The summer stone fruit season is nearly upon us, and this year, we want to encourage all South Africans to make a conscious decision to support local farmers when purchasing their packs of delicious, vibrant peaches, plums and nectarines. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores, most industries changed their way of working in order to accommodate loss of income, and in doing so, many people lost their jobs, while some companies had to shut down altogether. While we were all required to adapt the ‘new norm’, some of us supported small local industries more actively, others started small cooking businesses and most of us have seemingly become more mindful of our diets, health and what we put into our bodies and how to do so affordably.
If you have become more aware of the food you have been eating and indeed where it comes from in these recent months, then stone fruit should be high up on your new shopping list. The health benefits of peaches, plums and nectarines are remarkable, as each fruit offers a treasure of essential vitamins and minerals. Peaches are rich in immune-boosting antioxidants which help fight off certain types of bacteria; nectarines are not only a good source of fibre, but are also packed with vitamin C; while plums assists in improving and maintaining the health of your heart.
While they are fragrant and delicious on their own, these fruits are remarkably versatile and universal, and they are the picture-perfect addition to any summer get together; throw them into smoothies, add them into a fresh garden salad, grill peaches as a side to your favourite steak, skewer nectarines onto your favourite kebab, freeze plums and add them to cocktails or simply wash, cut and eat them as is. They are also just perfect for the kiddies: add a juicy plum, peach or nectarine to their school lunch boxes; include slices of these delicious fruits as a treat in their breakfast cereal; or just serve them washed, whole and ripe with a couple of pieces of kitchen towel to help with the resulting juice overflow.
Although this fruit will be lining all major supermarket shelves in the long, hot summer months, be sure to also visit your local farmers’ market where the fruit will be readily available and reasonably priced. Buying locally produced fruit comes with a host of benefits; not only does it support the local farming industry by giving them a chance to provide for their families, but locally produced fruit essentially tastes better, since it spends less time in transit and is therefore fresher.
To give you some inspiration during this stone fruit season, we will be sharing bucket-loads of new and fresh recipes for you to try all season long. We will also be sharing some more interesting facts about the local farming industry and showing you how you can involve the little ones in creating great-tasting, fruity delights.
If you are planning anything specific for this stone fruit season, and would like us to supply the fruit, please do let us know.