I love the change in seasons. I get excited about each one for different reasons. For me, Summer is about all of my favourite fruits, Canberra Autumns are absolutely beautiful, Winter you just can’t beat those sneaky day trips or last minute weekends at the snow and in Spring I love the cherry blossoms as we all start to thaw out a little, and some of the fruits I get excited about start to come into season.
For the most part, I try to eat seasonally – it decreases our carbon footprint when we buy locally sourced produce and, you just can’t beat the flavour of in season produce.
My favourite Spring foods would have to be pineapple, asparagus, and beetroot for their simplicity as they are, but also their versatility in cooking.
Being a deep purple colour, beetroot is full of anthocyanins which are a powerful antioxidant. They can be beneficial to blood pressure, sports performance, and inflammation. Not to mention, they are very high in fibre. I love my beetroot grated, raw through salads, or roasted and served on its own or tossed through your favourite veggie mix. And, if you have a bit more time, I have a great recipe for your own pickled beets (http://www.nourish-meant.com.au/recipes/151-pickled-beets). As an aside, don’t be alarmed if you find that beetroot changes the colour of your urine. It’s quite common.
I love these most when they are lovely thin stalks. I find the thicker ones too woody for my liking. They are great as they are and you can toss them through a salad. But by far, my favoutite way to enjoy them is a quick flash on a very hot pan, just enough to char them a little, served with a squeeze of lemon juice and grated parmesan. They are also very high in a range of nutrients including vitamins K, A and C as well as folate (a handy one if you are pregnant or breastfeeding).
For me, pineapple is the tease that spells the beginning of warmer weather and tropical fruits. Of course its absolutely delicious on its own, but if you’re looking to do something a bit more simple and creative, it caramelises beautifully in a frypan because of its high sugar content and tastes great served over ice cream afterwards. Or, peel and halve your pineapple and put it on the BBQ churrasco style – covered in cinnamon and brown sugar. It’s amazing – thank me later. Nutritionally though, you just cannot go past pineapple for its super high vitamin C content. So a great one as we hit the tail end of flu season and are still battling to keep that lurgy away!