A Better Choice For Freshness

The weather is warming up and we are excited to be outdoors enjoying picnics, barbecues and the yummy produce coming into season. Now is a great time to try out some new recipes with fresh fruit and vegetables arriving this week.

Take your plate from dull to gourmet with the prettiest edible flowers. Garnish cocktails and cakes with squash blossom, pansy, lavender or rose petals available in punnets at your local fruit and veg shop.

Your best bet for smoothies this week is creamy bananas from North Queensland, buy them in bulk as they are in abundance right now. In the citrus family, there is an excellent supply of versatile limes, mandarins and navel oranges from Victoria.

Apple varieties, including Red Delicious and Granny Smith from Victoria, are excellent eating and in good supply. Purchase them now before the expected price increase. Crunching into a sweet juicy pear is the ultimate delight, but they taste equally delicious roasted, poached or baked. Select from Packham, Corella and Bosc varieties as these are great buying at the moment.

Strawberries, blueberries, paw paw, pineapple and rockmelons are all plentiful and excellent quality. Yellow and white nectarines are making their first appearance along with peaches. Grown in Central Queensland, the fruit is in good supply. Expect prices to decline as the season continues.

Kensington Pride mangoes from the Northern Territory are at their peak, while the R2E2 variety is also available at your local fruit and veg shop. For a refreshing drink, try mango lassi, made by mixing ripe mangoes or mango pulp with buttermilk and sugar. For classic Thai salads try Nam Dok Mai, a green-skinned mango variety with a fibreless flesh.

In vegies, Bundaberg-grown sweet potatoes, along with red onions from South Australia, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, eggplants, and zucchini feature in the market. Celery and cucumber are also in good supply and are a perfect accompaniment to summer dips and crudité platters.

In plentiful supply from Stanthorpe and Gatton is Lobok (white radish). This vegetable has gained popularity from appearing on cooking shows. Try it raw in coleslaw or shredded in classic Korean kimchi.

This week’s top pick is the ever-popular avocado, representing excellent quality and in plentiful supply to meet demand. To test for ripeness, gently press the top of the avocado and look for a purplish-black colour. Store unripe avocados at room temperature. For those who can’t wait for their avocado fix, speed up the process by placing avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days. Enjoy the taste and amazing health benefits avocados offer!

– Produce report supplied by Brismark

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