Originally from the Mediterranean region, the artichoke is actually classified as a flower! And, frankly, we love this fleur! The artichoke was eaten first over 3000 years ago. Then, at the fall of Rome, it disappeared. Italy revived the artichoke in the 15th century.
Catherine de Medici, who was married to King Henry II of France at the tender young age of 14, is credited with bringing the artichoke from her native Italy to France, where its success was instant.
Today, California is home to 100 percent of America’s commercially grown artichokes.
So are they good for you?Yes! Artichokes are low in calories, with only 60 calories for one medium cooked globe. They are naturally fat-free.
The artichoke is a natural diuretic, a digestive aid, and provides nutrition to health-promoting bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Some studies suggest that fresh artichokes help control blood-sugars in diabetics and lower cholesterol levels thus warding off arteriosclerosis.
Although artichokes have a high amount of natural sodium, they are still lower than most processed foods, and are also good sources of fiber, potassium and magnesium.
Hello all and Happy Wednesday! The week is almost over, but we are enjoying every bit of this week’s produce. We’re featuring some new items this week that have been just awesome!
Today, we’d like to focus on two of Carolyn’s favorites: snap peas and spinach!
First-of-the-season sugar snap peas, these little pods are crisp and delicious. Sugar snap peas are considered to be one of the oldest crops known. Many theorists date them back to 9750 BC in Thailand and Burma. They were known to be a staple in the diet of Romans and Greeks, showing just how nutritious they are.
As they consumed as a whole, they have relatively high content of dietary fiber, vitamins K, A and B complex.
Their subtle sweet taste make them an excellent snack or a great addition to many meals. According to the blog, The Kitchn, here are 5 ways to eat these yummy little treats:
Truly a warehouse and fan favorite, along with Carolyn, spinach is back and better than ever! Spinach is one of those super food, awesome, do-all-be-all, best thing ever type of veggies. Not only is spinach amazingly healthy for you and readily available, there is literally a spinach recipe for every type of meal (breakfast to dinner and even dessert)!
So just how good is spinach for you? According to Health Diaries, there’s quite a few reasons spinach is awesome for your body:
One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.
Flavonoids — a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties abundant in spinach — have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.
Neoxanthin and violaxanthin are two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls that play an important role in regulation of inflammation and are present in unusual amounts in spinach.
The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
By inhibiting the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, peptides within spinach have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure.
Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of vitamin A that not only protects and strengthens “entry points” into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, but is also a key component of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) that fight infection.
The high amount of vitamin A in spinach also promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles.
One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K that can prevent excess activation of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bones), as well as promote the synthesis of osteocalcin, the protein that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of our bones.
Brain and Nervous Function
The abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes greatly to a healthy nervous system and brain function by providing an essential part for the synthesis of sphingolipids, the crucial fat that makes up the Myelin sheath around our nerves.
Hello all and happy Tuesday! We’re almost to mid-week and the produce is proving to be awesome! Just see why..
Arugula is just fantastic all together. According to Food.com’s Kitchen Dictionary, “An herb with a with a peppery mustard flavor. The smooth dark green spiky leaves resemble dandelion leaves, and it is sold loose or banded in bunches. Younger, smaller arugula is milder tasting and less bitter. Arugula has traditionally been used in Italian cuisines. It’s gaining popularity as an ingredient in fresh salads, but is also good with cheeses, sandwiches, chicken and tuna salads, egg dishes, pasta and tomato dishes, and sautéd vegetables.”
Arugula has such a great natural flavor. It is slightly peppery and is delicious on its own or as an accent to many savory dishes. Check out these recipes!
Another one of our favorites this week is the Yukon Potato. A staple for many households, it’s always good to have these on hand. Think of all the great potato recipes you know! Can’t think of any off the top of your head? Try these!
Heirloom Baby Lettuce!
This lettuce truly melts in your mouth! It is so yummy and versatile! We especially want to know how you used it this week. What are al of the different ways you could cook with this? Share on our Facebook page!
We are very excited to have leeks back in the menus this week. If you’ve never had leek and potato (woohoo for having those too) soup, you are simply missing out. Leeks are much more than a soup addition though. Leeks are root vegetables that look quite similar to onions, to which they are related. Their flavor is onion-like but much milder. People who avoid this vegetable because they don’t like onions should try them — their flavor is mellow and not overpowering, and many onion-haters enjoy them. Overall, they’re pretty great!
Delicious and Perfect Blood Oranges
It doesn’t get much better than this! These blood oranges definitely deliver. They are gorgeous and super tasty! Get ready for a sweet and tart juicy snack! These are simply divine! And they can be used in cooking for so many recipes.
Hello all and happy Monday. We are fully into spring and our produce is a reflection of it. We have some awesome favorites. Take a look..
With spring comes more delicious produce. This includes wonderful strawberries! Sweet, vibrant and ready to eat, these berries are just perfect. Eat them for a refreshing snack or throw them in a salad for the perfect treat.
Zucchini are in the bins and so good! They’s so versatile, too! What’s your favorite zucchini recipe? Try this fabulous dishes!
Local radishes are back
One of our favorite items is back again: local radishes. Radishes are somewhat underrated. They have a refreshing natural flavor and can be an addition to may additions. Like spice but not the aftereffects? Try eating a raw radish after to cool your mouth down!
Bock Choy is back!
Another favorite is returning: baby bock choy! So delicious sautéed with garlic, soy sauce and olive oil, baby bok choy has a great natural flavor and is packed with nutrients. They are a bit more versatile than one may presume. Check out all the ways to cook these up!
What are planning to cook this week? Share your recipes on our Facebook page!
Hello all and Happy Friday! Next week we will so many more great options, along with all the greats from this past week! Get ready, it’s going to be a good week!
Let’s dig into a few…
Blood oranges are for sale next week and they are just as delicious as they are beautiful! They are nutrient-rich, too! They are much like regular oranges, but with a vibrant maroon color inside and tastes a bit more like a raspberry.
Just looking forward to what’s in your bin? We’ll have strawberries, tangelos, apples, pears, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, and bananas!
According to Wiki Answers, The tangelo is a citrus fruit that is a hybrid of a tangerine and either a pomelo or a grapefruit. It may have originated in Southeast Asia over 3,500 years ago. The fruits are the size of an adult fist and have a tangerine taste, but are very juicy, to the point of not providing much flesh but producing excellent and plentiful juice. Tangelos generally have loose skin and are easier to peel than oranges. They are easily distinguished from oranges by a characteristic nipple at the top of the fruit.
Mangos are here for the second week in a row and they are awesome! They’re so delicious, sweet and juicy; they’re like nature’s candy!
What are you most looking forward to next week? share your thoughts on our Facebook page!
Hello all and Happy Monday! We have some fantastic produce for you this week. As a brighter side of Spring, enjoy so many great choices this week: mango to kiwi to baby bok choy and everything in between! This week’s menus are some of our best!
Let’s focus on a few of our favorites…
Local Radish from Willie Green’s Farm
Crisp and delicious, these radishes are such a delight. And these little things are much more than an accessory to your salad. There are so many great ways to eat them! Check out these fantastic recipes by clicking here.
Did you know? Radishes are related to wasabi, a type of horseradish, which in paste form is a staple condiment of Japanese cuisine. Now, that’s versatility!
One of our favorites, this week’s asparagus is looking great! Big bundles of delicious asparagus has arrived. And asparagus is super healthy! Let us count the ways:
1 – can detoxify our system
2 – has anti-aging functions
3 – is considered an aphrodisiac
4 – can protect against cancer
5 – reduces pain and inflammation
6 – can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
7 – reduces the risk of heart disease
8 – can help prevent birth defects
This may not look like a lime, with yellow flesh and citrus, but this is in fact a sweet lime. What are sweet limes? According to yumsugar.com:
Generally, limes are picked while they’re still green, but they actually turn yellowish in color when completely mature. Likewise, green sweet limes, while unoffensive, have yet to reach their full sweetness. Rather than having a high amount of sugar, the fruit contains less acid than ordinary limes, causing it to taste sweeter. Although the fruit’s pale yellow flesh is praised for its mildness and palatability, some have described the fruit’s taste as insipid due to its complete lack of tartness.
A few ways to use sweet limes:
Make sweet limeade, or add some to your ice water for a refreshing aroma.
Use the fruit’s juice to make sweet lime-flavored granita.
Incorporate the fragrant peel into in a homemade marmalade.
Toss into a Winter fruit salad for an unusual bite.
Tone down your cocktails by using in place of sour limes.
Hello all and Happy Wednesday! The week is nearing the end. Among all of the awesome produce this week, we wanted to shed a special light on the often underrated turnip.
Turnips may be a little tricky and intimidating to cook with at first. Once you figure out all of the great ways to use turnips, you’ll be hooked!
Wikipedia defines a turnip as “ a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock.” However, the turnip offers so much more than its meaning!
Not often considered a must for diets, the turnip is often being overlooked. Turnips provide a great source of fiber and protein, while being low in calories and fat. They are also packed with vitamins.
So just how do you master the turnip? First, follow these tips if you are not yet comfortable. Turnips are a fantastic substitute for many potato dishes, and also a compliment. Try these quick and easy recipes from Realsimple.com for a test drive.
Sautéed Turnips and Greens Cook peeled and cut-up turnips and sliced garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until tender. Add the turnip greens and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Roasted Turnips With Ginger
Peel and cut turnips into wedges. Toss with sliced fresh ginger, canola oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with honey and roast at 400° F until tender.
Mashed Turnips With Crispy Bacon
Simmer peeled and cut-up turnips in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash with butter, salt, and pepper. Fold in crumbled cooked bacon and chopped chives; top with shaved Parmesan.
Creamy Leek and Turnip Soup
Cook thinly sliced leeks in butter in a large saucepan until soft. Add peeled and cut-up turnips and enough chicken broth to cover. Simmer until very tender. Puree until smooth, adding water or broth as necessary to adjust the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Hello all and Happy Tuesday! Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, and what better way to celebrate than enjoying delicious organic produce? This week, we are enjoying more NRO favorites. We can’t seem to get enough! See why…
Miles and Ian holding some Raab and Meyer lemons!
Two great items held by two of our very own. On display are our spotlight item of the week, Meyer Lemons, and Raab. Both are fabulous items, that are even better together!
Meyer Lemons are simply the best. With just enough tart to add the lemon kick to all dishes, they have just the right amount of sweetness to rid of the pucker.
local kale Raab from Willie Green’s is awesome
Raab, or Kale Raab, is a great sign that Spring is here. It is incredibly versatile and packed with nutrients. You should definitely try cooking with this if you haven’t yet.
gorgeous Rainbow carrots
“Gorgeous” is an understatement with these carrots. There are perfection. With great colors and a wonderful flavor, these carrots will be delicious alone or thrown into just about any dish! Looking for a new way to use these? Try pickling them!
locally grown Red cut beets
The ever classic NRO red beet is back. We just cannot get enough of these! And if you’ve learned to appreciate beets, you understand why! Beets are packed with nutrients. They have a sweet, but subtly distinct flavor when roasted. Throw them in a salad, snack on them throughout the day, roast them, pickle them, and enjoy them often!
Hello all and Happy Friday! This week we wanted to shed a special light on one of our favorite items: Meyer Lemons.
This week we have them for sale, but they will not be lasting long. Meyer Lemons are an extra special lemon. Naturally sweeter than regular lemons, they are great additions as fruit rather than just juice and for adding lemon flavor without the mouth-puckering sourness of other lemons.
Meyer lemons have a beautiful floral aroma that can add a wonderful note to traditional lemon dishes – lemonade, cocktails, and salads in particular. While their unique flavor can enhance lemon desserts, such asLemon Bars, they are not as acidic as regular lemons and should not be used one-to-one or blindly substituted in sweet recipes. When in doubt, taste before you bake!
Experiment with Meyer lemons on your own, or try one of these Meyer lemon-specific recipes:
Eggplant is back next week and we cannot wait to make all of the delicious meals eggplant is so good for. We wanted to share with you a quick overview on the historical and wonderful veggie…
Eggplant’s subtle and distinctive combination of textures and flavors – smooth, fleshy, creamy, smoky – make it a versatile and beguiling component of many great dishes.
The eggplant is thought to be of Indian origin and records show that it was being cultivated in China in the fifth century. From around the fifteenth century it became increasingly popular in Mediterranean Europe and has long been established in classic dishes such as moussaka (from Greece) and ratatouille (southern France).
Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is botanically not a vegetable but a berry.
Eggplant is a good source of fiber and folic acid. The color of the skin is a result of the presence ofanthocyanins – compounds with antioxidant properties.
Choose eggplants that feel heavy with smooth, taut, unblemished skin and fresh-looking unwithered green stalks.
Eggplants are easily damaged; handle with care. They keep in the fridge for a few days.
In the past it was normal to salt eggplants to remove bitterness and moisture. Modern eggplants are rarely too bitter, but salting can help reduce the amount of oil aubergines absorb during cooking. Cut the eggplant into thick slices, salt well and stand in a colander for around half an hour to allow the juices to drain away. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a kitchen towel.
Roasting, griddling and frying (with a good batter to reduce the amount of oil absorbed) are all suitable cooking methods.
Eggplant is a key ingredient in Imam Bayildi, a dish popular throughout the Arab world. According to legend the dish’s name, which translates as ‘the imam fainted’, arose after an imam passed out due to the deliciousness of the dish.