Arriving in July and finishing in September, ruby-fleshed blood oranges have become a popular choice. Their attractive juicy and flesh colour has a tangy raspberry-like flavour, with the flesh colour varying in depth of colour depending on variety and growing conditions. Select blood oranges that have a distinct reddish blush on the rind, as they are more likely to have a richly coloured flesh and juice. Grown in NSW Riverina and Waikerie in South Australia, blood oranges are available at your local greengrocer for $6-$7 a kilo.
Luscious Queensland grown strawberry bring a burst of sunshine. Now in peak supply your local greengrocer will have strawberries available for $3-$6 a punnet. Eat straight from the punnet or add to your favourite home-baked goodies. Delicious in crumbles, muffins, pies and puddings, now is the time to cook with this rosy fruit.
Creamy Queensland bananas are an energy-boosting fruit that is a healthy choice for the whole family. Bananas are perfect for snacks or serve them sliced with your favourite breakfast cereal; they provide are a rich source of energy and B vitamins. Bananas are selling for $1.50-$4 a kilo, depending on quality and size.
Sweet and tangy Minneola tangelos are a bell-shaped citrus have a vibrant orange rind. Fruit can range in size from mandarin size to as big as an orange. Each tangelo has 12 large juicy brilliant orange-coloured segments that are easy to separate and very few seeds. They are perfect for juicing; add segments to a winter salad. Tangelos are in season until September and selling for $4-$6 a kilo, depending on size.
Green fleshed kiwifruit are in plentiful supply and selling for $4-$7 a kilo. Kiwifruit adds glorious colour to winter fruit salads or scoop out the flesh with a spoon for the perfect snack.
Supplies of antioxidant-rich blueberries from Caboolture and Coffs Harbour are retailing at $4- $6 a punnet.
Pineapple is low in kilojoules and rich in vitamin C, it also contains an enzyme that aids digestion, making it an ideal fruit to serve after a heavy meal. Pineapples are $4-$6 each, depending on variety and size.
Nutritious and natural sweet pears are perfect for creating simple elegant desserts or enjoy poached pears for breakfast. Poached, roasted, baked or stewed pears are great value at $2.50-$4 a kilo, depending on variety and size.
Passionfruit are plentiful, and a top buy at $1-$1.50 each for larger sizes. Alternative pick up a bulk buy of 6 small passionfruit for $3.50-$4.
Fresh herbs add flair to winter fare. Sage, oregano, marjoram, parsley and lemon thyme – add them in combination or use on their own to enliven soups, casseroles and pasta sauces. Fresh herbs are $2-$2.50 a bunch.
Brown onions have a strong, pungent flavour and are ideal for use as a flavour base for winter soups, casseroles and roasting. Sold loose, and in pre-packed bags. French onion soup with cheese toast. Expect to pay $2-$2.50. Look for bulk buy specials, to make more significant savings.
Fennels, firm, crisp bulbs with a delicate aniseed flavour are winter favourite, delicious enjoyed raw or cooked. Shredded fennel as a delightful crunch to winter salads. If cooking, enjoy fennel cut into wedges, braised or baked and served with lamb shanks or a leg of lamb. Large bulbs of fennel are a bargain at $1.50-$2 each.
Celery is economical, healthy and discreetly delicious. Raw celery is crisp, tasty and low in kilojoules. Serve celery sticks with peanut butter, whip up a creamy celery soup or add flavour and fibre to hearty winter soups with celery. Celery is $2.50-$3 a bunch.
Inexpensive and ultra-versatile pumpkin has an inherent natural sweetness, which works deliciously with sweet and savoury dishes. Jap and Jarrahdale pumpkins will be $1-$1.50 a kilo whole, while Butternut are $2.50-$3 a kilo. Warm-up chilly winter evenings with Jap pumpkin with parmesan & seed crumble, Massaman pumpkin, tofu & spinach curry or a Fragrant butternut pumpkin soup.
One of the most nutritious of all vegetables, broccoli provides us with iron, potassium and vitamin C. When exposed to cold temperatures broccoli heads become tinged with a purple colour so expect to see a bit of purple broccoli instore this week. Broccoli is $3-$4 a kilo this week. Stir-fry broccoli florets with,garlic, sliced onion, sliced rump or fillet steak, rice noodles and oyster sauce.
Crispy machine harvested green beans from Queensland are $3-$4 a kilo. Add fresh beans to a stir-fry or microwave beans with crushed garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Handpicked beans are $8-$11 a kilo.
Glossy red capsicums from Bowen and Bundaberg are a bargain at $4-$8 a kilo, depending if they are field or glasshouse grown.
Leafy silverbeet has large, fleshy white stems and dark green leaves. Sometimes mistakenly named spinach. To maximize flavour and colour, cook rapidly until just wilted. For a quick side dish wilt silverbeet in a pan over medium-high heat and toss with crumbled feta cheese, toasted pinenuts and olive oil. Season to taste and serve. Sold by the bunch silverbeet is $2-$2.50 a bunch.
July is the ideal time to make the most of the last of the seasons chestnut harvest. Whip up a chestnut and cauliflower soup, add them to stir-fries or create a delicious chestnut and mushroom sauce. Before the season finishes in late August, cook up a kilo of chestnuts. Peel and freeze them, that way you will have them on hand to use when the season finishes and even in your Christmas fare. Chestnuts are $10-$15 a kilo, depending on variety and size.
Jerusalem artichokes are in season, scrub well and leave skins on for cooking as the skin adds a nutty flavour. Roast whole washed Jerusalem artichokes until tender with a golden crust. Or cook them with potatoes and mash until smooth. Jerusalem artichokes have a pleasing nutty flavour and a texture similar to a potato. The tubers are ideal for soups and winter salads. Select firm, smooth even-sized artichokes, which are free of soft spots. Scrub well or peel before cooking. At $10-$15 a kilo they are truly a winter treat.
The natural goodness of cabbage shines in winter. Sautéed, steamed or tossed in a hot wok, these easy-to-prepare vegetables require minimum cooking. Expect to pay $4-$6 a head. Try Cabbage & leeks with bacon & pine nuts.
Select small, even-sized compact Brussels sprouts. Cut in half, quarters or slice Brussels sprouts, cook quickly and never over cook. Brussels sprouts are $5-$7 a kilo. The smaller sizes are the best buy.