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10 fruit and veg best enjoyed fresh

Recent research has suggested that we eat not five, but 10 fruit and veg a day. That might sound a bit ambitious, but we can certainly think of plenty of fruit and veg we’d happily eat from the fresh-produce aisle. We’ve rounded up our top 10.

One small thing: Grill peach or nectarine halves on the braai – they’re a great accompaniment to spatchcock chicken.

Experts agree that you should fill at least half your plate with fruit and veg. Although all produce (canned, frozen and fresh) counts towards your daily intake, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite fruit and veg that are best enjoyed fresh.

1. Mushrooms
Brown mushrooms contain essential B vitamins that help your body use its energy efficiently.
Flavour combos: The bold umami taste of wild mushrooms can stand up to big flavours like hot chilli and mature cheeses.

2. Sweet potato
Affordable and healthy, sweet potatoes offer a great source of vital nutrients like vitamins A and C, fibre and potassium, which help protect against eye disease, heart disease and cancer.
Must try: Sweet potato wedges. Cut into lengths, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with paprika and roast at 200°C for 30-40 minutes, depending on how crispy you’d like them. Serve with a dip of low-fat cream cheese.

3. Avocados
Not only are avocados rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (that’s the good kind your body needs), they are also full of fibre, vitamin E and folic acid.
Did you know? Strange as it sounds, avocado can be used in baking as a substitute for butter. Simply swap half the amount of butter in the recipe for mashed avocado – this lowers the kilojoule content, while making your baked goods softer and chewier.

4. Broccoli
This PnP Food Hero packs a punch of vitamins C and K, as well as phytonutrients that may help lower inflammation and decrease the risk of cancer.
Must-try: Roasted broccoli and garlic – best when tender in the middle and slightly charred on the edges.

5. Beetroot
Beetroots owe their vibrant rich colour to anthocyanins and phenolics – both powerful antioxidants that offer a number of health benefits. Roasted beetroot makes a delicious and colourful addition to a green salad.
Must-try: Flavourful candy-stripe and golden beetroot varieties. You’ll find them at selected PnP stores.

6. Kale
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, in addition to a selection of other important phytonutrients.
Must-try: Kale chips. Remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and massage through the leaves. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and bake at 180°C until crisp – about 10-15 minutes.

7. Berries
Strawberries and raspberries are quite the little superfoods – they’re packed with vitamin C and antioxidants.
Did you know? Strawberries are the only fruit to wear their seeds on their skins.

8. Stone fruit
Look out for yellow or white nectarines, plums, and dessert or flat Saturn peaches. They have a robust antioxidant content that can protect the skin and heart among other health benefits.
Must-try: Braai-grilled peach or nectarine halves – a great accompaniment to spatchcock chicken.

9. Pomegranates
Native to the Middle East, these jewelled fruits grow on trees that can live for up to 200 years! They also impress with their nutrient content, which includes fibre, vitamins C and K, and potassium.
Flavour combos: Pomegranate seeds pair well with all things Mediterranean – from hummus and tzatziki to beef and lamb.
Top tip: Look out for PnP’s super-convenient pomegranate tubs.

10. Kiwi fruit
Though small, kiwis have much to boast about – their high vitamin C content can greatly assist our immune system.
Must-try: Kiwi salsa. Up the gourmet ante and make a finely chopped salsa with kiwi, red onion, avocado, lemon juice and coriander. Delicious in fish tacos.

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