As school holidays draw to an end, we again set our minds to lunch boxes and snack-sized spring fruit and vegetables.

Supplies of blueberries continue to impress providing a good value whereas strawberry season is now shifting to Victoria as the Queensland season is just about to finish. Raspberry supplies are moderate. For a more filling snack for small tummies, mix berries with yoghurt and sprinkle with toasted muesli.

As local navels begin to phase out, look for the super sweet Valencia variety from northern New South Wales. Sliced pineapple, rockmelon, and the red and yellow pawpaw are ideal lunchbox additions; all are plentiful at the moment. Hass avocadoes are shining bright as usual.

In vegetables, beetroot, shallots, and silverbeet are all in abundance. Cauliflower, broccoli, celery, kale and cabbage are all in quality supply and offer great value. Grab them while you can. Most varieties of tomatoes are still going strong, including the lunchbox-friendly cherry and grape varieties.

Sweet potatoes are also good value, including the more unusual Hawaiian Sweet Potato. Peel off its white skin to reveal purple flesh and a sweeter flavour than the standard variety.

After a quick and easy way to add flavour to dinner this week? Throw in herbs such as parsley, coriander, dill, mint, basil, and rosemary — all are in excellent supply.

This week’s top pick is the gorgeous red-fleshed blood oranges from Riverina, NSW. A member of the citrus family, blood oranges are very versatile. They have a strong citrus base flavour with a distinct sweet note and are packed with vitamin C. Look for small to medium-sized fruit with a thin, smooth or slightly pitted skin that is orange with a slight red blush. Make desserts, jams, preserves, jellies or simply mix them with cocktails to add a unique punch.

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 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 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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