BAG A BARGAIN: Get out to the markets this weekend.
BAG A BARGAIN: Get out to the markets this weekend. David Nielsen

So much choice as winter crops rush in

LARGER volumes of fresh produce have arrived from the winter cropping regions to the Brisbane Produce Market and have turned an initial slow start to the season into an abundance of choice.

Vegetables thrive in the cooler conditions with Asian vegetables, beetroot, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, carrots, silverbeet, squash, zucchini, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin all at value-for money prices.

Celery is cheap while cabbage buyers will notice a slight rise but it's still considered reasonably priced.

Eggplant is plentiful but the more eyecatching, glossy hothouse-grown are firmly priced.

Eggplant has a meaty texture, with its bitter, astringent taste becoming a tender, robust flavour once cooked.

Imported asparagus has reduced in price and is affordable.

The dizzy prices that tomatoes are commanding is tipped to fall over the coming weeks as the Bowen cropping region recovers after the devastation of Cyclone Debbie in April but for this week, the quality is variable and prices expensive.

Avocado lovers will find the pebbly skinned hass and the small, green, rough-skinned wurtz varieties at affordable prices.

Once avocados are cut, sprinkle them with lemon or lime juice to slow them from browning.

The best quality lettuce, Lebanese cucumbers and eshallots are firmly priced but you can pick up some great priced mixed leaf salad, continental cucumbers and most herbs, with the exception of coriander and basil which are currently in short supply.

In the fruit aisle, melons and citrus are the best eating and value, including lemons, Queensland mandarins, navel oranges, rockmelon, watermelon and honeydew.

Limes are the exception, having firmed in price.

Sunshine Coast strawberries are arriving in great volume, reducing their prices while raspberries are firmly priced and blueberries are expensive.

Look for other fruit bargains at Your Local Fruit Shop including pears, pineapples, passionfruit, pawpaw and the last of the red grapes.

Apples, bananas and end-of-season figs are firmly priced but are now more affordable than Mexican mangoes and USA grown peaches and nectarines appearing on the shelves.

Winter is the best time to scoop up custard apples, feijoa, dragon fruit, carambola (star fruit), rambutan, guava, rosellas, soursop, quinces, corella pears, nashi pears, chestnuts and okra.