Are your kids heading back to school soon? Are you trying to decide on the lunch box menu? Before reaching for the pre-packaged foods, it’s time to consider popping fresh produce items into their lunch boxes. This week, the Brisbane Produce Market is bursting with snack-sized autumn fruit and vegetables sure to please the kids and satisfy their healthy appetites.

Sliced pineapple, watermelon and rockmelon from Western Australia are plentiful and make colourful additions to lunch boxes. All apple varieties are also eating well, as are Williams and new-season Corella pears from Victoria, so be sure to add them to your basket this week.

The star performers in the citrus family are ruby red grapefruit from the Northern Territory and navel oranges and lemons and limes from Mareeba. There is a wide selection of exotic fruit coming out of the Market, with passionfruit from Dimbulah, dragon fruit from Bundaberg, persimmons from Amamoor, and custard apples and pomegranates.

Have you tried finger limes? Currently arriving from Atherton Tablelands, finger limes are small, sausage-shaped unique Australian native citrus that offer a burst of refreshing, zingy flavour together with delightful crisp caviar-like texture. Try adding finger limes to soups, seafood dishes, cocktails, and granitas. Luscious strawberries from South Australia and juicy and fragrant Imperial mandarins from Gayndah will feature prominently as lunch box snacks along with bananas and Victorian plums and grapes.

Asian recipes will benefit from the abundant supply of vegetables such as purple cabbage from Lockyer Valley, green beans from Kalbar, red and green capsicums from the Granite Belt, red onions from Tasmania, Roma tomatoes from Bundaberg, snow peas and chillies. Swap out your kids sandwiches for a tasty mini quiche. Add vegies such as broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, roasted pumpkins or zucchini, as they are all plentiful.

For after-school snacks, team well-supplied baby carrots, beetroot from Blenheim, Bowen-grown cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices with hummus or creamy pesto dip. If you have a fussy eater and more time on your hands, try cauliflower-carrot cheesy tots as both cauliflower and carrots are value buys this week.

Antioxidant-rich ginger from North Arm on the Sunshine Coast is in good supply right now. Boost flavour by adding ginger to tea, biscuits, soups, curries, stir-frys or cocktails and remember to store it in the fridge to avoid moulding.

This week’s top pick is the ultra-versatile sweet potato from Bundaberg. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrate, fibre and potassium and a good source of vitamin E. Gold sweet potato is the most common variety in Australia, but other varieties such as red, white and purple are also becoming popular. Choose firm potatoes with brightly coloured skin and store them in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Sweet potatoes are delicious sautéed, mashed, roasted, steamed, baked or fried.

About Brisbane Produce Market

As Queensland’s only central fruit and vegetable market, the Brisbane Produce Market is the state’s most important centre for the marketing and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables.  It records annual trade in excess of 600 million kilograms of produce valued at more than $1.7 billion.

About Brisbane Markets Limited

Brisbane Markets Limited (BML) is the owner of the Brisbane Markets® site and is responsible for its ongoing management and development. BML provides infrastructure and services to facilitate the marketing of fresh food, flowers and other ancillary products for fruit, vegetable and flower wholesalers, retailers, provedores, secondary wholesalers, food processors, transporters, exporters, industry organisations and market support businesses.

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About A better choice!

The A better choice! retailers are hardworking, local family business people, who are passionate about fruit and vegetables providing excellent customer service and are experts in their field.

And here’s the thing, no one can match A better choice! fruit shops for FRESH!  Every morning, your local fruit shop selects high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables from the Brisbane Produce Market.

Find your local A better choice! retailers throughout South East Queensland including Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Tweed Heads, Gympie and Townsville.  Please click on the link to find your local fruit shop  By shopping at your local fruit and veg shop, you are making A better choice!