Organic Picks of the Week 06/04/12

Best if Used By 06/11/12

Organic Picks of the week for June 4th, 2012 features
Strawberries, Green Kale, Watermelon, Broccoli and Green Squash

What is Organic Produce?

Certified Organic Produce meets a set of standards for growing, handling and labeling that is governed by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use synthetic chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. The terms “Natural” and “Local” are not the same as “Organic.” Learn more about Organic.

Organic Strawberries

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

There are finally large enough harvests in California right now to keep up with America’s demand for flavorful, red and ripe Organic Strawberries… well, at least for a week or two. With plentiful supplies comes lower prices, so keep an eye out for ads and in-store specials. Berry size on Organic Strawberries is running medium to large and they taste pretty darn good – yum! Snacks, salads, desserts, smoothies… what will you do with those juicy, organically grown gems?

Peak season for Organic Strawberries!

At the store, inspect the packages from all sides, avoiding containers with wet spots on the berries or bottoms of the containers. Look for plump, red berries with healthy looking, green caps. Keep them cold in the fridge, but they’ll have better taste and texture if you use them within a couple days. Wash Strawberries under cold water just before use.

Organic Green Kale

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

No vegetable is packed with more good-for-you nutrients than Kale Greens. Kale has calcium, Vitamin K and magnesium for healthy bones; potassium for vascular health; and anti-oxidants like Vitamin C too. And hey, you don’t have to be into juicing to enjoy flavorful Organic Green Kale. Cooked (not overcooked) and prepared properly, Organic Kale is flavorful and pleasing to the pallate. Here are some accessible entry-level recipes to get your started on your way to eating more KALE!

Eat More Kale.

This super food is in peak season right now. Organic farms from Georgia up the coast to New England are in the spring crop of leafy Kale, plus larger Organic growers in California have plenty of Kale too! The diversified fresh supplies here in early June are keeping prices reasonable. Get cookin!

Organic Watermelon

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

These first two weeks of June are a great time to enjoy Organically-grown Seedless Watermelon. Why? Well, first it’s unofficially summer… and you can’t snack wrong with good Organic Watermelon. And second, Organic growers in southern California are in a major flush (where a lot of fruit is ready to pick all at once) of Red Seedless Watermelon. The fruit is juicy, sweet and fairly crisp and priced fairly reasonably for Organic Watermelon. Cool! Snack away or try a recipe.

Extra large harvests of Organic Watermelon in early June make their way to natural foods stores!

Organic Broccoli

VALUE PRICED | PEAK SEASON

Spring plantings of Organic Broccoli at California farms are netting good harvests right now. That means plenty of clean Organic Broccoli for you at fair prices. Raw Broccoli rules, but here are some recipes to inspire you too.

Clean n green.

Organic Green Squash

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

I’m all about grilled Green Squash (aka Zucchini). Light on calories, but big on taste! The charring adds a smoky flavor and the dry air, flame heat draws out the moisture of this soft summer squash, especially when it has been seasoned with salt. Organic Green Squash is in peak season from Georgia here in June. Expect excellent quality with tender, dark green skin and mild flavor.

Organic Zucchini Bobs.

RECIPE: Organic Zucchini-bobs

  • Pre-heat grill to high
  • Soak bamboo skewers in water
  • Slice 4 Organic Green Squash on the bias in ½” width
  • Slice 1 Organic Sweet Onion into 1”x2” pieces
  • Slice 2 Organic Sweet Red Peppers into 1”x2” pieces
  • Combine veggies in bowl and toss with 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Season with coarse salt, cracked black pepper and garlic powder – re-toss
  • Arrange the seasoned veggies onto the skewers
  • Grill for 4-6 minutes and flip, grill for another 3-5 minutes until the veggies are tender

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!