HOW TO FIND THE BEST FRUIT AT HUNTER MARKETS
I’m a firm believer in buying fresh produce from the farmers’ markets. The food is fresh, it’s great quality, it comes from local sources so there’s less food miles, it’s often cheaper and to top it off, you’re supporting local farmers in the process. My favourite part is that you can actually talk to the people who grow the food to find out where it is from and how recently it was picked – a lot of the time, the answer is ‘yesterday’!
If you live in the Newcastle / Lake Macquarie area, you’re lucky enough to have access to some of the best produce around each week.
Newcastle: Held most Sundays at Newcastle Show Grounds or Hunter Stadium.
Speers Point: Held 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month at Speers Point Park. Note: They tend to have less stalls so not all of the below are guaranteed to be there.
I want to share with you the best suppliers for each type of produce – starting today with fruit.
Grown locally at Ourimbah, these mandarins from Ourimbah Orchard not only look great but are high in calcium and phosphorous which combine to form hydroxyapatite which is used to build bone and teeth. Delicious home made lemonade from Ourimbah Orchard contains pectin, a soluble fibre that has been shown to assist weight loss.
G and M Petrino
Be sure to stop by the G and M Petrino farmers stall to sample their delicious strawberries. Grown in the Windsor area these strawberries are produced for taste, not glamour.
Towac Valley Orchard
Kate Joyce and Rob Grant of Towac Valley Orchard take great pride in their harvests. Their produce is not dipped or waxed, which means you are getting the fruit closest to the source.
Their most popular apple is the pink lady apple – juicy, crunchy and slightly tart, the pink lady provides you with a quarter of the recommended daily vitamin C.
Towac Valley Orchard are preparing for the Cherry season to start their harvest in November. Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure by getting rid of excess sodium in our bodies.
Farm To You
This stall may not stock much, but everything it has is always fresh and picked the day before. Besides the beautiful passionfruit and pink grapefruit, an unusual looking fruit caught my eye – loquats!
Loquats taste like a mix of peach, citrus and mango, and goes well in fruit salads or is often turned into jam. It’s high in vitamin A, dietary fibre, potassium and manganese.
Frank’s Fruit is based in Nelson Bay. It is always picked the day before and is always in season! His mandarins are delicious and have more vitamin A and anti-oxidants than oranges!
The best tasting tomatoes you’ve ever had, from sunny Port Macquarie! Tomatoes contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, which has been found to help prevent prostate cancer and to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. They are also high in vitamins A and C
Morning Mist Bananas
Delicious bananas from Macksville on the mid-north coast – you won’t get any better than this! Bananas are a great on-the-go snack and a fabulous addition to any smoothie as they are an excellent source of vitamin B and soluble fibre. Be careful if you are trying to lose weight though, because bananas are also high GI – so no more than one a day.
The Avocado Man
These avocados are among the best you can buy – they’ve never been sprayed, and you can talk to the stall holders to make sure you’re getting avos that are ripe, or will ripen in your desired timeframe.
Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse – they are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Some of the health benefits include lowered cholesterol, reduced risk of diabetes, promoting lower body weight and preventing cancer!
Pokolbin Creek Olives
Yes, olives are a fruit! As well as being delicious, they’re a great source of Vitamin E. Pokolbin Creek have some delicious mixes, including wasabi, artichoke, chilli cheese and garlic & parmesan.
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