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Eat This Now for the Week of 06/13/11

Best if Used By 06/20/11

Eat This Now for the week of June 13th, 2011 features:
Sweet Red Peppers, Bananas, Green Squash, Mini Cucumbers, and Organic Lettuce.

KEY
($) = Value Bargain
(P) = Peak of the Season
(F) = Flavor for Foodies

1. Sweet Red Peppers: (F) (P) ($)

Need something to grill with Dad’s steak this Father’s Day weekend? How about grilling Sweet Red Peppers? Flames can be used to roast Peppers whole, or you can grill Pepper strips that were tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Hey, what about this “My Plate” concept: Make Half Your GRILL, Fruits and Vegetables!

Grilled Red Peppers… SWEET!

The best thing about Sweet Red Peppers is that they are… sweet! The Pepper flavor is mild, but tangy enough to keep you interested. Grilling brings out the richness of the sugars… m-m-mmm. No grill? No problem! Sweet Red Peppers are great for snacking, sauteed and on salads!

Sweet Red Peppers are hitting the peak of their season this month. The long “La Rouge” varieties grown in the open fields of Southern California and the perfectly bell shaped “Dutch” varieties grown in the greenhouses of Canada are both in excellent supply. Prices are reasonable too – enjoy!

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2. Bananas: ($)

The laws of supply and demand rein supreme in the world of fresh produce! Right now the supply of Bananas coming from Central America and South America is beginning to exceed consumer demand. This is forcing growers and importers to make some deals here and there to keep the fruit moving, which translates to ad pricing or in-store specials at supermarkets interested in spurring on demand on an already affordable fruit.

And it was all yellow

Keep your eyes “peeled” for promotions this month and into July. But please do not think that $.33 to $.49 per pound is a sustainable everyday price for Bananas at US supermarkets. Someone in the supply chain, and usually its the growers and harvesters, does not get a fair profit at those prices.

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3.Green Squash : (F) (P) ($)

Local Summer Squash is beginning to hit supermarket shelves here on the East Coast! VA, MD, DE, NJ and PA are into their summer harvests of Green Squash, also referred to as Zucchini. This is another great item to grill! Just be careful not add to much oil for cooking, since Green Squash soaks it up so easily. Select Green Squash that is firm – a sign of freshness – and without mold or decay spots. Scars and scratches on the skin will not impact flavor. Avoid jumbo, baseball bat Zucchini’s as they are too thick for most recipe uses.

“that’s some of the best Zucchini I’ve tasted!” –my wife

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4. Seedless Mini Cucumbers: (F)

Cool as a cute little Snacking Cucumber – cause that’s exactly what they are! Seedless Mini Cucumbers, sometimes called Persian Pickles, are becoming more popular with fresh veggie lovers and more prevalent in supermarket produce departments. Why? Grown in greenhouses, the skins are thin and less bitter than field Cucumbers, they’re seedless, plus these Mini Cucumbers are a juicy, crunchy, healthy and fun snack!

Grab a six pack.

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Organic Pick of the Week:
5. Lettuce: ($) (P)

Certified Organic Red Leaf, Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuces are a fantastic choice for the next couple of weeks! Regional organic growers in NJ, PA and MA on the East Coast, plus organic farmers from California are picking lots of fresh Lettuce this month. Expect some of the best prices of the year. Time for a homemade salad!

Organic farms have the most whimsical names.

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Forward this to a friend if you think they’ll like it – Here’s to fresh!

Here’s to fresh!
The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

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