July: What's in Season?
I often get asked: "What is the healthiest fruit or vegetable"? And the answer is simple. There is no one super fruit or veg that can give you all the nutrients you need. To eat a healthy diet you need variety! The trick to healthy eating is to constantly mix up what you're eating to ensure you're getting a mix of nutrients year round.
And the easiest way to ensure you get a mix of nutrients is to eat with the seasons.
Why you should eat with the seasons?
Eating seasonally is not only a great way to save money on grocery bills and support the environment and local economy, it is also a great way to ensure your diet stays healthy year round. It's also another great way to get a healthy and radiant glow. Seasonal produce also tastes better.
Have I convinced you to eat seasonally yet? I sure hope so! But if not, I'll keep trying because eating seasonally is a real game changer when it comes to your health and lifestyle.
How to eat with the seasons:
Eating with the seasons isn't tricky and you don't need to be a farmer or health nut to know the seasonal picks each month. Simply look for the cheaper produce and check that it is 'Grown in Australia' (or whichever country you live in). Normally imported produce* cost more anyhow. If you're still not sure what's in season, Google can help you with a swipe of a finger.
In the meantime, here is a handy list of what fruit and veg are in season in Australia during July - and my favourite tips for including them into your diet. Happy seasonal eating, friends!
What's in Season in July in Australia
Smear the good green stuff on your toast, add it to salads or smash up some guacamole. This fruit (classified a fruit because it has a seed) is natural 'brain food' due to its natural abundance of unsaturated fats.
Don't judge a book by its cover. This admittedly ugly fruit is dreamily creamy and delicious. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and enjoy.
Crunchy and full of fibre, perfect for maintaining a healthy and happy gut. One small fuji apple has about 3.5g of fibre per piece helping you reach your 25g+ fibre target for the day.
No need to do the grapefruit diet (I tried the grapefruit diet when I was yo-yo dieting and it is truly horrendous)! Just add these flavourful bad-boys to your morning routine, cut into a salad or throw into a salad dressing.
Loaded with vitamin C, Kiwis are ideal for boosting immunity to prevent winter colds and flu. It's kinda magical how seasonal produce has more of the nutrients your body needs for each season. You can even eat the skin as I recently told Daily Mail. It's loaded with fibre and antioxidants.
My go to ingredient for salad dressings. Why buy packaged lemon juice (WHY!?) when you can squeeze a lemon so simply? They last in the fridge for ages. The rind is great for marinades and salad dressing too.
This zesty fruit is also ideal for salad dressings or adding to marinades. Admittedly, I love lime in my cocktails too. Is it time for a mojito yet? #everythinginmoderation?
A convenient and simple snack that you can eat on the go. Ideal when you're craving something sweet. They are also a great ingredient to throw into salads or dip in chocolate.
When I think of Nashi pears, I think of their incredible fibre content (>4g per piece) which is epic when you consider a slice of multigrain bread has a measly ~2g. Don't forget to add pears to salads like this 4-ingredient classic pear salad with rocket and parmesan salad or bake them halved, with a sprinkle of cinnamon (and wrapped in foil) for 30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. A yummy, sweet and warming after dinner snack in winter.
Also naturally packed with vitamin C which makes navel oranges a great addition to prevent winter colds. How convenient is seasonal eating?
I always felt pineapples should be a summer fruit but alas, it's winter and they taste awesome right now. Get some summery palm-tree, blue water vibes with a snack of cut up pineapple.
Pink lady apples
Crispy, sweet and flavourful. Pink Lady apples have slightly more fibre than fuji, simply because they are bigger. Smear a slice with nut butter for a yummy treat.
Perhaps my favourite fruit to add to salads...or any dish for that matter! Check out my Instagram feed to see my appreciation for the juicy pomegranate seed. I'm #obsessed.
If you're bored one day, quince paste is WAY easier to make than you think. Here, Julie Goodwin will take you through some basic quince baking skills.
Red delicious apples
An apple a day does keep the doctor (and nutritionist) at bay. Throw one in your bag for a convenient on-the-go snack. And always eat the peel.
Each stem of rhubarb has stack loads of vitamin K, which supports healthy bone growth. Bake rhubarb and serve with full-fat greek yoghurt for a delicious and healthy dessert. I like this honey baked rhubarb recipe.
As their bright colour suggests, beets are super good for you with plenty of antioxidants and nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin A and C. Why not bake cut-up beetroot (and pumpkin) for 45min (180 degrees celsius), then add them warm to a salad of spinach and finish with walnuts and goats cheese. Yum!
I like to blanch my broccoli before eating to take off the 'raw' edge. I simply cover the florets with boiled water for 1-2 mins. You'll notice the colour pop and the nutrients come out to play. Tip: Don't throw out the nutrient-rich water afterwards. Use it to water your plants!
One of my favourite side dishes is broccolini with sweet chilli sauce, EVOO and then BBQ'd for 10 mins. They caramelise and are amazing. Even the kids will eat this. You can add a drizzle of lemon and some crushed nuts when entertaining.
This staple is in perfect form now that it's in season. A great base for most foods, including winter soups and my brussel sprout recipe below...
The currently trendy veg is worth the hype. I like to eat mine baked with chopped brown onion at 180 degrees celsius (halve the brussel sprouts first) for 45 mins, with a drizzle of EVOO, salt and pepper and served with a balsamic glaze/reduction.
Shredded in salad, cabbage adds beautiful colour to any salad. Or try to make your own kimchi, filled with gut healthy probiotics!
Because they are in season, they are particularly healthy and tasty at this time of the year. Try a sweet shredded carrot salad with orange juice dressing. I often just snack on a crisp carrot by itself.
A wonderful ingredient to add to your winter soups and supercharge your fibre intake. Or munch on them with a dip like hummus.
If you haven't fallen in love with cauliflower, now is the time. Cauliflower soup is easy, creamy and delicious. I make it often in winter. Try Cauli Mash or 'Rice' in place of potato mash or normal rice for a great way to sneak in more veg.
Has your stir-fry become a little predictable? Add some Chinese green into the mix like Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli) and bok choy. Simply mixed with oyster sauce is delish!
Thinly slice fennel into salads. It pairs beautifully with mandarins (also in season!) and dill.
This is the one ingredient I ALWAYS have in my house. Garlic is great for your heart health (though you do need a lot to get the benefit). I just love the taste. Add it to everything - marinades, dressings, soups, casseroles etc.
You know that boring stir-fry? Make sure it's getting some grated ginger through it. Ginger is also a great salad dressing ingredient. Mix with red wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and coconut sugar for an epic salad dressing combo.
If you haven't tried these, I recommend you do. Though - a word of warning. We grew some on the garden and had a jerusalem artichoke party (i.e. 4-5 courses of the artichokes). We quickly learnt that Jerusalem artichoke have LOADS of fibre, namely inulin. Which, produces a lot of gas in the bowel. All I'm saying is they don't call it 'fartichoke' for nothing...
Ever tried leek soup? If not, today might be a good time to try it.
When you have guests over, skip the cheese board and serve heart healthy olive instead! If you're a foodie, try making your own olives. They take 1-2 years to yield, but it's awfully satisfying. I love mine with garlic and chilli!
I love the taste of parsnips. My favourite is to make parsnip mash. Simply boil parsnips, add a touch of flavouring like salt, pepper, garlic, brown onion or herbs (like thyme) and mash well.
Great for eye sight (thanks to the Vitamin A content), pumpkin is so good baked with a drizzle of tahini on top. Why not add a handful of spinach? Or make a classic pumpkin soup.
Most of the nutrients from potatoes are in the skin. Just scrub really well (or soak) and then cook. A boiled potato (spud) packed with shredded cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, onion, cottage cheese, mince, beans etc. is simply yummy. Such a great hot lunch or dinner idea.
Also known as chard, Silverbeet is great is mediterranean cooking or used as greens in a green juice. This seasonal recipe of silverbeet with lemon and walnuts looks mighty fine to me.
With a low GI content for slow burning energy, plenty of fibre (don't peel them!) and antioxidants and nutrients (beta carotene to benefits eye sight and immunity), sweet potatoes are potentially my favourite starchy veg. But don't tell the others...
I think spinach is way tastier than Kale and contains plenty of the good stuff like iron. Eat with citrus fruits (or other orange fruit/veg) to help absorb the ion content. E.g. mandarin salad, spinach/pumpkin/goats cheese/pine nuts.. etc.
A note about buying local:
*I really dislike imported produce... particularly when we have so much amazing local fresh produce. Imported produce can't possibly taste as good as local and they contain fewer nutrients because the food oxidises as it travels across the world to reach you. Oh, did I mention it's more expensive too?! And our local farmers miss out and.... Sorry. I get carried away. Rant over.