Seasonal Produce – October

Red Papaya

Native to the tropics of America, Red Papayas are generally about the size of a pineapple with smooth yellow green skin. The bright orange flesh has a buttery sweet flavour that is similar to rockmelon.

Papaya is a great source of vitamin C and beta carotene, which helps to protect and regenerate cells, and can help lower the risk of heart disease.

Ripen at room temperature until it yields to gentle touch, much like an avocado, and then store it in the fridge for up to three days.

To serve red papaya, slice in half, remove the small black seeds, peel off the skin and then slice the flesh. Don’t throw out the seeds though! They have a great peppery flavour and ground up can be used as a substitute for pepper or mixed into dukka.

You can enjoy red papaya flesh simply on its own, mixed into fruit salad or drizzled with honey on ice cream. It also makes a great addition to a tropical fruit salsa to accompany fish.

Asparagus

Long and slender asparagus spears are a fantastic source of dietary fibre for healthy bowels, beta carotene to help lower blood pressure, vitamin E for heart health and folate, which is essential for development in early pregnancy.

There are three varieties of asparagus; the green and white varieties have a similar savoury flavour, while purple asparagus tends to be sweeter.

A great tip for storing asparagus is to trim the base of the stalks and place them in a glass with a small amount of water. This will keep them firm in the fridge for up to five days.

To prepare asparagus, simply chop off the woody base. You can serve them whole, steamed or grilled with a bit of butter or white sauce, or chop them up and add to a risotto, quiche, or salad.

Blueberries

They may be small in size, but blueberries pack a serious super nutritional punch with lots of immune boosting antioxidants, as well as vitamin C and fibre. In fact just half a cup of blueberries contains the same amount of antioxidants as two cups of broccoli or spinach!

These little natural wonders have a zingy sweet and tart flavour that is easy to incorporate into a wide range of dishes, so its easy benefit from their nutritional hit everyday.

Look for plump, firm berries and give them a good wash before you eat them. You can keep some on hand as a snack, add them fresh to fruit salads, or your morning muesli and smoothies. Their beautiful blue colour makes a vibrant impact in pancakes, tarts, cakes, and of course, classic blueberry muffins or a blueberry pie.