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Fresh Food Club - What's in season?



"ideas on the freshest produce this season coupled with gourmet recipes for the freshest produce in town

What's fresh?

Papaya

Luscious, tropical-tasting papaya is rich in many antioxidants which help protect body tissues against some aspects of ageing, it is also high in vitamin C (200g would provide 3-4 day's supply) and beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Ripen at room temperature, then refrigerate. Use within 2 days.

Mangoes

Luscious tropical flavoured mangoes are eating deliciously and very reasonably priced. Select from Kensington Pride, R2E2 and Calypso. Allow firm mangoes to ripen at room temperature until flesh yields to gentle pressure around the stem. Consider buying a tray.

Strawberries

Weather is impacting on Victorian strawberries so use them up quickly as the shelf life is reduced.

Berries

Naturally sweet and irresistible blueberries, and raspberries are superb quality. Blackberries season has also started.

Banana

Ideal for before and after sport snack bananas provide a sustained energy boost and are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and contain vitamin C. Whip up a banana split or muffins.

Peaches

When it comes to peaches and nectarines, the old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true. When purchasing stone fruit select highly coloured fruit that is aromatic. To ensure the stone fruit develops its potential flavour, ripen and eat fruit at room temperature.

Apricots

From November until January Aussie grown apricots will be in season. Fresh, ripe apricots are juicy and taste both sweet and a bit tart. If unripe, place apricots in a paper bag at room temperature for one to two days. Fully ripe apricots should be used or eaten immediately.

Avocado

Creamy Hass avocados are enticing and naturally good for you. Add slices to salad, pasta dishes or dice and use to create a salsa.

Cherries

One of the delights of late spring and summer is Australian grown cherries. Loved for their succulent texture, sweet flavour and glamorous glossy looks, juicy cherries can be firm or soft fleshed and vary in sweetness, depending on which variety. Early cherry varieties tend to be the softer eating delicately flavoured.

Capsicums

Super sweet yellow capsicums from Queensland are a bargain this week

Asparagus

For value, taste and versatility fresh asparagus is a winner; its delicate nutty flavour can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Asparagus is a top buy this week. Look for crisp asparagus spears with tightly-closed tips. Choose bunches with even-sized spears that require the same cooking time.

Zucchini

Zucchinis are a choice buy. Try slicing them in half lengthwise, score, then brush with a little olive oil and place on the barbecue or grill plate, cook turning once until tender

Carrots

One kilo bags of carrots are a bargain this week. Add carrots to salad, grate or thinly julienne carrots for serving raw in a salad. Alternatively cut carrots into quarters and roast carrots to intensify the flavour then toss through salad.

Asian Greens

Asian leafy greens are quick to cook, versatile and super nutritious. Add a bunch or two of bok choy or choy sum to your shopping basket, to enjoy in stir-fries or steam to serve as a side veg.

Tomatoes

Tasty tomato season has started. Choose from salad tomatoes, Truss, Roma, or pick up a punnet or two of bite-size cherry and grape tomatoes. Oxheart and heirloom tomatoes make for an exotic change.

Cucumbers

Tender, juicy and full of flavour Lebanese cucumbers are a top buy. Combine diced cucumber with ripe ox heart or medley tomatoes, olives, thinly sliced onion and feta cheese to make a traditional Greek salad.

Kumera

Kumara or orange sweet potatoes are a bargain. Kumara is delicious served as a mash or thinly slice and layer with cream and sliced spring onions into a baking dish and cook until tender.

Beetroot

Fresh beetroot is a good buy this week. Bake, steam or microwave, the cooking times will vary depending on the size of the bulbs - it helps to choose bulbs of a similar size so they will cook at the same time. Add diced beetroot to a salad.

Celery

Select firm, pale green celery with crisp stalks and fresh-looking leafy tops. Avoid celery with split or damaged stalks. Toss finely sliced celery with sliced green onions, chopped boiled new potatoes, capers and reduced-fat mayonnaise in a salad.

Mushrooms

Springtime is the time to dust of the BBQ and enjoy outdoor cooking. Jumbo flat mushroom burgers provide plenty of juicy flavour, a rich source of B group vitamins and a boost of vitamin D, simply brush with olive oil, add chopped garlic or chilli and cook for a few minutes on a heated barbecue plate or frying pan.