The cooler autumn weather continues to provide favourable growing conditions for many fruit and vegetables appearing at your local fruit and veg shop this week.
Creamy bananas and avocados from North Queensland are plentiful and absolute must-buys – combine them with milk and honey in a blender, and you’ve got yourself a fibre-rich green smoothie. New-season apple varieties such as Fuji and Red Delicious are coming into season from Stanthorpe. While they both carry a crisp texture, Fujis are known to have a slightly sweeter profile than other apple varieties. Easy to peel, sweet-eating Imperial mandarins from Gayndah and Mundubbera are plentiful at the moment and are ideal lunchbox additions along with grapes and autumn plums. There are plenty of vibrant raspberry punnets arriving from New South Wales. Scatter them over muesli, or add them into chocolate brownies or cheesecakes for a deliciously decadent dessert.
Succulent rockmelons from New South Wales are in good supply with new-season Queensland fruit hitting your local fruit and veg shop next week. As Queensland navel oranges begin to phase out, look out for the super-juicy Valencia variety from northern New South Wales. Other well-supplied seasonal treats include beautiful persimmons from Stanthorpe, ruby grapefruit from Mundubbera, Pinks Mammoth variety of custard apples and Victorian-grown pomegranates and pears.
Have you ever tried quince? Currently arriving in good quality from South Australia, quince is a pear-shaped, plump, hard and golden-yellow fruit with a slight green tinge. In season until August, quince makes delicious marmalades and pastes for your cheeseboard.
Most vegetable supplies remain unchanged this week. Bundaberg is one of Queensland’s largest growing regions, and they are supplying excellent Roma tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, butternut and red capsicums. Top value buys include versatile carrots from Western Australia, mild zucchini from Victoria and blushing beetroot from the Lockyer Valley. For a low-carb sensation, try your hand at baking rainbow fries. Simply cut the zucchini, carrot and beetroot into thin slices, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste, before putting them into the oven.
Other local highlights include Gatton-grown cabbage, lettuce from Toowoomba, spring onions from Stanthorpe, ginger from the Sunshine Coast, and beans from Kalbar. Broccoli represents fantastic value right now, so grab it while you can. Also flushing into your local fruit and veg shop this week are Brussels sprouts from Victoria, and eggplants from South Australia. Turn your sandwiches and burgers into taste sensations by adding caramelised onions, as brown-skinned onions are fantastic quality and in good supply from Tasmania.
This week’s top pick is ultra-versatile lemons from Mareeba. Loaded with vitamin C, lemons add flavour to baked goods, drinks, desserts, seafood dishes, marinades and salad dressings. Select bright yellow lemons that feel heavy for their size. Store at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark