Staying healthy can be a little tougher in winter, when the short, cold days leave you craving heavy comfort foods. We can’t all burn off carbs like athletes; but eating in-season can keep you both healthy and satisfied – and you have plenty of options to choose from at your local fruit and veg shop this week.
Some fruits are deliciously versatile, taking us from breakfast to dessert – like Hass avocados, juicy pears, crispy apples and Sunshine Coast strawberries, which are all currently in good supply. For an indulgent breakfast that feels like a dessert, bake whole apples with spices like cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom and serve with natural yoghurt.
Golden-fleshed pineapples are in fair supply from Yeppoon and can be added to both sweet and savoury dishes. Refreshing rockmelons are also great value this week, along with ruby grapefruit.
Limes, raspberries, watermelon, and passionfruit are limited, but blueberries are expected to increase in supply. Bananas are in steady supply from North Queensland and pair well with peanut butter and oats for smoothies and protein bars.
In plentiful supply are Imperial mandarins from Gayndah, Honey Murcott from Gin Gin, and lemons from Dimbulah – they’re in fantastic quality and well-priced. Both Cara Cara navel and blood oranges are extra juicy and eating beautifully – use their vividly coloured juice in drinks and desserts or add sliced segments to salads.
Many veggies are also fantastic buying this week, including winter favourites such as red and green Bundaberg capsicums, red and brown onions, eggplants, garden peas, carrots and celery from Stanthorpe. Throw them together in a slow cooker with your choice of protein, stock, seasoning and herbs and you’ve got yourself a wholesome one-pot dinner.
Handpicked beans from Gympie, and Brussels sprouts and broccoli from Lowood are the finest of the greens right now, so get them while you can.
Top buys this week include cauliflower and washed potatoes from South Australia. While potatoes are delicious in salads and homemade gnocchi, cauliflower makes a healthy rice substitute for your fried rice. Simply chop the washed cauliflower into florets and put it into a food processor; then sauté in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil; enjoy with curries, salmon, or stew.
Keep cravings and overeating at bay with well-supplied leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and silverbeet, although iceberg lettuce remains short. Other veggies in short supply due to cold weather include zucchini, ginger, corn and mushrooms.
This week’s top pick is the ultimate unappreciated vegetable – parsnip. While parsnip can be consumed fresh in salads, they can also be baked, pureed, roasted, mashed or used as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, stews and various savoury dishes. Look for small to medium-sized, firm-fleshed parsnips that are white – the whiter the parsnip, the sweeter it will be. Remove tops before storing parsnips in the crisper section of the fridge.
Report supplied by Brismark