As the long, hot days of summer continue so does the great choice of produce at the Brisbane Produce Market. Stone fruit continues to be in great supply, particularly apricots, nectarines and peaches (both white and yellow varieties), all from Victoria. There is also a great choice of plums including sugar plums and black plums.

Small paradise pears, great for snacking, are now available, as are other great lunchbox snack ideas such as cucumbers, carrots, capsicum, celery and a range of colourful tomatoes. The tomatoes are particularly abundant this week, with a good supply of trussed tomatoes from Gatton as well as gourmet, cherry and grape varieties from local areas. They’d also be great added to a vibrant summer salad with snow peas or sugar snaps, spinach, rocket, lettuce or kale, also all in good supply. For a touch of something different add zucchini flowers, currently in season from the Sunshine Coast. Finish with a dressing made from fresh lemon or lime juice, crushed garlic and your choice of fresh herbs, also all in good supply and you have a colourful and healthy salad. Serve it as a side dish or add some fetta cheese or cold cuts to make it a more substantial lunch or dinner idea.

Planning an outdoor summer meal? Grill some corn, mushrooms or eggplant on the barbeque or roast some sweet or white potatoes as a great side dish. Finish with a summer pavlova topped with a range of tropical fruit, particularly pineapple, bananas, passionfruit, pawpaw, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, all great eating this week. A fruit salad would be equally welcome in the summer heat with juicy mangoes, either Kensington Pride from Mareeba or Honey gold variety from the Northern Territory. Also, delicious and in good supply are excellent supplies of Rockmelon and watermelon. Have you tried yellow watermelon? It’s sweeter than its red cousin – give it a try! Don’t forget grapes, particularly quality red, seedless grapes which are in good supply this week.

Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C and the Cara Cara Navel variety is available this week as well as other citrus fruit such as Finger limes, currently in season. Finger limes are grown locally in Mareeba. For something fresh and eye-catching, impress your guests with a platter of fresh cherries, lychees and dragon fruit. Cherries are still in season and there are good supplies from NSW and Tasmania. There is a great variety of Dragon fruit available including purple bliss, red from Sunshine Coast, pink champagne from Bundaberg and white from Gympie so take your pick!

Did you know jackfruit is a relative of figs and breadfruit? It’s in good supply this week and popular with those trying a vegan or vegetarian diet as it has a consistency like that of chicken or pork and works particularly well with a tangy barbeque sauce.

Cabbage, bok choy, silverbeet and squash are all in good supply and would be great as part of a stir-fry or lightly steamed.

This week’s top pick is figs, with a plentiful supply from South Kolan and Bundaberg. Don’t miss out on this wonderful fruit while the season lasts. Figs range from bright green to a deep purple exterior, with the inner flesh being bright red. Make sure they’re soft and give a little when pressed. Rich in vitamins and a good source of fibre, figs are great as a snack by themselves or can be added in jams, salads or desserts.

You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest ‘Your Local Fruit Shop’. Locate your closest store at www.abetterchoice.com.au/store-locator/ Check out the Your Local Fruit Shop Facebook page for the latest news from your local fresh produce experts at https://www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop.

For further information, please contact Angela Hird, Business Innovation Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4226 or via email [email protected]

About Your Local Fruit Shop / A Better Choice

Your Local Fruit Shop owners are hardworking, local family business people, who are passionate about providing fresh quality fruit and vegetables, excellent customer service and are experts in their field. ‘The A Better Choice’ program is a national initiative supporting over 500 independent retailers, wholesalers across the country who supply more than half of Australia’s fresh produce each year. Buying local is giving back – lending a hand to the young family who runs your local fruit store or supporting a third-generation farmer to get back on their feet.

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