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Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory

Turmeric

Known as the miracle spice, turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects. Research points to it having benefits for digestion, arthritis and joint pain, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart health and even in fighting cancer. To effectively absorb the active ingredient, curcumin, turmeric needs to be mixed with a fat and a little black pepper, which is presumably why it has always been a staple in curries. At the moment, however, the most popular ways to take turmeric seems to be in a turmeric latte or ‘golden milk’, a hot drink made from turmeric blended with cow milk or non dairy milks like almond or soy milk. You can make it at home yourself with fresh turmeric – of which there is plenty available at the moment – or make it a little quicker and easier with one of the turmeric pastes available. Church Farm (New Brighton and Mullum) has a paste made with coconut oil and cinnamon, that you can simply mix with hot milk of your choice. Summit Organics also makes a cold-pressed turmeric juice.

Rhubarb

This bright pink vegetable adds a beautiful colour and flavour to cakes, crumbles and puddings. For a super simple winter dessert, cut stalks into 5 cm pieces, place in a baking tray, sprinkle with sugar and then cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes or so, giving it all a little stir once or twice t make sure the sugar is dissolved. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Fresh rhubarb available from Summit Organics.

Avocados

avocadosThe local avocado season runs roughly from April to October/November, so there are plenty of these delicious fruit available at the moment. Look out for the Fuerte, Sharwil, Hass, and later on in the season, the Lamb Hass. Find your avos at The Organic Avocado and Jumping Red Ant.

Oranges

Do you read the stickers on the oranges at the supermarket to see where they were grown? Too often we’re buying oranges that have been shipped from the US or other countries. Yes, it’s nice to be able to eat oranges all year round, but is it worth it for the food miles? If you eat with the seasons and wait for the local season to start, that first orange just tastes so much better. You can also know how your fruit was grown – small local growers are far less likely to use chemicals or pesticides. Local oranges in season and available  from Rancho Limes at New Brighton Farmers Market (Jane also has delicious blood oranges), The Organic Avocado and Neville Singh.

Cauliflower

It seems barely a day goes by without someone finding a new use for cauliflower. Not content with the traditional cauli and cheese sauce, foodies have invented a whole host of new way to enjoy this versatile winter vegetable, including the popular whole roasted cauliflower – a dish said to be able to convert anyone to cauliflower.  There are a few variations, but the basic idea is to remove the leaves and trim the stem so it sits flat. You then spread some butter or olive oil, herbs and seasoning over the top and bake until tender. Cauliflower available from Jumping Red Ant and Will Everest.

Lemons

The cooler weather also signals the start of the citrus season. Local lemons are just starting to ripen up now, so you’ll find lots at the markets over the next few months. They’re one of those essentials in the kitchen with endless uses – perfect in your guacamole, squeezed into to some hot water for a morning pick-me-up, with seafood, fried haloumi or mushrooms, in salad dressings, or in sweet cakes and biscuits, the list goes on. Lemons available from Neville Singh  Church Farm, and Rancho Limes.

Free range pastured chicken

Byron Creek Farm is the newest stall to join the market, with their top quality free range, locally raised and processed pasture-raised chicken. Also look out for their beef products and home made beef broth made from their own grass fed beef.

Oysters

The recent floods affected the water quality of local rivers, which temporarily stopped oyster production for local grower Noel Baggaley, of Brunswick Seed Oysters. With things back to normal, Noel has returned to the markets with his fantastic Sydney Rock Oysters.

Mandarins

One of the best things about the cooler months is the abundance of Vitamin C rich citrus that Mother Nature so conveniently provides. The limes and lemons have already arrived at the markets and now the mandarins are in season too. Local farmers have some beautiful new season organic Imperial mandarins now – find them at The Organic Avocado and Rancho Limes.broccoliweb

 Broccoli

Eungella farmer Will Everest has started picking the first of the season’s s broccoli.  Highly nutritious and packed with Vitamin C, it should be one of your winter vegie staples. Lightly steamed with a little butter is a great way to eat it, but it’s just as good in stir-fries, soups and salads.

 Beetroot and beet greens

Full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fresh beetroot is one of the healthiest vegies out there.  Grate it raw into a salad; juice it with apple, carrot and celery (you don’t need much – a little bit of beet goes a long way) or wrap in foil and roast in the oven for a delicious addition to a roast vegie salad. And don’t throw away the leafy tops of these root vegetables – packed with Vitamin K, A and more iron than spinach, they’re said to be even better for you than the beets! Treat them as you would spinach or silverbeet – throw them in a salad or sauté in some olive oil and balsamic as a side dish. Find beetroot and beetroot greens at Everest Farms  and Jumping Red Ant.

Apples and pears

Plenty of apples and pears available now. Find them at McMahon’s Organic Apples and Costanzo Apples.

Pumpkin

Autumn means pumpkins. Try dicing, roasting and adding your pumpkin to a salad, warming up the cooler evenings with some pumpkin soup, or even roasting, mashing and then spreading on toast with ricotta for a hearty breakfast. Don’t waste the seeds either – clean, rinse then roast with a little olive oil and salt for a yummy nutritious snack or a sprinkle for your salads. Pumpkin available from Will Everest and Neville Singh.

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