Produce report: January 29
Don’t forget to pick up a punnet or two of blueberries when you next do the supermarket shopping. They are good buying and nutritious – all those anitioxidants and vitamins C and K. Or better yet, head out of town for a day trip to pick your own (see Blueberry Country in the Waikato, Pleasant Valley at Awhitu Peninsula).
Blueberries will be with us for another couple of months yet but they freeze well, should you be in the fortunate position of having a glut. Be sure not to wash them before freezing or they will stick together. Freeze in a single layer and then pop them into a sealed container or into ziplock bags.
Frozen blueberries are best within six months, but can be stored for a couple of months longer. There’s no need to thaw before adding them to smoothies— just give them a quick rinse first. When using in baking, cover them with water and thaw for a few minutes then drain and dry.
Imported pomegranates continue to be good buys. If you’re a fan of the sweet-sour arils which do so much to pretty up and enliven a salad, it’s handy to know that the hardy fruit can be stored for up to two months in the fridge as long as it isn’t split (pomegranates split if left to overripen on the tree and lose flavour when this happens). The arils can also be frozen for up to a year. Like blueberries, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours until frozen and then tip them into a ziplock bag.
Watermelons and rockmelons are in plentiful supply – delicious cut into cold wedges from the fridge and devoured over these hot, humid days (no, we are not complaining about the weather). Elsewhere stonefruit, including golden queen peaches, continues its sweet, affordable run. It’s time to buy up all the cherries you can – they are superb and won’t be here much longer.
Vegetable-wise, sweetcorn is the week’s best buy and beautiful broccoli is a pleasing price as well – roast it to add it to dinner bowls or blanch it for one of our most popular salads – Jo Elwin’s broccoli, brown rice and cashew version which is a complete meal and also a tasty, nutritious lunch to cart to work.
Green cabbages should also be on the shopping list now – after an expensive winter. Shred some and pile it on to your summery tortillas. Eggplant and capsicums are excellent buys; avocados a little pricey.
It’s Anniversary Day today for Aucklanders so we are celebrating with dessert. Treat the family to one of these speedy versions using summer fruits.
Two speedy fruity puds