Cut this heart-shaped, bumpy green fruit in half and you’ll discover a sweet and creamy white flesh with a unique flavour and texture. It’s delicious eaten as is, but is also great in desserts, cakes, pies and smoothies. If you’re adding it to a dessert, it’s best to puree first – simply remove the large black seeds and add to a blender or food processor. For an easy dessert, freeze custard apple in a bowl with plain yoghurt and honey, then blend in a food processor until smooth. To tell if your custard apple is ripe, give it a gentle squeeze as you would an avocado. If it is soft to the touch (but not too soft), it’s ready. It’s OK to buy harder fruit as it will ripen in a few days in your fruit bowl at home. Growers at the market include Glenyce Creighton and Kate Thompson of The Organic Avocado.
These tasty nuts are high in monounsaturated (good) fats and studies show eating a handful a day can help lower cholesterol. Pecans are also high in protein and Vitamin E, which is essential for healthy skin. Pecans in their shells can be stored for weeks or months in a cool dry place, but once they are opened, store them in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within seven days. Toast nuts to bring out their flavour and add to cake, biscuits and pies. Tweed River Pecans, grown at Murwillumbah, are available shelled and unshelled from the Nudgel Nuts stall. Also try Stan and Rick Morrow and Glenyce Creighton.
There is just no comparison between fresh beetroot and the tinned variety many of us were brought up on. To cook at home, cut the tops off, leaving one or two centimetres and boil for about 30 min or until tender. You can then grate or slice onto sandwiches, chop and add to salads or make a beetroot dip. Beetroot are also delicious roasted. And don’t throw away the beetroot greens – they are super healthy and rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Add them to salads or your green smoothie. Find fresh local beetroot at Everest Farms and Summit Organics.
You know the tomatoes your grandparents tell you they used to eat? The ones that actually tasted like tomatoes? That’s what heirloom tomatoes are – old varieties, with names like Ox Heart, Beefsteak and Brandywine, which are rich and full of flavour. Mullumbimby Farmers Market’s newest farmer, Amanda Fox, of Fox Farm. is now harvesting her first crop of organic heirloom tomatoes for the market, try them and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. Heirloom tomatoes are also available now from Coopers Shoot Tomatoes.
Many associate lettuce with summer salads, but in our neck of the woods they’re actually at their best and tastiest during the cooler months. Try Denise Latham for sweet, crisp organically grown cos, mini cos and other fancy lettuce, or choose from the big range of hydroponic lettuces at the Salad Hut.
Granny Smith and Pink Lady Apples
Who doesn’t love a Granny Smith? These bright green- skinned, tart and tangy flavoured apples are just perfect in pies, crumbles, sauces, or the kid’s lunchbox. Also in season, the crisp and sweet Pink Lady. Find them at McMahon’s and Costanzo Apples.
This native fruit is extremely sour, but tastes sensational in sauces, jams, cordials and desserts. It’s also extremely good for you, containing more antioxidants than blueberries. Find them at the market’s native food stall, Playing With Fire.
The first of the winter vegies are arriving. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are starting to come in and should be everywhere within the next few weeks.
After a break in production, Gary at the Honey Wagon has his famous Creamed Honey back in stock. As its name suggests, creamed honey has a creamy, velvety texture that is just gorgeous spread like butter on fresh bread or toast.
Also in season:
Avocados, beetroot, broccoli, custard apples, cumquats, lemons, Davidson plums, apples, limes, chokoes, radishes, kale, lettuce, macadamias, mandarins, bananas, coriander, pecans, potatoes, silverbeet, sweet potato, pumpkin.