Organic Picks of the Week 11/02/12

Best if Used By 11/13/12

Organic Picks of the week for November 2nd, 2012 features
Parsnips, Concorde Pears, Fall Glo Tangerines, Jazz Apples, and Lemons

Organic Parsnips


When was the last time you enjoyed the autumn harvest flavor of Parsnips? This sturdy root often goes unnoticed. That’s too bad! Parsnips taste great – crunchy, savory – like a Celery flavored, slightly spicy Carrot that’s white and a little less sweet. Parsnips can be pan fried, roasted, stewed or whipped. Simply peel and slice to eat raw as a crunchy snack, to add flavor to soups and stews, or to roast for a delicious fall side dish. Organic Parsnips are in peak season right now and easy to store in the crisper drawer of your fridge for a couple weeks during the fall and early winter.

Sour Cream Mashed Parsnips & Potatoes.

Below is a delicious, creamy, homespun recipe my wife made that features the savory flavor of Parsnips whipped with Potatoes and Sour Cream.

RECIPE: Sour Cream Mashed Parsnips & Potatoes

  • 4 Large White or Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 4 Parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Boil for 30 – 35 min
  • Drain, then add to large mixing bowl
  • Add 4 tbsp butter, 1 cup of sour cream, salt and pepper to taste
  • Whip the contents of the bowl with a mixer
  • NOTE: whipping may take slightly longer than regular mashed potatoes

More easy Parsnip recipe ideas here.

Organic Concorde Pears


The up-and-coming pear variety at orchards in the Pacific Northwest is the Concorde. This variety is a good all-purpose pear that features an easy-sweet flavor, similar to Comice. Concorde Pears are slow to brown when cut and are ideal for baking, cooking and snacking. The fruit has a long neck like Bosc that is sometime curved near the top and a light green skin. And similar to the Bosc, they taste sweet when the flesh is firm and crunchy or soft and juicy. Organic Concorde Pears are in peak season now through Christmas. Keep an eye out for them at natural food stores and other markets with extensive organic selection.

Organic Concorde Pears: easy-sweet flavor comes through when firm & crunchy or soft & juicy, slow to brown when cut.

Organic Fall Glo Tangerines


Tons of juice, sweetness, some tanginess and plenty of flavor! Oh yea, and tons of… seeds. If you’re a fan of that sunshiny, classic Tangerine flavor then now is your time start enjoying peak of the season Tangerines. I try to think of seeds as speed bumps in the parking lot of taste – they slow you down just enough for you to truly savor the flavor. But if you’re impatient with seeds, do what I like to do: squeeze out the juice for a fantastic fresh drink or mix it with a carbonated beverage for something with kick. So good!

Yep, they’ve got tons of seeds, but Fall Glo’s are great for juice!

The first Organically grown Tangerine of autumn – the Fall-Glo – is now in season from Florida. Organic Fall Glo Tangerines are not always pretty on the outside and vary from dark orange to light orange in skin color. But expect them to be juicy inside! Select Tangerines that feel heavy for their size. Avoid soft and squishy feeling Tangerines as they are likely to go bad soon. Keep them in the fridge for a week or on the counter at room temperature for a couple days.

Organic Jazz Apples


Fresh crop certified Organic Jazz Apples from Washington are back in season! When people ask me what I favorite Apples variety is, Jazz Apples always make it to my top three – and I eat a lot of apple varieties. Jazz Apples have a crunchy texture, sweet-tart taste and consistent eating experience that enamors them to me. I have yet to come across a mushy or lousy tasting Jazz Apple.

Firm, crunchy, sweet-tart – Organically-grown Jazz Apples are back in season!

A cross between Braeburn and Gala, Jazz Apples have firm – no, hard – flesh that is simultaneously sweet and tangy. They stay crisp out of refrigeration better than other Apple varieties and get sweeter during storage over the winter months. But with strong demand, certified Organic Jazz Apples might not last very long. They’re perfect for snacking and don’t bruise easily in your lunch box or brief case. Jazz are a good baking Apple too. Have you tried them?

Organic Lemons


Good news – Organic Lemons are coming back into better supply and quality as certified organic ranches in Southern California see bigger harvests. Lemons are a catalyst. They prepare your taste buds for what’s next. What’s next for you? Start something delicious in your kitchen this week with Organic Lemons. Zest the yellow part of the skin in baking. Squeeze the juice into your vinaigrettes. Brighten up the salad, veggies or fish. Flavor your water. Hey, you can even clean your cutting board with the ends.

A fresh, clean flavor that brightens up food and drink: Organic Lemons.

Hoping you and yours made it through Hurricane Sandy safely and that your life gets back to normal soon. Our next post should be back on schedule – Tuesday 11/13.

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!