Summer is the best time to taste Australia’s amazing seasonal fruit and veg with our Just Add One challenge. Good for Aussie farmers, good for you!!
At Harris Farm, we’re all about nutrient charging your health. We’re encouraging our customers to take a Just Add One challenge this summer since our Aussie produce is at its absolute prime right now.
Here we chat to National Heart Foundation Senior Dietitian, Jemma O’Hanlon, about the perks of a challenge like Just Add One and she gives us some clever ideas to try new things.
What do we mean by our Just Add One challenge?
It is well documented by some of the leading health and nutrition experts globally that we should eat ‘2 and 5’, 2 pieces of fruit and 5 pieces of veg to support a healthy diet.
Our Just Add One challenge is simple! We’re challenging you to eat just one more piece of fruit or one more vegetable every day this summer.
Jemma O'Hanlon, Senior Dietitian for the National Heart Foundation
Why is the Just Add One challenge so important?
Recent studies in Australia have shown that eating a balanced diet, full of fresh fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of diet related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
In 2022, we supported The George Institute to test how ‘food as medicine’ really works. The study found that one in twenty Australians don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and that more than 20,000 people pass away prematurely each year due to unhealthy diets that could be significantly improved with an increase in fruit and veg consumption.
“It’s no secret that what we eat plays a key role in our health, and in fact following a heart-healthy eating pattern is a terrific starting point” Jemma shares.
“In fact, studies have found that a heart-healthy eating pattern can reduce your risk of heart disease by about a third, which is just incredible. The power of food as medicine!”
While we’re encouraging you to Just Add One piece of fruit or veg to your day, now is a good time to think about other diet decisions – swap salty chips for crispy chickpeas and edamame, meat for lentils or beans or try a protein swap to salmon which is rich in omega-3s.
What’s hot right now too?
Let’s chat veg…
Tomatoes are abundant in summer. There are lots of varieties to try. Big, small, green, yellow, fried, grilled or fresh (is best!). The good bit: Tomatoes contain lycopene, a great natural anti-inflammatory.
Broccoli or broccolini – readily available right now, no weather issues on supply. Same goes for cauliflowers. The good bit: broc and caulis are rich in folate and vitamin C which boost our mood and support our immunity.
And on the fruit side…
Bananas from our amazing Queensland growers – they’re a classic and are easy to eat on the go. Try them hidden in a savoury meal too! Try baking the skins in yummy spices as a non-meat filling to tacos or lettuce cups. The good bit: bananas are carb rich, so are packed with energy – great for after exercise.
Berries eat best in summer! There are so many to try and the price points are great right now. The good bit: They’re full of antioxidants and dietary fibre plus they’re naturally sweet – nature’s lollies!
But if you need help to think differently, have you thought trying something new?!
Jemma has given us some awesome tips to help you think differently about the fruit and veg you add to your diet this summer.
If you like zucchini, have you tried zucchini flowers?
Zucchini flowers are packed with gut health boosting fibre. Why not try stuffing them with creamy ricotta and grilling them in some heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil. They will make a beautiful entrée to wow your guests when entertaining!
If you like mashed potatoes, have you tried grilling and creaming your own corn?
Corn was made for the BBQ, so get grilling guys and enjoy some charred corn this summer. Don’t forget a squeeze of lime and some freshly grated parmesan to really supercharge your corn.
If you like melons, have you tried dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit, what a treat! I love dragon fruit cubed and tossed with strawberries and grapes in a delicious fruit salad. Such a refreshing way to start your day.
If you’ve bought a whole broccoli, have you thought about how to use the stem?
Ahh, my favourite tip for broccoli is to turn the stems into vegetable crudités. Just slice the broccoli stem into thin sticks and they’re ready to go with your next batch of hummus. Yum!
If you love summer berries, have you thought about freezing some for winter?
Berries are packed with antioxidants and freezing them will lock in all the nutrients. They also act like ice cubes for your morning smoothie and offer a burst of nutrition and sweetness.
If you love blueberries, have you tried kiwiberries?
Bursting with flavour and vitamin C, you can’t get more convenient than a kiwifruit the size of a grape! Slice them in half and add them to your morning muesli or eat them whole and enjoy the burst of all-natural flavour!
If you love mangoes, have you tried papayas?
Papayas are such a tropical treat, rich in vitamin A and C, which support glowing skin. I love papaya served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey when I’m craving something sweet.
If you like snow peas, try runner beans, snake beans or snap peas!
Beans are brimming in biotin which supports a healthy metabolism and are wonderful blanched and tossed through a summer salad. You can’t go past that crunch!
If you like carrots, buy them with the tops on and make a yummy pesto pasta sauce or dip.
Never throw your carrot tops away, they’re packed full of goodness and will mean that you’re using the whole vegetable, from root to shoot. It’s as easy as throwing some carrot tops, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese into a food processor, and voilà, you have yourself carrot top pesto!
If you like broccolini, have you tried purple sprouting broccoli?
Purple sprouting broccoli char grilled in a little extra virgin olive oil and garlic makes an absolutely beautiful side dish to any meal. Squeeze over some fresh lemon juice to serve.
So, how are you going to Just Add One this summer?
Contributor Bio: Jemma O'Hanlon
Jemma O'Hanlon is a trusted nutrition expert and Accredited Practising Dietitian with over 18 years’ experience across the food production, foodservice, food manufacturing and public health sectors. Jemma is a Senior Dietitian at the Heart Foundation and the Vice President of Dietitians Australia. In her spare time you’ll find Jemma enjoying a run in the sunshine or whipping up delicious dishes in the kitchen.
Author Bio: Evie Murdoch
leads our sustainability initiatives at Harris Farm. While she can be found helping the business find innovative packaging, reduce its food waste and minimise its environmental footprint – the bottom line is she is a passionate food and ag lover at heart with a background in agricultural science.
 An apple a day on doctors’ orders keeps ill health away | The George Institute for Global Health