Autumn has well and truly arrived with a bounty of seasonal fruit and vegetables at your local fruit and veg shop this week. Now is the time to expand your weekly menu to include everything from heart-warming soups to simple salads.
In berries, strawberry quality and supply is improving, whereas blueberries have been affected by the wet weather, so expect low volumes and premium prices.
Tasmanian raspberries are eating beautifully. Try your hands on ‘no-bake raspberry energy balls’ – combine a crumbly mixture of cashews, coconut and dates with vanilla extract, salt and raspberries; roll the mix into balls and place them in the fridge until solid, enjoy as a mid-morning snack.
New-season Red Delicious apples from Stanthorpe, pears from Victoria and pineapples from Queensland are all enjoying a strong season. Toss them in salads or top-up oats with these fruit pieces for breakfast.
Shepard avocados have taken the centre stage at your local fruit and veg shop this week. Also known as ‘Green Skin Avocados’, they are currently arriving from Far North Queensland. Spread smashed avo on a whole grain toast and switch it up with olive oil, fried eggs topped with fresh herbs and sundried tomatoes.
Showcasing the exotic fruit group this week are dragon fruit, figs from Upper Tenthill, persimmons from Amamoor and juicy pomegranates. Other top buys include rockmelons, plums, nectarines, peaches and lemons. Banana prices are steady, and pawpaw is in short supply.
A combination of rain and humidity has affected some of the vegies including snow peas, cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower. Instead, choose green beans and capsicums that are fantastic eating at the moment and are ideal for stir-frys and tray bakes.
Quality leeks and fennel bulbs are also in good supply. To savour the delectable taste, braise them in a thick sauce and serve alongside veggies and meat. Satin-skinned eggplants are an autumn delicacy. For a Lebanese inspired dip, make smooth and luxurious Baba Ghanoush and serve along with raw veggies, pita pockets or chips. Calling out for earthy roasts and hearty soups are well-supplied pumpkins, butternut, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Nutrient-dense leafy produce such as rocket, spinach, kale, bok choy and spring onions are all in good supply and make a great salad base. Other value buys include Asian vegetables, tomatoes, onions, celery and ginger.
This week’s top pick is juicy grapes, brimming with all-natural sweet flavour from Murray Valley, Victoria. Grapes should be plump and firmly attached to the stems, best stored in the refrigerator in a sealed bag. Do not store grapes with odorous foods as they can absorb odours. They are best eaten on their own, as an accompaniment to cheese or in beverages or fruit salad.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark