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Seasonal Produce – February

tamarillo, tart, seasonal produce

Tamarillo

Sometimes known as a tree tomato, this vibrant fruit ranges from purple to rich red and yellow, and has deliciously tangy jelly like flesh. Originating from South America and very popular in New Zealand, Tamarillo’s have only been grown in Australia in the last ten years.

Packed with gut healthy fibre, calcium, iron and phosphorus, Tamarillo’s are also a good source of antioxidant vitamin A & C.

Select a bright firm fruit that yields to gentle pressure. Store at room temperature until soft and then keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

While Tamarillo skin is inedible, the flesh can be scooped out and enjoyed raw or cooked into chutneys, salsas, sauces or desserts. The tart flavour of Tamarillo makes it a perfect compliment to chocolate and it also delicious poached and topped with yogurt.

 

banana

Bananas

One of the oldest known fruits, bananas have earned their daily dose status thanks to high levels of natural fruit sugars, vitamin B6 for a healthy nervous system, vitamin C for the immune system, and potassium. Bananas are often considered the ultimate high-energy snack and are frequently used by athletes as a mid-match pick me up.

There are hundreds of types of bananas, including some unusual varieties like Musa Velutina, which has tiny fuzzy pink fruit. However, in Australia you will most likely see Cavendish and Lady Fingers in the supermarket.

When buying bananas, look for firm fruit without blemishes – but be aware of the difference between blemishes, which could indicate bruising, and the natural dark spots that occur as bananas ripen. New studies have shown that ripe bananas have amazing immune boosting and disease fighting powers and the more brown spots the better!

Keep bananas at room temperature to ripen, but avoid storing with avocados and apples as these release ethylene gas, which will accelerate ripening.

Bananas come in their own convenient packaging, making them perfect to throw in your bag for a snack on the go. Bananas are also great sliced over muesli, blended into a smoothie, baked in their skins with chocolate, or mashed and added into baked treats such as muffins and banana bread. Bananas are so healthy and versatile, they can even be used as a substitute for eggs in some recipes!

 

celery

Celery

The luscious green stalks and leaves of celery are very low in calories and high in dietary fibre, making it a great snack for those watching their weight. Some even say that celery is a ‘calorie-negative’ food because it burns more calories to digest it than what your body obtains, but this is a bit of an urban myth and technically celery does have a positive calorie intake.

Despite being 95% water, celery still has quite a bold herby and slightly acidic flavour, which compliments gamey meats and other green vegetables.

Try celery stalks smothered in peanuts butter for a classic lunchbox hit. Add celery to a healthy vege juice, tossed through a stir-fry or as a crunchy addition salads. Dice it and add into stocks, sauces, stews and Bolognese. You can use the stalks and the leaves so nothing goes to waste!

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