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Eat This Now for the Week of 07/08/14

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Eat This Now | July 8th, 2014

New Jersey BlueberriesSaturn PeachesRed PotatoesCucumbers

best if used by 07/15/14

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New Jersey Blueberries

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

Great-tasting Jersey Blues are at their best – flavor, quality and price – now through mid-July. Get some at their peak! If you grew up within a ½ day’s drive of the Garden State, you can probably recall the sweet taste of a plump New Jersey Blueberry during early summer. Maybe you remember your grandma’s blueberry pie, blueberry milkshakes with mom, or dad’s blueberry pancakes. Make some food memories this week with a Superfood grown close to home – Jersey Blues.

Tips

  • Organic Blueberries from New Jersey are available too during mid-July.
  • Select fresh Blueberries by inspecting the top and bottom of the package to avoid shriveled, smashed-together or wet berries.
  • Seek out Blueberries with the silver, powdery “bloom” on them. Bloom is a naturally occurring wax that forms a protective layer on the fruit while it is growing and is a tell-tale sign of freshness!
  • Store the fruit cold in the fridge, try to use in within a few days of purchase.
  • Wait to wash them until just before using.
  • For recipes 5oz = 1 cup, and a Pint container of Blueberries has about 11-12oz in it, or just over 2 cups.

  How-To

Want to capture the best pricing and best tasting fruit for later? Freeze peak season fresh Blueberries right in the package you bought them in. Be sure they’re completely dry (you can rinse them before use later), place the pack(s) right into a reseal-able plastic bag and freeze. They keep well in the freezer for up to six months and are a convenient way to have healthy, peak season flavor Blueberries handy for baking or to use in smoothies and shakes later in the year.

Go crazy for peak season New Jersey Blueberries here in mid-July 2014!

Recipe: Blueberry Buckle

My Wife and Mother-in-Law’s recipe version – tastes best made with peak season NJ Blues and enjoyed with family and friends.
Buckle:

  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Shortening
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 & ½  Cups Flour
  • 2 & ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ Cup Milk

Topping:

  • 1 and ½ Pints Fresh Blueberries (about 18oz)
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter (cubed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 350
  2. Cream the Sugar & Shortening
  3. Beat in the Egg
  4. In separate bowl combine Flour, Baking Powder & Salt
  5. Alternate adding dry mix and milk to batter
  6. Spread in greased 8×8 pan
  7. Top with Fresh Blueberries
  8. Combine Topping Sugar, Cinnamon and Butter
  9. Sprinkle above step 8 over Blueberries
  10. Bake 45-50 minutes

 

Saturn Peaches (Donut/Flat Peaches)

Peak Season    Best Flavor

Flat out flavorful. Donut Peaches™ are also called Saturn or Flat Peaches because of their saucer shape. Saturn Peaches have white flesh that is low in acid allowing them to be deliciously sweet when they are firm and crunchy AND when they ripen longer to become soft and juicy.

You too can learn how to “properly” eat a Saturn Peach – just like the ancient kings of China who ate white-flesh Flat Peaches, not unlike today’s modern varieties, without soiling their beards.
STEP 1: Grab one between your thumb and index-finger
STEP 2: Munch your way around the small pit that will remain between your fingers.

Local tree fruit growers in Virginia have started their flat peach harvest and the Pennsylvania harvest will be here by late July. Organic and conventional Saturn Peaches are in season now from California for the summer season.

Saturn Peaches are flat in shape, not in flavor!

Red Potatoes

Peak Season    Best Flavor    Value Priced

Fine quality Red Potatoes with bright to deep red skins continue in peak season from California and Arizona. Prices are reasonable too. 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.

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)

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

Turn Grilled Red Potatoes into a fantastic homestyle Potato Salad – perfect for your next picnic or party.

 
 
 
 

Cucumbers

Peak Season    Value Priced

Local harvests of fresh field-grown Cucumbers are now in peak season from farms in the Mid-Atlantic region. Expect some in-store or advertised specials this month. With a cool, crunchy texture Cucumbers are great for salads, snacking and dipping. Excellent for juicing, Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, plus they add plenty of liquid volume to juice blends.

Tips

  • The bitter taste some people dislike in regular salad-type Cucumbers is found in the skin. For a more mild flavor, peel off some or all of the skin.
  • Choose Cucumbers that feel firm and have no sunken areas.
  • Keep Cucumbers refrigerated so they hold up longer.
  • Cucumbers from small-scale local farms typically are not treated with food grade wax to extend shelf life so use what you buy within a few days.
  • If you desire a milder Cucumber without seeds that has a more tender skin – try greenhouse-grown Seedless Cucumbers, the long ones wrapped in plastic.
  • Recipe ideas for Cucumbers can be found here.

Local Cucumber season is here. Enjoy their abundance and affordability this July. Cool…as a Cucumber!

Buy smart. Shop healthy.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

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