Weekend food: Produce report, fresh on the shelves

NZ vegetables
Pick of the week are yams. They are slightly tangy and have a delectable crunchy texture when eaten raw, making them perfect for salads. Once cooked they become sweeter; a delicious addition to your roasted vegetables.

Suggested recipe: If you are new to yams, try glazed courgette and yams on rocket salad. Preheat oven to 200oC and spray a baking dish with oil. Add 4 of each, courgette and yams, cut into chunks. Prepare orange glaze by heating ¼ cups of orange juice, 1 tsp. American mustard and 2 tbsp. of honey together in a small pot, whisking to combine. Drizzle this over the yams and courgettes and bake for 25-30 minutes, until soft. Half way through, use the glaze from the bottom of the pan to baste the vegetables. Serve over a rocket and baby spinach base.

Also look out for button mushrooms, cabbage, watercress, fennel bulb, celery and leaks. Button mushrooms are the most commonly purchased mushroom. This may be because they are nice and easy to deal with, perfect for a classically tasteful mushroom sauce or cut up into a salad.  

NZ fruit
Pick of the week are strawberries. Glasshouse strawberries are starting to arrive in stores. While traditionally strawberries were only available for around a month over summer, this has now doubled due to glass house growers. All crops are on track for a fantastic season. For your first homegrown strawberry of the season, go traditional and dip it in chocolate or sserve with fresh cream and meringues.

Other top fruit buys are NZ Rose apples, avocados, green kiwifruit, navel oranges and Jazz apples. Rose apples are a cross between Royal Gala and Splendour. They are deliciously sweet in flavour and go perfectly with nut butters for a healthy, effortless snack.

Also look out for tamarilos. The season is starting to slow but tamarillos can be frozen, whole or peeled and placed in freezer to be enjoyed in baking or smoothies at a later date. To peel, pour boiling water in a bowl completely covering the fruit leave for 3-4 minutes, drain and refresh with cold water. Make a small cut in the skin and the rest will slip right off.  

Imported produce
Pineapples from the Philippines, Ecuadorian bananas and coconuts from Tonga are in good supply. While getting coconut flesh out of the shell is difficult, the exotic flavour makes the task worth while. – Turners and Growers



Cookie Time’s new Bumper Slices are a modern take on the old school slice, made from real ingredients and real chocolate with no added colours or artificial flavours. Meanwhile, Bumper Bars have fresh new packaging but still the same taste and recipes with real ingredients, 28% wholegrain cereals and no artificial colours. The Bumper brand picks up on growth in consumer snacking trends. New Zealand figures show snacking is a fast growing consumer trend, with the lunch box category alone now worth $133 million (AC Neilsen) and top performers in the indulgent segment of lunch box snacks showing double digit dollar growth. Bumper Bars come in two varieties, Double White Chocolate and Blondie Chocolate Brownie. RRP $2.40. Bumper Slices are in four flavours (singles and multipacks) Apricot Chocolate; Raspberry White Chocolate; Wildberry Chocolate and Banana Chocolate. RRP $2.40.


The first SPCA-approved bacon in New Zealand has been joined by a limited edition Freedom Farm sausage made with Epic beer. They have been made specially for the craft beer festival Beervana in Wellington on August 22 and 23. Gregor Fyfe, of Freedom Farms, says: “Everyone loves a good old banger on the barbequ, but at a craft beer festival, what better food is there to serve to hungry patrons than a free range sausage made with real beer?” Freedom Farms will also be launching other flavour combinations in the summer, including happy pork and bacon and happy pork and fennel.

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