Try some of the more unusual fruit and veg in season this month – and check out the latest healthy products on the shelf.
Also known as gai lan, this Asian cooking staple has thin, pale-green stems, with crisp dark green leaves and small white flowers. Both the stems and the leaves can be eaten and it has a mild, slightly bittersweet flavour and a crisp texture. Chinese broccoli is often steamed whole as a side dish, or chopped and added into stir-fries. It’s a good source of vitamin C, fibre, folate, vitamin A and potassium. Look for bunches with budded flowers and bright, fresh-looking leaves and store in the crisper section of your fridge for 3 to 4 days. Wash in cold water prior to use and trim stems and leaves, if necessary. Chinese broccoli is available all year round, so try it in your next stir-fry!
These egg-shaped fruits have smooth, red to brownish-grey skin and yellow, creamy flesh with a sweet, honey and caramel taste. When ripe, sapodillas should have brown skin and give slightly when pressed. They’re available all year round and can be eaten fresh – simply cut in half, scoop out flesh and remove seeds. Sapodillas are a great addition to fresh fruit salad, or to cakes and muffins.
Dapple Dandy Pluot
This jauntily-named fruit is a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. It has creamy white and red flesh and – you guessed it – a plum-apricot flavour! The fruit’s skin has a maroon and yellow dapple as it matures. The flavour is very sweet and intense – even sweeter than both plums and apricots. Dapple Dandy Pluots are available from December to April, so try them now, before their season ends for the year.
This herb is an essential in Asian cooking, and is used in curries, salads, stir-fries and soups. The flavour goes particularly well with chicken and seafood. It has a tangy lemon-like aroma and flavour, which means it can also be used in place of lemon in recipes. Only the white part of lemongrass is eaten. Look for lemongrass that is firm and pale yellow-green with a bit of a bulb at the end. It’s available all year round and can be stored, wrapped in plastic, in the crisper section of your fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. To prepare, trim away the green part of the lemongrass stalk then strip away the tougher outer layers. Finely slice the white part for use in cooking. Alternatively, trim the stalk and strip away the tough layers then cut the stalk in half, lengthways. Press on it firmly in order to bruise the lemongrass. Doing this helps the lemongrass’s flavour to be infused when added to curries or soups.
Products to try in April
Helga's Sandwich Thins: Helga’s has released new Sandwich Thins available in wholemeal, soy & linseed and mixed grain. Each thin (2 slices) is equivalent to one slice of bread with 471–493kJ and 1.5–3.2g fibre (depending on the variety).
Sanitarium One Square Meal: Sanitarium‘s new ‘on the go‘ meal is designed to replace one of your daily meals. One bar provides 1/3 of your daily energy (2900kJ), protein (16.7g), total fat (23.2g), fibre (10g) and 16 different vitamins and minerals. Just don't eat it as a snack!
All-Bran Fibre Toppers: Topping your breakfast with one serve of Fibre Toppers will give you a huge 10g of fibre – more than a third of the recommended daily intake (RDI). There‘s also only 310kJ and 25% of the RDI for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and iron.