In season mid-winter: Carrots, kiwifruit
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is important for the health of your eyes, hair, skin and immune system, and are a firm favourite in New Zealand. They are available year round and are a highly versatile vegetable.
Carrots weren’t always orange; about 500 years ago yellow ones were crossed with a red variety to produce the colour we have today.
Select carrots that have smooth skin, feel firm to the touch and are a bright orange colour.
To retain maximum nutrition keep refrigerated for up to two weeks in a plastic bag. The green tops deplete the carrot of moisture so remove them before putting them in the fridge.
- You just need to wash and top and tail young carrots, but it’s best to peel older ones. Add grated carrot to mince dishes or stews to boost your vege intake.
- Slice diagonally and add to stir-fries.
- Sauté with a little brown sugar and orange juice – this brings out the natural sweetness.
- For a hearty winter soup, sauté carrots, onions, kumara and an apple. Add 1/2 cup red lentils, fresh minced ginger, cumin and chilli powder and simmer in vegetable stock for 30 minutes. Blend until smooth. Perfect for winter nights!
Beef noodle soup
The headmistress who brought kiwifruit seeds from China to New Zealand in the early 1900s had a profound effect on the country’s history and economy, though she never knew it. Kiwifruit vines flourished and in 1953 the commercial export of Te Puke-grown fruit began.
Kiwifruit, once known as Chinese gooseberries, have become the country’s highest-earning horticultural crop and are exported all over the globe. They win from a nutrition point of view, too — they are high in vitamin C and also pack in some vitamin E, fibre and potassium.
Choose fruit that’s firm, but yields slightly to pressure. Avoid kiwifruit with shrivelled skin.
Keep ripe kiwifruit in the fridge, but if you’ve bought fruit that’s still hard, store it next to your apples or bananas. The ethylene from these fruits helps ripen them up.
- Toss cubed kiwifruit into salsas – they add great colour and sweetness.
- Use the fruit to help tenderise meat. Place slices on top of your cut for 10 minutes then remove the fruit and cook immediately.
- You can’t have a real Kiwi pav without kiwifruit on top!
Tropical coconut oats