With the winter solstice around the corner, we have to settle for shorter days and cooler nights. What we don’t have to settle for is average meals. Your local fruit and veg shop has a great range of fresh produce to take your winter dishes from zero to hero. This week’s curry, soup and chilli inspiration will fill you up and keep you warm!

Hass Avocados from Mullett Creek in the Bundaberg region are our pick of the week. They’re in excellent supply and great quality right now. The most popular variety of this delicious fruit, the Hass Avocado has a buttery, nutty flavour. Want a bit of spice to warm you up? Try our Chilli Prawn Avocado Antipasto.

Victoria-grown Nashi Pear is the perfect lunchbox snack during winter as it’s widely available and easy to eat. It can also be roasted, baked, barbecued or grilled. If you’re after a meal that packs a serious winter punch, you’ve got to try our Pumpkin & Pear Soup.

Pineapples from Moodlu and Paw Paws from Innisfail are in lower-than-expected supply due to cooler than usual temperatures at this time of year. These fruits are available year-round, so within a few weeks, they’ll likely be in great supply again.

Citrus favourites in good supply this week range from Tahitian Limes out of Mareeba and Seedless Lemons out of Gayndah, to Ruby GrapefruitTangelos and Royal Honey Murcott Mandarins from Mundubbera.

Kent Pumpkin from Goondiwindi and Bundaberg is a great pick. Available year-round, it’s in peak supply right now, and has great health benefits. Low in carbohydrates and free of saturated fats and cholesterol, Pumpkin is the comfort food ingredient you need in your pantry this winter. Try this delicious Yellow Pumpkin Curry.

Butternut Pumpkin out of New South Wales is also in good supply. To check if it’s ripe, knock on the shell – a ripe Pumpkin will sound hollow. If you’re after an aesthetically pleasing vegie, Ornamental Pumpkins from the Lockyer Valley region town of Mulgowie are available at this time of year. The Miniature and Jack-O-Lantern varieties are mainly for display and decorative purposes.

Sweet Potato from Bundaberg is plentiful at your local fruit and veg shop this week. A good source of vitamins A and C, Sweet Potato provides one-third of your recommended daily intake of manganese, the mineral that helps produce collagen and promote skin and bone health. Want a winter winner? Give our vegan Sweet Potato Satay Curry a go!

Celery from Victoria is in good supply this week. An excellent source of antioxidants and enzymes that help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, Celery will add great texture and flavour to a hearty winter soup.

Victoria-grown Carrots are great value and widely available this week. High in nutrients, fibre and antioxidants, Carrots can be eaten raw or added to a wide range of dishes. If you want to show off your culinary skills, try this delicious Curried Lentil and Carrot Soup.

With the cost of living rising, and groceries increasing in price, your local independent retailer is a great resource to find out more about alternative produce options that can save you money without compromising on taste. They have great industry knowledge and are keen to help you make good decisions when it comes to fresh produce. That’s why shopping at your local fruit and veg shop is A better choice! for knowledge and service.

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