Organic Picks of the Week 06/11/12

Best if Used By 06/18/12

Organic Picks of the week for June 11th, 2012 features
Seedless Grapes, Blackberries, Red Potatoes, Gold Potatoes and Dark Sweet Cherries

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 Seedless Grapes


Healthy, convenient snacking just got easier now that Organic Seedless Grapes are once again in peak season and will remain so through September. So far this season, I’ve been generally impressed with the flavor on Organic Grapes from California. Mexican grown Organic Grapes have been tastier than their conventional counterparts, but less consistent from shipment to shipment.

Peak season has begun for Organic Grapes!

Here’s what you can expect by variety on the organically grown grapes here in June: The green Sugarone and even Perlette varieties have tasted crisp and mostly sweet with a little tart underneath. The Red Flames have been smaller in size, but bigger in flavor – a little pop when you bite in and a sweet-tangy taste. Select packages of Grapes that are free from wetness or smashed berries, choosing ones that have hearty-looking green stems. Refrigerate Grapes and rinse with water just before eating or using in recipes.

Organic Blackberries


Bursting with flavor, peak season Organic Blackberries are the best. June and early July will be an excellent time to enjoy Organically grown Blackberries from Georgia, California and Mexico. The West Coast grown fruit will be rich, sweet-tangy and intense. The East Coast berries are big, plump, mildly sweet and juicy. Both are delicious and will be good for topping cereal and yogurt, or for use in a healthy recipe.

1. Set schedule on Organic Blackberry to Peak Season... 2. Sync Organic Blackberry for Best Flavor... 3. If you have an iPhone – don’t eat it

Organic Red Potatoes


Premium quality, new crop Red Potatoes from organic farms in California are in season now. What makes an Organic Red Potato high quality? The skin is important since you leave it on with Red Potatoes for consumption. Thin, tender, light red colored skins that that are well set to the potato, plus moist white flesh characterize the CA crop this time of year. Makes you wanna roast some up with herbs, smash some with garlic or throw ‘em on the grill, right?

Organic Red Potatoes – all about the skins.

Select Organic Red Potatoes that are firm, dry and free from strong odor. Do not refrigerate potatoes, instead, store them in a cool, dark place like the bottom of your pantry.

RECIPE: Roasted Seasoned Red Potatoes

  • Chop 4-5 large size Organic Red Potatoes into bit size pieces.
  • Dice a large Yellow or Organic Sweet Onion into large pieces.
  • In a large bowl, toss Onions and Red Potatoes in 2 tsp Olive Oil.
  • Re-toss to coat in with 2 tsp of your favorite grilling or roasting season. (I like Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning)
  • Spread out in 9×13 glass pan.
  • Roast at 400 F for 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes for the first ½ hour.

Organic Gold Potatoes


Ahhh, creamy, luxurious, buttery Organic Gold Potatoes are such a subtle indulgence! Now’s an excellent time to try out recipes using new crop, Organically grown Yukon Gold Potatoes from California. Like Organic Red Potatoes – the quality has been quite nice this month on new crop harvests and the skin is tender enough that it doesn’t need to be peeled. The yellow flesh gets deeper in color during cooking, and the flavor is rich. Organic Gold Potatoes are ideal for boiling, mashing, scalloping and roasting.

Organic gold.

Organic Dark Sweet Cherries


Bing! The peak season crop of Organic Dark Sweet Cherries from California is here! Mid to late June will be an outstanding time to enjoy the rich, classic red Cherry flavor and sweet juiciness of the Bing variety. I have eaten both Conventional and Organic Cherries this month – both are good, but the flavor and sweetness on the Organic fruit has been superior, in my opinion. Organic Cherries pricey – no doubt about it, so shop smart. Carefully inspect all sides of the Cherry packages to avoid wetness or splits. If the Cherries are in a bag, give a couple a gentle squeeze – you’ll want them to feel firm. Keep Cherries cold and rinse just before use.

Bing! It is now peak organic cherry season in California.

Organic Dark Sweet Cherries are an indulgent seasonal snack to just enjoy simply – hand-to-mouth, spit a pit, repeat… and repeat. Hopefully, self-control will kick in at some point. But you can also get creative on the recipes front too if you invest a few bucks in a hand-held cherry-pitter tool. (I’d really like to try making Cherry Sangria sometime soon!) All that Cherry snacking can benefit your body as well since Dark Sweet Cherries are said to aid with Heart Disease and Cancer Prevention, plus help your body with Pain Relief and Bone Health. Peak season Organic Cherries can be washed, then frozen with the stems still on in plastic bags with the air removed, then thawed in the refrigerator up to three months later for a convenient snack.

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!