Winter fruits like pears, mandarins, oranges, and Sunshine Coast strawberries offer fantastic value this week at the Brisbane Produce Market. Other great-quality buys include limes, avocados, red pawpaws and watermelon.

Dreaming of warmer weather? Take your taste buds to the tropics with passionfruit from North Queensland — they’re excellent quality and delicious added to drinks, tarts, cheesecakes, pavlova and sponge cake.

Most varieties of apples are well supplied, but green apples aren’t as plentiful this week. Blood oranges and Cara Cara are two citrus varieties worth picking up, and rockmelons are eating well. Banana supplies have stabilised, except for Lady Fingers which are running low.

Cold weather is slowing down the supplies of pineapple, blueberries, pomegranate and raspberries. In vegies, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet potato, spring onion, spinach, mushroom, radish, leek, kale, fennel, eggplant and onions are all well supplied.

Asian vegetables have been a stand-out performer recently and this week is no different: stock up on great value bok choy, wombok, broccoli, purple cabbage, and spinach. Stir-fry them with oyster sauce and garlic or ginger that’s plentiful at the moment. Bundaberg and Bowen are producing some good quality capsicum.

For wintery side dishes, try roasting or pan-frying Brussels sprouts with ingredients like parmesan, lemon or bacon. For a twist on potato bakes, soups and mash, swap in some celeriac — it’s great value and adds a distinctive parsley-celery like flavour.

Silverbeet, beans, rhubarb, okra, and corn are all short. Basil, cucumber and cauliflower supplies are decreasing too, so expect prices to firm.

This week’s top pick is green peas, also known as garden or sweet peas. Grown locally in Bundaberg, fresh green peas have a delicately sweet flavour and they’re packed with fibre and vitamins. Look for firm, round pods that rattle slightly when shaken. Pea pods are tough, so to shell peas, pull down gently on the stem to remove the string and open the pod. Use green peas in soups, cutlets, frittatas or simply blanched and tossed through butter and mint. Try out a vegetarian combination of tarragon, mushrooms and shallots.

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 Ruben Mesa, Communications and Programs Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4311 or via email [email protected]

About Your Local Fruit Shop / A Better Choice

Your Local Fruit Shop owners are hardworking, local family businesspeople, 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 and 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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