Organic Picks of the Week 04/23/12

Best if Used By 04/30/12

Organic Picks of the week for April 23rd, 2012 features
Round Tomatoes, Jalapeno Peppers, Italian Parsley, Valencia Oranges and Cucumbers

1. Organic Round Tomatoes

PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED

Slice up some Organic Tomatoes this week for your sandwiches, salads or to enjoy simply dressed with salt and pepper! The greenhouses (under glass), shade-houses (fields with hoops covered by white netting) and open fields of organic tomato growers in Mexico are in peak season right now. Prices are reasonable and quality has been nice this week on Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes and Organic Beefstake Tomatoes (the ones with the calyx still on them, but not in a cluster on the vine). Select Round Tomatoes that are free from black spots and wrinkled skin. Some mild softness is an indication of ripeness, but avoid spongy-feeling Tomatoes. Tomatoes do not like the cold, so always store them at room temperature for best flavor and texture.

Organic Vine Ripes.

2. Organic Jalapeno Peppers

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Whether it is the pleasure, the pain, or both from hot peppers that keeps you coming back, there’s no denying that Jalapeno’s pack some punch but also feature a fresh flavor. Organic Jalapeno Peppers are not available in stores year round so when they are in season… it’s noteworthy for chili lovers. The spring crop of Organic Jalapeno Peppers is in season right now from both Florida and Mexico. Look for them at natural foods retailers, organic markets and co-ops for the next several weeks. Any good homemade salsa recipes out there among our readers?

5000 Scovilles in one little pepper.

3. Organic Italian Parsley

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Italian Parsley = Flat Leaf Parsley = Plain Parsley. Why can’t it be referred to by one name? I don’t know. But I do know that this dark green Parsley variety has broad, flat leaves that feature a more pronounced, stronger flavor than Curly Parsley. Italian Parsley is an herb featured in many Mediterranean and South American recipes. It can dress up fresh salads or tomatoes, or it can bring out rich, fresh flavors in cooked dishes. Organically-grown Italian Parsley is in peak season right now in California, Florida and Georgia. Placing fresh herbs on the counter with the stems in a glass of water or packing them into a zip-lock bag in your fridge are good ways storage options.

Organic Italian Parsley: Flat leaves, Bent on flavor.

4. Organic Valencia Oranges

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Organic Navels are still decent for snacking right now, even at the end of the season. But for juicing – Organic Valencia Oranges are definitely the way to go. Yes, they have seeds, but the juice will stay good longer after squeezing and will taste delicious! Organic Valencia variety Oranges are in season from Florida and California right now. Florida grown Valencia’s often appear scarred up and less than perfect, but the juice and flavor inside will be delightful. Select Oranges that feel heavy for their size and are free from soft spots.

Juice me. I’m sweet.

5. Organic Cucumbers

PEAK SEASON

They’re coming on! Organic Cucumbers have been expensive and in short supply over the past month, but that is beginning to change this week as growers in Florida and Mexico are coming into bigger harvests from their Spring crop. Organic Cucumbers, grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, are great for salads and snacking! Choose Cucumbers that feel firm and have no sunken areas. Organic Cucumbers are not waxed to extend their shelf life so try to use them within a few days of purchase.

No wax. No synthetic pesticides or chemicals. Just Cukes.

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!