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Vitamin-loaded juices for the family.
Simple and delicious starters.
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End your meal with these less sinful sweet nothings.
In Season: Peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums (June-Sept); grapes (July-Sept)
Health Benefits: High in antioxidants and good sources of vitamin C, stone fruits inhibit fat accumulation and can help fight diabetes and obesity. The antioxidant, chlorogenic acid, in peaches and plums helps fight cancer and other chronic diseases, and can reduce the effects of aging. Eating plums can also help increase the body’s absorption of iron and lower the risk of age-related damage to the retina. In addition, nectarines are a good source of beta-carotene, which enables the body to produce vitamin A. Grapes are chockfull of health-giving phytonutrients, especially antioxidants, and offer anti-flammatory benefits. They have been shown to improve cholesterol and blood pressure regulation, and boast anti-aging and longevity benefits. Grapes also have a low GI value and can aid blood sugar balance.
How to Prepare: When at their peak, peaches, nectarines, plums and grapes are best eaten fresh, out of hand or tossed into salads. Don't forget that much of their nutrients reside within or just below their skins. Alternatively, stone fruits can be roasted, poached or sautéed. Serve them on their own or with yoghurt, ice cream, cake or even a savoury dish such as a roast. They are also delicious in pies, tarts and galettes. Grapes can be served roasted with pork or poultry, or tossed into Thai red curry. Grapes are also delicious in sorbets and gelatins.
What to Look For: Peaches, plums and nectarines should yield slightly when gently squeezed. Peaches and nectarines should not have wrinkly skin; plums should be deeply coloured and not have brown spots. Select plump, evenly coloured grapes that are unblemished. The skin should not be wrinkled and the fruit should be firmly attached to the stem. Be sure to wash them thoroughly.
How to Store: Stone fruit can be ripened at room temperature. Place them stem-side down. Once the peaches and nectarines develop an aromatic perfume, place them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator. Ripe plums will lose their sheen and have dull skins. Grapes should be refrigerated, unwashed, in a perforated plastic bag. Consume them within a week.
Organic peaches, nectarines, plums and grapes from the US are currently available at SuperNature Forum and online. Look out for the more unique stone fruits like figs, cherries and donut peaches, available very seasonally!
Celeriac has to be the unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped and too often ignored. With a subtle, celery-like flavour and nutty overtones, you can mash and serve it with your festive roast or in soups or purees. A great alternative to s
With an earthy, sweet flavour and long tuberous root, it comes as no surprise that the parsnip is closely related to the carrot. This fleshy tuber is chock-full of vitamins, essential minerals and dietary fibre.
A sweet alternative to the regular Russet or Yukon gold, this humble root lends itself to a plethora of different cooking methods. Great as a casserole dish or simply steamed, this spud is no dud when it comes to health-boosting benefits.
Chilli is also known as chilli peppers. The substances that give chilli their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids.
An apple cucumber gets its name because of its resemblance to a green apple. It has a crispy, juicy flesh, very sweet taste, and can be eaten without peeling the skin off. After it ripens, it develops soft prickles or spines that are white.
Black Knight carrots are readily distinguishable by their ink stained skin with variegations of orange and ivory blushing through from the root's core. The flesh's colour is a contrasting warm yellow.
Higher in beta carotene, and vitamins C and A than its green counterpart, red oak lettuce also provides a good proportion of fibre, folate and minerals. Enjoy this attractive, frilly leaf in salads, sandwiches and side dishes.