Eating fruit and vegetables boosts immunity and is a key aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The good news is that there is a wide variety of local fresh produce making its way to your local fruit and veg shop this week, so you have plenty of options when creating a healthy meal plan that includes fresh fruit and veg.
In fruit, Tasmanian raspberries, Victorian grapes, plums and Queensland persimmons are plentiful and excellent eating. Persimmons can range in colour and texture from a pale orange, crisp and crunchy skin to deep red-orange, mushy, jelly-like skin, depending upon the variety. They are both good to eat.
Pears continue to have a great season along with many varieties of apples, including Royal Gala, Red Delicious and Granny Smith, all available at this time of the year. In citrus, versatile lemons are shining bright in perfect yellow skin with excellent quality fruit from Gayndah. It’s time to whip up those delicious lemon tarts. Mareeba-grown limes, oranges and Australian kiwifruit are also in good supply. Banana prices are reasonable, even though some crops have been affected by the cyclonic winds experienced in Far North Queensland at the beginning of March.
Kickstart your day with go-to breakfast options from berry-topped oats to classic smashed avo as more and more luscious strawberries are coming into the Market along with ultra-nutritious Shepard avocados from North Queensland and Western Australia. Watermelon supplies are dropping off.
There is plenty of great buying when it comes to veggies this week. Green beans from Gympie, radish, eggplants, sweet potatoes, Gatton-grown onions and zucchini from Stanthorpe are plentiful.
Kent and butternut pumpkins are also abundant while well-stocked Gympie-grown ginger is a great value flavour burst for your meals. Well-supplied fresh produce from Victoria includes crisp celery, leeks, fennel, snow peas, cabbage and broccoli. While celery, snow peas, cabbage and broccoli are great for stir-frys, use leeks and fennel to create flavoursome soups.
Rocket leaves are thriving right now. The peppery flavour complements other items such as chickpeas, pear, cucumber, mushroom, parmesan and feta cheese, to name a few. Sweet corn from Bowen is fantastic eating right now. You cannot go past hot, buttery corn on the cob sprinkled with salt, pepper and chilli flakes on a rainy afternoon. In short supplies are cauliflower, mushroom and lettuce.
This week’s top pick is crunchy capsicum from Stanthorpe. All capsicums start green, but they change colour as they ripen and become sweeter. Capsicums can be eaten raw or cooked in stir-fries, bakes and roasts. Green capsicum is great for sautéing, while yellow capsicum is often grilled or roasted. Red capsicums, being the sweetest of the bunch, are ideal for salads and dips. Look for deeply coloured, firm and glossy capsicums. The ones with the straightest sides are easy to peel.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark