How-to shop seasonally this spring
Come spring, we’re ready to pack away the winter woolies and ditch heavy comfort foods for lighter, fresher options. Now’s the time to start experimenting with vibrant fruits and vegetables that are in season and ripe for the picking. Choosing fruits and vegetables at their seasonal best means you’ll get more bang for your buck, as produce is in abundance and picked at its peak. The more colours you can pack onto your plate, the better the variety of vitamins and minerals your body will benefit from.
Here’s our guide to selecting produce that’s brimming with flavour this spring. To tantalise your tastebuds, we’ve also included some delicious recipes along the way. Now on to the shopping list! Head to Countdown to stock up on in-season fruit and vegetables.
The crowd pleaser! Besides looking bright and juicy on a fruit platter, mangoes are also delicious pickled, in a salad, on ice cream or whipped into a chilled mango mousse on a warm spring afternoon.
Picking a ripe mango: don’t be fooled by its colour. It’s a common misconception that when mangoes are dark orange/red, they perfectly sweet and ready to be eaten. The fruit’s colour is not the best indicator of ripeness – instead, give the mango a gentle squeeze. A ripe mango will have a similar give to a peach, and smell fragrant and sweet.
Whether you’re on the juicing trend or prefer to enjoy biting into a refreshing citrus fruit, oranges are an easy go-to for many of us. Not to mention, oranges have one of the highest concentrates of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body’s absorption of iron and supports the immune system.
Picking a ripe and juicy orange: the best way to tell if you’re choosing a ripe orange is to give it a squeeze. If they are too squishy, they are overripe which is great for juicing but not the best for eating on its own or baking with. You want the orange to be slightly firm but with a small amount of give. While it can be tricky to decipher, a juicier orange will also feel heavier for its size.
Image source: www.coles.com.au
Pumpkins are much more than just a Halloween decoration. They’re nutrient-dense, low in calories, and can be added to your favourite salad, served as a side dish, or used in baking. Contrary to popular belief, pumpkins are fruit, not vegetables because of their seeds.
Image source: @kyliemillar
Kids often turn their nose up at fresh beetroot because of the deep red colour and earthy taste. A good way to introduce them to it is to blend it into a juice. Juicing is a quick and easy way to pack your body full of nutrients. Our favourite juice combination is: beetroot, pink lady apples, ginger, kale and mint.
This tree-like vegetable can be eaten cooked or raw and is a great source of vitamin A, C, E, K, potassium, iron, calcium as well as other vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is closely related to kale, Brussels sprout and cabbage, which are also nutrient-rich vegetables. Some studies have shown broccoli may help prevent against certain cancers as well as support healthy brain function, healthy digestion, the immune system, and much more. You heard it here first, broccoli is the multivitamin of vegetables.
With thousands of species, only 20 of which are edible, the good news is our supermarkets and green grocers have done the hard yards by providing us with fresh mushrooms that are flavourful and ready to be eaten. Eating raw or cooked mushrooms have so many health benefits – in fact, mushrooms are the only vegetables (or fungi to be more precise) to contain vitamin D - something most of us have probably been lacking over winter. Mushrooms are also a great source of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, potassium and fibre.