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Paradise Fresh Blog

Paradise Fresh Blog


Info Paradise - Sunday, October 20, 2013



Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is one of the most popular culinary herbs used today. We love growing and offering it for our home delivery fruit and vegetable customers – it helps prove our freshness and its aroma is a wonderful surprise as they open their home delivered fruit and vegetable box.  It has a pungent, citrus flavour to the leaves that some people adore and others detest.  In fact, its name is actually derived from the Greek word for bug as they thought that is smelt like one that had been squashed!


Coriander is thought to have originated in southern Europe but has naturalised across northern Africa, the Middle East and south western Asia making it hard to define exactly where this plant is wild and where it only recently established itself.  It was used by the Egyptians - half a litre of coriander mericarps were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamen.  Since coriander does not grow wild in Egypt, it has been interpreted that this find is proof that coriander was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians.


Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander, also deriving from coriandrum. It is the common term in North America for coriander leaves, due to their extensive use in Mexican cuisine. Coriander was brought to the British colonies in North America in 1670, and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers.


Coriander grows well in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn.  It does not like the summer heat and this is one of the main reasons it is quick to bolt (goes to seed) in the warmer months.  Most people have great difficulties growing coriander as it usually bolts very quickly on them.  One of the secrets of achieving a beautiful and continuous lush crop of coriander is to grow it directly from seed in situ.  This is not too difficult and is a very fast and inexpensive process.  I certainly don’t recommend planting it as a seedling as it also does not like a sudden change in growing conditions and is usually propagated in a potting mix with frequent watering (as the seedling specialists do) which limits its nutrition and subsequent growth before it bolts.


On the Paradise Fresh farm we have great success in growing coriander in spring and autumn. We don’t even attempt it in summer as it bolts too quickly and in winter its growth is too slow for us to justify growing it.  We are trialling some new methods of growing coriander which will hopefully allow us to grow it year round.  It loves growing in the hydroponic system and grows a profuse root system which is ideal for our home delivery fruit and vegetable customers as it can stay fresher longer and has a wonderful set of roots which have a stronger flavour for cooking with.


All parts of the coriander are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking.  The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian foods (such as chutneys and salads), in Chinese and Thai dishes, in Mexican cooking, particularly in salsa and guacamole and as a garnish, and in salads in Russia.  As heat diminishes their flavour, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until the flavour diminishes.  Coriander roots have a deeper, more intense flavour than the leaves. They are used in a variety of Asian cuisines. They are commonly used in Thai dishes, including soups and curry pastes.


Coriander like many spices, contain antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice.  A study found both the leaves and seed to contain antioxidants, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effect. Chemicals derived from coriander leaves were found to have antibacterial activity against Salmonella cholaraesius, and this activity was found to be caused in part by these chemicals acting as non-ionic surfactants


Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid.  In holistic and traditional medicine, it is used as a carminative and as a digestive aid.


Coriander has been documented as a traditional treatment for type 2 diabetes.   A study on mice found coriander extract had both insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity


A minority of people find the taste and smell reminiscent of soap, and thus fined it offensive.  The reason is likely genetic (genetics of the people and not coriander), with some people having no response to the aromatic chemical that most find pleasant, while simultaneously being sensitive to certain offending unsaturated aldehydes.


Coriander Pesto




  • 2 cups fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (45g) toasted cashew nuts
  • 1/3 cup (35g) finely grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) light olive or peanut oil, plus extra


Place the coriander, garlic, cashew nuts and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. (Alternatively, place ingredients in a mortar and pound with a pestle until well combined).


With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream until well combined and a smooth paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Transfer to an airtight container and pour over a little extra oil to cover the pesto surface (this will prevent the coriander from oxidising and turning black).


Coriander Salsa




  • 2 bunches coriander, washed, dried, leaves and stems chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh red birds eye chillies, halved, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt & ground black pepper, to taste



Place the coriander, tomatoes, onion, chillies, garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir well to combine. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper, if necessary

Farmer Brendon

Paradise Fresh

Paradise Fresh Dubbo delivers quality fruit and vegetables to the customers door.  We service Dubbo and the surrounding areas.  We also service cafes restaurants, pubs clubs and schools with wholesale fruit and vegetables

Paradise Fresh are a premium quality home delivered fruit and vegetable franchise business with all orders placed through their website www.paradisefresh.com.au  Paradise Fresh have plenty of business opportunities throughout eastern Australia both in the capital cities and regional areas such as Toowoomba, Canberra, Wollongong, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Bathurst, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and many other areas.

Asparagus - The fresh spring vegetable

Info Paradise - Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ahhh Asparagus.  What a wonderful spring time vegetable.  It is a very versatile vegetable as it can be used in a variety of dishes such as with breakfast, as a starter, in snacks and lights meals, in salads, soups and with a main meal.  It is viewed as a high end vegetable most probably due to its limited seasonality and tenderness.

Asparagus is a perennial plant, growing from 100 to 150cm tall. The leaves are actually very small attached to the stems which appear as the majority of the top growth of the plant. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The flowers mature to form a small red berry 6-10mm in size which is actually poisonous to humans.  

Asparagus crowns (a root mass) are planted in May 25-30cm apart.  I spring the crown sends up shoots (spears), which are the edible portion of the plant. Spears continually emerge from the soil and can reach their marketable length 0f 25cm in just 24 hours when humid conditions prevail.  In the first season following transplanting of the “crowns”, spears are only harvested for three to four weeks, with the main objective being to strengthen the plant through maximum fern development and maximum crown growth. `

The fern stage is very important to the plant as the “leaves” photosynthesise and produce energy, which is then transported back to the crown where it is stored for the following season’s growth. Prolonged harvesting or stress can impact on the following year’s yield potential if the plant is not allowed to progress to the fern stage.

The asparagus fern dies down between April and May as the plant undergoes a natural dormancy period over winter. You then slash or remove the dead top growth taking care not to damage the crown. 

When harvesting cut the spear at or below the surface.  It should then be placed in the fridge as soon as possible to remove heat and prolong storage life. 

Asparagus come in green, white and purple varieties, although the later 2 colour varieties are limited and command premium prices.

Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.

Storing Asparagus
Freshly harvested asparagus is very similar to cut flowers - it needs to be kept in cool, humid conditions. Below are two tried and true methods of storing fresh asparagus. Choose the method that suits you.

  1. To keep asparagus fresher for longer, wrap it in a damp tea towel, pop in a plastic bag and store in the crisper compartment of your fridge.
  2. Stand the fresh spears upright in a container with 1cm cold water, cover and store it in the refrigerator.

Freezing Asparagus

  1. Wash the asparagus thoroughly and remove the woody ends.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
  3. Carefully add the asparagus. If you are blanching a large amount of asparagus, blanch in batches of 2 bunches to maintain the temperature of the water.
  4. Stand the asparagus in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes then remove immediately.
  5. Transfer the asparagus to a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes to reduce the temperature quickly and prevent further cooking.
  6. Drain the asparagus well on clean tea towels or paper towel.
  7. Transfer to freezer bags, secure and label with date.
  8. Store in the freezer until required for up to 8 months.

A few ideas for using Asparagus

 Chicken and Asparagus Stir-fry

600 g chicken breast fillets, cut into strips

500g fresh hokkien noodles 

2 tbsp oil (see Tip) 

1 carrot, cut into sticks

1 red capsicum, cut into sticks

2 bunches asparagus, woody ends removed, sliced into 3

1-2 small fresh red chillies, sliced finely

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1/2 cup roasted cashews

1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)

  • Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and stand for 1 minute. Drain and separate the noodles. Set aside.
  • Heat a wok over a medium-high heat, add 3 teaspoons of the oil and stir-fry half the chicken until cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside. Repeat using another 3 teaspoons of the oil and remaining chicken. Set chicken aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the wok and add the carrot and stir-for fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the capsicum, asparagus, chillies and garlic and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the reserved chicken, sweet chilli sauce, oyster sauce and noodles and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. 
  • Sprinkle with sesame oil (if using), scatter with roasted cashews and serve at once.


  • You can also use chicken stir-fry strips.

(Source: Australian Asparagus Growers)  

Garlic asparagus and bacon wraps

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
500g fresh asparagus (about 2 1/2 bunches), woody ends removed
400g bacon strips
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the garlic and parsley for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Arrange 4-5 spears of asparagus in the centre of each strip of bacon. Drizzle the garlic and parsley oil over each bundle of asparagus. Wrap the bacon around the asparagus spears and secure each Asparagus Wrap with a toothpick.
  4. Arrange the Asparagus Wraps on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake the Asparagus Wraps in the preheated oven until the bacon is cooked, 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, grill the Asparagus Wraps on the top rack of a preheated grill until the bacon is cooked.

 (Source: Australian Asparagus Growers)

Farmer Brendon

Paradise Fresh

A Fresh new Season of Fruit and Vegetables

Info Paradise - Sunday, October 06, 2013

What a great time of year to eat Fresh.

Spring signals a change in Australian fresh produce availabilities.  A good variety of stone fruit are starting with peaches and nectarines available already, plums, apricots and cherries about to start shortly. Mangoes have just started with a light Northern Territory crop. A dry but warm winter has reduced fruit set so a small crop is the result.  The Queensland crop will be marginally better however it will still be smaller than usual.


Australian grapes have started from North Queensland but are not very sweet and are expensive. Most of the grapes you see on shelves at the moment are imported from the USA. 

The citrus crops change in mid spring.  Mandarins are just finishing up in the next month along with navel oranges. The valencia orange season is just starting – they are not as sweet as the Navel oranges but peel much easier and are great for the kids lunch boxes.

The Australian asparagus crop is in full swing and will be plentiful until the end of November.  During December through to mid-August you need to be aware that the asparagus is all imported, usually from Peru, Mexico or Thailand.

All the melon crops are in good supply over the warmer months – watermelon, rock melon and honeydew melons will soon all be plentiful. Just like zucchini, tomatoes and capsicums they are frost tender so growing is limited to those areas without frosts in the winter months.

There is always a good supply of fresh herbs for spring and early summer. They love the warmer conditions to grow in, especially basil which we have found to excel on the Paradise Fresh farm no matter how much heat we cop as long as it has good water availability.  Our hydroponic system is just ideal for growing basil in the summer months, providing plenty of water and perfect nutrition for it.

Most of the salad items such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber will be plentiful for the next few months with dry weather conditions predicted - just ideal for the salad weather coming on.

Farmer Brendon

Paradise Fresh



Paradise Fresh Dubbo delivers quality fruit and vegetables to the customers door.  We service Dubbo and the surrounding areas.  We also service cafes restaurants, pubs clubs and schools with wholesale fruit and vegetables

Paradise Fresh are a premium quality home delivered fruit and vegetable franchise business with all orders placed through their website www.paradisefresh.com.au  Paradise Fresh have plenty of business opportunities throughout eastern Australia both in the capital cities and regional areas such as Toowoomba, Canberra, Woolongong, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Bathurst, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and many other areas


Why Home Delivery of Fruit and Vegetables?

Info Paradise - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Freshness becomes the largest advantage of using a home delivery fruit and vegetable service.  I often hear the question “Why don’t my fruit and vegetables last when I get them home from the shops – I have to shop for my fruit and vegetables every few days”.

The answer is very simple in the end.  In most cases the fruit and vegetables are sitting on the shelves dying while waiting for you to purchase them.  Simply put, for every hour on the shelf for the most perishable items (strawberries, lettuce, herbs, broccoli) they will last 1 day less in your home.  In the environment the produce is waiting in it is rapidly aging regardless of the methods of presentation on the shelves.

Using a fruit and vegetable home delivery service avoids this problem.  At Paradise Fresh we pack your order direct from fruit and vegetables in our coolroom – nothing sits out on shelves waiting to be packed. The produce is packed cold into an insulated box and then transported in a refrigerated van for delivery to your door.  This is why our customers find our produce will last for more than a week for them.

We find our fruit and vegetable delivery service is very popular with time poor people – let’s face it, that’s most of us these days. It reduces the amount of time spent shopping each week and frees us up to do more enjoyable things. Having your fresh fruit and vegetables delivered means you only need go to the supermarket once a week or even less. 

To try out Paradise Fresh go to www.paradisefresh.com.au  and put your postcode in the selection field and select your town – it is then easy to shop for all your fruit and vegetable needs. You will receive free delivery and a 100% guarantee on all our fruit and vegetables no questions asked.


Brendon North

Paradise Fresh


Paradise Fresh is a premium quality home delivered fruit and vegetable franchise business.  We deliver fresh fruit and vegetables through towns of NSW and the northern parts of Sydney.  There are limited franchise territories available throughout the major capital cities and regional towns of Australia

Paradise Fresh delivers throughout Dubbo 5 days a week.

Paradise Fresh also services the wholesale trade delivering to restaurants, cafes, schools, pubs and clubs throughout Dubbo

The Paradise Fresh Story

Info Paradise - Sunday, September 01, 2013

When Paradise Fresh began in 1998 it wasn’t as a home delivered fruit and vegetable business.  We have come a long way since our humble beginnings as a small farm producing a wide variety of lettuce types.  We added herb lines and some Asian veggies to make it a profitable small farm.  We grew the business by looking further afield to supply fruit and vegetable shops throughout the Central West, Northwest and New England Tableland areas of NSW – 45 shops in all within 12 months of first starting.  We started with a group exporting fancy lettuce into a variety of Asian countries which was short lived when the group fell apart.  OK then.  I guess we will just have to start supplying one of the supermarket chains to build sales.  Most people thought we were mad for even trying.  After quite a few attempts and the help of some of the local supermarket staff we managed to get into supplying 5 shops of one of the big chains direct into store.  The staff in these stores thought it was great – they could order what they needed 6am in the morning and have it in store by 7am, products were fresher and sales increased, they had no stock losses due to the freshness and we could land it into the stores cheaper than they could get it from there distribution centre.  We were also managing to supply other local grower’s products into the supermarket as well. 

At that time there were 18 other growers of fresh produce within 100km of us most of which we liaised and networked with.  In 2007 the supermarket phoned to say we would be finishing with them in 2 weeks – we had 13 weeks supply in the pipeline most or which we threw out.  By that time only 8 of the 45 fruit and vegetable stores were left operating – they had been out marketed and people had flowed to the supermarkets for sheer convenience.  Even worse only 3 of the 18 growers were left.  They had few opportunities to sell their produce and could not get it into the city produce markets as they were generally already oversupplied.  It was just easier to turn there hand to other things.

Thankfully, in 2001 we had begun selling a variety of local produce into local cafes and restaurants and built a wholesale business up as well. 

In a bid to get back to some of the retail customers we once had supplied through the supermarket chain we developed an online home delivered fruit and vegetable business – it was extremely popular and so in 2010 we franchised the concept and quickly sold other  franchises into Narrabri and Dubbo.  In 2012 a further franchise was opened in the Northern Beaches of Sydney.  A further 11 franchise territories will be opened in the next 2 years throughout Sydney as well as others throughout NSW and Queensland.

We have survived but many others have not. Unfortunately these problems are consistent with what is happening across Australia.

Where have the family farms gone?


Mr Paradise

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