Al­ways in sea­son

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Food - By LUCY RUTHER­FORD

SPRING is more than in the air. It’s here, and with the change comes a sea­son of fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles to en­joy.

There are many ben­e­fits to eat­ing sea­sonal fruit and veg­eta­bles. Not only does fresher food con­tain even more healthy nu­tri­ents and vi­ta­mins, sea­sonal pro­duce avail­able lo­cally means less travel costs and less fuel, mak­ing it cheaper and more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

For fruit, spring is the sea­son when citrus comes into its own, ev­ery­thing from or­anges, grape­fruit and man­darins to lemons and limes.

The vi­ta­min C boost in citrus is great for clear­ing the last symp­toms of your win­ter cold and citrus fruits also con­tain lots of an­tiox­i­dants, great for strength­en­ing the im­mune sys­tem.

Mel­ons are also at their prime in spring, in­clud­ing wa­ter­melon, rock­melon and honey­dew; use a melon baller to make a colour­ful melon salad that chil­dren will love, en­sur­ing they are get­ting their two fruit a day.

The sum­mer fruits are also com­ing into sea­son, from the trop­i­cal man­gos and pa­payas to the tra­di­tional English straw­ber­ries and cher­ries.

These fruits are per­fect for a healthy al­ter­na­tive to dessert to fin­ish off your din­ner party, or keep them for your­self for a fresh and tasty snack.

For spring veg­eta­bles, keep an eye out for fresh beans such as broad beans and peas, such as snow peas and sugar snap peas, both fan­tas­tic sources of pro­tein and di­etary fi­bre.

Fresh leafy greens are at their peak, in­clud­ing let­tuce, spinach and cab­bage, which are packed full of a whole range of nu­tri­ents and are a ma­jor source of iron and cal­cium.

Some ve­g­ies that are avail­able all year round but are at their best in spring in­clude to­ma­toes, car­rots, pota­toes, cau­li­flower and cu­cum­ber.

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