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Spring has sprung: Three great seasonal recipes for older adults

As we age, our senses become less sharp than they once were. Eyesight might diminish, and the senses of taste and smell start to fade. This means that, all in all, food becomes less appealing, and it can feel like a bit of a chore to eat the meals on offer.

Spring is the perfect time to create some new and exciting dishes that your older loved ones simply can’t resist. All the colours and light that are around at this time of year translate perfectly to the plate, giving you lots of opportunity to get creative wit your cooking. Let’s take a look at three amazing springtime recipes to get your loved one’s mouth watering.

1. Springtime vegetable stew

Not every spring day is warm, so when there’s still a chill in the air, snuggle up with a hearty bowl of this warming stew.

You can use pretty much any veg for this, but we recommend:

  • Asparagus: About 100g cut into 3cm chunks
  • Spring onion: A bunch, finely chopped
  • Mushrooms: About 100g
  • Carrots: 2 medium, sliced
  • Baby potatoes: 8 – 10, cut in half
  • Cabbage: Half a head, sliced
  • Courgette: One large or a couple small, cut into thick slices
  • Leek: One large one, cut into slices
  • Lemon: Just a squeeze
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1l of vegetable stock

Cooking this is really easy. If you like, you can briefly fry the vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil, which helps to bring out the flavour, but you don’t have to. Add all the ingredients to a casserole dish, pour over the stock and add salt and pepper to taste (not too much salt though). Place them in a medium oven, about 180 degrees, for around an hour, and you’re done! If you want to thicken up the sauce and add some valuable protein, half a cup of lentils will do the job perfectly.

2. Lamb burgers with sweet potato wedges

Nothing says spring like lamb, but if your loved one isn’t keen on gnawing on a lamb shank, this lamb burger will be ideal. Sweet potato wedges are lower in fat and salt than chips, making them a healthy, delicious option.

  • Sweet potatoes: 3, sliced into long wedges
  • Lamb mince: 500g
  • Breadcrumbs: 50g
  • Egg: 1 free range, medium size
  • Garlic: One clove, crushed
  • Onion: 1 large, chopped

Pop the sweet potato wedges in the oven at around 180 degrees, with a slug of olive oil drizzled over the top. They’ll need around 30 minutes.

While you’re waiting, heat some olive oil in a pan and fry off the onion. Add the garlic and cook for just a couple of minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the mince, breadcrumbs and egg. Season and shape into four large burgers. It can help to refrigerate them for 10 minutes before cooking so that they keep their shape.

They’ll need just 10 minutes each size over a medium heat. Serve with the wedges and a handful of salad leaves.

3. Spinach, leek and pea frittata

Frittatas are a bit like crustless quiches. Easy to eat, really good for you and without all that salty, fatty pastry. Make the most of the seasonal spinach and leek with this nutrition packed frittata for lunch.

  • Leeks: 2, chopped
  • Basil leaves: A few
  • Baby spinach: 100g
  • Frozen peas: 150g
  • Free range eggs: 10
  • Milk: 100ml

Melt a knob of butter in a medium sized (20 – 23cm) frying pan. Fry the leeks in the butter or around 5 – 7 mins until soft. Add the spinach and peas and cook until the spinach is wilted. Whisk the eggs with the milk and season, then pour into the pan with the torn basil leaves.

Put the whole thing in the oven at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes until it’s firm. Your frittata can be eaten straight away hot or is really tasty cold too.

If you’re caring for an older person, cooking for them needs to be done with care. Not only do you need to consider a good balance of essential nutrients, but also will need to make it visually appealing to encourage them to eat it all up. Depending on the person, you might also need to consider how easily they can chew, feed themselves and any other issues.

Get creative with the wonderful ingredients of the season, and see if you can add some interest to your mealtimes.

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