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Spring’s wide selection of vibrant produce makes it easy for Kiwis to create healthy, tasty and affordable meals.

5+ A Day recommends buying in-season produce, as it is bursting with flavour, nutrients and is excellent value. Brightening up your plate with spring produce is a sure-fire way of getting a good dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Oranges, tangelos, avocados, courgettes, new potatoes and mushrooms are just some of the produce to enjoy over the spring months.

Nutritionist, Carmel Trubuhovich, from the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation says there is compelling scientific evidence that a diet high in fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of many diseases.

“Eating fruits and vegetables is a tried and true recommendation for a healthy diet, and for good reason,” she says.

“Fresh produce is low in energy and full of fibre, which helps to fill you up. Also, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables can help ward off a host of diseases, including heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.”

Here are a couple of suggestions on how to spring into summer with fresh seasonal recipes.

New potatoes

Potatoes are our most popular vegetable, with 97 per cent of Kiwis eating them. New potatoes are versatile, delicious and work well with different flavours and seasonings. For maximum nutrition from any potato, leave the skin on — the skin and the layer immediately underneath contain both fibre and antioxidants.

Quick new potato recipes: New potatoes with fresh herbs couldn’t be easier to make. Boil new potatoes with mint leaves. Toss when still warm with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and lots of freshly chopped mint and parsley. Serve with meat and salad. Boost the vegetable count on a pizza with new potatoes. Boil new potatoes and thinly slice. Spread a pizza base with pesto, top with potatoes and a little fresh mozzarella. Grill until the cheese melts. Make a tasty salad by combining warm, boiled new potatoes with flaked smoked salmon, baby spinach leaves, capers and finely diced red onion. Dress with a light vinaigrette.

Avocado

This pear-shaped fruit has a nutty, creamy taste that can be used in a host of dishes from dips to salads.

Quick avocado recipes: For a breakfast smoothie place half an avocado, one banana, one cup of trim milk and one tablespoon of honey in a blender. Whizz until smooth. Make a simple guacamole by mashing avocados with lemon juice. Add some finely chopped red onion, chilli, tomato, garlic and fresh coriander. Combine, chill and serve with pita crisps or corn chips. For a lunchtime salad, mix together chopped smoked chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and salad greens. Toss with a little balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.