By Erin Stadler.

Question – When are apples in season?

The supermarkets provide them all year round …

Do the trees produce apples all year-round?

Traditionally, apples are in season and harvested from January through to May; then held in cold storage to be rationed out over the coming year. So, those apples you’re eating in October — are they really fresh?

It depends on your definition of the word.

The benefits of eating seasonal produce are varied, with fresh produce cleverly complimenting the upcoming seasons. Not only is the cost lower and the crop rotation is more sustainable and gentler on the Earth, but the nutrient profile of the produce is higher (the longer the transit/storage time from harvest to consumption the lower the nutrient content will be). Studies show that the Vitamin C content of Broccoli was doubled when harvested locally in Autumn (in season) as opposed to externally sourced in Spring (not in season).

For me, Summer = Mangoes and Grapes.

These drool inducing delicacies nourish the body and soul by drenching us in their juicy goodness and antioxidants, required for Queensland’s scorching Summers. Seasonal Summer foods tend to focus on raw, crisp cooling dishes that sit lighter in the stomach and involve stone fruits, strawberries, corn and cantaloupe.

Winter Foods are warming, cooked and dense; think thick soups and hearty, home-cooked stews. These meals tend to be higher in fat and protein, which the body naturally looks for to help replenish moisture loss from the cold (hands up who uses double the amount of lip balm in Winter!) and provide fat stores in the body to keep the vital organs warm and safe. Why not try adding some root vegetables, such as beetroots, parsnips, turnips, celeriac to your family favourites, to add variety, flavour and texture to the dish as well as offering fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and a strong antioxidant presence.

Warming spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, cumin, clove, cardamom and fennel provide not just aroma and taste to the experience, but also antibacterial and antioxidant properties, boosting immune defences during the colder months.