With November just around the corner and the weather getting warmer, it looks like we’re in store for a hot summer. What that means for your local fruit and veg shop is an array of vegetables benefiting from perfect growing conditions and sweet, juicy tropical fruits making their way through the Brisbane Markets.
Our pick of the week is Cucumber as there are plenty of Continental Cucumbers coming in from Bundaberg, New South Wales and South Australia, as well as Lebanese Cucumbers from New South Wales. The main difference between Continental and Lebanese Cucumbers is the appearance, with the Continental variety slightly longer with one end thinner than the other, while the Lebanese variety is shorter with two round ends. Both are rich in nutrients and perfect for adding to salads or even cocktails. For something different on a hot day, try cooling off with this Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup recipe.
There’s an overlap of growing regions for Eggplant too, with produce coming in from North Queensland and the South Australian season just starting. Part of the Nightshade family, you can cook Eggplant over an open flame or roast to really enhance and add a smoky flavour to this healthy vegetable. For a bit of a vegetarian shake up, try these Grilled Eggplant Burgers.
Baby Broccoli from Lockyer Valley is growing well in the warm weather. With a deliciously peppery flavour and so easy to prepare, Baby Broccoli is a delicious option for your daily intake of vegetables. Whip up dinner in half an hour with this simple Marinated Lentils With Baby Broccoli and Feta recipe.
Also from Lockyer Valley, Sugarloaf Cabbage is well priced and good eating right now. Noticeably sweeter than other varieties of Cabbage, Sugarloaf is ideal to use as a raw ingredient in salads. Try this Warm Chicken Salad recipe but switch the lettuce for Sugarloaf.
Looking to add some extra flavour to your meals? Herbs like Coriander from Victoria, and Ginger from Sunshine Coast and New South Wales are growing well and at the ready to be chopped, sliced, ground, grated or sprinkled to make sure your next dish pops. Just try this Sesame Ginger Mushroom Noodles.
There is an abundance of Tomatoes in the Brisbane Markets, so expect to see great prices on Truss, Gourmet, and Cherry Tomatoes coming out of Bowen, Bundaberg, and South Australia. For an unusual, summery side dish, give this Charred Tomatoes with Yoghurt a go!
Now that we’re well into spring, we’re seeing a fantastic selection of tropical fruits making their way into the Brisbane Markets, and on to your local fruit and veg shop. Keep a look out for Mangoes which are in great supply as we’re seeing the overlap of the Northern Territory and North Queensland seasons.
Now is the time to make the most of North Queensland grown Pineapples which are currently in stock, but expected to slow down in numbers by Christmas. You don’t want to miss out on trying this Mango and Pineapple Lemonade to cool off on a hot day.
Both Watermelon and Rockmelon prices are looking good thanks to North Queensland enjoying great growing conditions. These melons are great eating at the moment so snack away, but also try them out in refreshing recipes like Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad and even this Rockmelon and Cucumber Prawn Cocktails.
Red Pawpaw and Papaya from Mareeba and Innisfail are widely available at your local independent fruit and veg retailer. Both part of the Carica species, they’re often assumed to be the same fruit with two different names. Papaya has an oval shape and sweet flavour, whilst Red Pawpaw has a rounder shape and mellow banana-like taste.
We’re seeing Plums and Apricots coming from Stanthorpe farms, and while the price hasn’t started to drop on these yet, they are fantastic eating! The sweetness of Queensland grown stone fruit this year is looking to be the best we’ve seen in years. So, make sure you pick up a few to experience juicy, flavoursome Plums and Apricots.
The 2023 season of berries has been wonderful, and while Strawberries are dropping off, there are still New South Wales grown Blueberries coming into the Brisbane Markets, but this supply is likely to slow in the next few weeks. Make the most of the last of the peak Blueberry season by making Blueberry Muffins – you can’t go wrong with a classic!
Your local A better choice! fruit and veg shop hand picks their produce from the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea, which comes from thousands of Australian farms. Why not call in and see your local fruit and veg shop for the best quality, choice, freshness, and service available!