Organic Picks of the Week 07/29/13

Best if Used By 08/05/13

Organic Picks of the week for July 29th, 2013 features
Champagne Grapes, White Peaches, Mini Seedless Watermelons, Strawberries and Celery


Organic Champagne Grapes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Here’s a fun thing to try in late July and August: Organic Champagne Grapes! I know what you’re thinking… the answer is, “Nope, these are not the famous wine grapes from the Champagne region of France.” Organic Champagne Grapes are actually miniature-sized Seedless Grapes that grow in tight clusters on tender, thin stems. They’re the ultimate dessert grape – intensely sweet and flavorful. The name comes from the “tiny bubbles,” I suppose, and the fact that they were photographed wish a glass of Champagne at some point.

The world’s smallest seedless snacking grapes have some of the world’s biggest flavor – Organic Champagne Grapes!

Organic Champagne Grapes taste rich and deeply sweet with a hint of tanginess underneath. I enjoy eating them by grabbing the thick base of the stem on a cluster, biting down on the whole bunch, and then pulling the main stem from between my teeth. Sure, you might get a few mini-stems in with the grapes but they’re so tender you hardly notice them as you chew. Maybe you think I’m crazy, but try a pack of these this month. Rinse them, grab some scissors to snip them into bite-sized clusters and enjoy the reaction from friends and family.

NEW VIDEO: Tiny Bubbles! Champagne Grapes for serious snacking.

Organic White Peaches

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

Peak season continues for Organic White Peaches out of California. There are some wonderful varieties being harvested right now and they are the free-stone types – where the flesh easily pulls away from the pit. Did you know that you can eat White Peaches right away? Why? White-flesh Peach varieties are low in acid so the natural sugar comes through in the flavor from the moment they are picked. Firm and crunchy White Peaches are sweet and tasty! Ripened White Peaches will stay just as sweet but become soft and juicy. Snacking, salads, desserts – you bet! Select White Peaches that have no greenish coloring in the white areas of the skin – a sign of under-ripe. Store them a room temperature and try to use them within a few days.

White Peaches are sweet and ready to eat when firm or juicy-ripe.

RECIPE: Grilled White Peaches:

  • Pre-heat grill to high
  • Halve White Peaches and remove the pit
  • Spray White Peaches with a quick burst of spray-able oil on each side
  • Reduce grill heat to medium-high
  • Grill for about 3 minutes on each side, flesh side first
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, garnish with mint

Organic Mini Seedless Watermelons

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Watermelon is a wonderful refresher. It’s like chewing a natural sports drink. Early August will be a great time to enjoy Organic Mini Seedless Watermelons, in-season from California. These “personal sized” melons range from 4 to 8 pound each. Expect sweet with juicy-crisp flesh – Watermelons are over 90% water, after-all.

Check out these 10 cool recipes for Watermelon from thekitchn.com.

Fridge-sized Organic Watermelons in peak season from California.

Organic Strawberries

BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED

LAST CALL!  Hurry up and enjoy some Organic Strawberries while they’re still good and still in-stock! The first week or so of August mark the end of peak season for Organic Strawberries. This week, expect sweet and rich-tasting Organic Strawberries from the Watsonville, California area, though the late season fruit is smaller in size. Heat, bug pressure and stress on the plants will diminish the quality and yield later this month, and for all intents and purposes Organic Strawberries will go out-of-season until next year.

Enjoy delicious Organic Strawberries while you can, for alas, soon they’ll be out of season.

TIPS:

  • At the store, inspect the packages from all sides, avoiding containers with wet spots on the berries or bottoms of the containers.
  • Look for plump, red berries with healthy looking, green caps.
  • Keep them cold in the fridge, but they’ll have better taste and texture if you use them within a couple days.
  • Wash Strawberries under cold water just before use.
  • Check out this strawberry recipe resource for use and recipe ideas.

Speaking of organic berries… Organic Blueberries and Organic Blackberries remain good, in-season choices this week too!

Organic Celery

PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED

Organic Celery from California continues to be a nice value right now in the organic produce department. It is great for low-calorie snacking, adds flavor to soups and is a go-to stable in juicing recipes.

Juice on! With in-season Organic Celery.

JUICING RECIPE: Celery-Parsley-Pepper Green Juice

Sweet from the apple and grapes – fresh garden flavor from the peppers and parsley. Juice the following in a juice extractor in this order:

  • 2 Stalks Green Kale
  • 3 Stalks Celery
  • ½ Bunch Flat-Leaf Parsley (fist full with stems)
  • ½ Bunch Green Grapes (.5lb)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, cored
  • 1 Lime, partially peeled
  • 1 large Sweet-tart Apple

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