Australian grown fresh produce is front and centre at your local fruit and veg shop this week, and as winter continues its approach, it’s time to start thinking about switching from salads to warming winter comfort foods.
You can’t go past apple pie; crisp and freshly harvested apples are bountiful right now, and Australia has over 10 popular varieties available including Royal Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji and Granny Smith to name a few.
If you’re not keen on winter, just transport your taste buds to the tropics! We have an abundant supply of pineapples and succulent red pawpaws from North Queensland. Chop them into pieces and drizzle some lime syrup to turn these tropical fruits into a delicious dessert.
Sweet and juicy Imperial mandarins from Gayndah are value buys this week, and keep an eye out for new season Daisy mandarins coming from Mundubbera. The medium to large-sized fruit is eating well and has a rich, juicy flavour with a dark orange rind.
An on-trend fruit is the pomegranate, which we have in good supply from Colignan, Victoria. The seeds make wonderful dessert toppings, salad additions and drink enhancers, and the pulp can be pressed to make juice. Hot tip: pomegranate seeds are easier to get out if you hold the fruit underwater.
Also in good supply are extra flavoursome navel oranges from South Australia, tangy lemon and limes from Mundubbera, passionfruit from Bundaberg, persimmons from New South Wales, and red seedless grapes and rockmelons from Victoria. The recent rains have had some impact on bananas and strawberries, so we’re a bit short on supply at the moment.
Bright vegetables for soups, stews, roasts and casseroles make for healthy and comfy carbs – we’re well-supplied with nutritious broccoli from Lowood, eggplants from Bowen, pumpkins and sweetcorn from Bundaberg, shallots and carrots from Tasmania, and fennel and leeks from Victoria.
Gympie-grown green beans are of great quality at the moment, as is Queensland grown cabbage, wombok and celery. Look for celery with firm stalks and medium-thick ribs that are crisp enough to break apart easily. The combination of rain and cold weather is having an impact on herbs and spinach supplies, while zucchini and continental cucumbers are also short.
Lettuce from Upper Tenthill and blushing beetroot from Boonah are also in good supply. While lettuce will make a crunchy addition to San Choy Bow, naturally sweet and earthy beetroot will be delish in sandwiches, salads, dips and juices.
This week’s hero is the fibre-packed cauliflower, which is a hot buy right now. Currently arriving from Gatton, cauliflower is extremely versatile, low in calories, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Use cauliflower to make soups, curries, soufflés, bakes or stir-frys. Choose creamy white, tightly packed firm heads with a crisp outer green stem and leaves. Avoid heads that feel spongy to touch and has dark spots. Cauliflower also makes a great rice, pizza crust, and steak substitute. If you’re looking for a snack to use up leftover cauli, or even just to get some more nutrients in, you can’t look past these cauliflower wings. With all your favourite wing flavours and the benefits of cauliflower, this one is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark