Organic Picks of the Week 09/04/12

Best if Used By 09/11/12

Organic Picks of the week for September 4th, 2012 features
Raspberries, Spinach, Peaches, Romaine Hearts, and Asian Pears

Organic Raspberries

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Peak season Organic Raspberries feature a rich, sweet flavor with some tanginess underneath and have a texture that is not firm, but not too soft. Mmm – sounds perfect. Your likelihood of finding delectable berries like these is pretty good right now! September is poised to be a good month for the late summer peak of Organic Red Raspberries from California.

September is the second peak season of the summer for Organic Raspberries.

Raspberries are good for snacking, as a topping for cereal, yogurt and salads, in smoothies and their flavor can be intensified in cooking and baking. Check out these beautiful recipes on Driscoll’s website– they’re one of the best Organic Raspberry growers in the world. Not only are they flavorful, but the health benefits of Raspberries are formidable – antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients and emerging research linking Raspberries to obesity management.

Always keep Raspberries refrigerated. A Raspberry is a delicate fruit – wait to wash them until just before use. When shopping for Raspberries, inspect the package from all sides to be sure there’s no mold, wet spots, black spots or smashed and clumped berries. And the best advice is: when you find a nice Raspberry pack enjoy it quickly – fresh is best.

Organic Spinach

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

A late summer harvest bump is going on right now in Colorado on Organic Curly Leaf Spinach. This hearty variety of Spinach keeps well in your fridge crisper and is excellent for braising, sautéing and steaming recipes. Sold in bunches and picked at maturity, Organic Curly Leaf Spinach with broad, yet curly leaves is often referred to as “Semi-Savoy.” Organic Semi-Savoy Spinach is popular among natural foods stores shoppers and is used in hearty salads, sandwiches, wraps, cooking and juicing. It’s not only flavorful, but loaded with vitamins and nutrients too!

Organic Curly Leaf Spinach – hearty and nutrient rich.

Organic Peaches

BEST FLAVOR

Some of the best are for last. The first two weeks of September will be the end of peak season for Organic Peaches. Yet this fruit is some of the tastiest. The irrigated slopes and valleys of Washington’s dry mountain regions provide excellent growing conditions for late summer Organic Yellow Peaches. Juicy, sweet – yum!

Last call for in season Organic Peaches!

Select Peaches that appear to have been handled with care. Yellow-flesh Peaches have more acid than White-flesh, and thus, taste more sweet as the fruit softens, allowing the acid levels to ease and the sugars to shine through in balance. Peaches should be stored at room temperature until the fruit gives gently to thumb pressure. Chances are you find Organic Peaches from Washington that are close to ripe already. At that softness level the Peach is ready to eat or use in a recipe, or it can be kept at that ripeness in the refrigerator for a few days. Red skin blush varies from variety to variety and is not an indicator of ripeness.

Organic Romaine Hearts

PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED

Organic Romaine Hearts are crisp, juicy and clean right now. They are excellent for making crunchy salads or blending in with more tender bitter baby greens to add texture. What kind of salads do you make with Organic Romaine Hearts?

Crisp and clean.

Prices have been steep lately, but that is going to change the rest for the month of September as harvest yields are beginning to improve in California growing regions. Romaine Hearts rows are planted extra close together to help the Lettuce head grow tall and tight. The outer leaves are trimmed off, they’re immediately packaged in the field (there is no “romaine heart factory”), rushed to the cooler and shipped around the country. How fresh is that!

Organic Asian Pears (Apple Pears)

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Organic Asian Pears, sometimes called Apple Pears, are a type of Pear that originated in Asia, but are now grown all over the world. Their shape is round and depending on the variety – their skin color is pale yellow, gold, tan or russet brown. Here’s the best part – the cream-colored flesh is crisp and crunchy like an Fuji Apple, at the same time extremely juicy like a ripe Bartlett, nicely sweet and has a familiar Pear flavor.

Underneath the russet skin is texture like an apple and flavor like a pear.

Organic Asian Pears are perfect for eating out of hand as a delightful snack. They’re also ideal for enjoying with sharp cheese, slicing into salads and slaws or simply sharing for dessert since a sliced Asian Pear is naturally slow to oxidize, or brown. Super-juicy, honey-sweet russet-skin Brown Asian Pears from organic orchards in California are beginning their peak season. The Washington crop will start soon too. Some prefer to peel their brown-skin Asian Pears, but that is up to preference. Either way, that skin protects the fruit well and they’ll last in the fridge for a few weeks and on your counter for several days.

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.

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!