Healthy Summer Eating
At this time of year New Zealand is brimming with an abundance of delicious and healthy fruit and veg, and whether you’re picking from the garden or shopping from the market, summer is a great time to embrace fresh produce in the kitchen.
From broccoli to blackcurrants, peas to peaches and sweetcorn to strawberries, there’s heaps of ways to incorporate homegrown and healthy fruit and veg into your meals.
You can’t go wrong with a healthy salad for summer and it’s easy to add a bigger variety of fruit and veg to get more of the five-a-day recommendation. Keep it simple and let your fresh produce sing or dress it up with the addition of grilled peaches, flavourful pomegranate seeds or orange segments.
Prepping for a picnic? Prepare fruit kebabs with watermelon, pineapple, slices of apple and some berries – perfect as a hydrating snack in the sun, and you can even keep the kids occupied by getting them to shape the fruit with heart- or star-shaped cookie cutters. Maybe even throw in a dinosaur-shaped slice of watermelon between the st-RAWR-berries!
2019 was the year of the spiraliser and it isn’t going anywhere! Everyone knows about zucchini noodles by now, but with a little imagination your spiraliser can become your new kitchen bestie. Try a simple spiralised beetroot and carrot raw salad with some lovely soft goats cheese and a sprinkling of toasted seeds for a super quick and light mid-week dinner, or serve it up as a side salad for a leisurely garden lunch.
Overnight oats are a quick and healthy start to the day. Simply mix oats with your choice of regular or nut milk and top the mixture off with some juicy berries. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are all in season right now, so take your pick and add some sweetness and light to your morning. You could even try making your own nut milk by soaking your favourite nuts and blending them with water. For a smoother milk pour through a fine mesh strainer after blending, otherwise just pop straight in the fridge and stir before using.
Veggies can also be a great substitution for meat in summer meals – you can bulk up burgers or meatballs with grated courgette or apple; or swap out the meat completely for a cauliflower steak. Slice a head of cauliflower into ‘steaks’ about 1 – 2 cm thick, then coat them in a marinade of oil and your favourite herbs and spices – try chilli and paprika for a bit of a kick or keep it simple with lemon juice and crushed garlic. Roast in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes each side and serve with a side of roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes, some chimichurri sauce and a sprinkling of feta or goats cheese.
Finish off any summer meal with some homemade ice pops. Combine fresh fruit juice, chopped fruit and water then pour into a set of moulds and pop in the freezer for four or five hours: voila! A refreshing post-meal treat.Our favourite combinations are watermelon, mint and lemon juice, or blueberries, apple juice and honey.