Eating Well in Winter


Julie Holt, Cancer Information Nurse and Mandy Savage, Heath Promoter, Cancer Society Kapiti

Hearing of the continuing spread of coronavirus in many other countries is distressing. How lucky we are in New Zealand to be living our lives as freely as we are. Even winter doesn’t seem so bad this year! It’s a good reminder though to look after our health – eat healthily and exercise as we can.
If you are living with cancer or looking after someone with cancer this is especially important. Coming up with new ideas for food can be hard when you’re going through treatment, juggling being back at work or working remotely, with family life carrying on at a fast pace. The web site may give you some inspiration. Their guide to eating seasonally is a good place to start

What’s in season now?

Winter: June – August

Vegetables: Avocado*, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage (Green), Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Kumara, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin*, Radishes, Rhubarb, Silverbeet, Spinach, Spring Onions, Sprouted Beans and Seeds, Swedes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams.


Fruit: Feijoas, Grapefruit, Kiwifruit (Gold), Kiwifruit (Green), Lemons, Limes, Mandarins, Oranges (Navel), Passionfruit, Persimmons, Tamarillos.

Source: Guide to Eating Seasonally in New Zealand

Soups work well in winter for a quick easy meal accompanied by some good bread. Try this recipe below:

Simple Vegie Soup

(adapted from a recipe on )


200g chopped raw vegetables, such as onions, celery and carrots

300g potato

1 tbsp oil

700ml stock

One can (400g) of chickpeas, cannellini beans or lentils

To serve

plain yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche, and fresh herbs


  1. Fry 200g chopped raw vegetables with 300g potatoes, peeled and cubed, in 1 tbsp oil for a few mins until beginning to soften.
  2. Cover with 700ml stock and simmer  for 15 – 20 mins until the veg is tender.
  3. Add chickpeas, beans or lentils.
  4. If you prefer a smooth soup – mash or blend until smooth, then season.
  5. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche and some fresh herbs.

Will freeze for up to 1 month.

During lockdown my family, like many baked almost daily – sourdough bread, chocolate cake, a delicious Greek Easter Cake, peanut butter and jam brownies (we exercised a lot!!) and most sustaining of all – this lovely bread Nadia Lim’s  Kumara Bread This is perfect with soup.


Fruit and Vege Co-ops are a great community service providing healthy fresh fruit and veges at a reasonable cost, available in different areas of New Zealand. Wellingtonians – check out the Wesley Community Action Co-ops

For more ideas on cooking fresh vegies see

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