You’re at the grocery store doing your weekly shopping, and out of habit, you put the usual stuff in the trolley – naartjies, pears, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, butternut, onions… snap out of it! Don’t eat the same fruit and vegetable week after week.

It’s Spring, and just like everything else, it’s time for out with the ‘old’ and in with the ‘new’. We are referring to seasonal fruits and veggies here in South Africa, steering away from the in-demand produce. Let’s have a look at the common, yet unpopular items you should try.

  • From September until November, the following vegetables are available:
    Artichokes, asparagus, aubergines (eggplant), baby marrows, beans, beetroot, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, courgettes (zucchini), cucumber, kale spinach, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, potato, pumpkin, radishes, red onions, rhubarb, turnips, and watercress.


  • The following fruits are available within the next couple of months too:
    Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, Cape gooseberries, cherries, coconuts, dates, grapefruit, guavas, lemons, limes, nartjies, nectarines, oranges, pawpaw or papaya, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, sweet melon, and watermelon.

From the selection above, we picked a few uncommon ones to share some exciting facts, and throw in a recipe to try for yourself.

Spring vegetables, facts & recipes

  • Artichokes

Part of the sunflower family, the artichoke is an unbloomed flower and one of the oldest foods known to humans. Its flavour is delicate and nutlike, and the smaller heads or buds are usually the most tender. They are an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C, folate, and magnesium. We suggest this utterly delicious Artichoke & Feta Crème Smear recipe with flatbread.


  • Parsnips

It might seem like sick carrots, but parsnips can benefit your body. People used to believe (falsely) that eating parsnips could relieve toothache or tired feet. Parsnips have a sweet flavour and a taste of nuttiness and anise and are high in vitamin C, manganese, folate, and fibre. If you’re searching for the perfect spring side dish, try this Ginger & Honey Roasted Baby Carrots and Parsnips recipe.

  • Rhubarb

To some folks, it’s a mystery; to others, it’s a welcomed spring goodie. The word rhubarb comes from the Latin word “rhababarum”, which means “root of the barbarians”. It’s low in calories, fat, cholesterol-free, and high in fibre, providing approximately 5 grams per cup of cooked rhubarb. This Rhubarb with Baked Cream recipe must be an item on your spring food bucket list!


Spring fruit, facts & recipes

  • Apricots

Apricots are members of the rose family. They are eaten fresh or cooked and are preserved by canning or drying. They are also a good source of flavonoids, an antioxidant that helps protect against inflammation and inflammatory illnesses and reduces your risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. There is nothing better than to start your Spring mornings with a slice of Nut, Apricot & Mixed Seed Loaf.


  • Dates

Sweet in taste, dates are an excellent alternative to refined sugars. They hold a good amount of natural sugars like fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Studies have shown they can stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage, and improve hormone regulation. Serve this Apple, Date & Cinnamon Achar alongside any curry dish.


  • Gooseberries

A small berry that can be roundish, pear-shaped, elongated or oval. The colours depend on the species but are often yellow, green, white, red, purple, or nearly black coloured. They are high in fibre yet low in energy, meaning you can eat a decent portion without consuming too many calories. Who is up for some Gooseberry, Mint & Vanilla Ice Cream?

Eating with the season makes for a more well-rounded and balanced diet – eating local and seasonal fruits and veg boost energy and provides carotenoids to protect against sun damage. There are actually a lot of benefits…

We dare you to treat your body to a healthy Spring feast. Happy experimenting, happy eating!


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