Organic Picks of the Week 06/25/13

Best if Used By 07/02/13

Organic Picks of the week for June 25th, 2013 features
Fresh Figs, Sweet Mini Peppers, Plums, Saturn Peaches
and Blackberries


Organic Fresh Figs

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Have you ever enjoyed Fresh Figs? It is a completely different eating experience than with Dried Figs, just like eating Raisins is different than eating fresh Grapes. Fresh Figs have tender skins and gooey flesh that is honey sweet and mildly earthy – luscious! Most Figs are sold as Dried since the grower can leave the fruit on the tree until it dries and falls to the ground. Fresh Figs require more attention in harvesting and handling. Only about 5% of Figs grown in the US are sold as Fresh, so savor this seasonal delicacy!

Fresh, organically grown Figs are in season! Black Mission and Brown Turkey varieties both feature honey-sweet flavor when the fruit is soft-ripe.

Late June and early July marks the early part of peak season for Organic Fresh Figs from southern California. Two varieties are likely to be found in organic markets and natural foods stores right now – Black Mission Figs with dark purple to black skin, and Brown Turkey Figs with brown to purple skins. I love to hold them by the stem and eat the rest of the fruit whole – yum! Slice them in to wedges to top a salad or throw them into a smoothie to add honey-like sweetness. They pair well with sweet and savory dishes. Here’s an expansive collection of recipe ideas to feature the rich, old-world flavor of Fresh Organic Figs.

Be gentle! Fresh Figs are delicate. You can keep them at room temperature for a couple of days or in the fridge for maybe a week. Don’t be too concerned about skin scars, but avoid Figs with punctures or smashed areas. Fresh Figs are ripe and sweet when they become soft to a gentle squeeze. Soft is good. Give some a try and let me know what you think!

Organic Sweet Mini Peppers

BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON

Have you discovered Sweet Mini Peppers? These lil’ babies are awesome! Sweet, crunchy, bite-sized and delicious… oh, oh, colorful and healthy too! 1-4 inches long, Organic Sweet Mini Peppers come packed in pint containers or bags and are in season from Mexico right now.  Organic Sweet Mini Peppers are easy to rinse and snack on whole. They’re also wonderful on the grill, roasted in the oven or stuffed as an appetizer. Yum!

These sweet and crunchy Peppers are perfect for snacking, stuffing and grilling!

Organic Plums

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

A good Plum is succulent and nicely sweet – perfect for desserts and snacking. Give Organic Black or Red Plums a try this week. The early summer varieties are in peak season from organic orchards in California – some with white flesh, some with red flesh. How do you find a good one? Select Organic Plums that don’t feel rock hard, but are also not soft and squishy. A little give is ideal for a juicy-sweet eating experience. Store Plums at room temperature for a day or two, and once they become slightly soft you can get another couple days out of them in the fridge.

If you like Plums, your season is here!

Organic Saturn Peaches (Donut/Flat Peaches)

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Flat is fabulous. Organic Donut Peaches™ are also called Saturn or Flat Peaches because of their shape. The shape may be flat, but the flavor is not. Saturn Peaches have white flesh that is low in acid allowing them to be deliciously sweet when they are firm and crunchy AND when they ripen longer to become soft and juicy. Grab one between your thumb and index-finger and snack away! They’re in season now from California for the summer season.

Organic Donut Peaches (aka Donut Peaches) are only flat in shape, not flavor.

Organic Blackberries

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

Organic Blackberries are now in peak season harvest from California. The berries are big, plump, and have a rich-sweet flavor that is really exceptional – particularly on the Driscoll’s organic brand. Yum! Blackberries are a delicious source of free-radical-fighting anthocyanin. Learn more about Blackberry nutritional benefits here. Blackberries are awesome for snacking out of hand, or for making smoothies, baking, and for topping your cereal or yogurt. Always wash your Blackberries just before use. Store them in the fridge and try to use them within a few days of purchase to get the most out of your purchase.

Gorgeous, sweet-tasting Organic Blackberries are now in season from California.

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