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Eat This Now for the Week of 2/8/16

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Eat This Now | February 8th, 2016

Red Grapefruit Cauliflower Iceberg Lettuce Minneola Tangelos

Best if used by 2/17/16

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Red Grapefruit

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

If you only eat one fresh Grapefruit this year – this is the month to do it in.

Why? Yes, February is National Grapefruit Month, but that’s not the reason to eat one. Yeah, eating Grapefruit has lots of health benefits, but that’s not the reason I’m suggesting either. Flavor – that’s why! Red, Pink and Ruby varieties of Grapefruit from citrus groves in prime growing regions in Florida and Texas are their very best right.

So, if you only like Grapefruit when it is sweet and mild – February through March is your time! Whoever convinced you that you need to sprinkle sugar on a halved Grapefruit didn’t have peak season fruit. The Florida and Texas Grapefruit available at stores this time of winter has thin skins, is very juicy, has lots natural sugar content, yet just enough tartness to remind you it is still a Grapefruit. Grapefruit makes for a refreshing snack, is fantastic for hand-squeezed juicing and can be used in salads, cooking and desserts.

Red Grapefruit Tips

  • Select Grapefruit that is heavy for its size and avoid fruit that has soft spots.
  • Exterior color is not a sure-fire indicator of internal color and skin scars do not impact the flavor.
  • Fresh Grapefruit should keep for about a month in the refrigerator and at least a week at room temperature.
  • Recipe Ideas and How-To here.
 

Red Grapefruit from Florida and Texas is at the peak of sweetness for the season!

Cauliflower

Peak Season    Value Priced

Now is a time to try out some new Cauliflower recipes, like Mashed Cauliflower, Cauliflower Gratin or Grilled Cauliflower Steak. Why? Improved harvest volumes from organic growers in Southern California are allowing for reasonable prices in the organic produce section here in February. Just a few years ago this would have not have been a big deal. But chefs and other culinary influencers are beginning to open Americans’ minds to the delicious possibilities of fresh Cauliflower. This ingredient is gluten free, low-carb, low-calorie and fiber rich.

If raw Cauliflower is too peppery for you and eating it steamed is too soggy for you – try it roasted! Roasting Cauliflower brings out its natural sweetness and lessens its moisture content without letting it get dry or rubbery.

This February is also a great time to experiment with Colored Cauliflower varieties – Green, Orange and Purple – all with similar flavor profiles to White Cauliflower. These colorful varieties not only look interesting but are loaded with powerful antioxidants.

Trending Cauliflower Recipe Ideas

Recipe: Rooster Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe could be switched to Cauliflower Wings by substituting a Buffalo-style Hot Sauce.
  1. Make Florets:
    • Rinse 1 head Cauliflower with water
    • Core it by slicing the stem from the head
    • Slice the head in half
    • Cut into ½ inch thick pieces (florets)
  2. Toss sliced florets in 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp each salt and cracked black pepper
  3. Spread evenly on baking tray and Roast at 450 F for 10 minutes
  4. Flip Cauliflower pieces with a spatula then roast another 6 minutes
  5. Toss roasted florets in 2-3 tbsp Sriracha Hot Sauce, depending on your heat preference
  6. Roast for a final 3 minutes, then serve

This February is also a great time to experiment with Colored Cauliflower varieties – Green, Orange and Purple – all with similar flavor profiles to White Cauliflower.

Rooster Roasted Cauliflower

Iceberg Lettuce

Peak Season    Value Priced

Plain old Iceberg Lettuce, aka Head Lettuce (or Cello Lettuce when it is wrapped), is not as nutritiously dense as other lettuces like Romaine. Some believe it lacks flavor.

But… You know what? Iceberg Lettuce still plays an important role in many delicious fresh recipes. It is crisp, crunchy, juicy and often remains the best – better said, “the cheapest,” way to start a big salad, fill a hoagie or top a taco. After light supplies in January and higher prices than normal, Iceberg Lettuce is pretty darn affordable from fresh harvests from the irrigated desert fields of Yuma, Arizona and southern California. The advertised and in-store specials you may find will be a welcomed sight in many produce departments.

I made some great recipes this past weekend with Iceberg Lettuce, including a flavorful 5-Layer Dip featuring: organic refried beans, guacamole, fresh salsa, shredded cheese and shredded lettuce.

You have a modern palate. You prefer nutrient-dense salad greens. You haven’t purchased Iceberg Lettuce since 1998. I have a challenge for you! Check out this collection of amazing recipes featuring Iceberg Lettuce I’ve pulled together on a Pinterest board. Go ahead, tell me there’s not one you wouldn’t like to try – I dare ya! Cool-looking Iceberg Lettuce Recipes.

 

How to Core a Head of Iceberg Lettuce in 3 Seconds

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 extremely juicy and have a vibrant, mostly sweet orange flavor with a distinct tangerine tanginess.

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

Ever hear of a “Honey Bell”?

Honey Bells are Minneola Tangelos grown in Florida. Sometimes they’re sold as Honey Bells, other times they’re marked as Florida Minneolas. Honey Bells are often even juicer than their California-grown version, though their skin is not nearly as pretty and the knob at the stem end is less defined.

 

Tangy-sweet Minneola Tangelos have few seeds, are fairly easy to peel and are SO JUICY!

Buy smart. Shop healthy.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

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