Mild conditions for this time of the year means all produce is in good supply.
Apples – Fuji season has started and I think these have more eating appeal than Galas so I have swapped across. Fujis are slightly sweeter than other varieties. They are probably the sweetest of all apples. They last extremely well even out of the fridge. These are local Fujis from Bilpin.
Nadia + Chris are third generation apple farmers and have been farming for over 40 years. Their two sons have come into the business and are eager to bring new and fresh ideas. Their farm is nestled in the heart of Bilpin and are the biggest orchard in Bilpin.
Rockmelon – February is rockmelon month. They are at their absolute best with good flavour. Good value as coming from Griffith in the NSW Riverina region.
Pineapple – The last of the Yeppoon crop is filtering thru, pineapple production now moves to the Sunshine Coast.
Dinner idea: Tacos al Pastor (Chilli + Pineapple Pork Tacos) are a favourite in Mexico. The mixture of smoky, spicy chillies, sweet pineapples, fresh onions + cilantro is taco perfection. Spiced Pork Tacos w Pineapple Salsa is an adaption of this. If you would prefer chicken and avocado try Chicken Tacos w Charred Corn + Pineapple Salsa
Grapes – Crimson grapes have just kicked off and are crisp, delicious and full of flavour. Whilst there are lots of new variety grapes that are being grown, crimson is an old fashioned favourite and still ticks all the boxes.
Plums – plums are now a serious option to peaches and nectarines. Amber Jewels started this week, and are a better eating than any others we have had to date this year, a little more money to buy but worth the effort. Amber jewels are a yellow flesh fruit with a small stone and a good eating plum.
Plums – sticking with the Amber Jewels are still the better eating plum around at the moment.
Peaches + Nectarines – After saying last week there was a lot of white quality peaches and nectarines around. This week it was all yellow! Yellow peaches from Lowana Orchards in Renmark, SA and yellow nectarines from Temba Orchards, Swan Hill, Vic.
Sweet Potato – representing excellent value this week. Most of our sweet potato comes from Bundaberg due to their beautiful dark red fertile soil. Queensland also doesn’t suffer with the heat extremes that we have in NSW + Victoria which makes it the preferred growing area.
Dinner idea: Sweet potatoes are a brilliantly versatile veg. They can be cooked in lots of different ways. The simplest way is to bake in the oven whole in their skin, as you would a regular potato, and then split and fill. Try these filling ideas; Pulled Pesto Chicken, Chicken + Jalapeño Slaw or Mexican-Style
Potato – you have royal blues. These are a little wonky in shape and were rejected 😪as they don’t meet supermarkets’ high cosmetic standards and specifications. When produce is harvested, it is sorted and classified despite that all the spuds grew together in the same paddock and received the same amount of water, nutrients and nurturing from the farmer. They taste exactly the same but just don’t look as pretty. We benefit as it is cheaper than unblemished produce.
Dinner idea: Drunken Potatoes are great at this time of year as they are not too heavy.
Truss Tomatoes – remain very cheap. Truss are best when stored at room temperature, away from the sun. Leave them on the vine so they continue to ripen and sweeten ensuring they are at their optimum when you are ready to use them.
Dinner idea: try this very simple Japanese Tomato Salad. It can be served with anything. When I’m feeling lazy I just drizzle over balsamic vinegar.
Pumpkin – The nights are starting to cool off so I thought I might throw in some pumpkin into the mix. Grown in Gatton.
Dinner idea: I can’t go past roasted pumpkin so the idea of a Roasted Pumpkin Hummus w Beef Kibbeh is perfect for this time of year. You have more pumpkin than the recipe calls for so make more and use for lunches.
Asian Greens – Slightly milder weather means leafy greens were good this week and my Chinese market garden farmer had very good Baby Bok Choy growing. It is harvested overnight and delivered to the markets the next day.
Dinner idea: loads of ideas for stir fries on my Pinterest board
Avocado – The new season of avocadoes has started. Shepherds are the first variety of the new season. They prefer the warm tropical growing conditions of FNQ and have a limited season from Feb to May. They have a nutty flavour and buttery texture compared to the Hass’s creamy texture. They are also referred to as greenskin avocados as their skin stays green as they ripen and the flesh does not go brown once it’s cut. As the avocadoes are little and have some cosmetic blemishes (mostly tree rub) they have been rejected 😥 which makes them affordable. When avocadoes are picked, they are sorted and classified despite that all the avos grew on the same tree and received the same amount of water, nutrients and nurturing from the farmer. They taste exactly the same as the larger size but are just smaller.
Dinner idea: jazzes up any salads or tacos.
Snow Peas – a great time for snow peas, sensational quality and price is about as low as it goes. Grown in Victoria
Dinner idea: with the cooler weather I would suggest a stir fry and I have loads of ideas for stir-fries on my Pinterest board
Beans – same goes for beans as per snow peas. Quality, handpicked beans for the price of machine pick so hard to go past. Grown in Victoria
Dinner idea: Indian-Spiced Lamb w Green Bean + Yoghurt Salad this recipe calls for a shoulder of lamb with 2 hours cooking time which is great for the weekend but for midweek use lamb fillets or backstraps and pan fry. This will cut your cooking time to approx. 10 mins.
Broccolini – is continuing to be a great price which is unusual at this time of year.
Dinner idea: Grilled Hoisin Steak + Creamy Coconut Carrot. You can also use pumpkin instead of carrots or a combo of both
Broccoli – good supply and quality with excellent prices.
Dinner idea: Broccoli is just as good in a salad as served steamed. Try Broccoli + Bacon Salad w Creamy Dressing. It also calls for red grapes as an ingredient.
Cucumber – locally grown in Catherine Fields. Most of our Lebanese cucumbers are grown by farmers who are of Lebanese origin.
Dinner idea: lots of ideas on my Pinterest board
Corn – continues to be excellent value. Local corn so it is fresh and sweet.
Dinner idea: we all need to have a vegetarian option and nachos is kid friendly – Mexican Black Bean + Corn Nacho. Black beans should be available at supermarkets but I know Harris Farm stocks them. They also stock chipotle chillis. Feel free to leave the chilli out or substitute with fresh or dried chilli.
Capsicum – crops are starting to ramp up with supply coming from South Australia, Northern NSW and Southern Queensland so back to better value.
Dinner idea: Pesto Pasta w Capsicum + Prosciutto. Quick dinner using store brought pesto sauce. Cook pasta and toss with pesto, diced capsicum and torn prosciutto (sub w pancetta or bacon)
Zucchini – Local black zucchinis are well supplied.
GROWERS LIMELIGHT: Your zucchinis were grown in Sutton Forest by Dahegam Fresh Produce. If you are ever down in the Southern Highlands for a weekend and the farmers markets are on, you will probably meet Ike selling his zucchinis. Ike loves operating his family business, where everyone has a role to play, even their little grandkids, who love to take a walk through the zucchini fields and especially tasting all of the delicious food made with the zucchinis! Their main produce is the zucchinis, but during the off-season, they also produce other vegetables on a smaller scale, such as pumpkins, cabbage and broccolini.
Dinner idea: : raw zucchini tossed in dressing makes a great way to serve your veggies. Two good options are Zucchini, Snow Pea + Almond Salad or Marinated Zucchini Salad
When there is produce in your box that isn’t a staple like potatoes, carrots, broccoli I will provide links to recipes via my Pinterest account to give you inspiration. I try to give you easy, everyday recipes as I know there is often not a lot of time to cook dinner.
PINEAPPLE – click here to view recipes on my Pinterest board
SNOW PEAS – click here to view recipes on my Pinterest board
SWEET POTATO – click here to view recipes on my Pinterest board
BABY BOK CHOY — click here to view recipes on my Pinterest board