From Sunshine Coast strawberries to Bundaberg-grown pumpkins, Queensland’s fresh, local fruit and veggies continue to shine at your local fruit and veg shop this week.
Starting with fruit – lunchbox friendly options like strawberries, bananas, mandarins and Packham pears are plentiful, while kiwifruit and avocados are also in good supply and make delicious breakfast options – think kiwifruit and Nutella crepes for something sweet, or baked eggs in avocado for a little savoury.
Apart from being delicious and versatile, apples are incredibly good for your health. In-season and available in many varieties from red to green and in between – such as the Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Royal Gala, and Fuji – apples make great snacks on their own or can be just as versatile as desserts such as scrolls, hot cross buns, pies or upside-down cakes.
Don’t wait to find yourself already sneezing, give your immune system a boost with some in-season citrus such as Mareeba lemons, ruby grapefruit, tangelos, and navel and blood oranges – they’re rich in vitamin C and a good source of fibre.
Take your tastebuds on a tropical tour with pawpaw, rockmelons, and watermelons from the Northern Territory as they are all in good supply – make sure to store cut pawpaw and melons in an airtight container in the fridge.
In vegetables, the market this week features plentiful supplies of broccoli, cauliflower, celery, red capsicums, green beans, and baby broccoli from the Lockyer Valley region. Also picking up supply and easing in prices are eggplants and zucchini. Tomatoes are variable, depending upon variety and size.
Take your winter stew to the next level by adding carrots, potatoes, and a burst of flavours from ginger and fennel as they are all in good supply. Top-quality pumpkins from Bundaberg are thriving right now. For a quick, healthy meal, whip up a pot of tasty pumpkin soup to curl up with on a cold day. Serve with some bacon and crusty bread for added texture. And just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean we’re not longing for salads; we just don’t want to have them cold! Switch up your salad game by using roasted vegetables like well-supplied sweet potatoes, onions, beetroot, snow peas, Brussels sprouts and parsnips with whole grains, lentils, nuts to side with grilled meat dishes.
Colder conditions are impacting herbs and mushrooms, so you’ll find they’re priced at a premium. Corn, cabbage and cucumbers are also in light supply.
Leafy greens such as spinach, rocket, and mixed salad leaves are in fair supply, whereas lettuce is short due to planting gaps between the growing areas.
This week’s top pick is leeks from Stanthorpe. Many people are unfamiliar with cooking leeks, but they belong to the allium family like onions, and can be treated as a sophisticated version of an onion. Look for medium-sized, white-stemmed crisp leeks with bright green tops and store in the fridge loosely wrapped for up to a week. To cook, simply chop off the dark green stems and the bottom root. Hang on to those for stocks and broth though – they’re packed with flavour. Leeks have a mild, slightly sweet onion flavour that is wonderful in winter soups, omelettes, tarts, and pies. Pair leeks with ingredients like cheese, eggs, garlic, potato, mushrooms, and lemon.
Report supplied by Brismark