Greengrocer shelves are far from boring.
Greengrocer shelves are far from boring. Renee Pilcher

Experiment with winter vegies

FRESH produce such as beans, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, zucchinis and cabbage remain expensive but greengrocer shelves are far from boring with a range of vegetable lines to experiment with in the kitchen.

Watch out for dark green Tuscan cabbage leaves, broccoflowers, which look like a lime green cauliflower, great quality fennel and the cooking root called celeriac that leaves a hint of celery taste in recipes.

The dirt on brushed potatoes may be mould affected after recent rains but the potato will still eat well if it remains firm. Pumpkins are cutting orange and are flavoursome.

Sweet potatoes have firmed in price and are limited in their sizes. Green capsicums are the best buy, while red is scarce and yellow are of poor quality. Eggplant is starting to reduce in price.

There is a shortage of large beetroot. Turnips and parsnips are expensive, while rhubarb is struggling with quality.

Carrots are plentiful and of good quality. Brown and red onion varieties are being joined by the white variety. Cucumbers and tomatoes are still short in supply, expensive and have a shortened shelf life.

English spinach is also hard to get but can be substituted with the hydroponic bunches, mescaline, microherbs and mixed leaf vegetables.

Quality Queensland strawberries remain firm in price.

Best value-for-money winter fruits are pears, all fresh apples, yellow papaws and imperial mandarins.