Organic Picks of the Week 10/09/12

Best if Used By 10/16/12

Organic Picks of the week for October 9th, 2012 features
Gold Potatoes, Pie Pumpkins, Ambrosia Apples, Spinach,
and Cilantro

Organic Gold Potatoes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Here’s a great Fall flavor: buttery, creamy, moist and delicious – Organic Gold Potatoes! They best quality organically grown ones are in peak season from the Pacific Northwest this month, mostly the Yukon Gold variety. Also in season right now is the small sized gold variety, Organic Buttercream Potatoes. Buttercream are smooth and soft in texture when cooked and taste buttery – tremendous!

Organic Gold Potatoes are in peak season, including the small, tasty Buttercream variety.

Organic Gold Potatoes are ideal for boiling, mashing, scalloping and roasting. The tender skins can be left on in most recipe preparations, and the yellow flesh gets deeper in color during cooking. I find the flavor to be rich and satisfying – perfect in my wife’s slow-cooker Cheesy Broccoli & Potato soup or for Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Yukon Golds.

Organic Pie Pumpkins

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

October is for Pumpkins. We drink and eat pumpkin flavored everything, right? Well, if you’re hoping to make some recipes that call for pumpkin, but want to try preparing pumpkin on your own instead of just opening up a can – Organic Pie Pumpkins are in peak season. Big pumpkins for making jack-o-lanterns – those are too watery and stringy for baking. Organic Pie Pumpkins are small, maybe 5-10 inches in diameter and have a sweet, smooth flesh – ideal for baking and cooking. A 4 pound Pie Pumpkin will net you about 1-½ cups of pumpkin puree.

Wanna try making your own Organic Pumpkin Puree for fall recipes?

HOW TO PREPARE FRESH PUMPKIN FOR USE IN RECIPES:

  • Be sure to have a sharp, sturdy knife and some leverage to cut Pie Pumpkins.
  • Slice the Pie Pumpkin in half, remove seeds and pulp
  • Bake halves face-down on a baking sheet for 45-90 min. at 350 degrees until flesh can be easily pierced with a fork
  • Allow halves to cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from the shell
  • Puree baked flesh, strain puree if you’re going to make velvety soups

Now you’re ready to bake and cook for fall – Pumpkin Pie and Desserts, Pumpkin Breads and Muffins, Pumpkin Soups, and a favorite of mine – Pumpkin Pancakes. Wait! Don’t throw out those seeds…

RECIPE: Toasted Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Toasted Organic Pumpkin Seeds are great for a home-made savory snack and are excellent for topping salads.

  • Scoop seeds and pulp from Organic Hard Squash or Pumpkin
  • By hand separate most seeds from pulp
  • In a strainer, run hot water over the seeds to clean them
  • Remove any remaining pulp that is in the strainer
  • In a mix bowl toss seeds in 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Spread out seeds on a baking tray
  • Season with coarse salt and black pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend
  • Roast at 250 degrees for 40-60 min. or 350 degrees for 25-35 min.

Toasted Pumpkin seeds – an easy homemade savory snack.

Organic Ambrosia Apples

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Greek mythology has a term Ambrosia which means “food of the gods.” A new apple variety was discovered from chance seedling decades ago in a Vancouver orchard. The fruit from this tree was delicious – juicy, low in acid, with a pleasing aroma, fully sweet – thus inspiring the name.

Sweet, aromatic, finely textured Organic Ambrosia Apples – “food of the gods.”

Ambrosia Apples have become more and more popular over the years because of their unique eating qualities. The fruit is crisp when you bite in, yet finely textured and almost creamy when you chew. The flesh is naturally slow to oxidize (or brown) when cut, making it ideal for salads. Most people just love them for a delightful, sweet snack. Organic Ambrosia Apples have started in their peak season here in October from organic orchards in the Pacific Northwest.

Organic Spinach

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Cooking with Spinach? The next couple of weeks look to be a good time to use Organic Spinach in your meals. California is in peak season with organically grown Baby Spinach which is usually sold in salad bags or tubs keeps and is perfect for salads and wilting preparations where raw Baby Spinach is added to cooked ingredients just before serving. Also in season is mature, flat-leaf Spinach that is sold in bunches – ideal for hearty salads, sandwiches, wraps, cooking and juicing. Colorado organic growers are shipping curly leaf Semi-Savory Spinach which is excellent for braising, sautéing and steaming recipes. Organic Spinach is not only flavorful, but loaded with vitamins and nutrients too!

Roasted Veggies with wilted Organic Baby Spinach.

Organic Cilantro

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

The herb green that ties the world together – in Latin, Tex-Mex, Indian, Caribbean, Chinese, East Asian, African, Southern European and even Scandinavian cuisines – is Cilantro. Cilantro leaves are packed with a strong, distinctive fresh flavor and aroma. Fresh Organic Cilantro adds freshness and vibrancy to recipes for salads, stews, stir-fries, sauces and garnish. Organic Cilantro is in peak season this month from California and reasonably priced.

Recipes get freshness and vibrancy from Cilantro!

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!