Produce

Apples

About: The forbidden fruit! These bulbous beauties, part of the rose family, are pomaceous fruits. There are dozens of varieties of apples. McIntosh apples have red and green skin, white, juicy flesh and a slightly tart flavor. Suncrisp apples are green with a hint of orange and are firm, juicy and sweet. Jonagold apples are are crisp, tart, and sweet with bright red and gold skin. Is your mouth watering yet?Apples red yellow Green

Nutritional Information: A medium sized apple contains about 52 calories,4 grams of fiber, and is a good source of vitamin C.

Storage: Apples can be stored up to 2 weeks in the coolest part of the refrigerator and retain their nutrient value. Wrap in paper towels or keep in a paper or plastic bag.

Tips: Apples are well-suited for freezing, drying and canning. Three mediums apples equals about 1 pound. 2 pounds make a pie.

QuickFix: Dip sliced apples in peanut butter and cinnamon for a snack. 

Recipes: Kale with Apples & Mustard, Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas, Apple Confit

Apricots

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About: Because they ripen earlier than other fruits, apricots are sometimes called “Precocious Fruit”, pulled from the latin word “praecocia”. There is nothing precocious, however, about the tart and sweet flavor of apricots!

Nutritional Info: Apricots are good source of Dietary Fiber and Potassium, and a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Storage: Eat your ripe apricots as soon as possible. They last up to two days in the fridge.

Tips: To peel apricots quickly, cut an X at the end of the fruit, toss in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge in ice water—the skin should peel right off.

QuickFix: Toss cut apricots with olive oil, salt, and pepper, grill cut side down, then flip for about 30 more seconds on the skin side.

Recipes: Apricot Tart, Grilled Honey Apricots, Apricot Chicken

 

Arugula

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About:  Arugula, commonly referred to as "rocket", has a rich, peppery taste-- a strong flavor for a leafy green. Arugula is most often used raw in salads or pastas, though it also can be cooked. Try mixed with potatoes, added to salads, or on top of sandwiches or pizza. 

Nutritional Information: 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of arugula has just 25 calories and contains 25% of the DV of Vitamin C and 16% of the DV of Calcium. It is considered a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese. Read More ...

Storage: Clean and wash in cold water. Dry, wrap in paper towel and place in plastic bag in refrigerator. Arugula will last up to 7 days in the fridge. 

Tips: The larger the leaf the stronger the taste! The smaller leaves are tastier raw, while the larger leaves are better cooked. Arugula makes a beautiful garnish and adds a peppery kick to any dish. 

Quick Fix: Use a simple oil and vinegar or lemon juice dressing with arugula and add parmesan cheese. Great pizza topping either cooked or raw.

Recipes Warm Bean and Arugula Salad, Lentil Arugula Salad, Arugula Pesto

AsparagusAsparagus

About: There are about three varieties of asparagus: green, white and purple. While green ranks the most popular in the states, white asparagus (which is acually just green asparagus that hasn't been exposed to sunlight) is more popular in Europe. Purple asparagus, the prettiest of the three, has a sweeter taste and more tender texture. Steam, roast, boil, grill or microwave--the possibilities are endless.

Nutritional Information:  Asparagus is low in Saturated Fat, Calories, Cholesterol, and Sodium and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Protein. It has a high, diverse, and well-balanced vitamin and mineral content. A large portion of the calories in asparagus come from sugars.  For more nutrition information...  

Storage:  Asparagus should be eaten immediately, or kept in the refrigerator no more than 2-3 days. To store them, snap off the ends and stand stalks upright in a container with 1” of water, or wrap a moist paper towel around stems and keep them in a plastic bag. Do not wash them before storing.

Tips: There are 6-8 asparagus spears in a cup, which is considered one serving. Asparagus can be kept frozen for up to 8 months. Trim and leave whole or cut into 2-3” lengths, blanch until bright green and still crisp. Submerge in ice water immediately, dry and seal in airtight plastic bags. Asparagus can be canned and is also well suited to pickling.

Wonder what it means to "snap the woody ends" of asparagus? While the tip and upper portion of asparagus are tender, the stalks become increasingly fibrous toward the bottom. To snap the “woody ends”, bend the stalk near the bottom and snap it in two. If it is difficult to snap, move up the stalk until you find the natural break between the tender and tough portions. Save the woody ends for stock. 

Quick Fix: Cook lightly covered in microwave for a minute or two then dip in ice water. Serve cold with olive oil, lemon vinegrette and parmesan cheese.

Recipes: How to cook asparagus,  Sesame Asparagus, Lemon Lovers' Asparagus

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About: "The King of Herbs" comes in dozens of varieties including "sweet", "purple", "cinnamon" and "lemon".  The most common variety is sweet basil, which has larger leaves.  Basil varies by the size and shape of the leaves and the essential oils contained in the plant, which determine its taste and fragrance. 

Nutritional Information: Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.

Storage: Store in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel in a bag or keep in a glass with water.

Tips: Basil can be frozen  in a freezer bag. Basil can also be dried

QuickFix: Layer a leaf of basil on top slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Recipes:  Pesto, Corn and Basil Cakes