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Summer foods to make you smile!

Kim Larkin

Fri Dec 16 2011

Summer foods

SUMMER is finally here, and for those of us staying in Melbourne, this season is real treat for the tummy! The cheapest and healthiest way to shop is seasonal. So what can our tastebuds expect over the next few months?

This isn’t new information. Avocados have always been prominent in the summer. You can put them in salads, on pizzas, on toast, in milkshakes, wait… milkshakes? No, that wasn’t a typo, the mushy green guacamole ingredient is now a favourite in beverages.

Avocado and chocolate smoothies, even avocado milkshake cocktails! Apparently the options are endless, but just in case blended gooey green fruit isn’t your thing, a simple avocado on toast for breakfast is bliss on any summer morning!

Goji berries:
Allegedly a superfood, the goji berry trend started with health food fanatics and has now crossed over to us mere mortals. Originating in China, the berry is said to protect the liver, help eyesight and boost immunity, among other miracle things.

Usually goji berries are used in teas and in juices, but more and more supermarkets are offering goji berry trail mixes and dried snacks! Yum!

Frozen yogurt:
Throughout the city, in Chapel Street and in shopping centre all over the state, more and more frozen yogurt places are popping up and replacing ice cream as a healthy and refreshing option for those sweltering summer days! Choose your flavour, then choose your toppings, it’s like Subway, but for yogurt!

If you’re in the city, try Cacao Green on Swanston Street. Their frozen yoghurts are organic and seasonal, and their toppings include cheescake bites, which just sound delicious!

For those of you with a wild side, forget your beers, wines and overpriced cocktails this summer, for this is the summer of cider! Apple cider, originally known as the ‘female’ alternative to beer has become an overnight sensation with a plethora of flavours including pear, strawberry, apple and black currant.

Bottle shops now stock cider every flavour and brand. I personally recommend any flavour by Rekorderlig if you are sipping at home. Otherwise there are cider bars scattered throughout the CBD. Check out the University Hotel on Lygon Street for more than 25 different ciders.

Seasonal Fruits:
It’s that time of the year when all fruits are not only ripe and juicy, but plentiful!

Stone fruits are back so indulge in your peaches, plums and nectarines because they won’t be here for long. Mangos are also in season, and will be at their most scrumptious in early January.

A Christmas favourite, cherries will also be available for a limited time, and despite the mess they can cause, they’re well worth the risk. Another great fruit for summer is watermelon, perfect for refreshing you on a warm sunny day or even as an after meal snack!

Other tasty summer fruits include strawberries, rhubarb, cantaloupe, blackberries, apricots and figs. Remember, it’ s better to buy your fruit from markets, like the Queen Victoria Market on Elizabeth Street, than from the supermarket. The produce at markets is always fresher, riper and, best of all, cheaper!

Melbournians go crazy for seafood over the summer! Even the littlest restaurants offer a ‘catch of the day’ and this summer proves to be no different!

Seafood tends to be more popular in summer, not just for the availability of produce, but because seafood is a light meal that will keep you full on those hot days when you don’t really feel like anything big or meaty. Seafood is also iconically Aussie, as they say, “Chuck another shrimp on the barbie”. Although, I have never heard anyone say that apart from in films.

Scallops are making a comeback as the seafood of choice. The good thing about scallops is that they’re light enough to be partnered with any other dish, which makes them an excellent summer food! Other popular fishes are trout and sea bass, which are both in season. You can also explore shellfish like crabs, prawns, oysters, and for those with a bit more to spend, lobster!

So get out there and start eating! Summer is the season for trying new things and being adventurous with your diet. You’ll never know if you like something if you don’t try it first!

Is there any food you can’t get enough of in summer? Share in the comment box below!