There is something really tasty about eating fruit and vegetables just after they have been picked – so fresh and delicious. Obviously we don’t all have the opportunity to go out and forage for our own food, but we can all try our best to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables whenever possible. There are lots of benefits in doing this: they taste better, are better value and they help support your local farmers and the environment.
Here at The Pure Package, we have some delicious recipes for you to try at home that we have adapted from our gourmet diet delivery dishes, along with some nutritional tips, seasonal fruit and vegetable facts, and some dinner party trivia too…
Garlic & Dill Broad Beans (Serves 4)
- 450g/1lb young fresh broad beans in their pods
- 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 250ml/½ pint vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
- A dollop of live natural yoghurt (optional)
Wash the beans, top, tail and string them where necessary. Heat the oil in a large heavy-lidded pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add the beans in their pods and the lemon juice and toss to combine. Add the stock, bring to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until the pods are very tender. Cover and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. At the end of cooking, add the dill and a dollop of live natural yoghurt. Serve warm.
Broad beans (also known as fava beans) are rich in vitamin A and they also have great anti-ageing properties. In season now, they are at their best – juicy and sweet. Medicinally, they are used to cure sores and abscesses in the early stages by crushing the broad beans into a paste, and applying them onto the affected area.
Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Dinner Party Broad Bean Trivia: European folklore claims that planting broad beans on Good Friday or during the night brings good luck!
Blueberry Smoothie (Serves 1)
- 50ml/6fl oz apple juice
- 120ml/4fl oz natural yoghurt
- 1 banana, peeled and roughly chopped
- 150g/6oz fresh blueberries
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. To serve, pour into chilled glasses.
Wild blueberries occur naturally in eastern and north-central North America, and many European growers have recently begun to cultivate highbush blueberries. Since 2005, blueberries have been called “superfruits”, combining nutrient richness and antioxidant strength. Blueberries are a rich source of vitamin B6 (which helps the body convert protein to energy), vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fibre.
Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Dinner Party Blueberry Trivia: The blueberry is the official state fruit of New Jersey. Early American colonists made grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk. We think it’s far nicer to just eat them as part of our gourmet diet delivery dishes.
Courgette, Cucumber & Basil Pesto Salad (Serves 4)
- 200g raw Courgette, grated
- 200g Cucumber, grated
- 1 quantity basil pesto (see a great recipe for basil pesto in this earlier post)
- Freshly squeezed lemon
Mix the grated courgette and cucumber together, add some basil pesto and freshly squeezed lemon and stir so all coated and juicy. Serve with pretty much anything!
Courgettes (aka zucchini) are small summer squashes that have ancestry in the Americas. However, the varieties of squash typically called “zucchini” were originally developed in Italy. They are good source of folate, potassium and vitamin A, most of which is stored in the skin of the vegetable, which is great for digestion and will help to clear out toxins. Cucumbers originated in India and have been cultivated for at least 3,000 years in Western Asia, most likely brought to Europe by the Romans. Although 90% water, cucumbers contain vitamin C which can help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling (hence why us girls use them to help puffy, swollen eyes).
What’s your favourite seasonal fruit and vegetable for the summer? Leave a comment and let us know. Even better, leave us a tasty recipe or some your own dinner party trivia!