April Produce Report
Thursday, 28 April 2011 11:21
PRODUCE REPORT - APRIL 2011
Thanks to our friends at Market Fresh
Victorian and South Australian grown cucumbers are of excellent quality this month and they are are a good source of Vitamin C and dietary fibre.
Wash, slice and eat raw with the skin on and add to salads; try half cm slices topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon for a simple and tasty snack or summer entrée.
Varieties available are:
Ordinary smooth green skin, 20 to 30cm long
Lebanese 10cm in length and sweet to taste.
Apple white to light green skin with rounded shape.
Continental long and slender with ridged dark green skin.
Fresh Tahitian Limes from Queensland are of very good quality this month and are an excellent source of Vitamin C. When purchasing limes, select fruit that is firm, evenly coloured and glossy, and heavy for their size to indicate good juice content.
Victorian and South Australian grown pomegranates are an ancient Mediterranean fruit with durable, leathery skin ranging from yellow to pink and red. The interior is composed of transparent sacs filled with plump, juicy, red, pink or white seeds. Shake out the seeds and eat fresh, add to sweet and savoury salads or juice for use in cooking. Choose fruit that is large, heavy for its size, smooth and well coloured. One pomegranate delivers 40% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement. It is also a rich source of folic acid and of antioxidants.
Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, a good source of complex carbohydrate, folic acid, Vitamin E, potassium and dietary fibre, when eaten with the skin on. The varieties available this month are as follows:
Gold Orange Skin with bright orange dry flesh.
White White Skin with moist creamy/white flesh.
Red Pink/Red skin with moist creamy/white flesh
New season Queensland Imperial Mandarins are a welcome sight in our Fruit & Vegetable Shops in these cooler months. Mandarins are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre and are widely utilised for their cold and flu busting qualities.
When buying mandarins select fruit that have a rich, glossy skin with a fine texture. Avoid any fruits with soft spots, a puffy appearance and feel is normal due to the nature of the easy to peel skin.
When selecting passionfruit, choose smooth fruit of a deep purple, yellow or red colour, depending on variety. Fruit should be heavy for its size. Two varieties are now available, Panama and Purple. Panama is a large fruit with a reddish coloured skin covered with beige specks. Purple is a smaller fruit and with the colouring being true to name.
Very good quality locally grown bean selection available this month, varieties include –
Green or Round rounded pod; Flat or French - flat pod with slightly ridged sides;
Borlotti creamy/yellow pod with purple spots;
Butter cream/very pale yellow in colour and
Snake rounded pod up to 30-50cm in length.
Beans are good source of vitamin A and C and dietary fibre. A fair source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium and thiamine. Beans also contain traces of Iron.
When selecting beans, choose young, firm, straight pods with good colour (green, yellow or purple). Good quality beans should snap crisply.
Locally grown pears are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a very good source of dietary fibre. Handle pears carefully to avoid bruising and store in the refrigerator crisper for 3-4 days, then mature at room temperature.
New season Victorian Pears which are now available:
Beurre Bosc a medium to large dessert variety, the skin is a brown russet colour, fruit is elongated with a long tapering neck and the flesh is white and juicy.
Packhams Triumph a medium to large dessert variety, the skin colour is green, changing to a light yellow when ripe and the flesh is white, juicy and sweet.
Williams a medium to large fruit which is the major variety used for canning. They are light green in colour changing to a clear yellow when ripe; the flesh is white, smooth and juicy with a slight aromatic flavour.
Red, Green and Yellow fruit are in good supply this month. 100g of capsicum provides over seven times the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C and they can be eaten raw in salads; sliced for stir fry; diced or cubed for casseroles and ratatouille or halved and filled with meat or rice.
New season Victorian Green nashi fruit is a popular item for school and work lunches and they are excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.
A crisp fresh nashi is a sweet, refreshing snack and can also be used in desserts and fruit and cheese platters. When purchasing nashi, select fruit which are firm and plump with unblemished skin. The skin depending on variety can be either clear green-yellow, partially russeted or fully russeted and cinnamon like in colour.
Queensland Persimmons are the size and shape of a tomato but are bright orange when ripe. They have a thin skin and orange flesh, there is a woody cap on the stem end and flavour depends on variety. Use fresh slices in salads, to accompany pork, lamb or chicken, to make ice-cream, jams, purees and cakes. The fruit can also be dried and crystalised which is regarded as a delicacy in Japan.