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The Vegetable CSA cost $30 per share. Produce this year will be grown in the field and in the water in our new Aquaponics facilities.
The Farm Membership has a one time fee of $25 and is good for as long as your family continues to order food from the farm. If you are active duty military we will waive your membership fee. If you refer another family, please remind us after they have paid their membership fee and we will reward you by giving you a $25.00 credit on your farm account to spend in the online "member's only" store.
We offer our customers 4 ways to receive their food:
1) Come to the farm to pick up
2) Join a group in your area with a paid driver or the families take turns coming for the group
3) Join a group with delivery on our route.
4) You may set up a new group or drop site with us and we will program our software to support you and the other families within your group.
As of today, we only deliver to Belton each week during the vegetable season. All other groups have paid drivers hired by the members themselves or the members take turns coming to the farm for one another because they also want fresh grass fed raw milk, yogurt, fresh mozzarella and kefir. The groups to whom we deliver may order any of our other 400+ items in our online store but not those 4 raw milk items.
If you would like a delivery to a group in your area, along the I-35 corridor, please let us know. We are open to establishing new drop sites. We will need a "host home" in which to drop the large crates of vegetables where the "host" will divide up the shares and allow members to pick up during a scheduled time. In exchange, the "host" home will receive one full share of veggies each delivery free of charge as a thank you for their help.
This seasons planting will have many new and interesting foods that we have not grown in the past. We are planting purple carrots, mini cabages, red pak choi, sugar snap peas, radicchio, colored cauliflower, swiss chard, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, red russian kale, dinosaur kale, watermelon radishes, carrots, red & golden beets, green onions, spinach, collard greens, red cabbage, butternut squash, scalloped sunburst squash, 8 ball zucchini, acorn squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, okra, cucumbers, eggplant, spaghetti squash, potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet corn, mizuna and tatsoi asian greens, green beans, eggplant, sweet peppers, pablano peppers, okra, onions, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, japanese turnips, rutabaga, arugula, golden zucchini, yellow and green summer squash, purple potatoes, red potatoes, blue potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, delicata winter squash and much more.
Each CSA member will receive the following:
A full-share of produce will average 6 to 10 varieties for $30.00 per share. You are welcome to share this with another family.
You may still want to round out your diet with other produce from your local market for items that we are not growing at this time. This box is intended to meet your needs for a few varieties of locally grown, in season, vegetables for a family of four. We have include many recipes on our blog page, just click the recipe tab and then search for the type of food you want to prepare. We would happily add your favorite recipe to our blog so that others may enjoy it as well. Send it to us in an email and we will load it to the blog page.
Current Group Options:
Elgin (every other Monday - group members take turns)
Montgomery-Dobbin (every other Monday - group members take turns)
Georgetown (weekly Tuesday - paid driver group)
Tomball (weekly Tuesday - group members take turns)
The Woodlands (weekly Wedneday - group members take turns)
Belton Vegetable Group (weekly Thursday - delivered by farm during produce season only)
Killeen / Copperas Cove / Harker Heights (every other Thursday - group members take turns)
4 Points (weekly Thursday - group members take turns)
Bryan/College Station (weekly Friday - paid driver group)
Taylor (every other Friday - group members take turns)
Waco (monthly 4th Saturday - group members take turns)
North Austin (weekly Saturday - group members take turns)
Kingwood (monthly 1st Saturday - group members take turns)
If none of these areas are close to you, we will help you start your own group.
If you would like to host a site, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the farm Mon-Sat, 254-697-2927 (7:00 - 11:00 am)
Red Pak choi:
Nothing says summer quite like juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes still warm from the sun. Native to South America, tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family along with potatoes and eggplant, and were first thought to be poisonous by Europeans. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that tomatoes became a staple in the U.S., where they are now the third most popular vegetable. Although botanically a fruit, tomatoes have been classified by the U.S. government as a vegetable for trade purposes.
- Select plump, heavy tomatoes with a rich color and pleasant aroma.
- They should be free of blemishes and soft spots.
- When gently squeezed, they should yield slightly and feel somewhat firm. Soft tomatoes are usually watery or overripe.
- If purchasing tomatoes off-season, select fresh plum and cherry tomatoes as they have slightly more flavor than large globe tomatoes.
- Store unwashed ripe tomatoes at room temperature for up to 3 days. Never refrigerate tomatoes before cutting as the cold temperature makes them lose flavor and become mealy in texture.
- Unripe tomatoes can be ripened by placing them in a paper bag. Do not place them in the sun to ripen.
- Refrigerate cut tomatoes in plastic wrap for 2 days, though flavor and texture will be diminished.
- Wash tomatoes under cold water just before using.
- For sandwiches and salads, remove the stems and cores with a paring knife. Slice, dice or cut into wedges with a serrated knife.
- To core a tomato, place it on its side. Insert the tip of a serrated paring knife at an angle into the stem end. Rotate the tomato at the same time you cut with a sawing motion. Continue until the core is separated and can be easily removed.
- To seed a tomato, cut it in half crosswise. Hold the tomato half over a bowl, cut side down, and gently squeeze to remove the seeds. Use a small spoon to remove any remaining seeds, if necessary.
- To hollow out a tomato for stuffing, cut in half or cut a slice off the top. Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Invert the tomato shell and place on paper towels to drain for at least 15 minutes before stuffing.
- Excellent source of potassium
- Provides a good source of vitamins A and C.
- Low in sodium.
- Whip up easy homemade salsa with chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeño peppers, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Toss freshly cooked pasta with pesto and diced tomatoes for an easy summer meal.
- Thread plump cherry tomatoes on skewers and add great color to grilled kabobs.
- Arrange sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh basil for an instant summer salad.
- Stir chopped seeded tomatoes into guacamole and other creamy dips for extra color and flavor.
Named for their bell-like shape, bell or sweet peppers are actually a fruit that is in the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant. They come in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, orange, purple, white and brown. Their sweet, mild flavor and crisp, juicy flesh make them a cooking staple. Bell peppers can be stuffed and baked, grilled, roasted, stir-fried and served in salads, stews and soups.
Green peppers, the most common and least expensive variety of bell pepper, are picked before they ripen and have a slightly sharper flavor. When left to ripen, green peppers become sweeter and turn red, yellow or other colors depending on the variety.
- Select firm, crisp bell peppers that feel heavy for their size. They should be shiny and richly colored.
- Avoid any that are shriveled or have soft spots.
- For stuffed peppers, choose round, blocky-shaped peppers.
- Refrigerate unwashed peppers in a plastic bag for up to 1 week. Red, yellow and other colored peppers are slightly more perishable than green peppers.
- Wrap leftover cut peppers in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
- Rinse bell peppers under cold running water just before using.
- To chop or slice, stand pepper on its end on a cutting board. Cut down 3 or 4 times to form vertical slices. Discard the stem, core and seeds. Remove the white veins or membranes. Cut the slices into strips or chop as desired.
- To cut pepper into rings or prepare for stuffing, make a circular cut around the top of pepper with a paring knife. Pull out and discard the stem, core and seeds. Carefully cut out the membrane and rinse with water to remove any seeds. Slice crosswise to form rings or leave intact for stuffing.
- Roasting peppers gives them an intensely sweet, smoky flavor. To roast peppers, arrange whole peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 2 to 4 inches from heat source until blackened on all sides, turning with tongs as needed. Wrap peppers in foil from pan and place in plastic bag to steam and loosen skins. When cool enough to handle, peel off and discard blackened skins with a paring knife. Remove and discard stems, cores and seeds. Slice and use in sandwiches, salads, dips, spreads, pizza toppings and pasta dishes.
- Red peppers are an excellent source of both vitamins A and C.
- Green peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Cut peppers into strips and serve with your favorite dip for appetizers.
- Toss cut-up peppers into stir-fries, salads, chilis, soups and stews.
- Stuff hollowed-out bell peppers with cooked rice, pasta or other grains and bake for a hearty entrée.
- Serve your favorite creamy dip in a hollowed-out bell pepper for a unique, edible bowl.
- Top pizzas with raw or roasted, sliced or diced bell peppers.
- Add chopped or sliced peppers to pita pockets and wrap sandwiches for great color and crunch.
- Stir chopped red, yellow or orange peppers into fruit or vegetable salsas for a touch of color and sweetness.
An Italian import (broccoli means "cabbage sprout" in Italian), this now-popular green vegetable was not grown commercially in the U.S. until the early 1920’s.
A member of the cabbage family, fresh bunches are available year-round with peak crops harvested between October and April. This versatile vegetable can stand alone as a substantial side dish yet is equally at home in stir-fries, salads, and pasta dishes.
- Select broccoli with firm stems, crisp leaves and tightly closed dark green or purplish-green buds. Bunches with yellow or open buds and woody stems are no longer fresh.
- Refrigerate unwashed broccoli in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.
- After rinsing under cold water, remove and discard the leaves and ends of the stems.
To make broccoli spears, use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough, outer part of the stems. Cut the stems and florets lengthwise into halves or quarters. Cut slits in the stems to help them cook more quickly and evenly.
- To separate the florets from the stems, lay the bunch of broccoli on its side. Use a large knife to cut off the florets, leaving about 1/2 inch of small stems attached. Large florets can be broken or cut into bite-sized clusters. Florets may be cooked or served raw.
- Peeled broccoli stems may be cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices; eat raw or cooked.
- Broccoli should be steamed, boiled or stir-fried until just tender. Overcooking robs this vegetable of its vibrant green color and fresh taste, giving it a drab look, mushy texture and strong flavor. Florets cook more quickly than stems, so cook them separately to avoid overcooking.
- Blanching or partially cooking broccoli florets for salads makes them slightly tender and retains their bright green color. Cook the florets in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, then immediately plunge them into ice water until cool. Drain and pat dry.
- Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, boiled, roasted or baked, some batter and fry it. Broccoli is very nutritious and is used in a wide variety of American, Asian and Italian dishes.
- Good source of fiber and excellent source of vitamins A and C
- One cup of chopped raw broccoli contains:
81mg vitamin C
- Add florets and sliced stems to your favorite stir-fry recipes and serve over hot cooked rice.
- Top baked potatoes with cooked broccoli and Shredded Cheddar or Swiss Cheese for a meatless main dish.
- Get the kids to eat some green veggies by stirring chopped cooked broccoli into a Macaroni & Cheese Dinner.
- Serve raw florets or peeled and sliced stems with your favorite Dressing as a dip.
- Dress up plain, steamed broccoli spears by sprinkling them with Grated Cheese or toasted Silvered Almonds.
A member of the cabbage family, cauliflower has a firm, tightly compacted head of white florets on thick stems. While the entire plant is edible, the florets are most often used. The outer green leaves protect the growing cauliflower from bright sunlight, ensuring its white color. Most of the U.S. crop is grown in California with peak sea
son being late fall to spring.
Cauliflower’s cabbage-like flavor becomes milder when cooked and blends well with cheese and other vegetables, such as carrots and green beans. The whole head or florets can be steamed, boiled, baked or stir-fried. The florets can also be blanched and served with dips. This versatile vegetable can star as a side dish or play a supporting role in salads, pasta dishes and stir-fries.
- Select firm heavy heads with tightly compacted ivory-colored florets. The leaves should look green and fresh.
Avoid any heads with brown-spotted florets and yellowish leaves.
- Refrigerate unwashed heads of cauliflower in plastic bags for up to 1 week and washed florets for 3 to 5 days.
- Cooked cauliflower does not keep well and should be refrigerated for only 1 day.
- Remove and discard the leaves and stem. Separate the head into florets and rinse under cold water.
- If cooking the head whole, cut out and discard the core at the base with a paring knife before rinsing and cooking.
- For best results, cook cauliflower just until tender. Overcooking robs this vegetable of its fresh taste and firm texture, turning it mushy with a strong flavor and odor.
- Blanching or partially cooking cauliflower florets for salads or dippers makes them slightly tender and more flavorful. Cook the florets in boiling water for 2 to 3 min. then immediately plunge them into ice water until cool. Drain and pat dry.
- Excellent source of vitamin C.
- Fat free and low in sodium.
- Sneak cauliflower into your kids’ meals by stirring some cooked, mashed florets into hot mashed potatoes before serving.
- Top cooked florets with a sprinkle of Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese or Shredded Cheese for great color and flavor.
- Toss cauliflower florets into your favorite stir-fry recipes and serve over hot cooked rice.
- Substitute cauliflower for broccoli florets in salad, pasta and other recipes.
- Add color and crunch to buttered cooked cauliflower by topping with chopped toasted Walnuts or Almonds.
- Serve blanched florets with your favorite Dressing as a dip
Green / Red Cabbage:
Crisp, crunchy cabbage, give this veggie a try in a tangy salad or slaw for a tasty, healthy side dish.
Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be steamed, roasted, boiled and eaten raw. It can also be stuffed or made into sauerkraut. Even though cabbage itself doesn't store well for long periods of time, several recipes can be made and then frozen. This allows for the taste of fresh grown cabbage any time during the year. Here is some nutrient information...
Red and green cabbages taste the same and can be used interchangeably in most recipes. When cooked, the pigment in red cabbage leaches out and colors surrounding ingredients. To maintain its bright red color, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 quart of the cooking liquid.
1 cup shredded cabbage contains:
4 g carb
36 mg vitamin C
40 mcg Folate
33 mg Calcium
172 mg Potassium
13 mg Sodium
- Remove and discard any wilted or fibrous outer leaves and wash under cold running water. If cutting cabbage into wedges, do not remove the core so the leaves remain intact. Otherwise, remove and discard the white inner core.
- To shred cabbage for coleslaw or salads, place washed and cored cabbage half cut-side down on a board and slice crosswise to form thin strips. Or shred on the largest holes of a grater or in a food processor. One pound yields 4 to 4-1/2 cups shredded or sliced cabbage.
- Avoid overcooking cabbage to prevent a strong odor and flavor. For best results, boil, steam, or stir-fry cabbage just until crisp-tender. One
pound yields 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked cabbage.
- To prevent red cabbage from discoloring, use a stainless-steel knife to cut
- Fat and cholesterol free
- Low in calories
- Excellent source of vitamin C
- Good source of folic acid and fiber
- Toss sliced red cabbage into green salads for extra color and crunch and top with your favorite Salad Dressing.
- Stir chopped or shredded cabbage into soups and stews during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- Add chopped or sliced green cabbage to your favorite stir-fry.
The exact origin of Brussels sprouts is unknown. Related to a wild variety of cabbage, their cultivation is credited to the Belgian city that bears their name.
Select bright green Brussels sprouts with compact heads that are heavy for their size.
- Small sprouts are more tender and have a sweeter flavor than large ones.
- Avoid any with wilted yellow leaves as these are older sprouts and will have a bitter flavor.
- Refrigerate unwashed Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. If stored much longer, they will develop a strong taste.
- Remove any loose and wilted outer leaves and trim the stem ends, taking care not to cut too closely to the bottoms of the leaves or they will separate and fall off during cooking. Rinse under cold water; drain.
- To promote quicker and more even cooking, cut a shallow “X” into each stem end to allow the heat to penetrate the inside of the sprout. Sprouts can also be cut in half before cooking.
- For best results, cook Brussels sprouts quickly and just until they are tender. Avoid overcooking to prevent a pasty texture and strong bitter flavor.
- Good source of fiber.
- Excellent source of vitamin C.
- Fat free and low in sodium.
- Toss halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheet. Bake at 450°F for 25 min. or until tender and edges are browned. Top with cooked and crumbled Bacon.
- Stir hot cooked Brussels sprouts into your favorite cream or cheese sauce. Serve immediately or bake in a casserole dish and serve au gratin.
- Top cooked Brussels sprouts with your favorite Dressing and toss to coat for instant flavor.
- Maple syrup, blue cheese, Parmesan cheese, pecans, walnuts, mustard and bacon are ingredients that complement the flavor of Brussels sprouts.
Green beans have long, slender edible pods and are also called string or snap beans. Wax beans, another type of snap bean, are similar in flavor to green beans and named for their pale yellow color.
Available nearly year-round in supermarkets, the peak season for fresh green and wax beans is May through September. Enjoy this versatile vegetable as a side dish or part of a main-dish meal in salads, soups, stews, stir-fries and casseroles.
- Select brightly colored, unblemished green and wax beans with smooth pods that are crisp enough to snap when bent in half. Slender pods indicate tenderness.
- Refrigerate unwashed beans in a perforated plastic bag for up to 5 days. For maximum crispness, it’s best to use the beans within 2 days of purchase.
- Wash the beans, then snap off and discard the stem ends, pulling any strings down along the length of the beans.
- Break the beans into desired lengths or leave whole. Or, cut them French-style by slicing lengthwise into halves or quarters.
- Steam, boil, microwave or stir-fry fresh beans until crisp-tender. For best results, use a pot or dish large enough to avoid overcrowding the beans during cooking. Do not overcook or they will lose their vibrant color and fresh flavor.
- Green beans will turn a drab color when cooked or tossed with acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes, lemon juice and vinaigrettes. If possible, add these ingredients near the end of the cooking time or close to the serving time to retain a bright green color.
- Fresh green beans provide a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and are low in calories, fat and sodium.
- Serve whole raw or blanched beans with your favorite Dressing as a dip.
- Garnish cooked beans with a sprinkle of toasted chopped Walnuts or Sliced Almonds for extra flavor and crunch.
- Make cooked beans irresistible to kids by pouring warm Cheese Sauce over them before serving.
- Add beans to your favorite stir-fry recipe for great color and flavor.
- Jazz up your favorite potato salad recipe by stirring in cooked green beans.
- Toss cooked beans with Basil Pesto Sauce for a side dish with zesty Italian flavor.
Red and golden vegetables are packed with unique phytonutrients called betalains, which provide support for the body’s antioxidants and detoxifcation process. Make sure to add beets to your daily diet to help clean out your system. In addition, lab studies of human tumor cells show that beets’ betanin decreases the cells’ growth
Fresh beets, in season from late summer through October, have a sweet flavor and tender texture. While traditionally a garnet-red color, today’s beets are available in golden-yellow, white and red-and-white-striped hues. In addition to serving them as a vegetable side dish, toss beets into autumn salads for extra color and flavor.
- Select beets that are firm with smooth skins and fresh green tops. Small to medium-size beets are usually more tender and sweet.
- Remove the green tops as soon as possible after purchasing, leaving 1 to 2 inches of the stems attached to the beets.
- Refrigerate beets in a plastic bag for 7 to 10 days.
- The greens are more perishable and should be refrigerated in a plastic bag for only 1 to 2 days.
- For best results, cook beets whole and unpeeled. Gently wash the beets to remove surface dirt, taking care not to pierce the skin. Leaving the skin, roots and stem intact minimizes the color leaching out during cooking.
- Beets can be boiled, steamed or roasted and served hot or cold.
- After cooking, peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle, removing the roots and stems. To prevent red-stained hands, wear plastic gloves when slicing or chopping cooked beets.
- Beet greens should be prepared, cooked and served as for fresh spinach. For a simple side dish, simply rinse and drain greens and sauté with a little olive oil and garlic just until wilted, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Low in calories
- Fat and cholesterol free
- Good source of folate
- Toss slices of cold, cooked beets into a green salad and top with your favorite Salad Dressing.
- Substitute cooked grated beets for the red cabbage in your favorite coleslaw recipe. Before grating, be sure to not overcook the beets; their texture should be slightly firm for this usage.
- Roast beets alongside potatoes and other root vegetables for a change of pace.
- Add a retro flair to your evening meal by serving sliced pickled beets with Cottage Cheese!
The ancient Greeks held such high opinion of radishes in the medical field that Greek physician Androcydes used to instruct his patients to eat daily servings of radish to prevent intoxication. Radishes are high in vitamin C and are helpful in lowering cholesterol, curing urinary tract disorders, and increasing the supply of fresh oxygen in the bloodstream.
As the weather warms up, salads and sandwiches gradually replace soups and stews on our tables. We crave lighter, fresher foods, like lettuce. Dark green, elongated heads of romaine lettuce are an excellent choice for all types of spring meals.
- Select heads that are firm and heavy for their size with tightly closed leaves.
- The outer leaves should be crisp and dark green with no signs of a rusty or brown color. Avoid heads with wilted leaves.
- When purchasing torn leaves or romaine hearts packaged in cellophane bags, check the freshness date and inspect the lettuce for any discoloration.
- Refrigerate romaine lettuce unwashed or washed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Unwashed lettuce will keep for 7 to 10 days and washed lettuce for 3 to 5 days.
- Whether washed or unwashed, leaves should be dry before storing to prevent mold and rot. Dry the leaves before refrigerating or add paper towels to the bag to absorb excess moisture.
- Remove and discard any bruised, wilted or discolored leaves. Wash thoroughly under cold running water, separating the leaves to expose any buried grit or dirt.
- Dry leaves thoroughly by using a salad spinner or by patting them between layers of paper towels. Excess moisture prevents dressings from coating the leaves and may reduce storage time.
- Although it is usually best to tear lettuce into bite-size pieces by hand to prevent the cut edges from browning, romaine leaves are less delicate and consequently can be cut with a knife.
- To easily shred romaine lettuce, stack several washed and dried leaves, roll up to form a cylinder and slice crosswise at 1/4- to 1/2-inch intervals.
- For best results, do not toss lettuce with dressing until just before serving as the dressing wilts the leaves.
- Low in calories and an excellent source of vitamin A.
- Tuck whole or shredded romaine leaves into your favorite sandwiches, including pita breads and wraps, for extra color and crunch.
- Mix crisp romaine with softer lettuces, such as green or red leaf, then toss with your favorite KRAFT Dressing and OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits.
- Line serving plates or bowls with lettuce leaves for a special touch. A plate of appetizers, a JELL-O salad, or a potato or pasta salad will look even more appetizing.
- Turn a Caesar salad into a main dish by adding LOUIS RICH Grilled Chicken Breast Strips.
- Toss sturdy romaine leaves with your favorite PLANTERS Nuts and cut-up seasonal fruits or vegetables for a tasty side-dish salad.
Yam: With more than 200 varieties, yams vary from yellow to purple. They are all, however, great sources of vitamin B6 and potassium. Many people tout that wild yam extract, which contains diosgenins (chemicals that act similar to progesterone), helps provide an alternative to hormone replacement for menopausal women. While studies have yet to confirm this, Chinese herbal medicine has been using yams to improve organ function for centuries.
It’s common knowledge that carrots make your eyesight better. What makes the orange-colored root great for vision health is its beta-carotene content, which is converted to vitamin A, travels to the retina, and protects against macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. Perfect for dipping in your favorite hummus or dressing, studies have also found that carrots promote lung health.
Carrots, a versatile root vegetable, is available year-round. It’s a welcome addition to soups, stews, salads and stir-fries. Carrots also perk up any meal when served as a savory side dish.
- Pick a bunch of bright-orange carrots that are straight and firm, not wilted or cracked. If the tops are attached, the leaves should be bright green and fresh.
- Cut off the tops before storing. Refrigerate unwashed carrots in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks.
- Before using carrots, trim both ends, peel and rinse with water. Young, tender carrots need no peeling. Rinse and scrub gently with a vegetable brush to remove any surface dirt.
- Cutting carrots diagonally into slices or chunks exposes more surface area to the heat and makes them cook more quickly.
- Shred raw carrots on the large holes of a grater or in a food processor.
- Cooking enhances the natural sweetness of carrots. Steam, boil or microwave in a small amount of water. For the best flavor and texture, cook carrots just until crisp-tender.
- Roast carrots by cutting them lengthwise into halves and then into 1-inch chunks. Coat the chunks lightly with oil and roast on a baking pan in a 400°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Dill, tarragon, orange, mustard, brown sugar, honey and nutmeg are flavors that go well with carrots.
- Fat and cholesterol free.
- Low in sodium and calories.
- Good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.
- Toss shredded carrots into salads and sandwiches or stir into cake, muffin and quick bread batter.
- Add sliced or diced carrots to soups, stews and casseroles.
- Serve raw ready-to-use baby carrots or carrot sticks with your favorite Dressing as a dip.
Bulb Onions: Peel off as little of the outer layers as possible, because the onion’s flavonoids, which provide antibacterial benefits, are more concentrated in those areas. Onions have also been shown to increase bone density, especially for older women, have anti-inflammatory properties, and lower esophageal- and mouth-cancer risks.
Green onions, spring onions, scallions-what do you call long, thin onions with white bases and edible green tops? Most recipes use green onions and scallions interchangeably, yet there is a slight difference. Both are immature, mild-tasting onions that are harvested before full-grown bulbs form.
Scallions are a bit younger and milder with straight white bases while green onions are left in the ground longer to form miniature bulbs. Although available year-round, green onions and scallions are abundant in the spring and summer-thus their name of spring onions. Usually eaten raw or briefly cooked to retain their delicate texture and flavor, green onions are an ideal addition to spring meals.
- Trim off the roots and wash thoroughly under cold running water. Remove any wilted, slimy or discolored layers of green tops.
- Green onions can be used whole, cut crosswise into thin slices, chopped or cut diagonally into 1- or 2-inch pieces.
- Both the white bases and green tops can be served raw or cooked, although the green tops cook more quickly than the white bases.
- These onions are low in calories and very low in sodium, and fat free.
- Toss chopped or sliced green onions into salads for a burst of mild onion flavor. Serve with your favorite Dressing. Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas and nachos are great topped with Sour Cream and sliced green onions.
- Snip some green onion tops into scrambled eggs and omelets. They make a great substitute for fresh chives.
- Garnish creamy dips, baked potatoes and soups with a sprinkle of chopped or sliced green onions for instant eye appeal.
- Stir green onions into cooked rice for a dash of last-minute color and flavor.
With their thick, white stalks and long green leaves, leeks resemble giant green onions. Related to onions and garlic, leeks have a much milder aroma than their botanical cousins with a subtle blend of sweet-herbal flavors. They are more widely used in Europe than the U.S. and are an essential ingredient in French cuisine, such as the classic potato and leek soup, vichyssoise.
While available year-round, leeks are most plentiful from autumn to early spring. Chop or slice them and add to salads, soups, sauces, and egg, cheese and vegetable dishes. They can also be cooked whole and served as a vegetable.
- While sometimes sold individually, leeks are often tied in bunches of 3 or 4 at the supermarket. Select smaller sized leeks when possible for maximum tenderness. Larger leeks can be tough and woody.
- The leaves should be crisp and green with no signs of wilting or yellowing.
- Look for white stalks that are straight, firm and free of blemishes or cracks. The attached roots should be pliable and light in color.
- Refrigerate unwashed leeks in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.
- Dark green leek tops are too tough to eat; only the white and light green portions of the stalk are edible.
- Trim off and discard the roots and the leaf tops down to where the dark green color begins to turn pale.
- Because leeks are grown partially underground, soil and grit are often lodged between their concentric layers. To thoroughly clean, cut each leek lengthwise to within 1 inch of the root end. (If the leek is cut completely into halves, it will fall apart during cleaning.) Separate the layers while rinsing well under cold running water to remove all embedded soil. If the soil is difficult to remove, soak the leeks in a bowl of water for 10 minutes, letting the soil sink to the bottom of the bowl.
- Cut the leeks lengthwise into halves or quarters, then slice or chop as desired.
- Leeks can be braised, steamed or sautéed until crisp-tender. Avoid overcooking them or they will become soft and slimy.
- Very low in sodium
- Naturally fat free
- Good source of vitamin C
- Excellent source of vitamin A
- Thinly slice young, tender leeks and add to tossed green salads in place of red or green onions.
- Use leeks in any casserole that calls for onions or garlic, especially those with ham or cheese.
- Add chopped or sliced cooked leeks to quiche fillings or scrambled eggs.
- Stir chopped cooked leeks into mashed potatoes for incredible flavor.
- Substitute leeks for onions while cooking them with carrots and celery for soup, stew and stuffing bases.
- Enhance cream sauces with leeks and serve over hot cooked pasta, vegetables, fish or poultry.
- Lemon, basil, sage, thyme and mustard all pair well with the flavor of leeks.
YELLOW STRAIGHT NECK SQUASH:
Generally uniform, yellow straight-neck squash is an attractive glossy fruit that may be bright to creamy to lemon yellow. Closely resembling its near twin, the yellow crookneck, this squash has a tapering cylinder shape and does not have a curved neck. The skin may be pebbled, like the crookneck, or it may be smooth, with a somewhat paler flesh.
A source of vitamin C and fat, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free, one cup of raw squash contains about 25 calories.
Versatile, this tender squash can be steamed, sautéed, baked, boiled, stir-fried or microwaved. Enjoy cooked or raw. Cook whole, cubed, sliced or cut into julienne strips. Add to casseroles, chowders, soups and stews, flavor muffins or quick breads. Loves the compatible company of sweet bell peppers, beans, corn, tomatoes and eggplant. Combine several squash varieties for a colorful and tasty side dish. Shred; add to salads and slaw. Butter and fresh herbs deliciously enhance its subtle taste. Skewer large chunks; grill just until tender. To prepare, rinse and trim away ends. No need to peel. To store, refrigerate unwashed squash in a plastic bag up to five days.
A member of the gourd family, squash is native to the Western Hemisphere and it is believed squash was cultivated in South America more than two thousand years ago. The large Cucurbit family includes pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe and is classified according to shape and color. Yellow summer squash produces two forms: straight-neck and crookneck. Maturing about 46 to 52 days after planting, squash grows in numerous types of soil as long as it is well drained.
Summer squash can be fried, steamed, baked, roasted, broiled and stuffed. Additionally, it can be used as a substitute for zucchini in almost any recipe. Before we share some of our favorite summer squash recipes, here is some nutrient information...
One cup of summer squash contains:
10mg Vitamin C
Zucchini can be fried, steamed, sauteed, roasted, baked or eaten raw. Before we share some of our favorite recipes for zucchini, here is some nutrient information...
One cup of raw zucchini contains:
21mg Vitamin C
FLYING SAUCER SQUASH:
This small size squash measures about two to three inches in diameter and sports vivid green star-like markings on its unusual surface colorfully contrasted by its sunny yellow bottom. A summer variety, this out of the ordinary squash cutie is a relative of pattypan and zucchini but offers more flavor and has a superb buttery texture that is deliciously delighting squash-loving fans and chefs.
Ninety percent water, this tasty little squash provides a source of vitamin A, copper, iron and magnesium.
Exceptionally tender, creamy and flavorful, prepare like any summer squash.
WINTER SQUASHES: (can also be grown in Spring)
Familiar dark-green acorn squash is the most common but new varieties are becoming available that include the attractive gold acorn squash and the stunning white acorn variety which also produce yellow-orange flesh.
Naturally, this dark green to sometimes blue-green squash is acorn-shaped, hence its descriptive name. Its golden orange colored flesh offers a mildly sweet flavor and a somewhat dry texture. Usually about five to eight inches long and four to five inches across, the hardy rind has rather deep characteristic ridges with a splash of yellow-gold, considered a sign of maturity. Chefs say that no other vegetable exhibits the same culinary versatility and diversity as the acorn squash.
Not as rich in beta-carotene as other winter varieties, acorn squash is an excellent source of dietary fiber and contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese plus a substantial amount of potassium. One-half cup baked squash cubes has about 57 calories. Deep-colored squashes contain the most beta carotene. Winter squash does not lose quality after picking and in storage the carotenoid content actually increases, adding even more vitamin A. Eating five servings a day of fruits and vegetables lowers the chances of getting cancer. A recent study documents that nine or ten servings daily of fruits and vegetables, combined with three servings of low-fat dairy products, effectively lowers blood pressure.
Chefs especially prize this variety for its natural "bowl" that holds delicious fillings. Chefs also love it for its colorful rich orange puree that makes an attractive side dish to accompany meat entrées, especially poultry specialties. Simply bake or steam halves in the shell; top with butter. This squash loves cinnamon, honey and brown sugar. Perfect for stuffing with apples or cheese. Add cooked squash to casseroles, soups, stews and stir-fries for extra flavor and texture. Cook chunks in soup or stew until tender; remove; mash; return to cooking pot for a thicker broth. Squash loves the company of onions, tomatoes and eggplant. Cut in half horizontally; fill emptied seed cavity with applesauce; sweeten with maple syrup. Season with allspice, nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake until fork-tender. To store, keep in a cool dark place; do not refrigerate whole uncut squash. Wrap cut squash in plastic; refrigerate up to five days. Cooked pureed, mashed or chunked squash freezes well in plastic bags or in airtight containers up to one year.
America has been fond of this vegetable for many centuries. Squash had become a rather traditional fall vegetable and served hot, made winter meals special with its warm, delicious flavor. The promotion of healthier eating habits has moved this nutritious vegetable to a higher rating and is now a frequently served year round food. Today, both winter and summer varieties are popular in American cuisine.
Most winter squashes are native to the Argentine Andes while the majority of the popular summer squash and pumpkins originated in Mexico and Central America. Native Americans are credited with taking squash north. Possibly the first food cultivated by Native American Indians, squash, along with beans and corn, formed the holy trinity of their diet. They taught the exploring Spanish conquistadors how to cook squash, utilizing every part, in the early 1500s. Usually measuring about three to four inches, the stems of winter squashes are left on as those without stems do not store well. Because the stems are easily broken, squashes should not be handled by their fragile stems. Not all squashes benefit from their attached stems, however, as the Hubbard squash must have its stem completely removed after harvest. Pumpkins especially require their stems to prolong shelf life.
Acorn squash can be fried, steamed, boiled, roasted and made into soups, sauces and stews. Some use hickory wood to smoke acorn squash. Here is some nutrient information...
One cup of raw, cubed acorn squash contains:
15 g carbs
15 mg Vitamin C
46 mg Calcium
45 mg Magnesium
50 mg Phosphorus
486 mg Potassium
Butternut is the most widely grown winter squash. Versatile and diverse, squash has no rival in the kitchen when it comes to its culinary flexibility. A member of the cucurbitaceae family, this large group includes not only squash, but also gourds and pumpkins. Versatile squash grows from bite-size to large enough to feed a fleet of men. Reports document an eight-hundred pound pumpkin recently grew in an apparently very large vegetable patch.
The classic butternut squash is one of the most popular varieties. Producing a delicious rich golden-yellow flesh with excellent texture, butternuts are a smooth long-necked bowling pin or bell-shaped squash encased with a pinkish-tan hard rind. Having a relatively small seed cavity in its bulbous end, its tender flesh offers a superb creamy flavor. This old favorite offers fine eating and consistent flavor. Yielding more meat than most other squashes, butternuts weigh two to five pounds.
All squashes provide vitamin A and vitamin C, some of the B vitamins, and are a good source of fiber. One cup of cooked squash has about 100 calories. Deep-colored squashes have the most beta carotene. Eating five servings a day of fruits and vegetables lowers the chances of getting cancer. A recent study documents that nine or ten servings daily of fruits and vegetables, combined with three servings of low-fat dairy products, effectively lowers blood pressure.
To prepare, cut well rinsed squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Bake; top with butter; sprinkle with favorite seasonings. Experiment with different spices to enhance its naturally good flavor. Cardamom, anise seed, thyme, mace, sage, cumin, ginger, turmeric, paprika, tarragon, allspice and savory complement its dependable sweet goodness. Braise, sauté, steam or microwave. Sweeten with brown sugar; add a kiss of nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves to enhance flavor. This squash is ideal for soups and stews. Ravioli and risotto especially welcome the flavor and texture contributions of the butternut. Make scrumptious squash soufflé. To store, keep whole squash at room temperature. Butternut squash is an excellent keeper. Wrap cut pieces in plastic; refrigerate up to five days.
Native to the Western Hemisphere, butternut squash is a member of the gourd family and is of the genus Cucurbita moschata. In the United States, Florida is the largest squash-producing state with California ranking a close second. Georgia and New Jersey are also major producers. Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, Oregon and South Carolina also contribute to the squash supply. This nutritious vegetable has earned a higher culinary rating in American diets due to the promotion of healthier eating habits.
There are many different butternut squash recipes. Butternut squash can be sauteed, boiled, steamed, roasted, fried and made into soups and sauces. Here is some nutrient information...
On cup of raw, cubed butternut squash contains:
22 g carbs
31 mg vitamin C
3 mg Vitamin E
84 mg Calcium
582 mg Potassium
8 mg Sodium
Part of today's lack of squash appreciation is from not knowing exactly how to cook them. More often than not, delicate squash gets overcooked resulting in a dining disappointment.
Spaghetti squash really can substitute for spaghetti. Large, oval and sunny yellow, this variety looks more like a melon than a squash and usually weighs four to eight pounds. Especially prized for its unusual cooked yellowish flesh, it separates into thin, long, translucent strings that actually resemble pasta. Fun to eat, even children may ask for more.
Providing vitamin A and vitamin C, squash also contains some of the B vitamins. An excellent source of fiber, deep-colored squash offers the most beta carotene. One cup of cooked squash has about 100 calories. Eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables lowers the chances of cancer. A recent study found eating nine or ten daily servings of fruits and vegetables, combined with three servings of low-fat dairy products, effectively lowered blood pressure.
Make superb spaghetti squash with garlic as follows: Place cut squash in vegetable steamer; fill bottom of steamer with water within one inch of steamer insert; cover; bring water to a simmer over medium heat; cook until tender. Heat four tablespoons butter in a large frying pan over low heat. Add three to six cloves finely chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Scoop cooked squash out of its skin, pulling into strands. Add squash to garlic butter; toss. Sprinkle with two tablespoons chopped parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste; toss and serve. For an unusual side dish, season hot cooked spaghetti squash with melted butter; add crumbled blue cheese and chopped walnuts. This squash may be baked, boiled or microwaved. Small ones are perfect for the crock-pot. With a large meat fork, pierce the whole shell several times; place in crock pot; cover with two cups of water; cook on low eight to nine hours or until tender. To store, keep whole squash in a dry cool area. Wrap cut squash in plastic; refrigerate for two days. To freeze, put cooked squash in freezer bags or airtight containers. Partially thaw before using; steam until tender but still firm.
A staple food for North Americans before the arrival of Europeans, native Indians relied on squash along the corn and beans. To this day, squash still remains more popular with North Americans than Europeans.
Produced on a crawling vine-type plant, spaghetti squash loves to grow in well-drained warm fertile soil and matures on vigorous vines about ninety days after seeding. A member of the Cucurbit pepo genus, spaghetti squash is harvested when the skin turns light tan to golden yellow and weighs between two and five pounds. Bees are the usual force behind the necessary pollination of squash plants in order to produce fruit. Producing both male and female flowers on each squash plant, pollen has be transferred from the male flower to the female flower. Pollination most often requires several bees to make a stop over on the female flower within twenty-four hours or so. If bees are not available to do the job, pollinating is possible through the efforts of the human hand. This is done by removing the pollen-laden stamen from the male flower and rubbing it onto the pistil of the female flower.
As a member of the gourd family, cucumbers are related to squash and melons. This cylinder-shaped fruit with dark-green skin and ivory to pale green flesh is used like a vegetable in cooking. Crunchy and mild-flavored, cucumbers are filled with edible seeds and are made up of over 95% water. They are divided into two main types: slicing and pickling. Slicing cucumbers are either field or hothouse grown and are usually eaten raw in salads, sandwiches, relish trays and cold soups. Hothouse or English cucumbers have almost no seeds, are longer in length with thinner skins than field cucumbers and often sold wrapped in plastic.
Pickling cucumbers are usually smaller in size and sold mainly to food companies, though they may turn up at farmers’ markets for use in home pickling. While available year-round, cucumbers are best during their peak season of May through July.
- Select firm cucumbers with smooth, deep-green skins. Slender cucumbers usually have less seeds than thick ones.
- Avoid any with shriveled ends or a yellowish color.
- Refrigerate unwashed cucumbers in a plastic bag for up to 1 week.
- Sliced cucumbers can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Rinse cucumbers under cold water before cutting.
- The skins of unwaxed cucumbers are edible and do not require peeling.
- Pickling cucumbers should be scrubbed under running water with a vegetable brush to remove any sharp spines.
- The edible seeds may be removed if the cucumber is to be stuffed, shredded or for personal taste. To seed cucumbers, cut them lengthwise into halves and use the tip of a small spoon or a melon baller to scrape out the seeds.
- Cucumbers are usually served raw and can be sliced, chopped, diced, cut into strips or shredded.
- Tuck sliced or chopped cucumber into sandwiches or pita pockets.
- Toss cucumber slices into green salads or skip the greens and make a cucumber-only salad with some shredded carrots, thinly sliced onions and your favorite Dressing.
- Hollow out cucumber segments and fill with flavored Cream Cheese Spread for a quick appetizer.
- Serve creamy tuna, chicken or shrimp salads in hollowed out cucumber halves.
- Salmon and cucumber pair well together. Top cocktail rye bread slices with a cucumber slice, small piece of smoked salmon and tiny dollop of Sour Cream for easy appetizers.
- Add chopped seeded cucumber to fruit salsas for refreshing flavor and crunch.
Hearty and comforting, potatoes are especially delicious during cold weather served as a creamy mash, crisply roasted or in a cheesy au gratin. They also make a wonderful addition to soups and stews. Potatoes are grown in a number of varieties, including ones with purple or pink skin and flesh. Since some are better for baking than boiling, be sure to check out the descriptions of the most common types below before you start cooking.
- Select firm, smooth, well-shaped potatoes that are free of wrinkles, cracks and blemishes. Avoid any with green-tinged skins or sprouting "eyes" or buds.
- Store potatoes for 2 to 3 weeks in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Warmth and light encourage sprouting and shriveling. They may be stored in a paper or burlap bag. Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator.
- Never store potatoes near onions as gases given off by the onions cause potatoes to spoil faster.
ALL SORTS OF POTATOES
Select types of potatoes based on how they will be used: baked, boiled, mashed, roasted or fried.
Russets: also called baking or Idaho potatoes; long and slightly rounded with rough, brown skin; high in starch and low in moisture; excellent for baking, french fries and mashing.
Round Reds & Whites: also called boiling potatoes; medium-size with smooth red or light tan skins; low in starch and high in moisture with a waxy texture; excellent for boiling (potato salads), oven roasting and frying (hash browns/potato pancakes).
New Potatoes: young potatoes of any variety, but mainly round reds; small with a very thin skin; low in starch with a crisp, waxy texture; excellent in potato salads or for roasting or grilling.
Yukon Gold: thin, yellowish skin with golden, buttery-tasting flesh; low in starch and high in moisture; excellent for boiling and mashing.
- Scrub potatoes before cooking with a vegetable brush to remove any embedded dirt and sprouts.
- For many uses, potatoes do not require peeling. When peeling, use a vegetable peeler to remove as little flesh as possible. Cut out any deep "eyes" or blemishes.
- Trim away any green-tinged skin or flesh as it tastes bitter and can be toxic if eaten in large amounts. (The green color is caused by prolonged exposure to light.)
- lmmediately place peeled potatoes into a bowl or pan of cold water to prevent them from turning brown.
- Get creative with baked potato toppings and turn those spuds into a hearty main dish. Use a variety of cooked veggies or other ingredients and top them off with Sour Cream; crumbled cooked Bacon; or your favorite Shredded Cheese orDressing.
- Jazz up mashed potatoes with garlic, fresh herbs, Cream Cheese or Grated Cheese.
- Toss chunks of buttered boiled potatoes with Grated Cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
- Coat potato pieces with oil, minced fresh garlic, Dijon Mustard and herbs before roasting.
- Add zesty flavor to creamy potato salads by stirring in Horseradish or Salad Dressing Mix.
Whether blended into glistening pesto or tucked between tomato and mozzarella slices, fresh basil is a must-have flavor for summer. This annual herb is used in Mediterranean and Asian cooking and pairs well with tomatoes, beans, pasta, poultry and seafood. Although a member of the mint family, basil tastes subtly of licorice and cloves. In Thailand and Vietnam, it’s often used with mint in stir-fries and salads.
Fresh basil is in supermarkets year-round, but is a better value at farmers’ markets where large, just-picked bunches are often sold. It’s also easy to grow in the garden. Expand your basil horizons by trying more than the sweet, green variety. Try purple opal, lemon, Thai and cinnamon basils, too!
- Select basil bunches that are brightly colored with fresh, fragrant leaves and firm stems.
- Avoid bunches with wilted, yellowed or blackened leaves.
- Like most fresh herbs, basil is very perishable. For short-term storage, refrigerate in a sealed resealable plastic bag with 2 to 3 layers of paper towels for several days.
- For longer storage, place the basil bunch in a container of water like a bouquet. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to a week, changing the water in the container every 2 days.
- Wash basil just before using and blot dry with paper towels.
- When chopping or slicing basil, make sure the leaves are thoroughly dry to prevent them from sticking to the knife. To chop, use a chef’s knife on a cutting board.
- To thinly slice fresh basil, stack several leaves. Roll stack lengthwise into cylinder. Cut cylinder crosswise at close intervals with sharp knife to form thin strips.
- Like many fresh herbs, basil tastes best when added near the end of cooking as it loses flavor when exposed to prolonged heat.
- To substitute fresh herbs for dried, the general rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio—use 3 times more fresh than dried.
Example: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil equals 1 teaspoon dried.
- Good source of vitamins A and C.
- Naturally fat and sodium free.
- Tuck a few basil leaves inside summer sandwiches—such as BLT’s—for a hint of herbal flavor.
- Sprinkle thinly sliced basil over pizza or bruschetta for a burst of color and Italian flair.
- Whip up a batch of homemade pesto in the blender or food processor and toss with pasta and tomatoes for a cool and easy weeknight meal.
- Bump up the taste and eye appeal of side dishes—such as vegetable salads and rice—by blending in a handful of chopped basil.
- Toss basil leaves into green salads and top with your favorite KRAFT Italian Dressing or KRAFT Special Collection Greek Vinaigrette Dressing.
- Blend chopped basil with KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise or GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard for a delicious herb-flavored sandwich spread.
- Substitute fresh basil for dried in creamy dips for fresh summer flavor. Use 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil for each teaspoon dried basil.
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