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SOUTH AFRICA’S FINEST FRUIT FOOD & COOKING ARTICLE

chef Sophie MichellGET FRUITY THIS WINTER
TV chef Sophie Michell gives her top recipes for cooking
delicious dishes with South Africa’s finest fruit

Whilst we are all attempting to stick to our New Year’s resolutions to lose those last few pounds and keep them off this winter, it doesn’t mean we cannot indulge in something sweet and tasty when we fancy it. We all crave a little sweetness in our diet now and again and fruit is an excellent way of getting part of your five a day whilst satisfying our sweet cravings.

Many of us may be suffering from the winter blues at the moment. But for those of us with a nagging sweet tooth, going ‘cold turkey’ does not have to be an option, as it’s possible to balance our taste for sweetness without having to compromise on our healthy lifestyle. The beautiful country of South Africa has some fantastic fruits available this winter, to keep you warm, full and healthy, including plums, peaches, nectarines and grapes.

So for those of us looking to satisfy our hunger pangs, fruit can provide a natural alternative to sugar that satisfies our sweet cravings without being too high in calories.

Here to help us is Sophie Michell, author, chef and presenter of Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin, with several great recipe ideas. From delicious roasted brown sugar plums to chargrilled nectarines, there are a variety of sweet fruit recipes that can provide that sugar fix the healthy way.

ROASTED BROWN SUGAR PLUMS WITH AMARETTO WHIPPED CREAM RECIPE

Often you feel like a pudding or something sweet to finish off a meal, but it can be too easy to reach for a shop made version, this is a weekday pudding that can be put to together quickly and has the added benefit from the vitamin rich plums. The Amaretto cream is an optional luxurious extra, but it can be served with Greek yoghurt or crème fraiche instead.

Ingredients

8 plums
1 tbsp of muscavado sugar
100g blanched almonds
75g butter
200ml double cream
Splash of Amaretto

Method

  • Heat the oven up to 200°C.
  • Half and de-stone the plums, and lay into a baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with the sugar and almonds, then dot the butter randomly across top.
  • Then roast the plums for 40 minutes until brown and bubbling.
  • While waiting for the plums, whip the cream into soft peaks and then mix in the liqueur.
  • Serve the hot plums with a dollop of the cream and some shop bought ameretti biscuits on the side for the easiest dessert around!

Serves 4

CHARGRILLED NECTARINE, PARMA HAM AND FETA SALAD WITH LEMON AND BASIL DRESSING RECIPE

This is a light, delicate salad that looks as good as it tastes. Chargrilling the nectarine gives it a more savoury touch and it's wonderful combined with the salty feta, cured Parma ham and basil, lemon dressing.

Ingredients

2 nectarines
2 heads of endive
150g feta cheese
12 slices of Parma ham
1 large handful of washed rocket leaves

Dressing:
100ml olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Small handful of shredded basil leaves

Method

  • Quarter and de-stone the nectarines.
  • Heat up a griddle pan until very hot.
  • When the griddle is hot enough sear the nectarines, this is to get good charred lines on them.
  • Trim the ends off the endive and break off the individual leaves, wash, drain and set aside.
  • Take out the feta and crumble into large chunks and set aside.
  • Make the dressing by chopping the basil and mixing with the olive oil and lemon and season (lots of black pepper).
  • Make the salad by carefully arranging the different components, first the rocket and endive, then the Parma ham, nectarines and feta.
  • Finish it off by drizzling over the dressing.

Serves 4

For more information visit www.beautifulcountrybeautifulfruit.co.uk

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