Happy new year! A new year signifies a fresh start and is the perfect time to focus on your health and wellbeing after indulging in a few extra slices of pavlova, sugary cocktails and leftover roasts. Adding a variety of vegetables and fruit to your diet can go a long way towards improving your health. So, to help you get started here is a list of fresh fruit and veggies available at your local fruit and veg shop this week.
In berries, there are good supplies of blueberries while strawberries and raspberries are in moderate supply. Brimming with natural sweetness are grapes from Emerald. Look out for varieties such as Red Crimson, White and Black Seedless grapes.
Watermelons, bananas, Pandora passionfruit from Dimbulah, limes and lemons from Mareeba – all continue to offer great value. Our seasonal favourites this week are cherries, lychees and mangoes, eating beautifully and in good supply. However, heavy rain in some Queensland regions has made mango harvesting difficult, which means volumes are expected to ease in the coming weeks.
For value and quality, we can’t go past sweet eating pineapples. Add chunks in skewers, toss them in noodles or simply caramelise them with brown sugar for a delicious dessert. Avocados are in tight supply along with pomegranates.
Stone fruit continues to shine. Juicy yellow and white-fleshed nectarines and peaches are in plentiful supplies along with red and black-skinned plums from Victoria and Queensland. Make sure the fruit ripens to a slightly soft texture to ensure it has developed maximum flavour.
This week the combination of heat and rain has affected some supplies of veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower and snow peas. However, in plentiful supplies are carrots, eggplants, zucchini, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. For a French-inspired dinner option, try eggplant and zucchini gratin – layer thinly sliced veggies in a baking tray brushed with olive oil, add Béchamel sauce and top it with gruyere cheese.
Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, kale and bok choy are well-supplied too. Bok choy is delicious when steamed or tossed in a hot wok. Select bunches with crunchy pale stems and fresh-looking green leaves. Well-priced cucumbers and corn are market favourites, whereas abundant supplies of flavoursome tomatoes are arriving from South Australia. For a healthy flavour hit, try adding fresh Australian ginger along with coriander and fennel that are in good supply.
This week’s star performer is the delectable peach, currently arriving from Victoria. Choose fruit that is firm but gives slightly when gently squeezed. Store unripe fruit at room temperature and once ripe store them in the fridge’s crisper section and use within two to three days. Peaches can be eaten raw, added to salads or made into desserts.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark