Organic Picks of the Week 10/21/13

Best if Used By 10/28/13

Organic Picks of the week for October 21st, 2013 features
Hass Avocados, Gold Potatoes, Ambrosia Apples, Jonagold Apples
and Pie Pumpkins


Organic Hass Avocados

VALUE PRICED | PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Eat healthy fruit AND save money? That is certainly as possibility now that Organic Hass Avocados from Mexico are in peak season. More high quality Organic Avocados being harvested means better prices than the past few months – maybe even some sales during late October and November. Hass Avocados have monounsaturated fat that actually helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, Hass Avocados are loaded with fiber, plus some folate and potassium. So, feel good about using them!

Slice up some goodness. Creamy Organic Hass Avocados from Mexico are in season and prices are more affordable this month!

Get the day started with an energizing Avocado-Banana Smoothie. How about some fresh guacamole for a snack or to top your favorite savory dish? With Hass Avocados the Recipe ideas are endless.

HOW-TO:
Hass Avocados are ripe and ready to cut when they begin give to gentle thumb pressure.

If the Hass Avocados you purchase are hard, then store them at room temperature until they ripen.

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.

Guacamole How-to Video.

Delicious Organic Pineapples continue to be bountiful and at some of their best pricing of the year!

Organic Gold Potatoes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

Here’s a great Fall 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 yellow flesh gets deeper in color during cooking. The best quality organically grown Gold Potatoes of the year are in peak season during late fall from organic farms in Colorado and the Pacific Northwest this month, mostly the Yukon Gold variety.

TIPS:
Select Gold Potatoes that are free from wetness and odor, do not have sprouted growths and have no green or dark black discoloration. Dirt that rubs or washes off the skin is NOT 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.

Gold Potatoes are often referred to as Yukon Potatoes, but there are, in fact, many Gold Potato varieties. The true “Yukon” variety of Gold Potato may have small areas of pink to light red skin around the eyes that occurs naturally.

Roasted Gold Potato Buffalo Bites

RECIPE: 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 and 1-2tbs of Hot Sauce or Buffalo Sauce
  • Season with ½tsp coarse salt and black pepper, re-toss
  • Spread potato pieces out evenly on baking sheets
  • Roast at 450F for 10 minutes, remove to flip once
  • Roast at 450F for another 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork
  • 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

MORE RECIPE IDEAS:
Mashed Gold Potatoes with Greek Yogurt and Chives
Crispy Smashed Gold Potatoes

Parmesan Roasted Gold Potatoes

Gold Potato & Cauliflower Soup

Organic Ambrosia Apples

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Greek mythology has a term Ambrosia which means “food of the gods.” A unique apple variety was discovered from chance seedling decades ago in a Vancouver orchard. The fruit from this tree was delicious! – juicy, low in acid, with a pleasing aroma, fully sweet – thus inspiring the mythological name. Organic Ambrosia Apples have started in their peak season here in October from organic orchards in the Pacific Northwest.  If you find them and like ultra-sweet apples – try some Ambrosias!

Extra sweet, finely crisp – Organic Ambrosia Apples are a snacking delight!

Ambrosia Apples have gain a loyal following because of their special eating qualities. The fruit is crisp when you bite in, yet finely textured and almost creamy when you chew. The flesh is naturally slow to oxidize (or brown) when cut, making it ideal for salads. There are better apples for baking like Jonagold, Braeburn, Granny Smith – so, most people just love Ambrosia Apples for a delightful, sweet snack.

Organic Jonagold Apples

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

It’s nice to have a good go-to, all-purpose apple sometimes – one you can use for fall baking, desserts, sauces and cooking AND enjoy for fresh snacking and salads. The Jonagold variety is just that type of apple.  This 60 year old variety is a cross between the tart Jonathan and the mellow-sweet Golden Delicious. Jonagold’s are crisp but have a fluffier texture, and they’re sweet but have some tart zip underneath. Organic Jonagold Apples are now in peak season from Washington.

An excellent, sweet-tart apple for all-purposes: Organic Jonagold Apples.

Organic Pie Pumpkins

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

October is for Pumpkins. We drink and eat pumpkin flavored everything, right? Well, if you’re hoping to make some recipes that call for pumpkin, but want to try preparing pumpkin on your own instead of just opening up a can – Organic Pie Pumpkins are in peak season for your cooking pleasure! Big pumpkins for making jack-o-lanterns? – those are too watery and stringy for baking. Organic Pie Pumpkins, on the other hand, are small – maybe 5-10 inches in diameter – and have a sweet, smooth flesh which is ideal for baking and cooking. A 4 pound Pie Pumpkin will net you about 1½ cups of pumpkin puree.

Wanna try making your own Organic Pumpkin Puree for fall recipes?

HOW TO PREPARE FRESH PUMPKIN FOR USE IN RECIPES:

  • Be sure to have a sharp, sturdy knife and some leverage to cut Pie Pumpkins.
  • Slice the Pie Pumpkin in half, remove seeds and pulp
  • Bake halves face-down on a baking sheet for 45-90 min. at 350 degrees until flesh can be easily pierced with a fork
  • Allow halves to cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from the shell
  • Puree baked flesh, strain puree if you’re going to make velvety soups
  • Now you’re ready to bake and cook for fall – Pumpkin Pie and Desserts, Pumpkin Breads and Muffins, Pumpkin Soups, and a favorite of mine – Pumpkin Pancakes.

Wait! Don’t throw out those squash and pumpkin seeds
RECIPE: Toasted Organic Pumpkin Seeds

  • Toasted Organic Pumpkin Seeds are great for a home-made savory snack and are excellent for topping salads.
  • Scoop seeds and pulp from Organic Hard Squash or Pumpkin
  • By hand separate most seeds from pulp
  • In a strainer, run hot water over the seeds to clean them
  • Remove any remaining pulp that is in the strainer
  • In a mix bowl toss seeds in 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Spread out seeds on a baking tray
  • Season with coarse salt and black pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend
  • Roast at 250 degrees for 40-60 min. or 350 degrees for 25-35 min.

Toasted Pumpkin seeds – an easy homemade savory snack.

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