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10 winter friendly foods to add to your menu - keep your mobile catering trailer busy this festive season

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How can you draw more customers to your mobile catering trailer this winter? We’ve got some great ideas to keep your business moving - and protected - this festive season.

Winter is most definitely the season for rich and warming comfort food, but with the temperature dropping outside you might also see a drop in customers. Draw people to your mobile catering business by offering some new hot and hearty menu items to put a smile on everyone’s face.

All mobile catering businesses need reliable insurance, whatever the time of year.

If you want to be in with the best chance of protecting your business through the winter months, call the team at Mobilers. We’ve been finding business owners the right cover for them for over 20 years.

Give us a call and arrange insurance for catering trailers today.

10 winter friendly foods to add to your menu

Work with one or more of these winter friendly foods and give your menu a tasty twist. Better yet, combine these into heavenly winter dishes and your customers will keep coming back for more, no matter what the weather!

1. Oats for a morning boost

Winter time can bring with it a whole host of illnesses and health complaints. And if you want to help customers feel in fine form then adding oats to your menu is a great idea.

There are so many health benefits to be derived from eating oats. They’re jam-packed with dietary fibre and energy-boosting B vitamins and magnesium, they help balance blood glucose levels, support friendly bacteria in the gut and even control cholesterol levels!

Better yet, oats do a great job of making you feel fuller for longer, thereby curbing any junk food cravings among busy customers. Eating oats really is a win-win!

Not only are oats super-beneficial, they’re also extremely versatile, too. As well as adding oats to biscuits, snack bars and smoothies, you can also make yummy oatcakes. But perhaps the easiest and tastiest option is to make them into porridge.

Porridge is a perfect menu idea for a winter food truck. A great warming breakfast option that will keep everyone perky on even the dreariest winter morning.

You can also add some flavour to your porridge with a variety of sweet and savoury toppings. From honey and fresh berries to super-powered seeds or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, it’s easy to make this endlessly adaptable meal.

2. Kale for a healthy kick

‘Eat your greens’ is a common cry heard around family dinner tables up and down the country in the winter months, and there’s a good reason for that. Dark leafy vegetables like kale are at their best at this time of year and are highly recommended by nutritionists as part of a winter diet.

Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K, eating kale will boost your immune system, work wonders as an antioxidant, help with blood clotting and maintain strong, healthy bones. On top of all this, it contains vitamin B6 for a healthy nervous system, and big helpings of iron, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium.

Unfortunately, the flavour of kale isn’t always to everyone's taste. But it's easy to add to dishes such as warming soups, super smoothies or delicious salads without anyone noticing a difference in flavour.

On the subject of soups, these really should be a staple item on any winter food menu. Easy to cook and even easier to serve, a steaming bowl of soup is a sure-fire way to get a queue started.

Better yet, you can combine the nutritional goodness of kale with other winter-time favourites like sweet potatoes, parsnips or carrots.

Just make sure that your insurance for catering trailers includes if you’re serving piping hot food to customers. Accidents and burns are the last thing you want for Christmas! In the case than accident does occur, it is a great idea to be familiar with the most common kitchen accidents and how you can prevent them.

3. Sweet potatoes for a taste of home comfort with a twist

When the days are shorter and the nights are longer, we all crave comfort foods that remind us of home. And when it comes to comfort, there are few better foods than potatoes – whether you love them mashed, fried, boiled or roasted, you’ll always get a thumbs up when these are on your menu.

However, while there's nothing wrong with potatoes, it’s often good to add a twist to your offering once in a while. And sweet potatoes are definitely an interesting and healthy alternative.

High in fibre and loaded with nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin E, sweet potatoes are great for supporting immune systems, eyes, and keeping everyone ‘regular’. For something to really fight the winter chill, add them to spicy soups, curries, stews and casseroles.

4. Oily fish for a hearty dish

The NHS recommends that we all eat at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish. This is because oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel are some of the best sources of those all-important anti-inflammatory, omega-3 fatty acids. Something that the British Heart Foundation says could be great for your heart.

They also contain lots of delicious protein, healthy fats, potassium, selenium and B vitamins. In addition, they’re a good source of vitamin D, something we can be in desperate need of during the dark winter months.

There are so many fish recipes perfect for mobile catering, but be aware that the healthier option is to bake, steam or grill the fish rather than fry it. For more advice on serving fish in your mobile catering van as well as important food safety tips, read our recent Mobilers guide.

Excellent food safety standards are vital if you want to keep customers and your business safe from harm.

5. Cinnamon and ginger for a warming glow

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Spices like cinnamon and ginger are commonly used in Caribbean, Indian and Asian cuisines, but can also be used to provide a warming winter glow to a whole host of foods and drinks. As well as adding superb flavour to a range of dishes, they’re also brimming with health benefits.

Both Cinnamon and ginger are well-regarded in medical circles for containing a wealth of antioxidants and having natural anti-inflammatory properties. Spices are so easy to add to baked dishes and pastries, sprinkled into sauces or soups or added to smoothies for a healthy boost.

Other seasonal smells and flavours that could go down a treat include chocolate, peppermint, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, cranberry, chestnut, mulling spices and fudge.

And don’t forget, if you’re running a mobile bar at winter time then there is a wealth of mocktails and cocktails that can easily be adapted for a seasonal special. Pumpkin Spiced Old Fashioneds and Spicy Grapefruit Ginger Fizz Mocktails are just two of the recipe ideas in our ultimate guide to cocktails and mocktails.

Other spicy superfood ingredients worth adding to dishes include turmeric, which might have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It could even reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.

For more details on many so-called superfoods and how they could be added to your menu, read this recent article, “What are superfoods?’

6. Mushrooms to make their mouths water

‘Tis the season to be hearty, and there are few things heartier when added to a dish than mushrooms. Famed for their health-giving benefits for thousands of years, you can choose from a wide variety of types all with their own unique flavours, uses and nutritional content.

From standard button and portobello mushrooms to shiitake, chestnut, and oyster mushrooms, they are all low in calories and could help to lower cholesterol. They’re a particularly useful option when catering for vegans and vegetarians during the winter months as they also have a high vitamin D content. For some more inspiration on vegan cuisine to make, read our ultimate guide to vegan mobile catering.

Mushrooms are also very versatile and can be incorporated into your mobile catering menu in a number of different ways. Mix them into sauces and soups, stir fry them or add them to tacos, burritos and quesadillas – whatever you choose it will be a hearty winter dish that's big on flavour and immune-boosting nutrients!

7. Beetroot to keep things colourful

Let's face it, for every sparkling winter's day there will be plenty of grey ones. So, why not mix up your menu with some beautifully bright beetroot? Beetroot is one of our favourite root vegetables and has large doses of essential nutrients such as manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin C and nitrates.

Roast it whole, add it to juices and baked goods, or blend it into soups, smoothies and dips – however you serve it, beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals, and packed with powerful antioxidants. And that’s something worth bragging about when it comes to advertising your new winter menu.

According to BBC Good Food magazine the top 5 health benefits of beetroot include:

  1. Wards off some types of cancer – That stunning purple-crimson colour is due to a plant pigment called betacyanin. A powerful substance linked to the suppression of some cancers.
  2. Benefits your heart – Beetroot contains nitrates which have been linked to improved blood flow, reduced arterial stiffness and potentially lower blood pressure. All great for your heart health.
  3. Improves exercise performance and boosts energy – Popular with athletes, some studies have suggested it can improve endurance, performance and energy levels.
  4. Aids digestion – Rich in fibre and a rich source of amino acids essential for gut health, beetroot will help you feel good both inside and out. 
  5. Powerful antioxidant – Antioxidants have been linked to increased levels of protection against age-related conditions such as heart disease and cancer. And beetroots are full of them!

8. Garlic for warding off colds

An old favourite for any chef, this great tasting herb has been used throughout history for a wide variety of culinary and medicinal uses. Well-known for its ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and ward off colds, flu, and cinematic vampires, you'll find it featured in recipes for an extremely wide variety of dishes perfect for winter.

Being naturally antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral it also contains an impressive array of nutrients including vitamin C, manganese, selenium, fibre and vitamin B6. No wonder ancient cultures in Egypt, Greece, Rome and China used it to treat a wide range of illnesses and medical complaints.

While health experts say there isn’t much hard evidence to support the health benefits of garlic in food, it’s undoubtedly a great way to add flavour. Pasta sauces, soups and marinades are all improved by the addition of a couple of cloves of garlic. It’s an indispensable member of any kitchen’s store cupboard.

9. Seeds for an extra dose of winter immunity

From sunflower, pumpkin and hemp to chia and flax there’s a wide variety of seeds on the market today. Packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre and protein, all vital to a healthy immune system.

When we think about foods to boost our immune system, health experts recommend we look for foods that are high in vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D as well as copper, folate, iron, selenium and zinc.

Zinc is found throughout the body and is vital for making new cells. It plays an important part in regulating your immune response and in wound healing. Apart from meat and shellfish one of the best sources of zinc in our diets is seeds.

But not all seeds are created equal, for example three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain over 30% of the recommended daily intake of zinc. While just one serving of pumpkin seeds could give you almost half of your recommended daily intake.

Munching down on plain seeds might not appeal to most of your customers, but don't worry as toasting seeds can give them extra flavour. You could add them to salads, smoothies, soups, and yoghurts or even add them into baked goods such as homemade breads, pastries and breakfast bars.

10. Berries to pack a tasty punch

Adding blueberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries or acai berries to your recipes will not only provide a colourful kick and great flavour. They will also pack even more vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants into your meals.

As well as bolstering your immune system, berries are also naturally rich in fibre and have anti-inflammatory properties to help ward off chronic inflammation.

Try blitzing them up in smoothies or adding them to salads or baked goods. Berry delicious indeed!

7 winter food wins that are great for business

To make sure you attract enough customers to keep your business profitable during the winter months you’ll want to come up with a range of winter dishes and promotions.

Take a look at our quick winter food wins just right for a mobile catering business.

  1. A seasonal menu featuring some of these great winter foods could provide a welcome twist for loyal customers who brave the weather. Using items that are in season is an easy way to make your business sustainable and is always appreciated by eco-conscious customers.
  2. Winter promotions and offers are always a bonus at such an expensive time of year. Potential offers could include a free hot drink with every winter menu meal or perhaps money off deals depending on how low the temperature drops.
  3. Link up with local businesses to help each other out. For example, when the weather turns nasty, workers at a large local employer might not want to travel far to get their lunchtime refreshment. A friendly food truck in the company car park could be an excellent solution for both of you.
  4. Take your food truck to festive events such as fireworks displays, Christmas markets and late-night shopping events. Sign up as a food or drinks vendor for such events and you’ll be in a prime location to win a good slice of the market, provided you’ve got adequate insurance for catering trailers. And, if you’re stuck for ideas on the best winter events to visit with your food truck this cold season then Mobilers has written a helpful guide just for you.
  5. Offer home delivery for those that don’t want to brave the wind and the rain. You could have your own delivery person and online ordering system, or you could link up with  established food delivery services, such as Deliveroo, Just Eat, and UberEats.
  6. Catering for events could provide your business with a steady and lucrative income during the slower months.
  7. Offer hot drinks to complement your winter food items. Tea and coffee are easy to make and could give people yet another reason to stop by to taste your amazing food.

Be careful of winter business dangers

There’s a wide variety of dangers that insurance for catering trailers can protect against. But having specialist cover is only one part of the puzzle and you’ll definitely want to avoid winter dangers if you can.

From winter driving risks and gas safety to 10 things to remember when trading at Christmas markets, there are lots of helpful articles on our blog. When you’re next searching for insurance for catering trailers, why not have a read?

As well as your vehicle, you’ll also need to take care of yourself and your staff. Winter can be a tricky time of year for colds, flus and other health problems. Indeed, it can sometimes feel like we're constantly up against a barrage of nasty infections and bugs.

That's why it's more important than ever to make sure you’re getting plenty of lovely nutrients in your diet to help support your immune system. The British Heart Foundation has 5 top tips for healthy eating this winter that are well worth following.

Insurance for catering trailers that protects your business

croissant and panini's on sale at a stall

Running a mobile catering business is a tough job, so it’s essential you get the right level of insurance for catering trailers. There really is no better way to safeguard a mobile catering business from the unexpected.

At Mobilers our helpful team can provide insurance for a host of different catering vehicles including trailers, vans, tri and more. Cover can also include protection for expensive fixtures and fittings.

Insurance for catering trailers is easy to arrange with Mobilers. Give us a call today.

Frequently asked questions

How can I add hot drinks to my mobile catering business?

Adding hot drinks to your mobile catering business can be a game changer, especially during cooler months. To start, you need to consider your equipment. Invest in a portable coffee machine or a high-capacity thermos to keep beverages hot. Next, create a menu. It could range from classic coffees and teas to hot chocolate and specialty drinks like cappuccinos or lattes. Remember, quality is key! Use good quality beans and teas to ensure great taste. Display your hot drinks menu prominently and consider offering free samples. The aroma of hot drinks alone can attract potential customers.

Should I include vegetarian options on my catering menu?

In today's diverse and health-conscious world, many people prefer plant-based diets for a variety of reasons including health, environment, and ethics. By offering vegetarian options, you are not only catering to a broader audience but also showcasing your culinary versatility and awareness about the changing food preferences. It's a smart business move that can significantly enhance your catering service's appeal.

How do I market my mobile catering business?

You can start by establishing a strong online presence through a user-friendly website and active social media channels. Share mouth-watering pictures of your food and customer testimonials, and don't forget to highlight your unique selling points. Engage with your audience regularly and offer special deals or promotions. Networking in local events, partnerships with event planners, and word-of-mouth referrals are also effective strategies.

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