As the festive season approaches, it’s time to start planning seasonal dishes as we celebrate what’s really important by keeping our whānau healthy with lots of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables.
With our health and wellbeing an important topic of discussion throughout the past year, Christmas is the perfect time to nurture our bodies and reset habits so we’re ready to face the challenges of 2022.
5+ A Day Project Manager Carmel Ireland suggests Christmas catering doesn’t need to be complicated. “Summertime is all about keeping things simple to make the most of seasonal produce. New potatoes served with steamed asparagus and sprinkled with fresh herbs is the perfect example of no-fuss cooking that lets the flavour of the produce be the star,” she says.
“Serving up festive meals based around fruit and vegetables is a great way to maintain a healthy balance during the festive season and keep up our immunity as we head off on summer holidays.
“Kick off some healthy habits by providing fresh strawberries and cherries for guests to snack on, or make an avocado dip served with new potatoes roasted with rosemary and olive oil. Add a vine-ripened tomato salad, teamed with fresh basil and mozzarella for the perfect Christmas combo,” Ireland says.
Fresh fruit and vegetables provide a natural source of vitamins and nutrients to keep our bodies and minds in top shape throughout the summer.
“In challenging times, it’s even more important to nourish our whānau with healthy, well-balanced diets that include a range of colourful fruit and vegetables.
“Shopping in season means it’s good value too, particularly if we take a little bit of extra care with our fresh produce to ensure its stored properly,” Ireland says.
For more tips and recipes to make the most of Kiwi growers’ summer bounty over the festive season, head to the 5+ A Day website: https://www.5aday.co.nz/ and follow the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust on social media: @5adaynz