Wandering around the average Australian supermarket, you’d be forgiven for not knowing what season we’re in!
You’ll find avocados and strawberries all year round, fresh corn on the cob in the depth of winter, and navel oranges from California in the heat of summer – right next to apricots and nectarines.
While this is often very convenient, it does mean that we’ve become disconnected from our local seasons.
Yet eating seasonally makes such good sense. When fruit and veg is in season, it naturally:
- tastes fresher, sweeter, better – just compare the taste of a ripe red tomato in January with a pink pasty tomato in July and you’ll know exactly what we mean
- is better for you – nutrients decline the longer fresh food spends in storage and transportation – plus, when you eat what’s in season, you’re more likely to eat a wider variety of fruit and veg with a greater range of nutrients
- creates fewer greenhouse emissions – that asparagus from Peru in June isn’t such a good idea when you realise that transporting food by air creates a whopping 177 times the amount of greenhouse emissions as shipping1
- gives you better bang for your buck – fresh food is cheaper because it’s not fighting against the elements to grow and has reduced transportation and storage costs, plus, you’ll often find it on sale because there’s so much of it about
- supports local farmers – when you’re eating food that’s at its peak, it’s usually going to be local, supporting farmers closest to you (even better if you can shop at a local farmers’ market)
- sparks joy – is there anything more deliriously joyful than the taste of your first mango in summer?
Where do macadamias fit with summer eating?
Australian macadamias grow and mature over summer, are harvested in autumn, and then are available year-round offering a fabulous way to add flavour, nutrients (and crunch!) to any seasonal meal.
Rich in protein, fibre, antioxidants and healthy fats, Australian macadamias naturally enhance the flavours of summer’s produce – just a handful can elevate the simplest summer ingredients into wholesome, satisfying meals and snacks.
Here are a handful of ideas to get started on your seasonal summer eating:
Start your day with a berry-macadamia bliss bowl. Simply tumble your favourite summer fruits into a breakfast bowl: strawberries, blueberries, nectarine slices and melon cubes are a winning combination of colour, flavour and antioxidants. Add a dollop of thickened macadamia cream or natural Greek yoghurt, and top it off with chopped, roasted macadamias for an irresistible crunch.
Throw some veggie skewers on the BBQ – and don’t forget the macadamia dipping sauce! Choose a variety of colourful summer veg cut to the same size: zucchini, eggplant, red capsicum and cherry tomatoes work well – and add some marinated tofu or tempeh if you like. Thread onto skewers, brush with olive oil, season well and grill until the veggies are tender and slightly charred on the edges.
For the star of the show, make a quick macadamia dipping sauce. Add ½ cup of macadamias, 2 tablespoons of macadamia or olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, 1 garlic clove, a handful of fresh herbs, salt and freshly ground black pepper to your blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Add a splash of water or more lemon juice to thin the sauce to a dippable consistency. Serve the veggie skewers with the dipping sauce on the side. Leftover sauce is perfect drizzled over a lunchtime salad bowl.
Nothing screams summer like grilled prawns with a side of macadamia and mango salsa. Even better if you pack your cooked prawns and salsa in picnic containers and take them to the beach to share with good friends.
And when you have a glut of irresistibly ripe summer tomatoes and a bunch of heady basil, try this Sicilian macadamia twist on pesto. Packed with flavour, no cooking required and on the table in 15 minutes flat – it’s exactly what you want and need for dinner on a balmy summer night.
What’s in season during Australian summer?
Summer brings an abundance of fruits and veggies that are light, bright and hydrating – like cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon – exactly what we feel like eating when the mercury is rising.
Here’s our guide to the best of summer’s fruit and veg, which will vary a bit depending on where you live. You might like to print this list and keep it on your fridge as a reminder.
(bok choy, choy sum, gai larn and more)
|Melons (rockmelon/cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon)
This article was written for Australian Macadamias by Andrea Ball from The Green Gourmet, a wholefoods educator who helps people rediscover the natural connection between food, health and joy. Find out more at www.thegreengourmet.com.au and @thegreengourmetco
- What are food miles? http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/0/26257794 – metlink. (n.d.). https://www.metlink.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/food_miles_articles.pdf