Throw a bargain in your market basket
QUEENSLAND’S September school holidays arrive at a great time to pick up the best fruit and vegetable bargains so families can entertain and get the kids in the kitchen cooking up healthy meals and snacks.
Most vegetables are top quality and value-for-money, including Asian vegetables, beetroot, brussel spouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, carrot, celery, eggplant, fennel, snow peas, silverbeet, squash, sweet corn, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Pumpkin is at a rock bottom price and eating well.
Mushrooms are a range of prices, depending on their variety and quality, so be sure to select the best by looking for ones that are a fresh, smooth appearance, making sure they look plump with a firm, dry surface but not dried out.
Beans are firming in price while zucchini and new season Australian asparagus are eating well but will cost you more than usual.
In the salad aisle, most items are of great value, including bargain lettuce, mixed leaf salad, eshallots and most herbs.
The exceptions are firmly priced Lebanese cucumbers and basil and expensive avocados, with supplies from New Zealand brought in to meet the demand for the pebbly skinned hass variety.
The warmer weather is the perfect time for eating melons with rockmelon, watermelon and honeydew refreshingly tasty and reasonably priced.
Bananas are starting to rise in price but you can still pick up value-for-money strawberries, blueberries, blood oranges, New Zealand kiwifruit, pears, pineapples and pawpaw, with the red variety the best eating.
Apple lovers can find firmly priced, quality apples with the popular pink lady and gala apples nearing the end of their season.
End of season mandarins are also rising in value with the low seeded, juicy afourer variety and the rich red/orange, smooth skinned, easy-to-peel, honey murcotts the best eating.
You will pay more for raspberries, lemons, limes, navel and valencia oranges, USA grown grapes, passionfruit and Northern Territory mangoes, with the golden fruit being described by Your Local Fruit Shop owners as “sensational eating”.
The first of the low chill peaches and nectarines are available in small quantities, with its season expected to be strong from late September through to December. The fruit has a different taste to the varieties available closer to Christmas time that are grown in high chill areas.