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Eat This Now for the Week of 08/12/15

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Eat This Now | August 21st, 2015

White Peaches and White NectarinesRed PotatoesCotton Candy GrapesPluots

Best if used by 09/01/15

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White Peaches and White Nectarines

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

No waiting necessary. No guessing when the fruit is ripe. Why? You can eat White Peaches and White Nectarines right away. White-flesh varieties are low in acid so the natural sugar comes through in the flavor from the moment they are picked. Firm and crunchy fruit is still tasty! White Peaches and White Nectarines will stay just as sweet but become chin-drippingly juicy when allowed to soften at room temperature until they give slightly to a squeeze in the palm of your hand.

Soft fruit growers in the San Joaquin Valley of California are now harvesting some of their best free-stone varieties of White Peaches and Nectarines here in August. Local White-flesh varieties are also in season from Pennsylvania and New Jersey this month. Supplies are plentiful and you may find in-store specials or sale pricing.

White Peach / Nectarine Tips

  • Use White Peaches and Nectarines in recipes the same way you would Yellow-flesh varieties, just know that there will be more straight-forward sweetness and less acidic balance.
  • Select White Peaches and Nectarines that have no greenish coloring in the white areas of the skin – a sign of under-ripe. Avoid White Peaches soft spots (bruises) or punctures, and avoid ones with wrinkled skin – a sign of over-ripe or dehydration.
  • Store White Peaches at room temperature to protect their texture.
  • Always ready to eat! White-flesh Peaches and Nectarines are low in acid so they taste sweet when firm and crunchy or when ripened to soft and juicy.

Select White Peaches and Nectarines that have no greenish coloring in the white areas of the skin – a sign of under-ripe. Avoid White Peaches soft spots (bruises) or punctures, and avoid ones with wrinkled skin – a sign of over-ripe or dehydration.

 

Red Potatoes

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

Fine quality Red Potatoes with bright to deep red skins are in peak season from many growing regions around the US. Prices are reasonable too, in fact, keep an eye out for sale pricing on 5lb bags in coming weeks. Red Potatoes are ideal for roasting, boiling for salads and grilling because of their high moisture content. For frying? Not so much. Since their tender and colorful skin is left on in recipe preparations, Red Potatoes are known for adding vibrant color to cook-out dishes like Potato Salad, Vegetable Kabobs and more.

Red Potato Tips

  • Select Red Potatoes that are firm and free odor or cuts.
  • Store Potatoes in a cool, dry place that is dark (to prevent greening or sprouting) like the bottom of your pantry.
  • Do not refrigerate raw potatoes since temperatures below the mid-40s mess with the starch to sugar balance and can cause discoloration inside the potato.

Recipe: Grilled Creamy Red Potato Salad (no mayo version)

Turn Grilled Red Potatoes into a fantastic homestyle Potato Salad – perfect for your next picnic or party! Replacing Mayonnaise with Greek Yogurt reduces calories and adds protein without sacrificing flavor.

Grilled Potatoes:

  1. Pre-heat grill to HIGH during prep
  2. 5 lb of A-size (large) Red Potatoes washed and cut into 3/4″ slabs
  3. Toss cut Red Potatoes in a large mixing bowl with 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  4. Season Potatoes with 1 tsp Coarse Salt, ½ tsp Cracked Black Pepper, retoss to coat evenly
  5. Grill Potato slabs over medium-high heat, flipping once, until you can just pierce with a paring knife (about 6-8 min per side)
  6. Cool the grilled potatoes in the refrigerator

Dressing and Veggies:

  1. Whisk together the following ingredients in a small bowl
    • 6 oz (about 1 cup) of Plain Greek Yogurt
    • 2 heaping tbsp Sour Cream
    • 2 tsp Spicy Brown Mustard
    • 2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
  2. Chop 1 large handful of fresh Curly Parsley
  3. Chop 1 large Sweet Onion

Salad:

  1. Dice chilled Grilled Red Potatoes into bite size portions
  2. Pour dressing over diced potatoes in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add chopped Parsley and Sweet Onion to bowl
  4. Fold the ingredients together gently with a spatula
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more to allow flavors to blend and salad to chill

Grilled Creamy Red Potato Salad (no mayo version)

 

Cotton Candy Grapes

Peak Season    Best Flavor

Seriously? Grapes that taste like cotton candy? Yes, it’s true! Cotton Candy Grapes are juicy, super sweet and have the distinct flavor of carnival cotton candy.

Cotton Candy Grapes are all natural and Non-GMO, simply the product of great plant breeding and some luck. The berries tend discolor to an off-brown hue easily and have inconsistent sizing, but since this specialty grape is in such high demand you can still expect to pay top dollar for this unique fruit treat. Cotton Candy Grapes from California are in season from August through mid-September. I hope you get to try some for yourself!

Pluots

Peak Season    Best Flavor

I’ve written about Pluots earlier this summer and I’m still excited about them! Why? The red, speckled, yellow, black and green varieties available during late August are some of the best of the season. Then, they’ll be out of season until next summer. Wait, you haven’t heard of Pluots? They’re like plums but with a broader spectrum of exciting flavors and colors! These sweet and juicy fruits are great for snacking.

Pluots, also called Plumcots, are grown from Plum trees grafted with Apricot trees. Growers and plant breeders work tirelessly (this is traditional plant breeding and non-GMO) to come up with the best new varieties of Pluots that are super sweet, juicy and flavorful. Various Pluot varieties are picked each week in the sunny orchards of the San Joaquin Valley in California. They come in many flesh and skin colors – from yellow to ruby flesh – from speckled and mottled skin to bright red to black.

Pluots Tips

  • Select Pluots that are firm to semi-firm and are free punctures.
  • Pluots that are over-soft or puffy.
  • A powdery white coating on the fruit is called “bloom.” Bloom naturally occurring wax that forms on the fruit in the orchard. It wipes off easily and creates a shine on the skin. I see it as a sign of freshness!
  • Pluots are ready to eat when you buy them. The fruit doesn’t really ripen or sweet after harvest. I’ll often let the fruit warm up at room temperature for a day or two since I like a semi-soft texture.

A powdery white coating on the fruit is called “bloom.” Bloom naturally occurring wax that forms on the fruit in the orchard. It wipes off easily and creates a shine on the skin. I see it as a sign of freshness!

 

Buy smart. Shop healthy.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

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