From April to June, each month has its flagship ingredient and its recipe based on a fruit or vegetable at the peak of its season, proposed by one of the chefs of the resort.
One of your New Year resolutions was probably to eat more fruit and vegetables in season. And quite right too. Fresh fruit and veg have many benefits, starting with better taste and optimal nutritional quality. That’s why chef Philippe Joannès, Director of culinary events for the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer group, launched an ambitious project a few months ago for all SBM’s various establishments. The award-winning chef selects different fruit and vegetables, leaving the chef at each restaurant to think up the recipes. Véronique Liesse, dietician at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, explains the virtues of each month’s flagship fruit or vegetable.
Mango, rich in vitamins & antioxidants
The full mango season starts in April. Mango, one of the most popular tropical fruits, has many virtues. “Its sugar content increases as it ripens. It contains fibre (pectin) which is good for the gut flora, the microbes that live in our intestines. It is rich in vitamin C and also in carotenoids, especially beta-carotene (provitamin A). Carotenoids are a group of antioxidants associated with longevity and happiness, no less! Vitamins A and C are excellent for regulating our immune system. Mango is packed with antioxidants and various other phytochemical compounds with protective effects. Eating mangoes helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and eye trouble.”
Asparagus: fibre and minerals
Good news: asparagus, which can be easily found on fresh vegetable counters until June, is one of the most fibre-rich vegetables. “It is packed with fructans and other prebiotics, and has a very good effect on the composition of the intestinal microbiota (the gut flora). It contains minerals and also polyphenols, which are antioxidants and also modulate the gut flora. Asparagus has a high potassium content that helps to regulate blood pressure. It also contains vitamin B9, which is vital for vascular and mental health.” One thing to note, though: “Asparagus is a good diuretic but it raises uric acid levels in the blood and can therefore cause an attack of gout in susceptible people.”
Courgette, the slimmer’s friend
“Courgette is the ultimate sun-loving veggie. Its high water content makes it a refreshing food. It’s one of the least calorific of all the vegetables (16.5 kcal per 100g) but has plenty of nutrients, providing the body with important minerals like potassium and magnesium. It contains vitamin C, but the heat of the cooking process easily destroys that. It contains a little vitamin B9, and also rutin, an antioxidant of the polyphenol family, which is good for cardiovascular health. Its lovely dark green skin provides antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which is very good for eye health.”
By Milena Radoman