Organic Picks | February 2nd, 2016

CauliflowerBlueberriesBroccoliKumquats

Best if used by 02/11/16

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Organic Cauliflower

Peak Season    Value Priced

Now is a time to try out some new Cauliflower recipes, like Mashed Cauliflower, Cauliflower Gratin or Grilled Cauliflower Steak. Why? Improved harvest volumes from organic growers in Southern California are allowing for reasonable prices in the organic produce section here in February. Just a few years ago this would have not have been a big deal. But chefs and other culinary influencers are beginning to open Americans’ minds to the delicious possibilities of fresh Cauliflower. This ingredient is gluten free, low-carb, low-calorie and fiber rich.

If raw Cauliflower is too peppery for you and eating it steamed is too soggy for you – try it roasted! Roasting Cauliflower brings out its natural sweetness and lessens its moisture content without letting it get dry or rubbery.

Recipe: Parmesan Popcorn Cauliflower

  1. Pre-heat Oven to 450F
  2. Cut rinsed Cauliflower head into bite-sized florets
  3. Toss with 2-3 tbs Olive Oil in a mixing bowl
  4. Season with ½ tsp coarse salt and cracked pepper, 3 tbs grated Parmesan Cheese
  5. Re-toss to coat, then spread evenly on a baking sheet
  6. Roast at 450F for 10-12 minutes
  7. Flip, rearrange with spatula, Roast for 8-12 additional minutes until florets are fork tender and browned

Trending Cauliflower Recipe Ideas

Roasting Cauliflower brings out its natural sweetness and lessens its moisture content without letting it get dry or rubbery.

Parmesan Popcorn Cauliflower

Organic Blueberries

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

Organic Blueberries are always popular, but since it’s summer in Chile, a prime growing area for Blueberries during our winter – we’re in luck!  That means fresh Organic Blueberries in 6oz packs are traveling by boat and plane to the US this month, and enough of them to keep prices reasonable. It’s hard to stop eating Blueberries when they are eating good. The Blueberries I’ve been trying this past week have had very nice flavor -sweet with some tanginess and enough firmness that they pop in your mouth just a little.

Loaded with antioxidants and fiber, fresh Blueberries are perfect by the handful as a power-snack or for your topping your cereal or yogurt, for making smoothies and shakes too. Check out this collection of Blueberry Recipes.

Blueberry Buying Tips

  • Select firm, dry Blueberries with deep-purple to blue-black color. Inspect the top and bottom of the package to avoid shriveled, smashed-together, green or wet berries.
  • Bloom! Seek out Blueberries covered with the silver, powdery “bloom” over the deep blue skin. Bloom is a naturally occurring wax that forms a protective layer on the fruit while it is growing and is a tell-tale sign of freshness!
  • Keep the fruit cold in your refrigerator and try to use in within a few days of purchase since they’ve already traveled from the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Wash Blueberries under running color water before consuming. For best shelf-life, wait to rinse your Blueberries until just before using.

 

Bloom! Seek out Blueberries covered with the silver, powdery “bloom” over the deep blue skin. Bloom is a naturally occurring wax that forms a protective layer on the fruit while it is growing and is a tell-tale sign of freshness!

Organic Broccoli

Peak Season    Value Priced

Is Organic Broccoli a staple in your weekly shopping list?  If so, you can feel free to use more of it. Prices are becoming more affordable as organic growers are into abundant harvests from Southern California this February

Raw for veggie trays, dipping and snacking, steamed as a healthy side, sautéed for richness, stir-fried with other vegetables, grilled or roasted for great flavor – what’s your favorite use for fresh Organic Broccoli? Low calories, high fiber, tones of nutrients and phyto-nutrients; we should all be eating lots of Broccoli! The key is in preparation; here’s some helpful info on how to bring out the best in Broccoli.

Recipe Ideas

Broccoli Tips

  • Select Broccoli that has tight beads on the crown, is firm and has fresh, green cut ends.
  • Avoid Broccoli that has a strong odor or is flabby and limp.

 

Select Broccoli that has tight beads on the crown, is firm and has fresh, green cut ends.

Organic Kumquats

Peak Season    Best Flavor

Kumquats? What in the…
In spite of being the one of smallest citrus fruits, Kumquats are big on flavor. Bursting with citrus intensity, these mini, bite-sized citrus fruits have sour-sweet flesh with edible skins. Yep, you eat them whole! – rind, flesh, small seeds ‘n all for a rush of sweet-tart zippiness. The flesh is boldly acidic, yet the skin and pith bring out the sugar sweetness. I like to call ‘em nature’s “Sour Patch Kids,” sweet and sour all at once.

Organic Kumquats from small organic citrus groves in Southern California are in peak season during February and into March. Just given them a rinse under cold and you’re ready to use them!

10 ways to use Kumquats

  1. Snack on them whole – Intense but good! This is what they’re best for.
  2. Spa Water: Halve 3 of them length-wise. In a glass, pour cold Seltzer Water over them.
  3. Add Kumquat ring-slices to a salad like this Kale-Kumquat Salad recipe.
  4. Dice them to use in a marinade for fish, pork or chicken.
  5. Halve them length-wise to add to a fruit salad.
  6. Chop them up to use in a Kumquat Chutney.
  7. Make a Kumquat Marmalade or Ginger-Kumquat Marmalade.
  8. Slice them to a fresh flavor to Ginger Ale or Lemon-Lime sodas.
  9. Make homemade Candied Kumquats as a sweet-tart topping or condiment.
  10. Halved Kumquats drop nicely into a bottle of Wheat Ale or Hefeweizen Beer.

 

If you’re a fan of citrus flavor – you’ve gotta try peak season Organic Kumquats. Yep, you eat ‘em whole!

 

Buy smart. Shop healthy.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

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