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Being active outdoors through winter is hard and this year has been particularly harsh.

Those of us who battle on, carry on leaving the house and bracing ourselves against the cold know all too well that the right diet is the key to keep going when the nights are dark and the winds are strong.

While a winter diet needs to be richer, we can't accept that all light, delicious veggie dishes are a summer only treat!

Vegetarians, rejoice! We've scoured to find the best veggie foods there are to help you stay strong, no matter how much time you spend in the cold outdoors.

So, here are a list of the best wintery vegetables, along with some delicious dishes to try at home...

beets

This brightly coloured vegetable is one of the best foods for boosting your immune system, something we can all do with in the wintery months.

We love this healthy pizza with a beetroot crust for something completely different this dinner time.

Beetroot is also great for keeping your liver in check, as well as being known as a natural mood booster.

Try this dish with a dash of horseradish for quirky kick.

Make it:

Find this beetroot base pizza recipe here

butter lentils

Lentils are a staple of any veggie diet, loved for their high nutrition value and low, low price.

Try butter lentils for a slightly heartier version on the classic staple. High in protein and great for stabilising blood sugars, they'll keep you going through the long cold days.

Lentils are great with spice and we're keeping this curry recipe for rainy days when we need a pick up.

Make it:

Find this butter lentil curry recipe here

walnut

Having omega 3 and fatty acids in your diet is a vital to keep your skin looking good.

To battle the chilly winds on your skin, make sure your diet is full of Omega 3 rich foods like walnuts and spinach

We love a good spoonful of peanut butter on our toast in the morning, so have decided to try changing to walnut butter for an equally tasty alternative that will do wonder for our complexion.

Make it:

Try your hand at making your own walnut butter here

butternute spuash

While sweet potato is our first choice in the summery months, when it gets cold we reach straight for the butternut squash.

Just about the most comforting vegetable there is, squash is great in soups, casseroles and all manner of curries and stir-fries.

We love the idea of spicing them up and giving them a southern American twist with these quinoa tacos!

Make it:

Try out these butternut squash, quinoa and jalapeno tacos! Recipe here

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The sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is great for helping you to absorb nutrients when the world seems a little icy and dark.

Mushrooms are full of vitamin D and luckily, they are also delicious and super versatile.

While throwing them in our pasta and chilli dishes is a simple way of making sure your staying topped up, why not make a meal of them?

Make it:

Get the recipe for these yummy goats cheese stuffed Portobello mushrooms here

Cauliflower-Potato-Casserole

Potatoes get a real bad rap, with the heavy carb frequently exchanged for celeriac or its sweet alternative in many veggie recipes.

The good old spud is great for battling off the cold weather however.

Incredibly nutrient rich, potatoes hold anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant capabilities, great for keeping healthy all year round.

As well as this, we all need a bit more energy on colder months and potatoes are great for filling us with the energy we need for the day.

Make it:

Brush off your carb guilt and make this potato casserole asap! Recipe here

avo

Everyone loves avocados at the moment. If there was a vegetable ' in vogue' it would definitely by our little green friend.

As well as giving us good fats much needed to get our bodies through the cold weather, these little guys are also great for vitamin A which protects us against infections and even strengthens our eyes in dim lights.

Avocado pasta is a revelation for non-dairy eaters and is currently our Friday night treat!

Make it:

For the creamiest pasta dish ever check out this avocado recipe here

cauliflower risotto

Once just a side dish in your Sunday lunch, we've started to realise the potential of this admittedly bland looking veg in recent years.

It might shock you to find out that cauliflower is very high in vitamin C.

Next time we have a wintery cold, instead of the satsumas, were going to be cooking up a big batch of creaming cauliflower and broccoli to scare the germs away!

Make it:

Get creative with your cauliflower with this risotto recipe here

coconut

Another great one for winter immunity, coconut oil is thought to possess healing properties above and beyond that of any other dietary oils.

This gingery coconut meal is a bit different from the usual coconut recipes and super filling.

Make it:

Get coconutty tonight with this peanut rice recipe here

ricey

Wild rice is jam packed full of magnesium and a great way to mix up familiar dishes.

Magnesium combats the ageing effects of harsh winds and cold on the skin and is now thought by many nutritionists to deplete feelings of depression.

You can put it on the side of any rice dish, but we especially like this caramelised recipe with squash and sunflower seeds.

Make it:

We love this caramelised sweet potato and kale wild rice dish, find it here