Our guide to some of our favourite produce and products on the shelves in July 2011.
Leggo’s new Hidden Veg range of chunky pasta sauces contains hidden veg like spinach, pumpkin and zucchini to help you sneak extra vegies into your kids' meals. The sauces are 95–98% vegetables – most of which is tomatoes, but with 10–15% 'hidden veg'. Our verdict? They're a good idea but you'll still need to serve them with extra vegies to help your kids get all the nutrients they need. The new range comes in three varieties: Bolognese, Classic Tomato and Cheesy Tomato.
This month, support Queensland farmers and keep kitchen mess under control by trying Intense tomatoes. These Australian-grown tomatoes have all the nutrition and taste of regular tomatoes without the mess – so say adios to soggy sandwiches and tomato juice exploding everywhere at the first cut. Intense tomatoes have been selectively bred (not genetically modified) to maintain their shape and hold their juice when cut. The first crop of 2011 was devastated by the Queensland floods in January, but the latest crop was harvested recently, so now’s the perfect time to try them out. You can find them in both Coles and Woolworths.
And, while you’re thinking about no-mess lunches, keep an eye out for new John West No Drain Tuna – each tin has just enough oil, brine or springwater to keep them tasting fresh, without the need to drain it before adding to your meal.
Winter is the peak season for this strange-looking, but deliciously sweet fruit. Scoop out the soft, pale flesh (discarding the seeds) and eat it on its own, or add it to a variety of recipes. For example:
Fold cubes of custard apple through pancake batter to make fruity pancakes.
Purée custard apple, then fold it through natural yoghurt. You can use it to top muesli or cereal in the morning, or have it as an afternoon snack.
Use custard apples instead of regular apples in your next tea cake.
Pale green custard apples are ready to eat – darker green ones need a few days to ripen. Custard apples are a great source of vitamin C and a source of fibre and potassium.
You could be forgiven for mistaking this oddly shaped vegie for ginger. Jerusalem artichokes are not actually artichokes, but tubers (like potatoes). At the height of their harvesting season in July, they contain potassium, vitamin C, iron and folate. Jerusalem artichokes are quite versatile – they can be roasted, sautéed, baked, boiled, puréed, steamed or stir-fried; and can be eaten with or without the skin. For an easy introduction, boil them, then blend into a soup (try using them in place of potatoes in our Potato, leek and watercress soup).
Try a kanga steak
Pick up some kangaroo steaks, instead of beef or lamb, this month. Kangaroo meat is very low in fat (usually under 2 per cent), high in protein and a good source of iron. It's also been linked to assisting with weight loss, due to the healthy fat it contains, called CLA.
Kangaroo’s rich, game-like taste goes well with fruity tastes like cranberry, red currant and fig. You can also try it with green peppercorns, or serve it with Asianstyle flavours, such as chilli and coriander.
The low fat content of kangaroo makes it a healthy choice, but also means that it can dry out if not cooked carefully. The best way to cook kangaroo is to spray each side with a little oil, then sear quickly in a very hot pan. Kangaroo tastes best when cooked to mediumrare (so it's not too tough).
Kangaroo (per 100g) compared to beef
Only 414kJ (122kJ less than beef)
1.6g fat (compared to 4.8g in beef)
0.5g sat fat (compared to 2.1g in beef)
Comparable protein (about 20g)
Slightly less iron (2.8mg iron vs 3.4mg iron in beef)