Winter finds shelves in Australian supermarkets teeming with a variety of fruits and vegetables; some are locally grown while others thrive during the summer north of the Earth's equator. While it would be nice to buy all of these and serve them in a large tray, nutritionists believe that the quality of food we consume has a huge impact on the overall state of our health.
The Benefits of Sticking to Winter Fruits and Vegetables
Since some fruits and vegetables grow in the winter and others during the summer months, natural healers recommend the consumption of fresh produce that grow in harmony with nature. Whether or not you concur with this idea, many people agree that naturally grown fruits and vegetables are better than those that were harvested before their maturity or genetically modified just to be sold.
Besides being more fresh and healthful, fruits and veggies that are in season are much cheaper than the imported variants.
Winter Fruits to Love
Unlike off-season fruits, winter fruits can be purchased anywhere from growers' markets to your favourite supermarket.
Fresh lemons are available throughout the year except summer, so you can rest assured that you'll never run out of this kitchen staple.
Bananas aren't only many people's favorite, but also grow all year round.
Grapefruits come in different types but they're all delicious nonetheless.
Kiwi fruit is in demand from autumn all the way to winter.
Apples happen to be on the list of popular fruits in Australia. The most common varieties include Fuji, Royal Gala, Red Delicious and Granny Smith.
Mandarins are sweeter and juicier during winter.
Navel oranges are just as popular as mandarins in terms of their level of juiciness. What’s more, these are so easy to eat thanks to their seedless factor.
The delicious passion fruit was once thought to be a summer fruit, but it actually grows all year round in Australia because of the country's tropical climate.
Pears grow in the southern regions of Australia during winter. The popular variants of the fruit include Beurre Bosc, Williams, Packham’s Triumph and Red Sensation.
Must-Have Winter Veggies
Did you know that vegetables which contain high levels of antioxidants grow during winter? These are green, leafy vegetables that include:
Spinach loves to grow when the weather is cool.
Artichokes are another type of veggies that grow in abundance from May to September.
Bok Choi is an Asian vegetable that grows all year round in Australia except during September and October.
Broccoli is a cruciferous herb that loves the winter months.
Broad beans and other varieties of beans are some of the vegetables you can enjoy both in summer and winter. Beans thrive from June to October, and then they return during the summer.
Capsicums or bell peppers are another class of versatile vegetables that survive during summer and winter.
Carrots are tastier and sweeter when grown during winter than in any other time of the year.
Cauliflower is the cousin of broccoli that loves the winter months too.
While some types of cabbage thrive during the summer months, those that are dark green in colour are known as cold season crops and grow abundantly during winter.
Aside from being blessed with cultivable land, Australia has plenty of sources for fresh winter fruits and vegetables. You can shop at a roadside vegetable boutique, growers’ market or a large supermarket, which also offers organic produce or may point you to the right direction. Fresh fruits and vegetables are just as abundant during the winter as they are during the summer; you just have to look at the right places.