Best if Used By 01/09/12
Eat This Now for the week of January 2nd, 2012 features:
Florida Strawberries, Cucumbers, Cameo Apples, Iceberg Lettuce, Organic Navel Oranges
1. Florida Strawberries:
Great news… affordable Strawberries are back! Top your cereal and yogurt. Color up your fruit salads and greens salads. Or simply snack away on this healthy red berry! Just about everybody loves fresh Strawberries, but folks really get excited when it doesn’t cost ‘em an arm and a leg to buy a pack or two. Hey, they’ll go great with all of the delicious Blueberries available right now!
So far, the weather in Florida berry growing areas has been very nice – creating a bumper crop of Strawberries. A bumper crop drives prices down quickly and this is the week to take advantage of that. The berries are running a little small in size and they aren’t exactly the best looking you’ll see all year either. But… for the money… they’ll do just fine! The fruit is fairly firm and tastes decent too. Enjoy the advertised prices and in-store specials you’re likely to find where you shop this week, because you never know this time of year – a cold spell or over-night freeze could raise prices and weaken quality in a matter of days.
PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED
Chill out with Cucumbers this week to help you get the new year off to a healthy start. Mild flavored, crisp and juicy Seedless Cucumbers – the wrapped, long ones that are grown in greenhouses – are value priced this month. I love this variety since the skin is tender and doesn’t need to be peeled, plus there are no tough seeds.
Regular field-grown Cucumbers from Florida, Mexico and Honduras are also in peak winter production and they are quite flavorful. Peeling some or all of the skin removes bitterness, leaving only true Cucumber flavor. What’s your favorite way to use Cucumbers?
Note: Organic Cucumbers, however, are quite expensive and in short supply this month due to limited production.
PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR
If you love the sweetness of Red Delicious Apples, but hate the tough skin and the often mushy flesh – you’ll love Cameo Apples. They can be recognized by their dark red skin with yellow streaks. The Cameo Apple variety is firm and crunchy with tender skin, sweet and flavorful. Washington State growers have lots of high quality Organic and Conventional Cameo Apples from this fall’s harvest to sell over the winter. If you find some in January or February – give ‘em a try!
Plain ‘ol Iceberg Lettuce, aka Head Lettuce (or Cello Lettuce when it is wrapped), is quite polarizing for some. One camp is entrenched in the belief that Iceberg Lettuce lacks flavor and doesn’t offer the nutritional impact that other Lettuce varieties do. Another set of folks feel that Iceberg Lettuce is crisp, crunchy, juicy and the best way to start a salad or top a sandwich. If you’re on the fence on this issue, the next couple of weeks will be a great time to do your own research since Iceberg Lettuce grown in the irrigated deserts of Yuma, AZ is plentiful and priced lower than usual.
PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR
Yum! Peak season Organic Navel Oranges from California are tasting fantastic! Juicy, sweet, seedless, packed with Vitamin C and grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides – Organic Navels are a great choice for the next couple of months for a variety of reasons. Supermarkets will likely offer them in 4lb bags, while health food stores and organic markets will mostly promote a variety of sizes sold loose. Best for snacking on, Navels make tasty juice, but drink it right away since it will not stay good in your fridge like the juice from Valencias.