How to save money on groceries: Australia’s most profitable fresh produce in September | Australian food and drink

Spring has arrived, and with it an abundance of fresh produce to enjoy, as farmers hope a third La Niña will not materialize.

“Brassicas are really good value, so cauliflower and broccoli,” says Christina Kelman, a grower at the organic vegetable farm, Rita’s Farm in Wallace, Western Sydney. “Cauliflower is now down to $2 or $3 a head.”

Not to be overlooked, cauliflower can be roasted with salt and spices, or form the center of a dish like Thomasina Miers’ Sri Lankan Cauliflower Curry. Broccoli also lends itself to fluffing up salads or serving as an easy side dish. The price of broccolini is still slightly higher in supermarkets, at around $3.50 a bunch.

“But stay away from cabbage, red and green,” Kelman says.

The wet weather caused most of the cabbages to become waterlogged and rot inside. While there’s no need to despair, one of the best buys of the leafy variety in September is wombok, also known as Chinese cabbage.

“Wombok is big right now and we have a lot of them,” says Clare McCulloch of Prosperous Food Farmsoutheast of Melbourne.

Where other cabbages have rotted, the wombok remains a great buy in September. Photography: Yulia Buzaeva/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Popular for making kimchi, wombok has a subtle flavor making it incredibly versatile to use in jumped up and salads. Palisa Anderson calls her the Norah Jones of the Cabbage Kingdom. You can find it whole in supermarkets for around $4.90.

Kelman says Asian greens, which grow on six- or seven-week cycles, recover faster from wet weather. Baby bok choy, choy sum, and Chinese broccoli also sell for $2 to $3 a bunch.

Given the abundance of leaf alternatives, McCulloch encourages shoppers to shop at markets for the benefit of farmer guidance. “A few years ago, nobody bought bok choy, but tastes have changed. People… try more interesting things.

More greens

The big lettuce price spike finally subsided, with the price of cos and iceberg lettuce dropping to $2 or $3 each.

McCulloch also recommends Brussels sprouts. Thriving Foods sells organic Brussels sprouts at $14 a kilo, up from around $24 a kilo in August.

Whether you’re going back to basics or adding them to your favorite dishes, there are plenty of easy ways to bring out their nutty flavor.

Oven roasted Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet
Oven-roasted Brussels sprouts are a tasty classic Photo: Vo Images/Getty Images

“With the Brussels sprouts themselves, you can’t go wrong with a little butter and leek, or you can add bacon and a little thyme,” says McCulloch, who sells them loose and on the stalk. .

“You can sauté the stalk or steam it with a little coconut oil, herbs, tamari, garlic, and ginger.”

Another vegetable worth experimenting with is artichokes, says Damian Galluzzo of Galluzzo Fruit Market in Glebe, Sydney.

“The globe artichoke is coming now,” he says. “They come down in price and they are good quality with a nice fixed upper.” Galluzzo sells two for $5.99.

Although you may need to think a bit more about what to do with it (see an artichoke manual here), you can use it, the leaves and all.

The beans have come down in price, selling at Galluzzo at around $10 a kilo, down from very high prices last month (a Guardian staffer spotted them for $39.99 earlier this month). august).

If you are looking for garnishes, you should always choose your herbs carefully. While parsley, cilantro and mint are in good supply and around $3 a bunch, more sensitive varieties like dill and sage are still difficult to grow, which the prices reflect.

The cream of the crop: strawberries

Best of all, this September is for strawberries, says Kelman.

Thanks to several weeks of warm weather, strawberries cost around $2.50 a punnet in supermarkets. But consumers may need to act quickly.

“Strawberries are one of the first things that smell of time,” she says.

Strawberries in plastic trays are stacked on top of each other
Strawberry prices are falling but that may not last. Photography: Erik Anderson/AAP

“Let’s say we get 20mm of rain, that means when we pick the strawberries they will be damaged… which means we won’t pick them, and that will drive up the price. With that warning in mind, it might be time to give homemade jam a try.

“People are making their marmalades and jams now,” Galluzzo says. On that note, citrus is still a good buy. “Blood oranges not to be missed right now.” He sells the fruit at $5.99 per kilo.

While Seville oranges are in short supply for jam lovers, Galluzzo says there is an alternative: “Kumquats are around $15.99 a kilo…you won’t see them much cheaper.”

Lemons are ripe for making curds, while the ultimate fruit snack, tangerines, are cheap at $2-3 a kilo in supermarkets.

To buy
Asian Greens
Iceberg and cos lettuce
Brussels sprouts
globe artichokes
blood oranges
Parsley, coriander and mint

too early
Blueberries: supply is scarce
Cabbage: too wet
Sage, dill and basil: weather sensitive

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