What's fresh at your local farmers' market
Hot pink on the outside and white, pink or even purple on the inside, dragonfruit are one of the most striking exotic fruits available. A member of the cactus family, they are also known as pitaya or, more romantically, the fruit of the moonflower plant - so-called because of it's nocturnal flowers, that bloom during the night, and close in the morning). Dragonfruit are a perfect summer fruit - they taste delicious chilled with a squeeze of lime juice. Just cut them in half and scoop out the flesh. You can also dice and add to a fruit platter, or use the purple and pink-fleshed varieties to add colour to your smoothies. Rainbow Fruit Flats (New Brighton and Mullumbimby farmers' markets) and Jungle Juice (Mullum) have just started picking this season's dragonfruit, so they will be in supply for the next couple of months. Picone Exotic Fruits (Mullum/New Brighton) should also have dragonfruit, including the more unusual pink and purple-flashed varieties.
Fruit ice blocks
Read the label on your kids' ice blocks lately? Sugar and a whole raft of preservatives and colours seem to be in everything, including the so-called fruit juice sticks. If you are looking for a healthier alternative, try the 100 % fruit ice blocks at Rainbow Fruit Flats (Mullum/New Brighton), which never fail to keep the kids happy on a hot summer's day. Burringbar farmers Kylie and Steve use their home-grown fruit to create their healthy treats - just fruit, nothing else - in a variety of flavours, including mango, strawberry and mango, dragonfruit and mango, and passionfruit and mango. Good for the grown ups, too.
It's peak season for watermelon and the perfect time to be enjoying them. Everest Farm (Mullum/New Brighton) has some great seedless varieties, while Morrow Farm (Mullum) has the classic super sweet and juicy warpaint watermelon.