What’s in Season – Winter

Season produce

“A fruit bowl” by Laura Bentley (8 years), 2013

The cold weather is finally here. After weeks of autumn splendour, the skies turn grey, days are short and the air is brisk. Winter food should warm our tummies and comfort our souls. With an array of gorgeous winter produce we should never be short of ideas. Over the next few months, the following will be in season, perfect for autumn fare: Fruit

Apples Lemons Passionfruit
Custard apples Limes Pears
Dates Mandarins Rhubarb
Grapefruit Nashi Strawberries
Kiwi fruit Oranges

Vegetables

Avocados Cauliflower Potatoes
Beetroot Celery Pumpkin
Broccoli Fennel Silverbeet
Brussels sprouts Leeks Spinach
Cabbage Onions Sweet potato (kumara)
Carrots Parsnips

Most of us look for hot meals during winter, rather than salad-based meals, which is why winter veggies are perfect. Roast them, bake them, stir-fry them or make them into a yummy, warming soup. Don’t forget to add them to your slow-cooker meals.

seasonal produce

“A vegetable garden” by Laura Bentley (8 years), 2013

For a winter dessert designed to put a smile on your face, try baked apples, poached pears and stewed rhubarb. Or maybe an old-fashioned apple pie is more your thing. And to help you ward off coughs and colds, get you dose of vitamin C with a serve of citrus fruit at breakfast. Who said winter food had to be boring?


		
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What’s in season – Autumn

seasonal produce

“A vegetable garden” by Laura Bentley (8 years), 2013

Leaves changing colour, and cooler mornings and evenings signal the arrival of Autumn. While we can still enjoy some warm days, there is something about the cooler weather that has us heading back to our kitchens.

Over the next few months, the following will be in season, perfect for autumn fare:

Fruit

Apples Lemons Pears
Bananas Limes Plums
Custard apples Mandarins Quinces
Figs Nashi Rhubarb
Grapes Oranges Watermelon
Kiwi fruit Passionfruit

Vegetables

Asian greens (bok choy, choy sum) Cucumbers Peas
Avocados Eggplant Potatoes
Broccoli Fennel Pumpkin
Brussels sprouts Ginger Snow peas
Cabbage Leeks Spinach
Capsicum Green beans Sweet potato (kumara)
Carrots Lettuce Tomatoes
Cauliflower Mushrooms Zucchini
Celery Onions
Corn Parsnip

If you are not quite ready to head indoors to eat, don’t despair. Autumn is still a great time to light up the barbecue. But instead of the usual crisp, cold salads of summer, why not make a warm salad of roast autumn veggies to accompany your meat?

autumn produceWhen entertaining, a cheese platter with figs, grapes and pears is ideal. And when it comes to dessert, stewed rhubarb and apple is perfect with custard or ice-cream. If you want something more substantial and warming, then you can’t go past homemade apple pie!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your basket and head off to your local farmer’s market or fruit and veggie shop. There’s a world of wonderful produce waiting for you.

What’s in season – summer

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“A fruit bowl” by Laura Bentley (8 years) 2013

Summer has arrived! With the warmer weather comes all the delicious summer fruits and veggies.

When we think of summer in Australia, we think of picnics at the beach or in the park, barbeques and lots of delicious salads. Don’t forget that many of these plant foods make great accompaniments to your Christmas table.

Over the next few months, watch out for these at your local fruit shop or produce store:

Fruit

Apricots Limes Pears
Bananas Mangoes Pineapple
Blackberries Melon Plums
Blueberries Nectarines Raspberries
Cherries Oranges Strawberries
Figs Passionfruit Watermelon
Grapes Peaches

Vegetables 

Asian greens Eggplant Potatoes
Asparagus Garlic Radishes
Capsicum Green Beans Tomatoes
Celery Green Shallots Watercress
Corn Lettuce Zucchini
Brussels sprouts Onions
Cucumbers Peas
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“A vegetable garden” by Laura Bentley (8 years), 2013

Summer is the perfect time to increase your intake of fruits and veggies. With salads a staple for many Aussies, there are so many different options. Why not throw in a handful of raspberries or blueberries for extra colour and flavour? Or perhaps aim to include fruits and veggies of different colours to make a rainbow salad. Other fruits that work well in salads include stone fruit and pears.

When it comes to dessert, why not make fruit the feature? Chargrilled peaches with a dollop of ice-cream, or even a mixed berry smoothie to help you stay cool. And if you are having the traditional Aussie pavlova, you can’t go past lots of yummy fruit on top.

Remember, the more colour you include in your diet, the higher nutritional benefit to you.

In summer, fruits and veggies can spoil in the heat, so always store them in a cool place, and even consider stocking up every few days. Buying from your local fruit shop or farmer’s market is a great way to ensure you enjoy the freshest produce.

What’s in season? – Spring

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“A fruit bowl” by Laura Bentley (8 years), 2013

Well spring is here and for most of us, that means an overhaul of our eating habits. Modifying our menus based on what’s in season is one of the best ways to eat. By choosing produce that’s in season, you will save money. You will also be eating fresher produce with a higher nutritional content.

Of course, availability of some produce will depend upon the region of Australia you live, in, but generally speaking, you can expect to find the following fruits freely available.

Fruit

Apples

Grapefruit

Mandarins

Rhubarb

Avocado

Honeydew

Mango

Strawberries

Bananas

Kiwi fruit

Mulberries

Starfruit

Blueberries

Lemons

Oranges

Tangello

Cantaloupe

Limes

Papaya

Watermelon

Cherries

Loquats

Pepino

 

Cumquats

Lychees

Pineapple

 

When it comes to vegetables, there is a huge variety to choose from, with green a common theme:

Vegetables 

Artichokes

Celery

Onions, spring

Swede

Asian greens

Choko

Parsnip

Sweet potato

Beans

Daiko

Peas

Tomato

Beetroot

Eggplant

Potatoes

Turnip

Broccoli

Fennel

Pumpkin

Watercress

Brussels sprouts

Leek

Radish

Witlof

Cabbage

Lettuce

Shallot

Zucchini

Capsicums

Mushrooms

Silverbeet

 

Carrots

Okra

Spinach

 

Cauliflower

Onions

Squash

 
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“A vegetable garden” by Laura Bentley (8 years), 2013

Remember, fruits and veggies have a range of health benefits, so don’t skimp on them when preparing your meals. The contain dietary fibre which aids digestion, keeps you regular, helps keep you full and may help protect you from a range of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and some gastrointestinal diseases.

They also contain many vitamins and nutrients that our body needs to function properly, so eat a wide range of differently coloured fruits and vegetables, to ensure your intake of important vitamins and minerals is sufficient.

One of the best ways to shop for produce is at your local farmer’s market. So grab your basket and load it up. Not only will you be supporting your local growers, but you will be ensuring the produce you are eating is the best money can buy.