Produce report: June 17
Buy fresh produce at its best with insider tips from the New World fresh produce team.
Fresh in: Carrots are not exactly new to our shelves, they are available almost year-round, but they are so plentiful, affordable and versatile at the moment we had to talk about them. Cooked carrots are even better for us than raw ones — the cooking helps our bodies utilise all those antioxidants - so think roasted, soups, curries.
The other thing that makes carrots eligible for fresh status this week is the sudden cold that arrived in early June stimulates their sugar accumulation, making them sweeter - carrots love the cold! “The best of New Zealand carrots are our Ohakune Carrots” says New World Fresh Expert Brigit Corson “this variety in particular loves the cool weather and the rich Ohakune soil – and they’re excellent buying at New World this week!”.
Carrots also have great stamina, you can store carrots for weeks in the fridge. If buying bunches of baby carrots with leaves on, remove them as soon as you get home otherwise they will suck up moisture from the carrots, but don't toss them out, chow down on those too. Yes, the carrot tops are completely edible, although they can be slightly bitter, sautéing them with garlic or adding them to soups works well. Ok, enough about carrots, let's move on.
Look for: Kumara and cauliflower, while still plentiful, are not the best value options this week, that award goes to brussels sprouts, broccoli and in particular, pumpkin is in its prime. Fennel, silverbeet, swedes and parsnips are also good buying. Satsuma mandarins are still a standout fruit purchase and our other good value local fruit pick would be green kiwifruit.
Moving on: Make sure you have had your fill of passionfruit for the year as they are about to make a grand exit. Persimmons and nashi pears will also be hitting the road soon so eat up before they say goodbye.