10/22/18

Tender Profile | Apples

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Botanical name/plant family: Malus pumila

Important practices (organic/grassfed/etc.): According to the Environmental Workers Group, 90 percent of conventional apples had detectable pesticide residue; it is recommended to buy organic apples.

Harvest season: I am crisp and juicy August through October

Great source of: Fiber and Vitamin C, I have the ability to improve digestion, lower inflammation and improve heart health!

Storage methods: The best place for me to be for storage is the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, if you don’t have room in the fridge they will also stay fresh on the counter, just not for as long.

Cooking methods: Apples have made their name as an easy household snack, that doesn’t mean they can’t be enhanced by sauteing, baking, roasting, or blending!

World cuisines: Apples are commonly grown in North America and thus represent a lot of American food.

Pairings: I’m sweet and tart so naturally I pair flawlessly with a variety of flavors. Try an old classic, the Waldorf salad, a mix of grapes, walnuts, celery, apples all mixed with mayo or yogurt all over a bed of lettuce. You can top any salad with apples for a sweet unexpected crunch! Apples are also a star for desserts of all kinds, stewing apples down and putting in pies, crisps or atop ice cream is sure to be a hit.

Fun Facts:

  • There are currently 2,500 varieties of apples being grown in North America, regardless the crabapple is the only native one.

  • It takes about 36 apples to create a gallon of apple cider!

  • Americans eat more apples than any other fresh fruits, averaging 16 pounds of fresh apples.

Tender Profile | Sweet Potatoes

Burnt Rock Farm Sweet Potatoes

Burnt Rock Farm Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Botanical name/plant family: Zipomoea batatas

 Important practices: While sweet potatoes are typically grown with less pesticides overall than other potatoes and other produce, we always recommend choosing organic whenever possible!

Harvest season: I hate the cold, so I'm ready to eat in the fall before the frost hits.

Great source of: Vitamin A, calcium, Vitamin C, and several B vitamins. I also have tons of fiber and antioxidants, and have less of an effect on blood sugar than white potatoes.

Storage methods: Keep me in a cool, dark and dry place, and I'm good for at least a week. Make sure not to store me near onions, as they release gasses that make me more likely to sprout.

Cooking methods: I can be baked, mashed, roasted, or boiled. Cut me into cubes and roast in the oven, then add me on top of salads or as a side dish. Replace white potatoes with me in breakfast hashes, stews, casseroles, or mashed potatoes. I'm great in chili, too! You can even slice me into thin pieces, put me in the toaster, then top me with nut butter and banana or avocado and egg. I'm also great in sweet dishes, such as baked and topped with yogurt, or in pies or pancakes.

World cuisines: Sweet potatoes are popular in African cuisines and are a staple food in the Pacific Islands. Japanese sweet potatoes, which are purple on the outside with a white flesh, are used in a variety of dishes throughout Asia.

Pairings: I pair nicely with corn, black beans, red onions, chili powder and tomatoes in southwestern-style dishes. Or try me with other root vegetables, garlic, and rosemary. I'm also delicious as a dessert with maple, cinnamon, and nuts!

 

Fun Facts:

  • Although I'm sometimes mistaken for a yam, I'm actually part of a completely different plant family.

  • My juice is combined with lime juice to make clothing dye in South America..

  • I'm the official state vegetable of North Carolina.

Tender Profile | Leek

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Botanical name/plant family: Allium ampeloprasum

Important practices: Similar to garlic, leeks are naturally pest resistant, which means they can be easier to grow without pest amendments.

Harvest season: Fall, Winter, and Spring

Great source of*: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Folate (Vitamin B9), Vitamin C, Vitamin K (amazing source!!), Iron, and Manganese.

Storage methods: Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed in the fridge, loosely wrapped in plastic to conserve moisture.

Cooking methods: When people think leeks they think of creamy soups, often with bacon, potatoes, and lemon. Leeks are far more diverse than this though! “Sweat” your leeks in butter or oil and add them to pizzas, pastas, soups, stir fries and more!

World cuisines: Leeks are native to the Mediterranean/Middle East, though they are a very important part of French and British cuisine.

Pairings: Leeks pair well with rich cheeses such as chevre and gruyere, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, mustard, chives, garlic, sage, and many more!

Fun Fact:

  • Leeks have been the national symbol of Wales for nearly 700 years

  • Hippocrates, ancient greek physician and “father of medicine”, often prescribed leeks as a cure for nosebleeds

Tender Profile | Kale

Green Curly Kale

Green Curly Kale

Kale

Who Am I?

  • Botanical name/plant family: Brassica oleracea, Acephala Group

  • Great source of: Keep chompin’ on those dark leafy greens for great quantities of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and manganese

  • Harvest season: Spring, Summer, and Fall

  • Varieties you might find: green curly kale, lacinato or "dinosaur" kale, Siberian kale, red Russian kale

Important practices: It is recommended to buy organically grown kale (especially and any leafy greens; the Environmental Working Group included kale in the foods with high rates of pesticide use when grown using conventional practices instead of organic practices. Organic practices also tend to result in higher nutrient density!

 

How to care for me:

For the longest lasting kale, wrap in paper towels and store in a plastic bag inside the crisper drawer.

 

Flavor and Pairings:

World cuisines: Kale is used in a variety of cuisines due to it’s recent surge in popularity, thought it’s use originated in the Mediterranean centuries ago!

Cooking methods: Saute, roast, wilt or eat fresh to add a powerful punch of nutrients to any meal. I may seem intimidating with coarse leaves and thick stalks, but saute me with eggs and cheese for a winning savory breakfast or wilt me into just about any soup or stir fry!

Pairings: I go nicely with many grains, vegetables and legumes! My neutral flavor allows me to intermingle with a variety of different foods. Try mixing me with soba noodles, mushrooms and hot peppers. Or, combine with sweet potatoes and avocados for an appreciable taco! Or, blend me into a smoothie with lots of fruit for a delicious and nutritious breakfast!

 

Fun Facts:

  • A serving of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk.

  • National Kale Day is October 1st! It seems only right to dedicate a whole day to the green that contains such a bountiful mix of health benefits and nutritional goodness!

  • Lacinato Kale is also referred to as “Dinosaur Kale” due to their large green leaves

 

 

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