In season: Summer

MELONS

Sweet and refreshing new season watermelon has made it to the markets. The perfect summer fruit, enjoy it chilled, whiz it in the blender with some lime juice for a refreshing drink, combine with feta for a classic salad (or toss it in any salad really). Our other favourite melon, rockmelon, is also in season now. Try it diced and combined with some local leafy greens, watermelon and crispy prosciutto (or just wrap it up in the prosciutto). Local watermelon and rockmelon are available from the Everest Farm stall.

PAPAYA: These beautiful tropical fruits grow year round but are at their sweetest and most luscious during the warmer months. When you buy one fresh from the farmers markets, it’ll generally need a few days to full ripen – you know it’s ready when the skin turns yellow, it smells rich and it’s soft enough that it will give a little when you squeeze it. Small brown spots are fine and simply a sign it will be a sweet papaya. Perfect for fruit salads, breakfast and smoothies, papayas are also high in fibre and good for digestion. There are two main varieties – the red and yellow. Red are sweeter, often smaller and are more pear shaped then the yellow variety. Find papayas at the Everest Farm stall.

GREEN BEANS: Beans are in abundance now and tasting great. Keep it simple and steam as a side to any meal, or fancy them up with a little fried garlic and olive oil. Fresh green beans are also delicious in stir-fries, curries and soups, or try blanching your beans then simmering in a simple home made tomato sauce then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Find green beans at the Everest Farm  and Jumping Red Ant stalls

SWEET CORN: The first pick of the summer’s sweet corn has arrived at the Everest Farm stall. To keep your cobs fresh and sweet, bring along a cooler bag as this will halt the sugars from turning into starch (which is what often happens to supermarket corn that has to travel long distances, resulting in a tasteless, starchy cob). Enjoy fresh sweet corn as-is straight from the cob, boiled, steamed, in your scrambled eggs or omelette, in soups and salads, on pizzas or pasta, tacos or fritters.

BASIL: Fresh fragrant basil is back in season, with some beautiful big bunches available at the Gourmet Salad Hut. Great for pesto (try it made with local macadamias – it’s delicious), sprinkled in salads, on pasta or pizza or bruschetta. It’s best to use basil quickly, but you can store well for a few days – just make sure its dry, cut off the roots, and keep in an airtight container in the fridge.C

HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

Coopers Shoot Tomatoes have some beautiful heirloom tomatoes available now, including some super sized Beefsteak that are full of old-fashioned tomato flavour. Grower Heather Armstrong is always happy to recommend varieties and will often have tasting plates available at the market so yo

SALAD GREENS

With summer here, it’s time to start enjoying lighter eating and adding soo your meals. The Salad Hut is a one-stop shop for everything salad, and always has a huge array of healthy locally grown greens to choose from including fancy lettuce, baby spinach, tatsoi, rocket, herbs, and watercress (a peppery green that’s highly nutritious and excellent on sandwiches).  Also look out for The Salad Hut’s mixed salad bunches – a generous bunch of rocket, coriander, tatsoi, and red beet leaf or red mizuna which creates a fantastic mix of texture, flavours and


MACADAMIA BUTTER

Macadamia nuts make one of the best nut butters because they are so creamy and high in the good fats similar to those you find in avocados and olive oil. Macadamia is a delicious, smooth, dairy free alternative to traditional butter – spread it on toast or even add to baking in place of butter. Local macadamia growers Rainforest Foods, based at Tuckombil, create a range of macadamia butters available at New Brighton including a natural and roasted version, as well as their delicious Mac-Cao – macadamia butter blended with cacao (a bit like Nutella but a whole lot better in so many ways).

COFFEE

The Northern Rivers is a great place to grow coffee. The climate is well-suited and there are none of the pests or diseases that can affect coffee in other parts of the world. Known for its sweet chocolatey taste, local coffee is also naturally low in caffeine (which means you can have that second cup without getting the jitters). For coffee by the cup and take home bags of beans visit Myocum Coffee or Bangalow Coffee.


BERRIES: Blueberry Fields have their delicious blueberries and blackberries available now.

PECANS: Northern NSW may be famous for macadamias, but it’s also one of the country’s biggest pecan-producing regions. Like macadamias, pecans are  full of healthy fats and a good source of fibre. They’re delicious in cakes and desserts, sprinkled in salads for some extra crunch and nutrition, or on your morning porridge. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer to keep them at their best and their nutrients intact. Available from The Spice Palace and Nimbin Valley Pecans and Rice.B

 

Also in season now: Apples, avocado, bananas, beetroot, blueberries,  cabbage, capsicum, carrots, celery, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, garlic, ginger, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, limes, macadamia, mushroom, papaya, pecan, pumpkin, peas, potato, silverbeet, sprouts, sweet potato, tomato, turmeric, zucchini

 

 

 

 

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