Organic Picks of the Week 01/22/13

Best if Used By 01/29/13

Organic Picks of the week for January 22nd, 2013 features
Navel Oranges, Pink Lady Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Mangos and Blueberries

Organic Navel Oranges


There’s nothing quite like a sweet and juicy Navel Orange. It is an easy to love flavor during the cold months that whisks your taste buds away to the sunny citrus groves of the San Joaquin Valley in California. What a satisfying, classic snack! No seeds. Not too difficult to peel, section and share. Healthy too!

Simple Pleasures: a perfectly sweet and juicy, peak-season Organic Navel Orange from California. Smile!

In-season Organic Navel Oranges are at their peak – that means the juiciest, most flavorful fruit is here! Expect reasonable pricing and maybe even sales on loose or bagged Organic Navels where you shop in the coming weeks. Find the juiciest ones by selecting Navels that are heavy for their size. Speaking of size, big to small, all Navels are tasting good right now so go with whatever size-type is best for your snacking preferences.

Organic Pink Lady Apples


Not everyone likes a sweet apple. And even, sweet-apple-lovers need to mix things up every now and then. Typically, tart Apple fans have gravitated towards the green-skinned Granny Smith variety, but I also direct them to Pink Lady Apples. They’ve got a bright cheek-rosy skin, dense, crisp flesh and honey sweetness under the bold, sharp, tart flavor.

Tart-sweet with an unrelenting crunchy and firm texture, Organic Pink Lady Apples are in high demand with those that expect a lot from their apples.

Organic Pink Lady Apples and their non-branded version, Organic Cripps Pink, harvested during late fall in the Pacific Northwest are in high demand right now. While Organic Pink Lady’s typically command a premium price, this in-season apple variety will not disappoint when it comes to intensity of tart-sweet taste and firm texture. They’re definitely worth a try for snacking and in these recipes! I find them fantastic for juicing because they add both sweetness and vibrancy to green vegetable juicer recipes.

Organic Sweet Potatoes


Flavorful, sweet, moist and delicious – sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in so many ways! This time of year I love baked Sweet Potato Fries, roasted Veggies with Sweet Potatoes, whipped Sweet Potatoes topped with nuts and Baked Apples & Sweet Potatoes with cinnamon. Loaded with Beta Carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese, Sweet Potatoes are not only tasty, but quite healthy too. It is a great time to try out some new recipes.

Roasted Organic Garnet Yams, Broccoli and Carrots

The best, clean-skinned, premium Organic Sweet Potatoes (aka Organic Yams) available right now are from California. The gorgeous Jewel Yam with it’s reddish-purple skin and deep orange flesh, as well as the ever-popular Garnet Yam that features orange-red skin and vivid orange flesh are what to look for at natural food stores, co-ops and organic markets.

If cosmetic appearance is less important to you than low prices, keep an eye out for brown skin, orange flesh Covington variety Organic Yams from North Carolina. Homely, but just as tasty.

Organic Mangos


Harvests of Organic Mangos from Peru and Ecuador are getting larger here in January and prices are getting lower on this healthy-eating favorite. Woohoo! A topical flavor, just when you need it. Recipes, cutting tips and more can be found here.

Organic Mangos are in season from Ecuador and Peru, so expect good prices and tasty fruit this month!

TIP: The amount of redness on the skin is not an indicator of sweetness or ripeness with the Tommy Atkins variety Mango which features red blush over dark green skin. These Mangos do not give much in the way of visual clues to when they are ripe, so judge by the softness when you squeeze them. Hard means they’ll be kinda crunchy, while a little give indicates a ripe Mango for snacking, smoothies and salsas.

Organic Blueberries


It’s hard to stop eating anti-oxidant rich Blueberries when they taste good and have a firm texture. Great news! The likelihood of finding organic berries like that is pretty good right now since it is summer in Chile and the Organic Blueberries from that country are in peak season. They’re ideal for your topping your cereal or yogurt, for making smoothies and shakes too. Here are some healthy Blueberry recipes.

Summertime Organic Blueberries from Chile are a value this winter week.

INSIDER TIP: When selecting fresh Blueberries inspect the top and bottom of the package to avoid shriveled, smashed-together or wet berries. Seek out Blueberries with the silver, powdery “bloom” on them. Bloom is a naturally occurring wax that forms a protective layer on the fruit while it is growing and is a tell-tale sign of freshness!

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