Organic Picks of the Week 03/05/13

Best if Used By 03/12/13

Organic Picks of the week for March 5th, 2013 features
Baby Spinach, Cauliflower, Navel Oranges, Bartlett Pears and Romaine Hearts

Organic Baby Spinach


Trying to stay on track with your health goals? Organic Baby Spinach is super healthy and versatile, plus its accessible flavor makes it a must have for your fridge! Baby Spinach is harvested within about 2 to 5 weeks of being planted – thus “baby.” After a difficult period of production caused by cold weather and other growing issues, Organic Baby Spinach is back in good supply from Arizona and Florida. Look for advertised or in-store specials on this great green during March.

Organic Baby Spinach with Blood Orange sections.

Some favorite uses for Baby Spinach:

  • It has a tender yet noticeable texture that stands up to the fork in raw salads
  • Cooks up quickly in the sauté pan
  • Wilts perfectly when combined with roasted vegetables right out of the oven
  • Blends nicely into green smoothies
  • Provides a nutrient dense dark green extract when used in juicing

Organic Cauliflower


Now that I’ve been roasting Cauliflower I can’t stop thinking of great new recipe ideas! Baking Cauliflower quickly in high heat mellows the bitterness and gives it some caramelization for great flavor – m-mmm! Now is a good time to try out some new Cauliflower recipes! Harvests of Organic Cauliflower in Southwestern growing areas have improved this month. Select Cauliflower that looks fresh, but don’t get worried if you see a little brown spot on a few florets – those discolored spots are easy to trim off with a knife when you are cutting up the head.

Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots and Onion with Baby Spinach

RECIPE – Roasted Cauliflower & Carrots with Baby Spinach

  • ½ head of Organic Cauliflower separated into bite-sized florets
  • 1 Yellow or Sweet Organic Onion sliced into 1” pieces
  • 2 Organic Carrots peeled and bias-cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Toss Vegetables in a bowl with 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • Season with Coarse Salt and Cracked Black, or a Seasoned Salt mix
  • Spread out evenly on large cookie sheet
  • Roast at 450 F for 30 min
  • Toss Roasted Veggies with 2 cups fresh Organic Baby Spinach to wilt

Organic Navel Oranges


The familiar sweetness, the pleasing juiciness and memorable aroma of a freshly peeled Navel Orange makes me happy. It is an easy to love flavor during the cold months that whisks your taste buds away to the sunny citrus groves of the San Joaquin Valley in California. What a satisfying, classic snack! No seeds. Not too difficult to peel, section and share. Healthy too!

Simple Pleasures: a perfectly sweet and juicy, peak-season Organic Navel Orange from California. Smile!

In-season Organic Navel Oranges continue at their peak – that means the juiciest, most flavorful fruit is here! Expect reasonable pricing and maybe even sales on loose or bagged Organic Navels where you shop this March. Find the juiciest ones by selecting Navels that are heavy for their size. Speaking of size, big to small, all Navels are tasting good right now so go with whatever size-type is best for your snacking preferences.

Organic Bartlett Pears


Late winter here means late summer in Argentina. Fresh, new crop Organic Bartlett Pears are now in season! Bartlett Pears are crunchy and lightly fresh-sweet when their skin is green. But eating a firm, crunchy Bartlett that’s still green is missing the point for me.  Bring on the succulence! Allow them to ripen at room temperature until the skin turns yellow for a soft, sticky-sweet and juicy eating pear.

Bartlett variety Pears show you when they’re ripe as they turn more yellow.

Not ready to use them? Store green Bartletts in the fridge to slow the ripening process. Have some over-ripe Bartletts that you won’t be able to snack on before they go bad? Juice them! Bartlett Pears add intense sweetness and a pear-spiced flavor to vegetable juice blends. Explore some Bartlett Pear recipes here.

Organic Romaine Hearts


Are you a Mixer or a Purist? Do you mix Romaine Hearts with other greens to create your salads with color and texture, or do you like to use all Romaine Hearts for crunchy, sturdy salads? There’s, no right answer, just cool recipe ideas.

Organic Romaine Hearts, Citrus Vinaigrette with Blood Oranges

Organic Romaine Hearts are crisp, juicy and flavorful. The only thing that could make them better is if they were priced affordably… hey, you’re in luck. Organically grown Romaine Hearts are in peak harvests in Southwestern growing regions. Romaine Hearts rows are planted extra close together to help the Lettuce head grow tall and tight. The outer leaves are trimmed off, the lighter colored “hearts” are immediately packaged in the field (there is no “romaine heart factory”), rushed to the cooler and shipped around the country. How fresh is that!

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