In season now

pomeloinsidePomelo

It looks like a huge grapefruit, but the pomelo has a much sweeter and mild flavour. It’s delicious eaten as is, or in salads. Like other citrus fruits, pomelos are rich inVitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. Available from Picone Exotics.

Coriander

An essential ingredient in Asian cooking, this fragrant and fresh tasting herb adds flavour to curries, salads, salsa, guacamole. eggs, and fish dishes. Sprinkle leaves on just before serving for the best flavour. Blend with macadamia nuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and parmesan for a coriander pesto – a great alternative to basil, which is only just starting to come into season locally and is not widely available yet.  Don’t throw away the roots – they add amazing flavour to Thai curry pastes. Fresh coriander available at The Gourmet Salad Hut and Glenyce Creighton.

Sprouts

If the warmer weather has got you feeling like a detox and craving all things fresh, clean, and green, try adding some sprouts to your diet. Sprinkle on salads, sandwiches, stir fries or soups for extra flavour texture and nutrition, add them to green juices, or enjoy them on their own dressed with some olive oil and salt and pepper. You’ll find big range of sprouts at the Sproutlovers stall including mung bean, lentil and chickpea sprouts,  while the Energetic Greens stall  has soil grown sprouts such including broccoli, radish, wheat grass and barley grass.

Green Garlic

Also known as spring garlic, green garlic is simply young immature garlic bulbs, which have been picked early and not cured (dried). They are much softer than regular garlic and have a beautiful mild, sweet flavour and fresh crunchy texture that can be enjoyed fresh or cooked. Kenrick Riley, of Wiccawood Organics (Mullumbimby Farmers Market) has a good pick of green garlic at the moment. He says you don’t have to peel the cloves, just slice and use in salads, dressings, pizza, or anywhere else you would normally use garlic. Neville Singh also has an early pick of garlic. More mature garlic should be available at the markets in about a months time.

Goat’s Cheese

It’s kidding season on the farm at Nimbin Valley Dairy, which means the nanny goats are once again producing enough milk for cheese production. The first batch of Nimbin Valley’s Sweet Goat soft cheese is back at the markets – owners Kerry and Paul describe it as ‘soft, moist and full of coconut flavours, with just a hint of sourness.’ Also look out for their Washed Goat soft cheese, their marinated Lemon Billy and Orange Billy goat curd and raw goat milk and goat milk kefir.

Granola bowls

The newest breakfast on the block at the market is the raw granola bowl by Mumma Raw, made with Mumma Raw’s own gluten free, organic fig and pecan granola (with activated seeds and nuts) topped with chia seeds soaked in coconut milk, coconut yoghurt, fresh seasonal fruit from the market and home-made nut milks – it’s fresh, light and healthy and a perfect spring/summer breakfast.

Native raspberries

nativeraspberries

Tintenbar bush food grower Rebecca Barnes, of our native food stall, Playing With Fire, stall has a bumper crop of native raspberries on her property this year, and will have these beautiful little fruit at her stall over the next few weeks. Native raspberries do not have the same intense sweetness as the European version, and have a milder flavour overall, but they are nonetheless delicious, and like so many other bush foods, packed with antioxidants and extremely good for you.

Tomatoes

As the weather warms up, the tomatoes at Coopers Shoot Tomatoes are ripening all at once. The oversupply there are some great bargains to be had on their seconds at the farmers market, which are perfect for making some big batch sauces. There’s also plenty of Cooper’s Shoot’s famous premium gourmet truss tomatoes available, with cherry tomatoes and Heather’s delicious heirlooms on the way in coming weeks.

Black sapote

The black sapote, also known as the chocolate pudding fruit, will be in season from now until Christmas. As the name suggests, the flesh of this fruit is like chocolate pudding, with a rich, dark chocolatey colour, smooth silky texture and chocolate flavour. For the best eating, you need to wait until the fruit almost looks over ripe and about to collapse. The skin will turn from yellowy green to brown and the fruit will feel mushy – this could take anywhere from a few days to a week. Serve chilled with yoghurt, cream or ice cream (you can also blend the fruit with one of these to mseedlingsake a chocolate mousse style dessert). You can also add them to smoothies or in baking. Not only do black sapotes taste good, they’re good for you too  – full of fibre and Vitamin C. Find them at Jungle Juice.

Spring seedlings

Spring has officially arrived, which means it’s a great time to plant your warm weather crops like cucumber, corn, tomatoes, zucchini and capsicum.  Local seedling suppliers One Organic have a great selection of locally raised organic heirloom veggie seedlings available at their stalls at the New Brighton and Mullumbimby Farmers Market. One Organic also have everything you need to keep your seedlings healthy and strong, including their own home made specially formulated organic compost, plant food, plant protector and Effective Micro-organisms or EMS’s (a liquid probiotic for your veggie patch).

Blueberries

The popular Blueberry Fields stall is back at the market with beautiful new season Brooklet-grown blueberries. Get in early for the buckets of seconds as they always sell out quick.

Strawberries

Super sweet berries available from Rainbow Fruit Flats and Morrow Farm.

Blueberries on the bush

Custard apples

These knobbly green fruit have a sweet, stewed apple-like taste that is lovely eaten as is, combined with yoghurt, as a topping for pancakes, or in smoothies. They can also be used to make a delicious ice cream. Myocum grower Glenyce Creighton  says the best custard apples are those that have smoothed out a little on the bottom. They’re ripe and ready to eat when they start to soften – a ripe custard apple will have a similar amount of give as a ripe avocado when it’s ready says Alstonville grower Kate Thompson of The Organic Avocado.

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 eaten with some fat and a little black pepper – and that’s presumably why it has always been a staple in curries. One of the the most popular waysfresh turmeric to take turmeric at the moment, however, is the 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. Mullumbimby Farmers Market stallholder and organic turmeric grower Sue Mangan, of Organic Forrest, recently launched a turmeric paste that’s pre-blended with coconut oil and black pepper, so you just need to add hot milk and you’re done. Church Farm  has a similar paste, which also includes a little cinnamon. Church Farm and Summit Organics also make 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.

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 Everest Farm.

Avocados on a treeAvocados

 The local avocado season runs roughly from April to October/November, and there are plenty of these delicious fruit available now. Look for them at The Organic Avocado, Avocado Valley, Jumping Red Ant, Morrow Farm and Mt Chowan Organics.

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