Organic Yellow Nectarines
Peak Season Best Flavor Value Priced
Yellow Nectarines are ready to eat when the fruit gives just slightly to a squeeze on the palm of your hand. Did you know that Nectarines do not gain any sugar content through ripening after they are picked? However, as a Yellow-flesh Nectarine softens and the juices release within the flesh – the fruit tastes sweeter.
- Select Nectarines that are free from soft spots or wrinkles. The fruit should have deep yellow skin with red blush over must of it.
- Avoid Nectarines that have green-color where yellow would be – a sign of immaturity.
- An ideally ripe Nectarine will give just slightly to a squeeze in the palm of your hand. It only takes a day or two at room temperature to soften a Nectarine to juicy-sweet.
- Prevent “mealy fruit.” Too many days on your counter or, worse too many days in your fridge, will leave you with a mealy, dehydrated Nectarine.
Select Nectarines that are free from soft spots or wrinkles. The fruit should have deep yellow skin with red blush over must of it.
Organic Green Kiwifruit
Peak Season Best Flavor
Snack healthy! Did you know that two Green Kiwifruit have more potassium than a banana, more than twice the daily RDA of Vitamin C and more fiber than a bowl of bran flakes – all that for about 100 calories? Whoa. Digestion aid, indeed! Oh, and they’ve got antioxidant Vitamin E, Lutein, Folate, Magnesium and more.
How-ToWhen is Green Kiwifruit ripe? Hard = Very Tart. Slightly Soft = Tangy-Sweet.
Some Green Kiwifruit on display at stores will be rock-solid. That’s OK. They were picked hard but at peak maturity and ripen off the vine, slowly. An unripe Kiwifruit is aggressively tart and hard, while a ripe Kiwifruit will make come back for seconds with its sweet-tangy flavor and juicy texture! A Kiwifruit is ready to eat when it gives a squeeze in the palm of your hand. The softer the fruit, the sweeter and less tangy they’ll taste. Store hard Kiwifruit at room temperature until they’re ripe, or place them in a paper bag to speed up the process by trapping the natural ethylene emitted by the fruit. Ripe Kiwifruit can be held at that stage for about week in the fridge if you’re not ready to eat them.
How do you eat a Green Kiwifruit? Here are three ways I enjoy them:
- Sloop: To eat a ripe Kiwifruit simply slice it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. This is how Kiwi (those from New Zealand) eat kiwifruit.
- Fillet: Trim the ends, lay the Kiwifruit on its side and peel the skin away with a sharp knife – rolling it along the cutting board over the knife. Then slice it into discs.
- Skin ‘N All: (not for everyone) The last way to eat a Kiwifruit is for the adventurous: rinse the fruit, take a big bit to suck out the juicy flesh and eat basically eat it whole – most of the skin and all! The skin is a little fuzzy, but edible.
Organic SunGold Kiwifruit
Peak Season Best Flavor
SunGold is a new variety from Zespri, a New Zealand organization that is essentially a cooperative of growers marketing their fruit to the world. The variety is already a smash hit in Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries, but was only introduced in North America last year, so you may have to ask the produce manager at your local store to bring some in. Peak season Organic SunGold Kiwifruit are available in the US at natural food stores and food co-ops during July and August.
How-ToWhen is SunGold Kiwfruit ripe? Hard = tart. Slightly Soft = Sweet and Juicy!
SunGold Kiwifruit are picked hard but at peak maturity and ripen off the vine, slowly. An unripe SunGold Kiwifruit is hard and not very juicy, while a ripe SunGold Kiwifruit will make come back for seconds with its sweet and mellow flavor and juicy flesh! A SunGold Kiwifruit is ready to eat when it gives to a gentle squeeze in the palm of your hand. The softer the fruit, the sweeter and juicier they’ll taste. Store firm SunGold Kiwifruit at room temperature until they’re ripe, or place them in a paper bag to speed up the process by trapping the natural ethylene emitted by the fruit. Ripe SunGold Kiwifruit can be held at that stage for about week in the fridge if you’re not ready to eat them.
How do you eat a SunGold Kiwifruit? The easiest way to enjoy a ripe SunGold Kiwifruit simply slice it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. It’s like a sweet treat in that comes in its own bowl!
What else can you do with SunGold Kiwifruit?
SunGold Kiwifruit are fantastic for snacking but here are some of the other ways I enjoyed them while on my trip to New Zealand last year: smoothies, dried SunGold Kiwifruit, in Muesli, in a sauce over beef, in salads, served warm over grilled salmon, baked into muffins and as part of a salsa.
Find interesting recipe ideas for Green and SunGold Kiwifruit here.
Organic Heirloom Tomatoes
Peak Season Best Flavor
Try some for yourself this summer to discover the tapestry of Tomato flavor out there. Heirlooms are perfect chopped for homemade fresh salsa or sliced for a Caprese salad. I often enjoy them simply with a dash of coarse salt and cracked pepper, or sliced thick for a sandwich.
What exactly are Heirloom Tomatoes?
Most conventional, round Tomatoes have been hybrid-bred for consistency of size, shape, color, shelf-life and firmness – all so that they can safely make it through the supermarket supply channel and into your kitchen without getting soft or going bad. Heirlooms, on the other hand, are old and diverse varieties that have been around since WWII. Some have been passed down over the years by a family and others were created through natural cross-pollinations, still others were commercially produced by a seed company or university ag program over 75 years ago. With Heirloom varieties you can take seeds from this year’s fruit and plant it year after year and get the exact same tomato plant. Each Heirloom variety has its own special taste, texture, shape, size and color characteristics that make them unique and wonderful in their own way.
“Wait, these Tomatoes feel soft!”
Organic Heirloom Tomatoes are soft to begin with – you should expect them to have a little give. Since they are not hybridized for shelf-life or firmness, do not expect a long shelf-life. Use them quickly. Oh, and they’re ugly by most normal standards, …but the flavor, whether sweet, earthy, bold, tangy or bold – is always beautiful! Since Heirlooms are not bred for maximum production or disease resistance – yields are typically smaller and they cost more to grow. That is why you can expect to pay more at the register. What is flavor, farming and philosophy worth to you?
What do they taste like?
There is a broad range of flavors when it comes to Heirloom Tomatoes and that is a great thing! In my experience, the following color categories have some flavor similarities, but this is by no means a definitive guide. Explore and discover for yourself!
- Reds: rich tomato taste, sweet with noticeable acidity, “Beefstake” often in the name
- Pinks: pronounced acidity, full throttle tangy garden tomato taste, “German” often in the name
- Yellows: sweeter flavor than most red varieties
- Browns: bold, earthy and intense flavors, “Black,” “Purple” or “Russian” often in the name
- Striped: range from bitter to sweet depending on the variety or how ripe the fruit is when picked.
Local Organic Produce Picks: for readers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states during mid-July:
- Organic Blueberries
- Organic Greens – Kale, Lacinato, Collards, Chards
- Organic Green Beans
- Organic Cabbage – Green and Red
- Organic Squash – Zucchini and Yellow
- Organic Cucumbers
- Organic Grape and Cherry Tomatoes