My Shopping basket
I think I might make this a bi-monthly feature where I’ll show a selection of food items I’ve bought and say what I’ll be using them for etc. Hopefully it will inspire you to try something new with foods that you may not have thought of before or, remind you of something you enjoy. This post will focus on fruit and vegetables I bought this week. For me, fruit and vegetables are naturally delicious on their own but obviously that would make for a pretty boring post so I’m going to hopefully try and give various serving ideas.
To me, these are a staple. I buy them all the time and often have one a day. I much prefer them to apples as I find they are a lot more versatile being able to use them as a natural sweetener to add in baking, as the base of a smoothie, frozen and blended as ice-cream (see below), or simply to eat on its own, like the monkeys and orangutans do it! They can be eaten at any time of day. Breakfast, Mid-morning break, as a sweet component of lunch, as dessert in a banana split or frozen and dipped in chocolate, and as a pre or post-workout snack as they are high in energy and potassium. Fancy a tasty treat, try this banana recipe!
Despite my previous paragraph, I do have a fondness for apples just not as much as banana! Anyway, at this time of year I often cook apples infused with spices, see Winter warming spiced-apples. I love cooked apples with Greek yoghurt, clotted cream, or as served as a topping for porridge or granola. Baked apples are also nice at this time of year making a warming winter dessert. If I have apples uncooked at this cold time of year, I tend to have them with cheese and crackers, or just the cheese on its own, as it makes a very satisfying snack or after dinner dessert.
Lemons are often merely used as a garnish for drinks. But they have a much greater potential. The zest is great for providing zest for a variety of recipes but I think the juice is the best part. I love using it, combined with some black pepper and extra virgin olive oil as a minimalistic and refreshing salad dressing. (For example in this tasty salad recipe.). It also makes a great marinade for prawns or salmon. Lemon juice also prevents chopped apples from going brown.
TIP: Start the day with a large glass of water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Water is crucial for keeping your body hydrated and drinking it first thing, kick starts your metabolism for the day ahead.
4. Red onions
These are tasty cut into rough wedges, tossed in olive oil, seasoned, and oven roasted. I also like them finely chopped and added to salads to give a fiery kick and a distinctive colour.
TIP: Use in place of white onions when you want a stronger flavour.
This is more of a summer food but I enjoy it year-round as I find it refreshing in sandwiches, on crackers and in salads. It goes perfectly with smoked salmon and cream cheese – two of my favourite things!
TIP: If you don’t like plain water or lemon flavoured water, then try adding a slice or two of cucumber to a glass of water or a few slices to a jug of water and leave it for a few minutes before serving. It’ll give a hint of flavour and make the water slightly more interesting than simply ‘still water’.
Avocados are truly a superfood being high in vitamins, fibre, and many other nutrients. Served either sweet or savoury, they are fully versatile. I use them on their own and in combination with other foods. I love them pureed and blended with a banana, which forms a delicious naturally creamy ‘whip’ , and equally enjoy them seasoned with black pepper and sliced in a salad. They are also great served filled with maple-sweetened Greek yoghurt (recipe here.)
TIP: Avocados are not only great for you inside, but outside too. There are many great skin products you can make easily and cheaply at home using them. A handy list can be found here.