Organic Picks of the Week 10/07/13

Best if Used By 10/14/13

Organic Picks of the week for October 7th, 2013 features
Black Grapes, Medjool Dates, Fingerling Potatoes and
Sweet Mini Peppers


Organic Black Grapes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Black Seedless are, hands-down, the best-eating Organic Grapes available right now. Why? The “Autumn Royal” variety is currently in season from organic table grape vineyards in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Autumn Royals are a seedless black grape variety that are long bullets of rich-sweet flavor and consistently firm-crunch. A grape for grape-lovers. My kids begged for green grapes and wanted no part of Black Grapes, that is…until they tried the Autumn Royals this weekend. Now, they love ‘em! I suggest you try some too this October while they are at their best.

Richly sweet and always crunchy Autumn Royal variety black seedless grapes are the best-eating organic grape available this month!

TIPS: Select Black Grapes that feel firm and are in packages free from wet and sticky spots. Keep your Grapes refrigerated for best flavor and texture. Black Grape varieties in the fall, like Autumn Royals, have a pretty good shelf-life so they’ll likely keep for at least a week. Wash Grapes with cold water before serving.

Organic Medjool Dates

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Caramel-sweet, plump and soft, Organic Medjool Dates are like an ancient, natural candy – better tasting than any other date variety you’ve tried from a little pouch or tub in the “baking section.” The Medjool variety is larger than other Dates types and is best for eating whole, just don’t forget about the ½” pit inside. Dates are often mistaken for dried fruit, but in fact, the fruit ripen to perfection on tall palm trees in Certified Organic date-palm groves in Southern California and Western Arizona. This year’s harvest has just gotten underway so the fresh Organic Medjool Dates available between now and Thanksgiving will be especially gooey-sweet.

Have you discovered this ancient sweet, natural candy? Organic Medjool Dates are now in season from the date-palm groves of Southern California and western Arizona.

Here’s my Top 10 favorite ways to enjoy Medjool Dates (I’ll put some pictures and recipes up on our Facebook page this week):

  1. Amish Date Pudding = a date & walnut cake combined with ripe banana slices and whipped cream)
  2. Eat 1-3 of them whole as a sweet afternoon snack.
  3. Halved with a dollop of peanut butter and topped with a  walnut half
  4. Date Milkshakes = ice cream, dates, bananas
  5. Date Smoothies = greek yogurt, frozen ripe bananas, medjool dates
  6. French Toast with sautéed Apple-Date topping
  7. Medjool Date Pancakes
  8. Bacon-wrapped Medjool Dates
  9. Herb Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates
  10. Baked Sweet Potatoes & Dates with Pecans

For snacking, baking, smoothies and more – gooey-sweet Medjool Dates are the best.

TIPS:
Store Medjool Dates in a plastic bag or sealed tub

Medjool Dates will stay good on your counter for a couple weeks and in your ‘fridge for a couple months.

Delicious recipe inspiration for Medjool Dates can be found here.

Organic Fingerling Potatoes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Fingerling Potatoes are small, gourmet varieties with tender skins, elongated shapes and flesh that has a waxy texture. Fingerling Potatoes can speed up your meal preparation time, all while delighting your taste-buds. Because these high flavor, finger-shaped Potato varieties are smaller in size – roasting takes only 35 to 45 minutes at 425 degrees, while boiling takes only about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the Fingerlings. Halve larger ones length-wise to even the cooking time. When a knife can easily pierce their waxy flesh, the Potatoes are properly cooked. Be sure to cook Fingerlings with their tender skin left on to trap in their rich flavors and moisture content.

Easy to quickly roast or boil: in-season Organic Fingerling Potatoes.

Organically grown Fingerling Potatoes are now in season from prime-organic-soiled growing regions in Colorado, and Oregon farms will begin packing their harvests soon too. The first to make to the shelves of Organic stores, Natural Food Retailers and Food Co-ops are the red French Finger and yellow Russian Banana varieties. Most Organic Fingerling Potatoes are sold in 1.5lb packages. Try out some recipes this month!

Organic Sweet Mini Peppers

BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED

Organic Sweet Mini Peppers are back in season! Have you tried them? These lil’ babies are awesome! Sweet, crunchy, bite-sized, colorful and delicious – and packed with antioxidants! 1-4 inches long, Organic Sweet Mini Peppers come packed in pint containers or bags. They’re easy to simply rinse and snack on whole, or try them on the grill, roasted in the oven or stuffed as an appetizer. Yum!

Sweet. Small. Healthy. Fun. Grill, stuff or just snack on Organic Sweet Mini Peppers raw!

Here are a few other things that are smart, in-season choices this week in the organic produce department:

Organic Honeycrisp Apples
Organic Eggplant

Organic Butternut, Acorn and Spaghetti Squashes
Organic Asian Pears

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.

Eat in season. Choose organic. Enjoy good food.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy