In season: May

avocadoesAVOCADOS

Why pay $16 for smashed avo on toast when you can make it for less than half the price at home? Local avos are in season now – there are plenty at the farmers markets, and you’ll only pay about $2-$3 for one. Alstonville farmers Stan and Rick Morrow have home grown avos at their stall at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market, as does Burringbar organic farmer Georgia Powell of Mt Chowan Organics Locally grown avocados also available at Jumping Red Ant. Serve with a slice of crusty local sourdough from Heart Bread  or Crabbes Creek Woodfired.

 CABBAGE

Red and green varieties are just coming into season now. Rich in Vitamin C, and the core ingredient in the current must-have condiment sauerkraut, cabbage has come a long way since the days it was boiled and served floppy and lifeless. The crunch of cabbage makes it ideal for salads – one of the simplest is to combine shredded red cabbage with julienned carrot and a handful of mint or other chopped fresh herb, or  try it with  shredded apple, local pecans and a creamy dressing. Cabbage is also excellent in stir-fries and fried rice and can be cut into wedges, drizzled with olive oil and roasted (with or without bacon).

Cauliflower

Have you tried cauliflower rice yet?  It’s become so popular as a low carb alternative to rice that one of the big supermarkets now sells it in a plastic microwaveable tray. Save money and the environment, buy a cauliflower and just do it yourself. To create your own cauliflower rice, cut into chunks and blitz in the food processor or use a grater. You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days until your ready to use it or put it in the freezer. To cook, drizzle with olive oil, spread on at tray and roast for 10-15 minutes. Local cauliflower available now from Everest Farm.

cauliflower

GALANGAL

It looks like ginger and it’s sometimes referred to as Thai ginger, but galangal isn’t really anything like ginger at all. It has a strong, a sharp zingy citrusy flavour that is an essential ingredient in Thai curry pastes (used as base for curries and soups like Tom Yum). It’s also used in Indonesian and Malaysian dishes such as the classic satay sauce. Local organic galangal is in season now and available at Summit Organics , Organic Forrest  and Iona Herbs.

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SWEET POTATO

Most of us are familiar with the golden/orange-fleshed sweet potato, but there are actually many varieties in an array of skin and flesh colours. White skin and purple flesh purple skin and white skin with white flesh. All make a great alternative to potatoes and are super healthy – packed with fibre, Vitamin A and C. Use them in essentially the same way as potatoes– as chips, mashed or baked. Sweet potato has also become a fashionable low carb alternative to toast – try cutting sweet potato length ways into 5mm slices, bake for10-15minutes and then top with chicken avocado, spinach and mayo. Sweet potatoes available from Jumping Red Ant and Morrow Farm.sweetpotatoweb

LEMONS

Citrus season is getting underway on the Northern Rivers and the first good pick of lemons have arrived at the market.

You’ll find two main varieties- the Meyer, a rounder lemon thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or orange; and the more common Eureka, which is an oval shape and more acidic. Both varieties have plenty of juice, but the Meyer is slightly sweeter. The Eureka has a thick rind with a strong lemony flavour that makes it better for zesting.

If you’re going to use the zest, it’s always a good idea to buy organic or ask your farmer whether sprays have been used.

Lemons are one of those fruits that should be a staple in your fridge or fruitbowl. They have so many uses – in sweets like cheesecake, lemon meringue pie and puddings, squeezed onto savoury foods like mushrooms, fish or avocado, in your salad dressings, in a batch of home made lemonade, or in an immune boosting lemon honey and ginger tea.

If you are using the juice of the lemon, always grate the zest as well, even if you’re not going to use it straight away. You can keep it in a freezer bag and use as you need. Available at Jungle Juice and Organic Forrest.

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SEEDLINGS

The weather is finally starting to cool down, which makes it the ideal time to get some winter planting done in your veggie garden. Crops like silverbeet and spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, garlic, snow peas and radish can all be planted now. Locally raised seedlings or seeds saved from local crops are your best bet for success, as they are better adapted to local conditions. See Pam Morrow of Iona Herbs for organic local seedlings and seeds, or One Organic, who also have seedlings, as well as a range of organic pest control and fertilisers.seedlings

 

 

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