group of vitamins that are important for energy levels and many other functions in the body. If you’d like to know more about them all and what they do, James has put an article together here that takes a deeper dive into them. You can read that here.
The thing with B vitamins is that most of them can be found in leafy greens and for many, finding interesting ways of cooking these important veggies can be a challenge, which is why chef Jason has come up with some great, tasty recipes this month.
First up this month is an Elevated dish we’ve used in the past for sports stars as part of a nutritional regime to aid their strength and conditioning programme: Sinfield’s Supper with oven-roasted salmon (above). It works fabulous as an accompaniment to any simply grilled protein such as salmon, chicken or tofu.
The main element of the ‘supper’ is broccoli, rich in vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamins K, as well as folate, vitamin B6 and E and fibre. As a member of the cabbage family, it also contains compounds known as glucosinolates, which have been shown to help excrete the form of oestrogen which is linked to breast cancer. We marry that with avocado which offers health-promoting monounsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E, B vitamins and fibre.
For those who are vegan and want to eat this on its own without the salmon, the addition of cannellini beans (high in protein and fibre) and nuts makes for a complete set of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and adding Nutritional Yeast instead of the cheese retains the umami flavour and adds in extra vitamin B12.
Next up is our take on beautiful ribolita, a Tuscan soup-stew hybrid that’s perfect for autumn/fall. Stars of the recipe are two of our nutrition-packed Brilliant Bases, Tomato Fondue and Bone Marrow Broth (use our Roast Root Vegetable Stock for a vegan version) and we add to this cannellini beans full of protein and fibre, plus spring greens and/or cavolo nero. Both are high in B vitamins, including our star of the month, folate, as well as vitamin C, vitamin A and more fibre.
Cavolo nero is particularly interesting, also known as lacinato kale, its dark green coloured leaves are packed with nutrition and contains three times as much vitamin C as phosphorus, a ratio that may be protective against osteoporosis, as phosphorus can leach vitamin C from the body.
Many people don’t like liver despite its high nutritional content. If that’s you, we’re hoping to change your mind with this simple dish – though please note, if you are not convinced, please don’t let that put you off… the cabbage goes fabulously well with roast cod, braised oxtail, or as a side with a roast dinner.
Why liver then? Well it’s often called nature’s multivitamin as it’s high in protein, vitamin A and six of the eight B vitamins, including folate our focus for the month. In fact, just 100g contains half of the folate you need for the day.
It marries really well too with savoy cabbage – also high in vitamin C, folate and fibre. Please find time when cooking this one to try and add the caraway seeds – they release really wonderful liquorice and citrus flavours to Elevate this dish from a flavour point of view. Another kitchen skill comes with this one: fine-slicing cabbage.
Our final main recipe for this month is this compound salad in which we marry two ‘ps’ that go perfectly together: prawns and pea shoots to produce a super-simple light lunch, bursting with flavour and super high in nutrition.
Prawns are an excellent source of protein, selenium, vitamin B12 and omega 3 fats which have been shown to be beneficial for protecting against heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer.
Pea shoots, meanwhile, are high in vitamins C, E and A, as well as the minerals potassium and phosphorous, flavonoids and vitamin B9 (folate), our hero vitamin in October 2022. In fact, just 100g of shoots gives around 20% of your recommended daily allowance of this crucial micronutrient.
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