A Better Choice For Freshness

It’s Avocado week here at A Better Choice!

Whether you like your avocado smashed, sliced or smoothied, avocados are one of the most versatile fruits on the market. Avocado season means that you don’t have to choose between which one of our avocado-forward recipes to try. Ready to get cooking? Click here!

The perfectly ripe avocado is generally deeper in colour but, with natural colour variation between varieties, it’s always best to give a gentle squeeze to see if it’s soft but not squishy- ready for a great guacamole!

With stable winter growing conditions, the vegetable season is in full swing, and this means fantastic quality all round at your local fruit and veg shop.

In veggies, most winter favourites are in excellent supply, such as sweet potatoes and pumpkins from Bundaberg, broccoli from Lowood, onions and bok choy from Gatton, and Victorian fennel and leeks.

We’re heading into peak baby broccoli season, with supply arriving from Stanthorpe and Victoria. Look for a fresh base, firm stems, no flowers, and tightly furled heads. For a quick side dish, sauté them with olive oil and garlic until they are vibrantly green and tender, then drizzle with lemon juice and add roasted peanuts for crunch.

Sweet and tender Tasmanian carrots and parsnips from New South Wales represent choice buys this week – roast them with honey, rosemary, and thyme to make a sweet accompaniment to your Sunday roast.

Queensland-grown zucchinis are back in good supply as are cherry and truss tomatoes. Also, great value buys are red and green capsicums from Bowen and Bundaberg. To increase the shelf life of partially used capsicums, remove the seeds and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cauliflower from the Lockyer Valley is abundant right now. Packed with fibre, cauliflowers make a great cheese bake, individual souffles, or simply pan-fried with cumin and parsley. You can also have it raw, with your dip of choice. Cold weather is having an impact on lettuce, cucumber, cabbage and mint, while Bowen-grown corn is also low in supply.

In fruit, most apple and pear varieties are well-supplied and calling out for crumbles, cakes, and filo tarts. Naturally low in fat and high in vitamin C, red papaya from North Queensland delivers a bundle of essential nutrients to your body. In good supply, they are a value buy this week; just cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and enjoy!

Citrus fruit are a consistent performer in the cooler weather – and colourful, too! Starting from mid-season, we have cheery Cara Cara navels, bright yellow lemons, vivid green limes and blood oranges from the Riverina in NSW; all are good eating. Look out for freshly harvested Murcott mandarins from Gayndah, too – the recent rain and colder temperatures have helped the fruit develop a beautiful colour and flavour, meaning the fruit is a feast for both your eyes and taste buds.

Spotted a mango on the shelves? You’re not dreaming! Green mangoes from Darwin have hit the market. Sour with a hint of sweetness, be inspired with the flavours of Central America – cut the mango into wedges and drizzle over with lime juice and chilli powder to enjoy as a snack.

In berries, the local supply of strawberries is increasing; raspberries are in fair supply, while blueberries are still short. Banana supplies have stabilised, except for Lady Fingers which are running low. Also looking good this week are avocados, pineapples, kiwis, and rockmelons. Watermelons are a little dearer.

This week’s top pick is luscious winter strawberries, which are of fantastic quality and supply from Queensland. Look for fully coloured, firm, bright and plump fruit. Strawberries are best stored in the fridge and should be washed just before use. Rich in vitamin C, strawberries are incredibly versatile: use them to top pancakes, mix them in smoothies and sorbets, or add them to cakes and muffins. Strawberries pair well with chocolate, banana, coconut, mint, lemon and almonds.

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