A Better Choice For Freshness

Warmer days, shorter nights and the arrival of stonefruit and mangoes this week are sure signs that summer is on its way.

Plump blueberries from New South Wales and thin-skinned sweet lady finger bananas are must-buys for smoothies this week as they are eating beautifully. It is raining strawberries from Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, with this mixed supply meaning more strawberries are available and will represent great value.  Grab a few punnets and whip up a fresh strawberry cream cheese tart or oven-dry them to add to your trail mix.

Seedless watermelon and grapefruit from Gayndah and many varieties of pear including Packham, Josephine, Corella and Bosc from Victoria are well supplied.  Keep an eye out for the gorgeous, red-fleshed blood oranges which are fantastic in juices, cocktails and salads.

On a tropical note, sliced pineapple, rockmelon and red papayas are ideal lunchbox additions for small tummies and are bountiful right now. Apple and raspberry supplies are slow.

Planning a barbie this weekend? Sweet and succulent mangoes from Northern Territory are bursting with tropical flavour. Throw some on the grill and enjoy the weekend sunshine with juicy barbequed mangoes topped with vanilla ice-cream. Peaches are making their first appearance and the yellow variety is currently in season and eating well.

In vegetables, local broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Asian vegetables are in good supply. Ideal for stir-fries, these gorgeous veggies pair well with chicken, pork or seafood. Stock up on spring onions, sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes as we’re seeing bumper supplies this week. Corn supplies are slowing down, and cucumber supplies are moderate. New-season asparagus from Victoria is one of our favourite spring vegetables which, besides being super nutritious, is very reasonably priced.

Trying to increase your intake of leafy greens? Spring is a fabulous time of the year to enjoy greens such as kale, spinach, bok choy, rocket and lettuce as they are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre and make a great base for most salads.

Other seasonal buys include fennel from Victoria, carrots, Dutch carrots, radish, parsnips, garden peas, broad beans, button squash, celery, eggplants and zucchini from Bundaberg. There is an abundance of herbs available including coriander, parsley and mint. However, supplies of silverbeet and mushrooms are low.  Beetroot, pumpkins, potatoes and onions are plentiful.

This week’s top pick is green beans from Gympie. Snap a young, green bean and you can hear spring! Fresh green beans are great in salads, stir-fries or taste delicious when sautéed in melting butter with garlic. Choose young, firm, vibrant green straight pods that snap crisply. Store in a plastic bag in the crisper section of the fridge and consume within one to four days.

– Produce report supplied by Brismark

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