Throw a bar­gain in your mar­ket bas­ket

The Queensland Times - - NEWS | OPINION -

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.

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