Try some of the more unusual fruit and veg in season this month – and check out the latest healthy products on the shelf.
Borlotti beans have distinctive creamy-coloured pods, flecked with a bright crimson-red colour. They are available all year round, both fresh and dried, but are most delicious in summery salads. For a fresh side salad, split the pods to remove beans and cook until just tender. Allow to cool, then combine with diced tomatoes, chopped basil, diced red onion, lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil. Borlotti beans pack a nutritional punch – 100g cooked beans have 593kJ, 8.7g protein and 3.6g fibre.
Native to Mexico, sapote is a great dessert fruit. Black sapotes, also known as the ‘chocolate pudding fruit’, resemble persimmon in shape and have smooth olive to brown-black skin and rich, chocolate-flavoured dark brown flesh. White sapotes have custard-like, pear-flavoured flesh with green to golden skin. Available all year round, they are best eaten on their own or used to make ice-creams and puddings. Store sapotes at room temperature until they are slightly soft to the touch. For a fresh dessert, purée black sapote flesh until smooth (removing the seeds first) and stir through low-fat vanilla yoghurt for a natural chocolate mousse. Serve with strawberries. Sapotes have a similar nutrition profile to citrus fruit. You’ll get 190mg vitamin C and only 276kJ per sapote.
Similar in appearance to ginger, this knobbly root has a strong fiery flavour, like a mixture of ginger, pepper and citrus. It adds fantastic flavour to Asian dishes like stir-fries, curries and seafood dishes. Look for firm galangal with pinkish stems. It has a tougher and ‘woodier’ texture than ginger, so it needs to be peeled, then finely chopped or grated before using.
Guavas are small, round to oblong-shaped fruit, generally with yellow skin when ripe. They have white to pink-coloured flesh, with tiny edible seeds and a slightly granular texture. Available between January and April, they’re delicious fresh on their own, in fruit salads or as a juice. Ripe guavas should be fragrant and firm, with no blemishes or bruises on their skin. Store them at room temperature, out of direct sunlight until ripe. Once ripe, they will keep in the fridge for 2–3 days. To make a tropical-tasting smoothie, blend a handful of chopped guava with 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1 cup skim milk, 2 tablespoons yoghurt and 1 teaspoon honey. A guava (about 90g) has only 144kJ, but 5.4g fibre (17–25% RDI) and 240mg vitamin C (more than 5 times the RDI).
Perfect for summer entertaining
Chris’ has launched a new Delicatessen range of dips with flavours such as hommus & dukkah; spinach, pinenut, pecorino & chilli; and creamy basil. Our pick is the hommus & dukkah, which has 212kJ, 1.4g protein, 3.7g fat and 66mg sodium per tablespoon.
Bulla Low Fat Cottage Delights are 97% fat-free and a delicious new way to enjoy dipping without adding lots of kilojoules. Flavours include sweet chilli sauce and tomato relish. The sweet chilli variety has just 374kJ, 1.8g fat and 88mg calcium per 100g.
High in fibre and with no added fats, oils or sugar, Angas Park High Fibre Multi-seed Thins went down a treat in the HFG office! They have 411kJ per serve (4 biscuits) and you get a bonus 3.8g–4.1g fibre, depending on the variety.
Roccas Deli Veggie Wafer Crackers offer unique flavour combinations like tasty beetroot infused with mint (with only 173kJ per 6 crackers) and seasoned sweet potato (with 163kJ per 6 crackers).
Baked rather than fried and gluten-free, Peckish Thins Rice Crackers come in a variety of flavours including original, lime & black pepper and wasabi. There’s 360–383kJ per serve and 1.7–2.0g fat per serve (about 10 biscuits).