As a little girl I grew up in a ‘fruit shop’ where my parents were the local greengrocers in a small country town. Nothing excited me more than the summertime and eating juicy nectarines in my father’s giant refrigerators. I’m sure everyone has fond memories of summertime fruits dripping down their chin on a hot day. It’s certainly a time for Mother Nature to show off her bounty of berries, stone fruits and melons. It’s also the time when our old favourites like pears and oranges really lift their intensity of flavour. Salad vegetables are crisp and fresh corn is a definite favorite, too.
Let’s investigate some of these fabulous plant foods and practical ways to use them.
These little gems really are the jewel in nature’s crown. They are a potent source of antioxidants and low in calories. They are the perfect sweet addition to your natural yoghurt or your berry smoothie.
The juice of a lime can be so versatile. Add a squeeze to your mineral water for a fresh zing or over some fish with cracked pepper for a delicious alternative to lemon. Limes are a good source of vitamin C, so used as a dressing in a salad means that the non-haem iron in your salad greens becomes more bioavailable to the body. Win!
Butter, green, flat or snake, beans are fantastic thrown into salads and stir fries to add some crunch and flavour. They also make the perfect snack accompanied with some protein packed hummus or tzatziki to keep you fuller for longer. Add some seasonal snow peas into the mix for some sweetness, too.
Eggplant, Sweet Corn, Zucchini
I’ve grouped these three together because they are amazing additions to your BBQ. Crush some garlic over the top with a brush of olive oil for some flavour packed goodness. Adding extra plant food to your diet is a must and when it’s BBQ’d, garlicky and tender it’s a summer days must have.
Juicy and flavoursome in Summer, melons are a thirst quenching juice bomb! They are low in calories yet provide plenty of sweetness. Get out your Grandmother’s melon baller and layer with some natural yoghurt and crushed nuts for a nourishing fruit salad.
One of those fruits you see all year round, but they are at their finest during the summer months. Get savoury with your pears and throw them into a salad with some feta and rocket, or BBQ alongside some vegetables for amazing caramelisation effect. Such a great source of fibre, too.