In season mid-summer: Blueberries, radishes
This summer fruit is available right up until April, but also year-round thanks to frozen blueberries.
When buying fresh berries, look for plump, firm fruit with a silvery-white sheen. The silvery sheen helps protect blueberries from harsh sunlight and is a good indication of freshness. Blueberries will keep well for up to two weeks stored in the fridge, and they can be easily frozen: place unwashed berries in a plastic bag and remove air before sealing and storying in the freezer.
Blueberries, like other brightly-coloured berries, have very high antioxidant activity. Researchers have also found, in animal experiments, blueberries can positively affect both brain and physical function, suggesting compounds in blueberries may enhance cell signalling. Blueberries are low in energy so they make a great snack – one cup has only 360kJ.
Add blueberries to breakfast cereal or a fruit salad. Fresh or frozen berries are great in smoothies and in baked goods such as muffins or cakes. Or swap grapes for blueberries on a cheeseboard.
- Did you know? Blueberries are one of the few foods we eat which are naturally coloured blue.
Red radishes have a magenta-coloured skin with crisp, white flesh and a spicy bite to them, while white radishes (daikon), are generally long and slim with white skin and a milder flavour.
Choose smooth-skinned radishes with no cracks or brown patches and with fresh-looking green leaves. To store radishes, remove leaves, leave 5cm stems, and refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to four days.
Radishes contain vitamin C, so add some to your salad greens to enhance iron absorption.
To use radishes, trim stems, roots and wash off any dirt. Immersing this vegetable in chilled water gives extra crispness. Sliced or grated, the sharp clean flavour adds to vegetable juice, and gives salads plenty of zing.
- Fun fact: Radish varieties include colourfully named Cherry Belle, Icicle, French Breakfast, China Rose and Spanish Black.