Organic Picks of the Week 01/29/13

Best if Used By 02/05/13

Organic Picks of the week for January 29th, 2013 features
Hass Avocados, Blood Oranges, Braeburn Apples, Gold Potatoes and Kale Greens


Organic Hass Avocados

PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED | BEST FLAVOR

Americans will consume millions of pounds of Hass Avocados on Super Bowl weekend. Show your support growing organically by choosing Organic Hass Avocados. There will be plenty of creamy, nutty and flavorful Organic Hass Avocados from Mexico available at affordable prices for Big Game fresh guacamole, or to use in sandwiches, salads or in other recipes throughout the week!

Super Fresh Guac Bowl!

RECIPE: Super Fresh Guac Bowl

  • Halve 3 fully ripe Hass Avocados
  • Remove the pit and scoop out the flesh into a bowl
  • Smash Avocado flesh with a fork
  • Dice 1 Roma Tomato (or Vine Ripe Tomato with the seed-gel squeezed out)
  • Mince 1-2 cloves of Garlic (optional: add one diced Jalapeno for heat)
  • Finely Chop 1-2 handfuls of fresh Cilantro
  • Season to taste with Salt and Pepper
  • Squeeze in the juice of 1 Lime
  • Stir in all above until mixed
  • Serve in a long bowl with tortilla trips surrounding to look like a stadium, add carrots for goal posts

AVOCADO TIPS:

  • Hass Avocados are ripe and ready to cut when they begin give to gentle thumb pressure.
  • Hard, green Hass Avocados typically need about 3-4 days at room temperature, 2-3 if placed in a paper bag with a banana or apple.
  • Once an uncut Hass Avocado reaches its ripe stage and you’re not ready to eat it, put it in the fridge to keep it at that ripeness stage for another day or two.

Organic Blood Oranges

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

The fine wine of citrus fruits – Organic Blood Oranges, particularly the in season Moro variety Blood Orange, are now in at the front end of their peak season from organic ranches in California. Deep, rich orange flavor with tones of raspberry, plum and pomegranate define the profile of this dramatic fruit. Organic Blood Oranges have striped-red-orange to dark burgundy flesh, are virtually seedless, peel as easy as a Navel does, and… stain, so cut carefully. But a little risk of red splash or your shirt is worth it to get at that delicious juice and rich flesh!  Plus, Blood Oranges are a health-dynamo. In fact, the pigment that makes their flesh so dark red is a free radical fighting antioxidant, anthocyanin.

Flavors of raspberry, pomegranate and plum make Organic Blood Oranges a deliciously dramatic, seasonal specialty!

Blood Oranges are ideal for snacking out of hand, adding to salads, using in desserts, cooking with meats, for glazes and for juicing. January through March is the best time of the year to enjoy Organic Blood Oranges and the flavor gets sweeter throughout the season. I actually love to mix fresh squeezed Blood Orange juice with Seltzer Water for a natural soda. Find Blood Orange recipe inspiration here.  Or see what recent NY Times article said about Blood Oranges here.

Organic Braeburn Apples

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

An all-purpose fruit to consider this month is the Organic Braeburn Apple, in season now from Washington’s fall crop. The Braeburn variety is quite juicy and has fine yet crisp texture. The taste is old-fashioned – sweet with a fresh tartness underneath that some would describe as a spiced flavor. These characteristics make them decent for snacking, but ideal for salads, sauces, cooking and baking.

Sweet-tart and Juicy, Braeburns are good in the kitchen and the snack bowl.

Like the sweet flavor of Red Delicious, but hate their tendency for tough skin and frequently mushy flesh?  Try Organic Cameo Apples, which are also in season right now.

Organic Gold Potatoes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Here’s a great winter flavor: buttery, creamy, moist and delicious – Organic Gold Potatoes! Gold Potatoes are ideal for boiling, mashing, scalloping and roasting. The tender skins can be left on in most recipe preparations, and the waxy, yellow flesh gets deeper in color during cooking.

Looking for a Big Game recipe? The rich, buttery flavor of Organic Gold Potatoes pairs well with spicy flavors like Hot Sauce. I found a fascinating recipe called “Poison Gas Potatoes” that uses Sriracha Sauce (aka Rooster sauce) while pan-frying Gold Potatoes. “Poison Gas” sounded a little intense for the audience at my house, so I experimented with this preparation that can make for a spicy snack that doesn’t burn the guests out.

Roasted Gold Potato Buffalo Bites

RECIPE: Roasted Gold Potato Buffalo Bites

  • Pre-Heat Oven to 450F
  • Cut 2-3lb of Lg. or Med. Organic Gold Potatoes with skins into 1” pieces
  • In a mixing bowl, toss potato chunks with 1-2tbs Olive Oil to coat
  • Season with ½tsp coarse salt and black pepper
  • Add 1-2tbs of your favorite Hot Sauce or Buffalo Sauce, re-toss to coat
  • Spread potato pieces out evenly on baking sheets
  • Roast at 450F for 10 minutes, remove to flip once
  • Roast at 450F for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork

FOR GAME DAY

  • Use toothpicks for serving
  • Serve with a Hot Sauce dipping bowl for those that want more heat
  • Serve with a Sour Cream, Ranch or Blue Cheese dipping bowl for those that need some cooling

GOLD POTATO TIPS: The true “Yukon” variety of Gold Potato has small areas of pink to light red skin around the eyes that occurs naturally. Select Gold Potatoes that are free from wetness and odor, do not have sprouted growths and have no green or dark black discoloration. Store Potatoes in a cool, dry and dark place like your pantry and try to use them within a week or so this time of year.

Organic Kale Greens

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

No vegetable is packed with more good-for-you nutrients than Leafy Kale Greens – sturdy, deep green leaves with a slightly earthy flavor. Kale has calcium, Vitamin K and magnesium for healthy bones; potassium for vascular health; and anti-oxidants like Vitamin C too. Kale is loaded with chlorophyll which helps the body’s organs to eliminate toxins. Good news, East Coasters! Organic Kale Greens from farms in both Florida and South Carolina is in season with nice, hearty quality right now. On the Left Coast however, Organic Kale is actually in short supply at California farms due to cold weather experienced earlier in January.

A power RAW salad: Shredded Organic Kale Greens, Shaved Organic Brussels Sprouts, Dried Cranberries, Chopped Walnuts in a Lemon + Cider Vinaigrette

Still, Leafy Green Kale can be intimidating to prepare for those of us that didn’t grow up eating it. Preparations include adding kale to soups, sautéed kale, braised kale, homemade kale chips (I add hot sauce), kale in vegetable lasagna, as well as raw kale chopped for use in salads and slaws. Here are some great recipes to look over and give it a try.

Buffalo Kale Chips

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