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Hearty recipes with winter produce

Hearty recipes with winter produce

Eating seasonal produce is an easy way to boost wellness this winter, says 5+ A Day.

Winter fruit and vegetables can be used in a variety of ways to help strengthen the immune system and maintain healthy eating habits.

“The immune system comes under attack during the cooler months and the temptation is to reach for not so healthy comfort food,” says 5+ A Day nutritionist Bronwen Anderson.

“A great way to stay healthy this season is to incorporate plenty of winter produce into your favourite recipes.”

Fruit and vegetables not only have nutrients to help boost the immune system and overall wellbeing, they also contribute to heart health.

“Different coloured fruit and vegetables have different benefits, which is why eating a variety of fresh produce is important to get the best mix of antioxidants, fibre and nutrients. Winter produce can also be used to create delicious and tasty meals,” says Bronwen.

Here are quick, easy tips on how to make the most of winter’s produce.

Tamarillos: Originally from South America, tamarillos arrived in New Zealand in the 1890s.
Tamarillos are a good source of vitamin C, essential for the growth and repair of many structures in the body, such as skin, muscles, bones, teeth and blood vessels.
Quick recipe ideas:
Team tamarillo wedges with blue cheese for a tasty addition to cheeseboards or add tamarillo flesh with apple and banana in cake or muffin recipes. This fruit is particularly nice with vanilla flavours. Give winter casseroles a flavour boost by adding the flesh of three or four tamarillos or try adding peeled slices to a beef or lamb stew.

Persimmon: Known as the “food of the Gods”, persimmons are also the national fruit of Japan.
Persimmons contain vitamins A and C and fibre.
Quick recipe ideas: Ripe persimmons become sweet and custardy when baked. Cut the fruit in half and drizzle with honey. Place cut-side up and bake until caramelised and golden. Serve with low-fat yoghurt or mascarpone. For a fresh twist on traditional roast chicken, add cubed persimmon to your stuffing. This adds colour and is a great complement to sage and thyme. Dice and freeze persimmon and use to thicken smoothies.

Kiwifruit: Kiwifruit seeds were introduced to New Zealand by Isabel Fraser in 1904.
Kiwifruit are rich in vitamin C and are a good source of fibre. Kiwifruit is considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense fruits, meaning there are more vitamins and minerals per gram and per calorie in kiwifruit than most other fruit.

Quick recipe ideas: For a nutritious snack, take chunks of peeled kiwifruit and mix with low-fat yoghurt. For a winter warming dessert, poach six peeled and halved kiwifruit in one cup of fresh apple juice, vanilla extract, two whole cloves, along with a pinch of nutmeg and two tablespoons of brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve with low-fat yoghurt.

Oranges: Oranges were first cultivated in China over 4500 years ago.
Oranges boast a wealth of nutritional benefits. This sweet and juicy fruit is rich in vitamin C, making it an immune-boosting superfruit.
Quick recipe ideas:
Pair sweet oranges with fresh mint and nutty brown rice for a filling and nutritious lunchtime salad. To add a flavour burst to pork, coarsely chop oranges and mix with chopped red onion, coriander, a squeeze of lime juice and chopped fresh chilli. Try this no-fuss salad or side dish; bake beetroot until tender, mix with fresh orange juice and balsamic vinegar.

Kumara: New Zealand kumara are available in red, gold and orange varieties.
: Kumara is a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fibre. It also has a low GI rating, which means it provides a gradual, continuous supply of energy from one meal to the next.
Quick recipe ideas: Kumara wedges make a nice alternative to fries. Slice kumara and lay on an oven tray with a little oil, bake until golden. Make a delicious winter soup using kumara and curry spices. For a quick kumara gratin, layer sliced kumara with onion slices and garlic in a baking dish. Pour over a little milk and bake in a hot oven until kumara has softened.

For more tips and recipes go to or find us on Facebook at or Fredge_5Aday on Twitter.


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