Organic Picks of the Week 01/27/15


Organic Picks | January 27th, 2015

Colored Bell PeppersMinneola TangelosRed Anjou PearsGrape TomatoesCilantroJalapeño Peppers

Best if used by 02/04/15

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Organic Colored Bell Peppers

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

Sweet Colored Bell Peppers can do it all. They’re great sliced for raw snacking, roasted for deep flavor, sautéed for rich sweetness, chopped for a crisp raw topping, stuffed for a hearty meal, blended or juices for liquid nutrition – oh, the recipe ideas!

Well, the good news is that now through February is shaping up to be a great time to snack and cook with Red, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers. Why? Organic Bell Peppers, especially Reds, are in a period of steady harvests from protected fields (grown in dirt but covered by high tunnels) and greenhouses in Mexico, plus sophisticated trellised greenhouses in Holland and Israel. More peppers = reasonable pricing for a premium product. Select Bell Peppers that have firm shoulders, feel heavy for their size and feature a vibrant appearance.

Here is a helpful site that explains in detail How to Roast Bell Peppers.


Select Bell Peppers that have firm shoulders, feel heavy for their size and feature a vibrant appearance.

Organic Minneola Tangelos

Peak Season    Best Flavor

Nothing brightens a cold winter day and boosts your immune system with Vitamin C quite like a refreshing Minneola Tangelo. A cross between a Tangerine and a Grapefruit, Tangelos are juicy and have a vibrant, mostly sweet orange flavor with a distinct tangerine tanginess. Dark orange-skinned Organic Minneola Tangelos from California are now in the peak of their growing season. The fruit is very juicy right now and fairly easy to peel.

Minneolas are easy to spot – they have that goofy knob at the stem end, which actually makes them easier to peel. Their flesh is super juicy, has few to no seeds and delivers a sweet and tangy citrus flavor. Minneola Tangelos are ideal for on the go snacking, slicing onto salads, making smoothies – and fantastic for fresh squeezed juice. Select Minneolas that feel heavy for their size and are free from soft spots. Skin scars, where the fruit rubbed against the leafs and stems on the tree, have no impact on eating quality.

An excellent way to enjoy seasonal citrus, use the extra fruit you can snack on in time, or to take advantage of deals on scarred up fruit or lower grade fruit – is to turn it into delicious, fresh-squeezed juice! Learn more with our 3 minute Citrus Juicing Video.

Dark orange-skinned Organic Minneola Tangelos from California are now in the peak of their growing season.

Organic Red Anjou Pears

Peak Season    Best Flavor

I’m rather smitten with Red Pears. They’ve got skin color that’s interesting and flavor to please. Organic Red Anjou Pears, with their burgundy skin and sweet, succulent flesh, are the what is in season right now – picked from organic orchards in Oregon and Washington earlier this fall and now readily available in organic produce sections this winter thanks to a large harvests. They’re perfect for slicing onto salads made with bitter greens or lettuces, pairing with strong cheeses and for snacking.

Red Anjou Pears taste best when the fruit has been allowed to soften at room temperature, letting the flesh become juicier, taste sweeter and smell more aromatic. Check the neck for ripeness!


Not just any fruit is privileged to be displayed with the Gouda! Well done, Organic Red Anjou, well done.

Organic Grape Tomatoes

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

Organic farms in South Florida have enjoyed nice growing conditions for Grape Tomatoes and here in late January and the harvest is abundant. Bite-sized Organic Grape Tomatoes are perfect for snacking and for topping salads. Open pack, give them a rinse and enjoy!

Grape Tomato Tips

  • The sweeter and crunchier Grape Tomatoes are coming from Florida right now, in my opinion, versus Mexico where they’re also in season. You should be able to find the country of origin on the label.
  • For best texture and flavor, I recommend that you store your tomatoes room temperature, not the fridge.

Bite-sized Organic Grape Tomatoes

Organic Cilantro

Peak Season    Best Flavor

What herb takes recipes to new heights of flavor and world cuisine? Fresh Cilantro! Cilantro leaves are packed with a strong, distinctive fresh flavor and aroma – like an intense version of Parsley. Fresh Organic Cilantro adds freshness and vibrancy to recipes for salads, stews, stir-fries, sauces, salsas and garnish. In-season Organic Cilantro is available this month from California. And since a little Cilantro goes a long way, 1 bunch can support several recipes!

Cilantro Tips

  • Select fresh Cilantro Bunches that are have deep green leaves.  Avoid bunches with sliminess or decay in the center or yellow leaves at the top.
  • Recipes like homemade Tacos, Guacamole and Salsa get a burst of bright flavor and vibrancy from 1 handful of finely chopped fresh Cilantro – try it!
  • Interested in more ideas? Check out this Cilantro Recipe Collection.

Big flavor by the bunch. Make your recipes shine with fresh Organic Cilantro.

Organic Jalapeño Peppers

Peak Season    Best Flavor

Whether it is the pleasure, the pain, or both from hot peppers that keeps you coming back, there’s no denying that Jalapeño’s pack some punch yet also feature a fresh flavor. Jalapeño Peppers are 2-4 inches long and dark green. The flavor is immediately spicy on the tongue – perfect for salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole and adding some kick to just about anything. Did you know that smoked Jalapeños become Chipotle?

Organic Jalapeño Peppers are not always readily available in stores year round, so when they are in season… it’s noteworthy for chili-pepper-lovers! The winter crop of Organic Jalapeño Peppers is available right now from both Florida and Mexico. Look for them at natural foods retailers, organic markets and co-ops?

Try this easy Homemade Jalapeño Popper recipe or just grab a few Jalapeños for your salsas, guacamoles or other fresh condiment use.

Jalapeño Recipe: “Easy Jalapeño Poppers” via

TIP: For max heat chop the whole pepper. For less heat remove the seeds and membrane before dicing the Jalapeño.

Buy smart. Shop healthy.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

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