by Sarah Halfpenny
You know things are dire when even a fast-food chain like KFC start bulking out their burgers with cabbage instead of very costly lettuce! Inflation and the rising cost of everyday items has been big in the headlines lately.
The four main reasons for the soaring prices of our fresh fruit and vegetables are: flooding in growing regions that’s wiped out crops like lettuce, beans, and silverbeet; the dramatic rise in price of fertiliser and fuel since Russia invaded Ukraine; labour and harvesting costs; and packing and transport costs.
Here are five produce items that are relatively cheap at the moment and a recipe suggestion for each:
A boom in production of avocados in recent years has culminated in an oversupply this year. The knock-on effect is a price decrease – in fact they’re down 47% on the five-year average, selling at around $1.20 per avocado. Growers desperately need the Australian public to smash them on their toast so they don’t have to plough their excess crops into the ground! Try a salsa stuffed avocado for a simple but delicious snack.
The versatile carrot is super cheap at just $2 a bag. Use them in casseroles, blend them into a warming winter soup, roast them in the oven, chop them up for a handy snack or team them with another economical vegetable, cabbage, and make this savoury Japanese pancake.
Berries might be out of our price range at the moment but bananas are in abundance and affordable at around $1.80/kg, not to mention so good for you. For a dessert that tastes decadent but is super healthy, try this one-ingredient banana ice cream. It will blow your mind!
Fear not, you can still get your fill of greens without stretching the budget! There’s a profusion of some leafy vegetables – Asian greens such as bok choy and pak choi are top quality and value at the moment. Try this loaded Asian greens recipe that’s quick and easy.
It doesn’t always have to be a sweet dish when it comes to using pears, which are in strong supply and great value. This tray bake combining chicken and pear takes sweet and salty to the next level and should please the whole family.