Making healthier food choices has never been more important. Luckily, your local fruit and veg has a huge supply of fresh and flavourful fruit and vegetables that are perfect for creating tasty and nourishing meals.
Queensland strawberries are fresh and in abundance, take advantage of the season and discover new ways to boast this berry in your cooking! The creamy Hass avocado is also still in plentiful supply. For little bites of pure joy, try the three-ingredient avocado and dark chocolate truffles – mash one small avocado and mix with a cup of melted dark chocolate, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes to thicken, and then roll it into balls. The third ingredient is your choice of coating to roll the balls in, like desiccated coconut or crushed pistachios.
While the Queensland season for watermelon is over, we have supply arriving from the Northern Territory. Rockmelons are a great value buy this week, along with the Pandora passionfruit. Keeping it tropical are Kensington Pride mangoes from the Northern Territory and sweet-eating pineapples from Queensland. Pineapples are rich in antioxidants and low in acid and bring a fresh flavour when added to stir-frys. Supplies of bananas are also improving, while both blueberries and raspberries are becoming harder to find.
Honey Murcott, Daisy mandarins, cara cara navel oranges and kiwifruit are all eating exceptionally well. Also look out for juicy blood oranges from the Riverina area of New South Wales – they’re only in season until September, so grab them while you can – they’re great in cakes, sauces, salads and curd. Both apples and pears are in fair supply and represent great value – they are absolutely delectable when poached with vanilla and cinnamon.
In vegetables, the Market is brimming with winter favourites such as hand-picked green beans from Gympie, garden peas from Bundaberg, beetroot, cauliflower, and eggplants. Local capsicums are also widely available with red ones being the most in-demand. For an easy dish, try stuffed capsicum: sauté mince, carrot, garlic and tomato in a dash of olive oil and add your preferred seasonings; once cooked, set the mixture aside to cool. Remove the tops of the capsicum and put them aside to use as a lid later. Scoop out the seeds and fill the capsicum with the mince mixture, put the lid back on top and then put it in the oven until it’s tender. It’s great with some parmesan cheese on top, too.
If you’re craving fries, then you’re in luck – two of our thrifty buys this week are potatoes and sweet potatoes from Gin Gin. You can bake, deep fry, or air fry them to a crispy perfection for an excellent at-home movie snack.
For Sunday roasts, try cool climate veggies such as carrots, Victorian fennel, button squash, parsnips and Brussels sprouts which are all plentiful and represent good value. Local cherry and mini Roma tomatoes are back in good supply, as are Bowen-grown truss tomatoes. Supplies of zucchini and sweet corn are picking up, while broccoli has dropped off. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, silverbeet and coriander are also well-supplied along with red chillies from Bundaberg.
This week’s hero is the humble pumpkin from the Lockyer Valley. Low in calories and high in vitamins, this nutrient-dense veg has a very mild and sweet flavour. Pumpkins can be incorporated in soups, winter salads, stews, and casseroles; for something sweet, use them in cakes, tarts, pies and muffins. When selecting a pumpkin, give it a little knock – if it sounds hollow, it’s ready to go. Pumpkins can be stored for up to 2-3 weeks if kept in a cool dry place; however, once cut it should be kept in the refrigerator with the seeds removed.
Report supplied by Brismark