Organic Picks of the Week 03/19/12

Best if Used By 03/26/12

Organic Picks of the week for March 19th, 2012 features
Ataulfo Mangos, Green Beans, Sweet Onions, Gala Apples and Sweet Mini Peppers

1. Organic Ataulfo Mangos

VALUE PRICED | PEAK SEASON

YES! They’re back! Yellow Mango Mania, baby! One of my favorite Mangos is the Ataulfo variety. They’re yellow skinned, have smooth and luscious, sweet yellow flesh. The Ataulfo is smaller than other Mango types, but also has a smaller pit so you end up getting a decent amount of fruit. The Organic Ataulfo Mango season is now ramping up into peak production and will likely continue into June. I brought a whole case home from work last week since my wife loves them as much as I do. After a few days of ripening at room temperature – the feeding frenzy began and quickly ended with my daughter asking… begging for more.

Organic Ataulfo Mangos – yellow gold. So delicious!

When Ataulfos are ripe the flesh is so sticky-sweet and delicious – caramel-like! Sounds great, right? So, here’s something unexpected with Ataulfo Mangos – you need to let them get riper than you’d expect, ugly ripe. I’m talkin’ full-on gold color, soft to the squeeze with wrinkled skin. Then, and only then will the best flavor and texture be ready for you inside. If the Organic Ataulfo Mangos you buy at the store are firm and lime green in skin color just let them sit out on the counter. They’ll come along and the wait will be worth it!

2. Organic Green Beans

PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED

Early spring crop Organic Green Beans are rockin’! Quality and flavor on Florida, Mexico and California grown Organic Green Beans has been nice. Prices are lower than usual too. Select Organic Green Beans that feel firm and always keep them refrigerated. What’s your favorite way to enjoy Green Beans?

Green Beans with Soy Nuts.

3. Organic Sweet Onions

BEST FLAVOR

Juicy, crisp and mild yet zippy – that’s how a fresh Organic Sweet Onion tastes, making them perfect for sandwiches, burgers and salads. Mellow, sweet and rich – that’s how a cooked Organic Sweet Onion tastes, making them ideal for sauteing, grilling, braising and roasting. Jumbo Organic Sweet Onions from the Pacific Northwest are available right now. Select Organic Sweet Onions that are firm and free from strong odor. Store them at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

Spring Fling Sweet Onion Pasta

RECIPE: Spring Fling Sweet Onion Pasta

  • Boil 1 box of Whole Wheat Spaghetti until al dente
  • Chop 1 jumbo Sweet Onion into 1″x1/2″ pieces
  • Clean, trim and halve 8 oz of Brussels Sprouts
  • Wash and trim 1 Broccoli Crown into florets
  • Blanch Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli Florets in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes
  • Heat 3-4 tbps Olive Oil with Crushed Red Pepper Flakes and 2 cloves diced Garlic
  • Saute Sweet Onions over medium high heat in 3-4 tbsp Olive Oil for 3-4 minutes
  • Add blanched Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli, saute for 3-4 more minutes
  • Add boiled Spaghetti with 2-3 tbsp pasta water to the sauteed vegetables
  • Stir and serve immediately, topped with Parmesan cheese

4. Organic Gala Apples

BEST FLAVOR

Just about everyone likes Gala Apples, but this is one of those tricky times of year when you can get really good or really lousy Gala Apples. The good ones are crisp, juicy, sweet and mild – a nice snack or good for salads! The lousy ones are mushy. So… how do you get good ones? Here’s the scoop. Washington State growers use sophisticated controlled atmosphere storage rooms to keep the best of this past fall’s Organic Gala crop fresh over the winter and into Spring. Here in March and April new crop Organic Galas from Argentina are freshly harvested but make a long ride in sea containers to their destinations.

Do you know what you’re looking for?

Again, you ask, “how do you get good ones?” This is my best advice: 1) With USA storage Organic Galas and imported Organic Galas always try to buy them from refrigerated displays. The fruit should be cold. Warm temperatures will create mushy, dry apples very quickly unless the fruit has just been picked. 2) Avoid Organic Gala Apples with wrinkled skin. This often shows up first around the stem area. 3) Select Organic Galas that are free of bruises and dull skin. 4) Always store your Organic Galas in the fridge until a few hours before eating them (see #1) for better texture and crispness, and be sure to use them within a week of purchase. These steps should help you minimize your risk of the dreaded mushy apple. Happy snacking!

5. Organic Sweet Mini Peppers

BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON

Have you discovered Sweet Mini Peppers? These lil’ babies are awesome! Sweet, crunchy, bite-sized and delicious… oh, oh, and colorful and healthy too! 1-3 inched long, Organic Sweet Mini Peppers come packed in pint containers or bags. They’re in season in Florida and Mexico right now. Try them grilled, stuffed and roasted, in salads or simply as an anytime snack. Yum!

Totally snackable!

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!