August Produce Report
Presenting the August 2012 Produce Report, a summary of the seasonal delights that Winter is serving up, thank to our friends at Market Fresh
Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fibre potassium, folate, and vitamin B6.
Celery grows to a height of 12 to 16 inches and is composed of leaf-topped stalks arranged in a conical shape and joined at a common base. The stalks have a crunchy texture and a delicate, but mildly salty, taste. The stalks in the centre are called the heart and are the tenderest.
Varieties available this month are Imperial, Honey Murcott, Ellendale, Empress and Afourer. Mandarins are a member of the citrus family; they have 8-10 segments, a glossy orange skin, and soft flesh with less pith than oranges. They are easy to peel and have a sweet acidic flavour. Mandarins are an excellent source of vitamin C and a useful source of dietary fibre. Mandarins lend themselves to many dishes such as fruit and savoury salads, cakes, desserts, cocktails and meat dishes. They are a wonderful addition to children’s lunch boxes because they are easy to peel and break easily into segments and do not require any cling wrapping.
Queensland Eggplant or Aubergine is of excellent quality this month; they are a good source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin C and potassium.
There two varieties available-
Long Tom - slender elongated, cucumber shaped
Black Bell - pear shaped
When purchasing Eggplant choose fruit which is firm, heavy in comparison to size and has a dark and shiny skin with a fresh green stalk. The skin must have a uniform, rich purple colour, free from scars and cuts.
Eggplant can be fried, baked, boiled, steamed or grilled. They are excellent when stuffed with meat or sautéed in olive oil and cooked with tomato paste. Eggplant Lasagne is a favourite with children and eggplant dip or Baba Ghanoush is a popular, healthy appetizer.
Savoy - this variety have crinkled leaves and a loosely formed head. They are yellow/green in colour and are slightly sweet in flavour.
Ballhead - is also known as domestic cabbage, they have a loosely formed head; the leaves are crumpled, curled and brittle and they do not overlap. They are cream/white/green in colour.
Red - has smooth leaves which are a purple/red colour and an oval head.
Cabbages are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre. Cabbage is a very versatile vegetable used raw in salads such as coleslaw, or it may be pickled. When cooking cabbage, smaller pieces will cook faster and the faster it cooks the more flavour and nutrient that are retained.
Tamarillos are an egg shaped pointed at both ends with deep red smooth skin with orange/red flesh. The flavour of the tamarillo pulp is like a combination of tomato and passionfruit. Enjoy fresh or halved, seasoned and grilled for 10-15 minutes and served as a vegetable. Use as an ingredient in a stuffing for roast lamb or to make jams, chutneys and sauces.
Red and White Witlof are in good supply this month. Witlof are related to the lettuce, endive, artichoke and radicchio. Witlof has narrow, elongated bulbous clusters of leaves 15cm in height and 5cm in diameter. Select fresh, clean leaves that are creamy white to light yellow, with no signs of decay or wilting. Wash in cold water and dry. Trim the base and use leaves whole or sliced uncooked in salads. Witlof can be cooked by steaming, boiling or microwaving.
Hayward - Green kiwis are the size of an egg; have a thin, fuzzy, brown skin. They have emerald green juicy flesh and have small black, edible seeds dispersed throughout the pulp.
Gold - Gold kiwifruit are similar in size and shape to green kiwifruit, but are hairless and have yellow flesh. They are sweet to taste sweet and have a lightly tropical flavour.
Kiwifruit are an excellent source of vitamin C (one serving of kiwifruit has 240% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C), and a good source of potassium, folate and dietary fibre. Firm fruit will ripen naturally at room temperature, not in the refrigerator.
Parsnips are related to carrot, celery and parsley. They have a tapered root similar to carrot and have a creamy/white skin and flesh with a leafy top.
Parsnip is an excellent source of vitamin C and is good source of dietary fibre and folic acid.
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 available this month are -
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.
Corella - squat and conical in shape and light green in colour, the skin has a shiny glow, which may carry a light pinkish blush. The flesh is yellowish and very sweet and juicy.
Broccoli is in abundance this month and is of high quality Because of its different components, this vegetable provides a complex of tastes and textures, ranging from soft and flowery (the florets) to fibrous and crunchy (the stem and stalk). Its colour can range from deep sage to dark green to purplish-green, depending upon the variety. When buying, choose broccoli with floret clusters that are compact and not bruised. They should be uniformly coloured, either dark green, sage or purple-green, depending upon variety, and with no yellowing. Broccoli is an excellent source of the vitamins K, C, and A. To retain the maximum flavour and nutrition of broccoli, only lightly stem, boil or stir fry.
Brussels Sprouts are an excellent source of vitamins and contain moderate amounts of dietary fibre, iron, potassium and riboflavin. When selecting Brussels sprouts choose small, firm and compact heads of bright green colour. Brussels sprouts can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried or micro waved for a hearty and healthy winter accompaniment to all types of meals.
New season strawberries from Queensland are being harvested this month, they are of very good quality and are great eating.
Tangelo is a hybrid of a mandarin and a grapefruit; it has a thin skin which peels more readily than grapefruit. It has a fine textured flesh and is very juicy and sweet flavoured, they range from the size of a standard orange to the size of a grapefruit and are usually necked at the base. Tangelos are an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source dietary fibre and contain some vitamin A and folic acid. Enjoy as a fresh fruit, juice for a refreshing beverage or use segments in salads. Effective as a garnish for gateaux’s and pavlovas, use juice as a basis marinades and sauces or try in a variety of Chinese cuisine including chicken, duck and beef.
Cauliflower is a member of the Brassica family which includes cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts. It has a white solid flower head which is surrounded by green leaves. When purchasing cauliflower look for heads that are pure white, firm, compact and heavy for their size. Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and serving cauliflower raw will give you the highest nutritional benefit.