Ultimate You Change Centre

TIPS and RECIPES: OUR TOP 10 PICKS FROM the FRUITS & VEGETABLES IN SEASON

Pick #1 BANANA

High in fruit sugars, Vit B6, Vit C and Potassium. Great high energy snack!

TIPS:  When buying bananas, look for firm ones and unblemished skin. Store them at room temperature off direct sunlight. Keep bananas away from other fruits that releases ethylene gas like avocados, apples because it accelerates its ripening.

RECIPE:  Banana Bread

What you Need:

Dry Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2 very ripe plantains
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • ¼ tsp pure almond extract

To be sprinkled on bread

  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped pistachio

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F; Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease well with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add walnuts and raisins and stir until well coated and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your food processor, combine all the wet ingredients and process until very smooth.
  4. Add that to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined, no more.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with coconut and chopped pistachio.
  6. Place in the oven and bake 70-75 minutes, until the center is set (a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean).
  7. Set loaf on a wire rack and let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before unmolding it.
  8. Finish cooling on the rack and transfer to the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.

Pick #2 MANDARIN

Good source of Vit  C, B-group vitamins, Calcium, Beta-carotene, Minerals, Folic acid and Dietary fibre.

mandarin

TIPS:  When buying look for the fruit that’s heavy for its size (a sign of being packed with juice), with a glossy skin free of cuts, blemishes, soft spots or mould.  Store them  in a dark, cool place for up to a week, or in the crisper of the fridge that may last for up to two weeks.

RECIPE: Paleo Mandarin Chicken

What you Need:

  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breast but thighs are used in restaurant versions)
  • 1 cup of coconut oil, tallow or lard for cooking
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 organic oranges (organic is important since you’ll use the zest and juice)
  • 1 organic lemon (organic important!)
  • 1/4 cup naturally fermented soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional but good)- You can also just add a teaspoon of garlic powder but the texture and flavor isn’t quite as good.
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional, adds sweetness and thickness)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powde

How to Prepare:

  1. Cut chicken thighs into bite sized pieces with a sharp knife or kitchen shears.
  2. Mix the almond flour, arrowroot, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger in a bowl.
  3. Beat the egg with water in another bowl. (Note:You can completely skip the flour and egg steps if you don’t want to bread the chicken and can just stir fry the bite-sized pieces of chicken in 2 tablespoons coconut oil until cooked.)
  4. Heat the coconut oil, tallow or lard in a large skillet. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then into the flour mixture and shake to remove excess flour.
  5. Carefully drop the breaded chicken pieces into the hot oil, cooking about 3-5 minutes per side until cooked through.
  6. Do not stir or move chicken except to flip once during cooking as it can remove the breading.
  7. Carefully remove and place on a plate to cool. Repeat with all the chicken until cooked. (Alternately, you can bread the chicken this way and place on a well oiled baking sheet or baking dish and bake at least 30 minutes or until cooked through in the oven).
  8. While chicken is cooking and cooling, zest the oranges and lemon into a medium sized pan. Squeeze the juice of the oranges and lemon into the pan and add the soy sauce/coconut aminos, chili garlic sauce and honey.
  9. Stir well and slowly add the tablespoon or arrowroot powder. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering over medium/low heat for 15-20 minutes or until desired thickness. Do not let boil or burn! If you want a thicker sauce, add a little more arrowroot.
  10. If you are serving with cauliflower rice (can use this one without the shrimp) or steamed broccoli, cook it while sauce is thickening.
  11. When all are done, pour the sauce over the chicken and lightly toss to incorporate.

 

Pick #3 KIWIFRUIT

Rich source of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. It also contains vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and folate. Kiwifruit has a low-to-moderate glycemic index, providing longer-lasting energy.

kiwi

TIPS:  When buying this fruit pick the ones which are firm and heavy for its size. Avoid fruit that is soft.  For maximum storage life, store kiwifruit alone. Fruits such as apples and bananas produce ethylene gas that can hasten ripening. It can be stored in the fridge for up to seven days.

RECIPE:   Kiwifruit and Coconut Pavlovas   (serves 4)

What you Need:

  1. Vegetable oil, to grease
  2. 3 egg whites
  3. 155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  4. 1 tbs cornflour
  5. 1 tsp white vinegar
  6. 2 tbs shredded coconut
  7. 250ml (1 cup) thickened cream
  8. 4 ripe gold kiwifruit, peeled, halved lengthways, thickly sliced crossways

How to Prepare:

  1. Place an oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and brush with oil to grease.
  2. Use an electric beater to whisk egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Combine the sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Gradually add to the egg whites and whisk until sugar dissolves. Add the vinegar. Whisk for a further 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and glossy, and a long trailing peak forms when whisk is lifted.
  3. Spoon mixture onto tray to form four 10cm-diameter discs. Use the back of a spoon to make a small indent in the top of each meringue.
  4. Bake on the lowest shelf of oven for 50 minutes or until crisp. Turn off oven and leave pavlovas in oven, with the door ajar, for 30 minutes to dry.
  5. Meanwhile, place coconut in a frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  6. Use electric beaters to whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Place pavlovas on serving plates. Top with cream and kiwifruit, and sprinkle with coconut. Serve immediately

Pick #4  FUJI APPLES –

Good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C and are high in anti-oxidants.

appleTIPS:  When buying this fruit, or any type of apple choose the firm ones with even colored skin and texture.  Store them in sealed plastic or in your fridge crisper and it can last for 4 weeks.

RECIPE:  Roast pork with apple (serves 6)

What you Need:

  • 3kg joint of pork leg
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 6 desiree potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 6 spring onions (with bulbs), trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 4 fuji apples
  • 1 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°C. Place pork in a large roasting pan. Rub 2 tablespoons oil over rind. Sprinkle with sea salt, using fingertips to rub into rind. Roast for 20 minutes. Place potatoes, onions, rosemary and remaining oil in a large bowl. Toss until well coated.
  2. Reduce oven to 180°C. Roast pork for a further 40 minutes. Remove pork from oven and baste with pan juices. Arrange potatoes and onions around pork. Roast for a further 1 hour.
  3. Cut apples into quarters. Remove cores. Arrange apples in roasting pan with pork. Baste with pan juices. Roast for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until pork is just cooked.
  4. Remove pork to a plate. Cover loosely with foil. Stand for 15 minutes to rest. Spread vegetables and apple over roasting pan. Increase oven to 220°C. Roast for a further 10 minutes or until golden and tender. Remove vegetables and apple to a serving platter.
  5. Drain excess fat from roasting pan, leaving 2 tablespoons. Place pan over medium heat. Add brandy and stir to scrape sediment from base of pan. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in stock. Return pan to heat. Cook, stirring, until gravy comes to the boil. Slice pork and serve with apple, vegetables and gravy.

Pick #5 PEAR

Excellent source of dietary fibre and contain some vitamin C.

pear

TIPS:  When buying this fruit, look for the firm ones without cuts or bruises, which you’ll know by the color of the skin. Pears will ripen at room temperature out of direct sunlight. When they are ripe, put in plastic and store in the fridge and may last upto 3 days.

RECIPE: Roast pork fillets with pear & spinach (serves 6)

What you Need:

  • 80ml (1/3 cup) thick soya sauce (Ayam brand)
  • 1 tbs finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 (about 450g each) pork fillets
  • 4 corella pears, quartered lengthways
  • 500g butternut pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 2 red onions, halved, cut into thick wedges
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 150g pkt baby spinach leaves

How to Prepare:

  1. Combine the soya sauce, ginger, garlic, coriander and Chinese five spice in a glass or ceramic dish.
  2. Add pork and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge, turning occasionally, for 4 hours to develop the flavours.
  3. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  4. Combine the pear, pumpkin and onion in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook in preheated oven, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove from oven. Drain the pork from the marinade and reserve the marinade.
  6. Add the pork to the roasting pan. Roast in oven for 20 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking.
  7. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.
  8. Meanwhile, place the reserved marinade in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil.
  9. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
  10. Carve the pork across the grain into thick slices. Divide the spinach among serving plates.
  11. Top with pumpkin, pear, onion and pork. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately.

VEGETABLES

Pick #1  PUMPKIN

This produce is rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. This humble backyard low calorie vegetable contains vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.

pumpkin

TIPS:  Most supermarkets sell cut large pumpkins while in greengrocers both cut and whole is being offered.  In storing this vegetable, whole pumpkins will last for months while cut pumpkins can be refrigerated and can last for a week. There is advantage in buying large cut pumpkins for whole pumpkin is difficult to cut.  serrated knife offers more grip than a flat blade when trying to cut the skin

RECIPE:  Pumpkin pie (serves 4)

What you Need:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (steam 500g peeled pumpkin until soft, then puree)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups thickened cream, plus extra to serve
  • 185g brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • Maple syrup, to serve
  • Icing sugar, to dust

For the Pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 110g pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 110g unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
  • 1 egg

How to Prepare:

  1. To make the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and process until the mixture forms a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Once chilled, roll pastry out on a lightly floured workbench and use to line a lightly greased 23cm fluted loose-bottomed tart pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the pan with baking paper, fill with rice and blind-bake for 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 220°C. Place pumpkin puree, eggs, cream, sugar and spices in a processor and whiz until smooth.
  4. Pour into the tart shell, then bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 150°C and bake for a further 30-40 minutes. Cool, then serve with the extra cream, a drizzle of maple syrup and dusting of icing sugar.

Pick #2 BROCCOLI

One of the most nutritious vegetables, broccoli contains vitamins A and E, folate, calcium and iron. It has a higher vitamin C content than oranges.

broccoli

TIPS:  When buying this produce, select those with bright green heads and tightly clustered. Seal in plastic bag and put in your crisper and it will last for 3 days.

RECIPE: Broccoli and tofu green curry (serves 4)

What you Need:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (75g) green curry paste
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 large head broccoli (450g), cut into florets
  • 400ml can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander leaves
  • 100g green beans, cut into 3cm lengths
  • 300g firm silken tofu, drained, cut into thick strips
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • 4 cups steamed jasmine rice, to serve

How to Prepare:

  1. Heat the oil in a large deep frypan over medium heat, then add the paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  2. Add the spring onion, fish sauce, sugar, broccoli, coconut milk and 1 cup (250ml) boiling water.
  3. Stir to combine and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the coriander and beans and cook for 2 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from heat, then gently stir in tofu and basil. Serve with rice and extra basil.

Pick #3  CABBAGE

Made up of 90 per cent water, the cabbage is very low in kilojoules but packed full of fibre, vitamin C and beta carotene.

cabbage

TIPS:  When buying this produce, choose those that feels heavy for their size with shiny and compact leaves without discoloration.  Cover with plastic and store in crisper for up 2 days.

RECIPE:  Cabbage rolls  (serves 4)

What you Need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g beef mince
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 100g chargrilled red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 12 large savoy cabbage leaves, bases trimmed (see note)

How to Prepare:

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic.
  2. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender. Add mince. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 5 minutes or until browned.
  3. Add wine, tomato paste and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in capsicum and basil. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add 4 leaves to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until softened.
  6. Refresh in a bowl of cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Repeat with remaining leaves.
  7. Place 1 cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Place 1/4 cup mince mixture at stem end of leaf.
  8. Fold edges in and roll up firmly to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining leaves and mince mixture.
  9. Place a large bamboo steamer over a wok or large saucepan of simmering water. Place cabbage parcels, seam side down, in steamer. Cover with lid. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Serve.

Pick #4 CARROTS

Naturally sweet, delicious and crunchy, carrots are healthy additions you can make to the vegetable list in your diet. Indeed, these root vegetables come with wholesome health benefiting compounds such as beta-carotenes, vitamin A, minerals and anti-oxidants in ample amounts.

CARROTS

TIPS:  When buying this produce, select bright orange carrots that are firm to touch. Store in a sealed plastic bag and put in crisper and it will last up to one week.

RECIPE:  Barbecued honey baby carrots (serves 4)

You’ll need a large foil disposable baking tray.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches baby (Dutch) carrots, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat a covered barbecue on medium-high heat with hood down.
  2. Combine carrots, oil, honey and garlic in foil baking tray. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine
  3. Barbecue, with hood down, using indirect heat (see note), for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway during cooking time, or until carrots are caramelised and just tender. Serve.

Pick #5 SPINACH

Spinach is a highly nutritious vegetable. Green pigments indicate the presence of antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – important for healthy eyes. Spinach is a good source of vitamins A, K and the B vitamin folate that promotes normal foetal development during pregnancy.

 

SPINACH

TIPS:  When buying this produce, the stems should be fairly thin; coarse, thick ones indicate overgrown spinach, which may be leathery and bitter. When selecting English or baby spinach, look for rounded (rather than pointy) leaves that are intensely green and have a crisp, springy texture. Look for bunches of silverbeet with the smallest leaves (this means they’re young). Leaves should not be withered or show excessive insect damage. Stems should be firm.  Store spinach, unwashed, in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for up to four days. If storing bunches, remove the tie holding the bunch together if it is cutting into the leaves or bruising the stalks. Spinach has a tendency to harbour dirt and grit, so remember to wash it well before using.

RECIPE:  Spinach, bacon and pinenut risotto (serves 4)

What you Need:

  • 6 cups (1.5L) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 rashers bacon, trimmed and cut into large strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups (400g) arborio rice
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup (40g) pine nuts, lightly toasted, to serve
  • shaved parmesan, to serve (optional)

How to Prepare:

  1. Place the stock and 1 cup water in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to very low.
  2. Heat the unsalted butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion, bacon and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring until the rice is well coated.
  4. Pour 1 cup of the hot stock mixture into the pan, stirring regularly to avoid the rice sticking to the base of the pan, until the liquid has absorbed.
  5. Add the remaining stock mixture, one cup at a time, stirring again until most of the liquid has evaporated, the rice is tender and the risotto has thickened. This should take around 20 minutes.
  6. Add the spinach, salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Divide between serving plates and serve topped with toasted pinenuts and shaved parmesan, if desired.

There we have our 10 picks for this month of June. We chose mainly those who are always available year round but are abundant this season. May our TIPS and RECIPES be handy for your when buying and choosing your menu all month long.