Summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy delicious, sweet, fruit and vegetables.
With a great array of seasonal produce, there are plenty of yummy ingredients with which to create everything from icy treats to crunchy salads, colourful snacks and easy appetisers.
As well as satisfying your appetite, fruit and vegetables have cancer prevention benefits too. Cancer Council commissioned research shows that up to 4 per cent of all cancers could be prevented if people ate more fruit, vegetables and fibre.
Fruit and vegetables are low in energy and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, making them one of the most important components of a healthy diet. As well as being potentially protective against some forms of cancer, fruit and veg can also help reduce obesity, a known risk factor for many cancers.
And in addition to being good for you, if you buy seasonal produce, you’ll save money too. Fruit and vegetables are cheaper when in season, and usually of a better quality and taste.
Here’s a guide to what’s in season during December, January and February:
A stir-fry is a great way to prepare and eat a range of colourful, healthy vegetables in one meal. This recipe uses summer-season capsicum, zucchini and sugar snap peas.
Don’t be afraid to add your own vegetable combinations – beans, bok choy, celery, mushroom and onion are other great stir fry ingredients.
Vegie Stir Fry
1 tsp sesame oil
1 medium clove garlic
2 red capsicums
3 medium carrots
3 medium zucchini
200g sugar snap peas
¼ Chinese cabbage
440g packet noodles
2 tsp reduced salt soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp water
2 tsp cornflour
Wash and chop all vegies as follows: chop garlic into thin matchsticks, slice capsicum into long strips, cut carrots in half lengthways and thinly slice, slice zucchini slightly thicker than carrot, trim the ends off peas and thinly slice cabbage.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small jug and set aside.
Prepare noodles according to packet directions.
Place wok or large fry pan on high heat, once hot add the oil. Add the garlic, carrot, zucchini and capsicum to the hot oil gradually, so that the pan remains hot. Cook for five minutes stirring continuously.
Add the peas and cook for another two minutes whilst still stirring.
Mix though the cabbage and pour over the sauce. Stir for a further minute or until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and serve over noodles.
However you consume your fruit and veg, aim for two serves of every day for good healthy and to reduce your risk of cancer.