What’s fresh at your local farmers’ market
THE markets are full of these sweet little golden-orange fruits at the moment. Most growers are harvesting the early season Imperial variety, which has a great flavour, is easy to peel and has few seeds. Perfect for kid's lunchboxes or a snack in your handbag. Rancho Limes (New Brighton Farmers' Market) has some beautiful organic fruit at the moment, as does The Organic Avocado (New Brighton and Mullumbimby farmers' markets). Also try Burringbar growers Jungle Juice (Mullum).
THE dry, warm weather has helped bring on a good early crop of broccoli. Eat it raw, steam and add to salads, or throw some in your stir-fry or cheesy casserole. Or try this eggplant, silverbeet and eggplant curry by local chef Veet, of Veet's Cuisine (veetscuisine.com.au): Blend 6 tomatoes and 1 large Spanish onion into a thick liquid. Fry 1 tspn of mustard seeds in a big splash of oil in a wok until they pop, and then add the tomato liquid, 1 tspn salt, 1-2 chillies and 1 tbspn curry powder (see Veet's website for recipe). Simmer for 10 minutes and then add 2 eggplants cut into strips. Cook for a further five minutes. Finally, add one head of broccoli cut into small pieces and half a bunch of finely-chopped silverbeet and cook until vegies are soft or done to your liking. Local broccoli is available from Everest Farm (New Brighton/Mullum).
YOU may have heard of the wonders of manuka honey, but what about active jellybush? It is Australia's equivalent to New Zealand's manuka. Like manuka, it is the honey produced from bees feeding on the leptospermum bush, and has the same medicinal qualities that make manuka so prized. Local beekeeper Garry Rodgers, of The Honey Wagon (New Brighton/Mullum), has just finished harvesting a new season batch of jellybush from his hives near Tyagarah, which independent testing has shown to have extremely high levels of antibacterial activity. Garry says a teaspoon of jellybush a day will help boost your immune system and fight infection and it can also be used externally as a natural wound healer.