Lee Holmes' Summer Food and Ingredients Guide

In summer many of us are naturally drawn towards light, colourful and fresh food. We're also drawn to eating outdoors with friends, family and loved ones to celebrate the holidays.

The lightness of summer is the perfect time of the year to focus on eating fresh wholefoods that are wholesome and delicious to accompany the glorious Australian weather.

New and exciting flavours, your favourite summer fruit and veg, and lots of vitamins and nutrients is the healthiest way to embrace the season.

To get the most out of summer foods, centre your meals around in-season produce to ensure freshness, good value and taste.

Here are my tips for what you should eat to sustain you through these long summer days.

What to eat

It’s time to cuddle up to the colourful new vegetables of summer with easy tossed salads, packed with vitamin C, using fresh produce such as capsicum, tomatoes and green beans. Incorporating vitamin C into your diet will increase iron absorption – so remember this next time you’re enjoying meats, lentils or spinach.

Never underestimate how nourishing a veggie-packed soup can be either. Soups are excellent for a cooler summer’s night. Think about adding some freshly grated ginger to your soups too. Ginger can help with alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal issues and it has anti-inflammatory properties too.

Summer brings along with it a myriad of delicious and juicy summer fruits. Mangoes, berries and passionfruit are delicious and just what you need when it’s time to bounce out of bed, or retire on the couch after a hard day at the beach. Trying out new summer fruits enables you to consume new vitamins and minerals, so be sure to try something different this season, perhaps in the form of guava or rambutan.

Nothing screams summer more than a barbecue accompanied by an orange-hued sunset. Sweet corn, zucchini and asparagus are wonderful ingredients to grill on the barbeque with a splash of olive oil and lemon and make an excellent combination with fish or meat of your choice.

What’s in season

Buying food seasonally ensures it’ll be at its most fresh, nutrient-rich and, let’s not forget, delicious! The best place to snag seasonal produce is your local farmer’s market, green-grocer or, if they’re not nearby, try your local supermarket.

Here’s a list of Australian fruits and vegetables that are in season right now.

You can keep this list on the fridge for when you’re thinking of what to make for dinner or pack it in your pocket next time you’re shopping, it will come in handy.  And why not think about embracing fresh and new fruit and vegetables this summer such as mangosteen or okra? You may be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy new flavours!


  • Summer Asparagus
  • Borlotti bean
  • Capsicum (peppers)
  • Celery
  • Chillies
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant (aubergine)
  • Fennel
  • Global artichoke
  • Green beans
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Peas
  • Potato
  • Radish
  • Snow peas
  • Squash
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini


  • Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Boysenberry
  • Cherry
  • Currant
  • Gooseberry
  • Guava
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwifruit
  • Loganberry
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Mangosteen
  • Mulberry
  • Nectarine
  • Passionfruit
  • Pineapple
  • Rambutan
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Rock melon
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarillo
  • Valencia orange
  • Watermelon

If you love soup all year round like I do, try my asparagus soup recipe, which is great for the summer months and ideal for your gut health.

Get the recipe here!

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