Eating seasonally, is something we encourage and our friends at Fruitful Day share with us of what’s available now.
“Whereas July and August in Dubai can be a bit grueling and occasionally feels like participating in an endurance race, those who have grown up outside of the Gulf generally have a more favorable view of the summer season. Summer tends to evoke feelings of fun and relaxation, lounging by a pool or a beach, looking better than you did in April (and probably will look in October). People tend to travel more during the summer and visit new places, enjoying new experiences and taking in fresh perspectives. Completing that image is the unique food and especially, different types of produce that are on offer at this time of the year.
Fresh in the mind are the overwhelmingly delicious melons from Iran that we served recently – both watermelon and sweet melon varieties were equally juicy and delicious. We’ve also delivered some outrageously tasty figs from Tunisia. However, nothing says summer quite like stone fruits. Starting around the end of May, we’ve served plums from Lebanon, cherries from Iran, nectarines from Tunisia and our absolute favorites, the peaches from Jordan – we are still dreaming about them and anticipating their return next year.
Sweet and exceedingly juicy, stone fruits mainly originate from central and east Asia although today they are grown in warm climates throughout the world. Tricky and delicate to cultivate, stone fruits differ from other fruits in that they are tastiest and sweetest when picked ripe from the tree. This is one of the reasons that we focus squarely on local and regional produce, ensuring that fruit is picked at the right time and doesn’t have far to travel to finds its way into your tummy.
Eating a diverse variety of fruit is vital for ensuring that you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that your body needs to maintain health and wellbeing. Apricots and plums are a vital source of vitamin C, promoting collagen production, a protein which is vital to bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels. Peaches are an excellent source of potassium, supporting nerve and muscle function. Plums contain high amounts of vitamin K which is critical in keeping bones healthy as people age. Finally, always eat the skin, as it is a tremendous source of fiber.
But if it is fun you’re after, then look no further than the doughnut peach, sometimes called the Saturn peach, or if you cannot spell, the donut peach. Healthier than an actual doughnut, they are sweeter and less juicy than their rounder cousins, which works well if you tend to find yourself covered in juice after eating a peach. They tend to arrive earlier in the summer season, around the end of May and this year, we were blessed with an excellent harvest from Tunisia.”
#TriedNTested: I had a Fruitful day box delivered during Ramadan and was really impressed at the variety of fruit provided in the box as well as the quality of the fruit. Virtually everything came ready washed and prepared meaning that I was able to assemble a colourful, healthy fruit salad platter for Iftar in a matter of minutes which was extremely useful as I was fasting. Outside of Ramadan, the handy packs of fruit are perfect for ‘on the run’ moments and perfect for snacks in the office. Just having ready prepared fruit in the fridge makes snacking so much more readily available and healthy.
I hate food waste and nothing was wasted from the cover shot. The frozen fruit was blended into a smoothie with a little yogurt and milk then frozen. Ice lollies in traditional lolly moulds were made as well as layers of different smoothies were formed in paper cups giving some delightful frozen fruit cups. These are perfect as they are or added to a bowl of breakfast oats for an occasional treat. Sweet enough to add a hint of sweetness without any processed sugar and nasty colourings. We’re watching our sugar intake of late so natural sweetness from fruit is the way to go.
My favourite fruit cup was a combination of passion fruit, mango, pineapple and a layer of frozen yogurt with a hint of lemon juice. Each layer had to be frozen individually, but it’s worth the prep to have a gorgeous looking and tasting dessert.
Frugal is my middle name it seems, and so it should be for all of us! Leftover pulp from the mango and pineapple trimmings were frozen ready to be used straight from the freezer for morning shakes and smoothies.
[Cover Shot – Conceptualisation, Styling and Photography: Debbie Rogers]
Check out recipes for frozen lollies and treats here >> Lollies