Many of us are turning to the kitchen as restrictions cloud over school holidays; and why not, as cooking is a fantastic way to entertain kids at home – and pass on some essential life skills. The great news is that your local fruit and veg shop is filled with lots of locally-grown fresh fruit and vegetables for you to choose from.
Keep little hands busy by giving them a child-safe knife to cut some fruit up for a healthy fruit salad. Your options are well-supplied topless pineapples from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland rockmelons, pawpaw, and apples; and new-season seedless watermelons from North Queensland.
If you’re into savoury breakfast, then make the most of avocados as they continue to enjoy a bumper season – they’re also a healthy substitute for mayo. Remember, cut the avocado just before using it to avoid discolouring. Drizzle olive oil or lemon juice on the remaining part.
Take advantage of the great quality, vitamin-rich citrus fruits which are in plentiful supply this season. We have mandarins, South Australian oranges, lemons, and grapefruit in abundance. As mandarins are popular among kids, try them dipped in some salted chocolate – it’s an easy, quick dessert that will require little supervision.
Joining the citrus family this week is the tangelo from Mundubbera. A hybrid of mandarin and grapefruit, tangelos are tangy but sweet, and easy to peel with few seeds. Similar to oranges, tangelos are great additions in cakes, salads, and marinades. You can also juice them with the help of your little one for a refreshing beverage.
Banana prices are easing, while passionfruit and limes are still short.
And now to veggies – we have a wide selection of top-quality and well-priced veggies available to choose from this week: broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, onions, and potatoes are going gangbusters. If your kids are still learning to like vegetables, get them involved in making broccoli and cauliflower nuggets – first blend the veggies in a food processor, then transfer them to a bowl and add egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasonings. Spray a muffin pan with olive oil and let your kids portion into the pan – then simply bake until lightly brown and enjoy!
Capsicums, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins are also in abundance from Bundaberg. While capsicums can be stir-fried, stewed, stuffed, roasted, barbecued, or eaten raw, both pumpkins and sweet potatoes make delicious soup.
Zucchinis are also increasing in supply from Bundaberg, and the humble carrot is widely available from the Granite Belt and Western Australia. Other great value buys this week include Brussels Sprouts, butternut, celery, beetroot, and leeks. Expect to pay more for Lebanese cucumbers, mushrooms, corn, and eggplants due to short supply.
Also in good supply is cabbage from Redland Bay; add shredded cabbage to chunky-style vegetable soup or pan-fry with noodles and add bacon for a tasty dish.
This week’s hero is the juicy pear, currently streaming in from Stanthorpe and Victoria. While biting into a crisp, juicy pear is an ultimate delight, they taste equally delicious poached for dessert, or in salads. Select firm, clean pears that are free from cuts. Pears should yield to gentle pressure around the stem and body when ripe. If you like a crunchy pear, then eat it straight away; but if you enjoy a soft pear, then leave it for a day or two on the bench until the texture changes.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark