Organic Picks of the Week 01/23/12

Best if Used By 01/30/12

Organic Picks of the week for January 23rd, 2012 features:
Kiwi, Brussels Sprouts, Hass Avocados, Minneola Tangelos and Broccoli

1. Kiwi:

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICE

Fun for you taste buds. Serious nutrition for your body. Kiwi Fruit has it all! And now is a great time to have some serious fun with Kiwi since Organic Kiwi are in peak season supply from California and Italy. They’re not very expensive either, especially when you think about the benefits! Two Kiwi 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! Oh, and they’ve got antioxidant Vitamin E, Lutein, Folate, Magnesium and more! Did I mention that they taste delicious?

Get the scoop.

Kiwi are juicy, sweet and tangy… in fact, my mouth is watering from the back of my jaw as I write this and recall that last flavorful bite. They take any fresh fruit salad to a new level, are interesting in yogurt and just perfect as a snack.

Here’s the big question: How do you know when a Kiwi is ripe? A Kiwi is ready to eat when it gives to thumb pressure. Store hard Kiwi at room temperature until they’re ripe, or place them in a paper bag to speed up the process by trapping the natural ethelyne emitted by the fruit. Ripe Kiwi can be held at that stage for about week in the fridge if you’re not ready to eat them. To eat a Kiwi simply slice it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, or peel and slice it – that’s it.


2. Brussels Sprouts:

BEST FLAVOR

Last call! I can’t get enough Roasted Brussels Sprouts this winter. Mm-mmm. But’s here’s the scoop – Organic Brussels Sprouts will only be available for a few more weeks from California and Mexico this season. Get while the gettin’s good at your favorite Coop, Organic Market or Natural Foods store. The cool weather those growing regions have had recently brings out excellent flavor in the sprouts, but it also causes some purpling and occasional black spots on the outer leaves. Not to worry, you’ll peel off the outer leaf or two when you trim the end off the bottom during preparation. Brussels Sprouts look like mini cabbages that grow in long stalks. They taste nutty and rich, but if you over-boil or over-steam Brussels Sprouts you’ll actually bring out a sulfur nastiness that is the number one reason people don’t like them in the first place. A quick blanch and then saute or roasting them in high heat are great ways to bring out the best smooth and sweet flavor.

Roast Brussels Sprouts. Yes, please!

RECIPE: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • Preheat oven to 450 F
  • Trim ends, remove loose leaves of about 10-16oz of fresh Brussels Sprouts
  • Slice biggest Sprouts in half to get an even size
  • Toss Sprouts in a mixing bowl to coat with 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Add 2-3 whole peeled Garlic Cloves
  • Season with about 1 tsp Coarse Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  • Spread Brussels Sprouts evenly on a cookie sheet or baking pan
  • Roast for 15 min, remove to flip/shuffle, Roast for 10-15 min more until tender

(Yes, they’ll get black on the outside, and Yes, it’ll taste good)
Enjoy more Brussels Sprouts in one sitting that you ever have before.


3. Hass Avocados:

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

Creamy, nutty, rich and delicious – gotta get some Hass! Guacamole for the big party, something cool to top your special chili, sliced onto your sandwich or salad? ..oh, yeah! Hass Avocados are in peak season from Mexico right now which is allowing stores to promote around Super Bowl Sunday. Prices should be reasonable. How do you know when your pebbly skin Hass Avocado is ripe? The skin will start to turn from green to cocoa brown and the fruit will give just slightly to gentle thumb pressure. When the fruit is at this stage, you should cut it right away or put it in the fridge to slow the ripening process for a day or two.

Oh, the Hass-ibilities!


4. Minneola Tangelos:

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Nothing brightens a cold winter day like a refreshing Minneola Tangelo. A cross between an Orange and a Grapefruit, Tangelos are juicy and vibrant. The dark orange-skinned Minneola Tangelo variety, available Organically grown from California, is in peak season now through mid-March. Minneolas are easy to spot – they have that goofy knob at the stem end, which actually makes them easier to peel. Their flesh is super juicy, has few to no seeds and delivers a sweet and tangy citrus flavor. Minneola Tangelos are ideal for on the go snacking or for slicing onto salads. Select Minneolas that feel heavy for their size. Remember, cosmetic scarring on the outside of citrus skin has no impact on internal flavor.

Sunshine. Just when you need it.

Some Coops and Organic Markets may also be promoting 4-5lb gift boxes of Mini Minnies (small Organic Minneolas) at a price close to what you might pay for Clementines at a conventional supermarket. These are kid-sized and super-flavorful! What fun!


Organic Pick of the Week:
5. Broccoli:

VALUE PRICED

The next two weeks look to bring plentiful supplies of Organically grown bunched Broccoli with slightly lumpy stems, but very tight and crisp crowns. These extra harvests may translate into lower than typical prices where you shop. The stalks of Bunched Broccoli don’t need to be discarded. You can julienne cut them for Broccoli Slaw or to add to a stir-fry or pasta. Anyone cooking with Organic Broccoli this week?

Icy fresh.

Buy Smart. Shop Healthy. Live Organic.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

Forward this to a friend if you think they’ll like it – Here’s to fresh!