Weekend food: Produce report, fresh on the shelves

Curly kale

NZ vegetables
Pick of the week is curly kale. This is renowned for being a nutrient dense super food that aids in the body’s detoxification, boost iron levels and is packed full of antioxidants. Store in a plastic bag or in a cup with a small amount of cold water in the fridge.

Suggested recipe: For an insanely healthy side dish, try stir-fried kale with chilli and garlic. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large wok, add 1 bunch of curly kale, around 200g, along with two tbsp of water. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and 1 deseeded, thinly sliced red chilli, stirfry for a further 2 minutes. When the kale is tender and vibrant looking remove from heat and serve alongside grilled chicken and brown rice.

Also look out for mung beans, button mushrooms, cabbage, watercress, fennel bulb, celery and leaks. Mung beans are the most commonly used sprout in cooking, mostly Asian cuisine. Chinese medicine refers to bean sprouts as a yin or cooling food; low calorie, watery, soothing in taste. They are used to treat “hot” conditions: rashes, dryness of skin and heart burn.

NZ fruit
Pick of the week is passion fruit. These are a great source of vitamins A and C, low in calories and the seeds are a great source of dietary fibre.

Suggested recipe: If you are looking to get a bit fancy in the baking department, try making this passion fruit curd. Heat 120g of butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of passion fruit pulp, strained or not- depending on how you fell about pips, in a heavy based pot. Once the sugar has dissolved and it reaches boiling point, remove from heat and cool for around 3 minutes. Beat 6 large eggs until fluffy. Very quickly, whisking all the time, add them to the hot juice- you do not want them to curdle. Place pot back on the heat and whisk constantly until mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pot. Once cool this can be used as a filling between sponge cakes, biscuits, cupcakes or poured over ice cream.

Other top fruit buys are lemons, NZ Rose apples, avocados, green kiwifruit, navel oranges and Jazz apples.

Also look out for Envy apples. This is the last week for Envy apples, so be sure to get them while you can. This premium apple is known for its sweet juice and creamy white inside that doesn’t brown once cut. If you are only just trying this delicious variety now, don’t fear, they will be back next season, fresher, crisper and better than ever.

Imported produce
Rockmelon, honeydew melons and strawberries, all from Australia,. Nothing says sunshine like tropical melons. Incorporate them into salads or make a tropical salsa or frozen cocktails to celebrate the sun beginning to grace us with its presence. – Turner and Growers

Fresh on the shelves


Barker’s of Geraldine has refreshed its jam recipes to make them fruitier and less sweet. It has also added two new flavours – Barker’s Seedless NZ Bramble Berries, featuring boysenberries and blackberries, and Barker’s NZ Blueberries with Cranberries – that bring the total range to 10. Michael Barker says consumers have become more aware of the amount of sugar they eat and less is needed if preserves are kept in the fridge to discourage the growth of yeast and mould. “Now that everyone has a fridge, there is simply no need for jam to be so sweet,” he says. “[It] has taken us outside the local jam laws, until such time as our food regulations catch up with worldwide trends. To be called a jam in New Zealand and Australia, a product must still contain 65% sugar whereas in France it is now 50%, in Germany it was reduced six years ago from 60% to 56% and the conservative Brits reduced their sugar requirement from 60% to 50% just last year.”  There are no added preservatives, colours or flavours. The sugar content in Barker’s three marmalades (NZ Grapefruit & Orange; NZ Lemon & Lime and NZ Mandarin and Ginger) remain the same due to the bitterness in the skins. But this may change if consumers demand it. RRP$4.39


Nestlé Highlander Sweetened Condensed Milk is celebrating being 120 years old this year with a commemorative recipe book from Nestlé Professional. Made using only two ingredients – fresh milk and sugar – Highlander Sweetened Condensed Milk contains no added flavours and preservatives. Back in the old days, New Zealand housewives were quoted as saying such gems as: “The children like it on bread when jam is not forthcoming,” and “Children fed with it are plump and have a nice soft flesh.” While things have changed over the years, the product is still used for making a range of baked goods as well as a traditional salad dressing. Among the 27 recipes chosen by Nestlé Professional for the hospitality industry are Baked Cheesecake, Key Lime Meringue Pie, Coconut Ice and an Oozing Caramel Slice. Copies available at http://bit.ly/1kxom1n.


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