The kids may be heading back to school, but summer isn’t over yet. The markets are still bursting with ripe, juicy stone fruit. We can’t seem to eat enough of it this time of year. From crumbles, cakes and salads to simply picking up and eating whole…peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries are a heavenly treat.
It’s no news that summer stone fruit is delicious, but did you know it also…
1 – Helps create collagen?
Vitamin C plays a key role in the production of collagen, the protein that keeps your skin looking supple and toned. One cup of sliced plums or apricots contains around a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs, so eat up!
2 – Packs a powerful immunity boost?
Vitamin C and other antioxidants are plentiful in stone fruits. These vitamins increase the production of white blood cells, which fight infections and prevent the entry of viruses.
3 – Promotes healthy nerves and muscles?
Stone fruits are a great source of potassium, which is essential for keeping your muscles and nerves in good condition. Without it you risk fatigue, irritability and high blood pressure. Just one large peach has 333 mg of potassium, about 10% of the recommended intake.
4 – Fights diabetes and obesity?
Recent research has found that nectarines, plums and peaches contain a unique mixture of compounds that may help fight metabolic syndrome, which can lead to serious health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And don’t forget about all that fibre…stone fruits are packed with it! Fibre helps you digest efficiently, keeps you feeling full longer and helps lower cholesterol.
5 – Improves eyesight?
Apricots, peaches and nectarines get their gorgeous orangey hue from their rich supply of carotenoids. These powerful antioxidants are known to help strengthen your eyesight, skin membranes and immune function. Carotenoid pigments become more absorbable when the fruit is cooked, so try incorporating them into your bakes.
6 – Strengthens bones and teeth?
Plums are high in vitamin K, which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy teeth and bones. You can help reduce your risk of tooth decay and conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis by eating just 2 a day.
And as promised…here’s an easy stone fruit dessert you can make tonight:
Simple Summer Stone Fruit Cake
1 box Cinderella Vanilla Mud Cake Mix (you won’t need the icing packet)
1 cup buttermilk, sourcream or plain yogurt
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ tsp cardamom
1 tbsp sugar
2 – 3 plums, peaches or nectarines or 5 – 6 apricots, pitted and sliced
Whipped cream, custard or topping of your choice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan forced). Grease and flour 2 x cake pans or lightly grease and line with baking paper.
- Place everything but fruit, topping and sugar into a mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Pour batter into a prepared cake pan.
- Lay fruit evenly on top of cake & sprinkle with the sugar
- Bake for 45-55 minutes. Cake is baked if it springs back when lightly touched in the centre. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Serve with topping (or not) and enjoy!