There is so much controversy over what to cook with, coconut, olive and even butter. For every article that suggests one, another article slams it and so it can be difficult to know what you really should use to cook with.

As with most things, eating an excess of anything will not be beneficial to health. Presently, the recommendations of keeping saturated fat, with the exception of saturated fat from dairy, to a minimum is still favoured. This doesn’t mean you can never eat butter or coconut oil but it does suggest that they should not be your preferred choice for all cooking.

If you look at the ingredients list on vegetable oil, you may be surprised to see that it is made from rapeseed oil. Rapeseed is highly nutritious, low in saturated fat, doesn’t change in structure or stability when heated to high temperatures and so makes a great choice for daily cooking.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

This makes a wonderfully warming and filling meal, whether you serve it on its own at lunch time or before an evening training session, or combine it with some fresh sourdough or rye bread after training to make it into a main recovery meal.

Serves 4 Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1⁄2 butternut squash (about 300g prepared weight), peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 400g canned butter/lima beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrot, celery and butternut squash and stir into the onion mixture.
  2. Add the stock, tomatoes and oregano, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, partially covered, for 15–20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in the butter/lima beans and heat through for a few minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve hot.

Nutrition facts (per serving) Calories 201 Carbohydrate 33g Fat 4.5g (of which saturates 0.7g)

Protein 7.5g

Renee McGregor, Clinical Dietician. Recipe are from Training Food