Swiss Chard
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QUALITIES:

Swiss chard stands out as a sturdy, leafy green vegetable with colorful, thick stems, when mature. Chard is closely related to the beet plant, and has a somewhat earthy flavor, especially when eaten raw. 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Swiss chard is one of the most impressive vegetables out there, as it has high nutrient density and a range of antioxidants. Swiss chard nutrition benefits include its many forms of polyphenol, betalain and carotenoid antioxidants which are powerful at fighting free radical damage, inflammation, and disease development.

Some of the antioxidants found in Swiss chard include: carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are crucial for eye health, and flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol which act as antihistamines and reduce allergic reactions and inflammatory responses. Swiss chard is also one of the best sources of betalains, water-soluble plant pigments that have a wide range of desirable biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. On top on this,  Swiss chard packs an impressive amount of potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, and even more vitamins and minerals. And with high levels of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and many trace minerals, there’s almost no health condition that Swiss chard can’t help.

STORING:

Do not wash the greens right away as this encourages them to wilt more quickly. Instead try putting them inside of a plastic bag and wrapping a damp paper towel around the stems which will keep in moisture and prolong its freshness. Store in crisper in fridge. Try to use Swiss chard within 4-5 days.

Freezing: 

You can always cook the greens and freeze them, which will preserve the nutrients and make a great addition to soups, stews, or sauces down the road.

PREPARING: 

To wash Swiss chard before using, fill a bowl with equal parts white vinegar & water. Then, soak it in the solution for a minute or two, and rinse. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve dirt & grime. 

QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

It’s recommend that you try boiling Swiss chard or lightly sautéing it before eating it. This helps to decrease certain acids found in Swiss chard and to improve its taste and nutrient availability. You can do this by quickly boiling the leaves for only 2-3 minutes in an open pot (don’t add a lid which will hinder the process a bit), or by sautéing them in a pan with some olive oil, stock, or coconut oil just until they are wilted.

Click here for a simple recipe of sauteed swiss chard.

Basil

QUALITIES:

There are a number of types of basil, which differ in taste & smell. It is a green leafy herb belonging to the mint family. Sweet basil (the most commercially available basil used in Italian food) has a strong clove scent because of its high concentration of Eugenol. 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Basil contains a wide range of essential oils, rich in phenolic compounds, and a wide array of other amazing compounds including polyphenols such as flavonoids and anthocyanins. Basil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. It is anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, powerfully antibacterial, and highly nutrient dense. Basil contains (E)-beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.

STORING:

Hand's down, the easiest way to store our basil is to keep the bunch in a glass or jar filled with water, just like flowers, and leave it at room temperature.

You can also trim the cut ends, put the bunch in a glass, jar, or vase of water that will fit in the fridge, and cover the whole thing (or at least the basil leaves) with a plastic bag. Kept in a refrigerator,  basil kept that way will stay vibrant and green for up to a week.

The next best way to store basil is to store it like salad greens: pick the leaves off the stems and lay them in more or less a single layer on layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, roll up the towel around the leaves, and put the roll in a plastic bag. This method keeps the leaves hydrated but not damp.

FREEZING: You can simply lay clean, dry basil leaves on a baking sheet, freeze them until frozen (about an hour will do it), and transfer them to resealable plastic bags. Basil frozen this way will turn dark, almost black, but retain plenty of basil flavor. To keep it green, you'll need to blanch it, squeeze it dry, then lay it flat to freeze. Once you bother blanching the basil, though, it's worth making the purée and freezing it that way, since it retains so much more flavor with that method.

PREPARING: 

Your first task is to remove the leaves from the stems, discard any dead or spotted leaves, rinse the basil thoroughly, and allow it to air dry (or pat dry with a towel). 

QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

Add freshly chopped basil to a variety of foods for a healthy & delicious bonus! Salad greens, Dressings, Sandwiches and wraps, Vinegars, Oils, Bread dough, Soups, Scrambled eggs, Sauces, Pastas

RECIPES:

Fresh basil pesto 

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

  • salt & black pepper

  • 1/3 cup olive oil


1: To make the pesto, combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.

2: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Peppers
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QUALITIES:

These little peppers are firm skinned & crisp. They are crunchy when raw & soften with cooking. They have a softer, seedy flesh. 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Bell peppers are rich in many vitamins and antioxidants, and various carotenoids. Bell peppers are very high in vitamin C, with a single one providing up to 169% of the RDI. Other vitamins and minerals in bell peppers include vitamin K1, vitamin E, vitamin A, folate, and potassium. These vitamins have several health benefits, such as improved eye health and reduced risk of several chronic diseases. They are low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamins, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

STORING:

If you plan to eat your peppers within a few days or let them ripen to a deeper color, they should be left at room temperature for best flavor. Sweet peppers will last approximately 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. Store peppers in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator.

Freezing: 

If you plan on freezing your peppers, slice or chop them up, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze; then promptly place the pieces in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bags for future use.


PREPARING: 

To wash the peppers, fill a bowl with equal parts white vinegar & water. Then, soak it in the solution for a minute or two, and rinse. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve dirt & grime.  Then, cut off just the stems. 

QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

They are delicious raw! You can eat them like you would eat a strawberry, holding the stem & biting into them. They are crunchy, and their flavor is very mild. You can slice & toss them into salads or use them in dips!  You can also drizzle with oil & roast & add to any dish as a great side! 

Cherry Tomatoes
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NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Cherry tomatoes are rich in vitamins A, B6, B9, C, K, potassium & manganese! They are also rich in carotenoids, like lycopene, and phenolic compounds.

Many of the nutrients, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in raw tomatoes have been found to prevent or help treat health issues. Carotenoids like lycopene have been shown to have very important antioxidant & anti-carcinogenic qualities & are amazing for your health.

Tomato consumption may help reduce the risk of cancer and reduce inflammation. They may improve skin health and also help alleviate menopausal symptoms like anxiety. Tomatoes can also help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Lowered levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can improve the health of your cardiovascular system.

STORING:

Like all tomatoes, cherry tomatoes dislike a chill. Keep cherry tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavor and to avoid the mealy texture that can result from putting them in the refrigerator. You can keep them in a bowl on the counter for super easy, healthful snacking.

Cherry tomatoes will continue to ripen once picked. If some of your tomatoes are not completely red, just leave them at room temperature for a day or two, and use once they are more fully ripe.

Freezing: 

  1. Blanch. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 60-90 seconds and, using a slotted spoon, transfer immediately into a bowl of ice water to cool. Skin will slip easily from the flesh.

  2. Prepare tomatoes. Remove stems and core tomatoes. Tomatoes may be left whole, but preparing them in a way that maximizes storage space is recommended. Work over a shallow dish to retain juices.

  3. Transfer into storage bags. Using a ladle or measuring cup, fill pint or quart sized ziploc bags.

  4. Seal bags. Make sure to push as much air as possible when sealing to avoid freezer burn.

  5. Into the freezer. Try to store flat. The shape in which they freeze is the shape you’re stuck with until it’s time to thaw.

Frozen tomatoes will retain flavor for 12 to 18 months.

PREPARING: 

All you have to do is rinse them well in cold water & you’re good to go! 


QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

Small tomatoes are great to toss in salads or with pasta for a fresh, summer flavor. They are also lovely when halved and mixed with red peppers, green onion, and/or corn kernels for a salsa, or to dollop on steaks, chicken or fish! 


Okra

QUALITIES:

Okra’s taste is mild, but it has a unique texture with peach-like fuzz on the outside and small, edible seeds on the inside of the pod. It contains a characteristic viscous juice that can be used to thicken sauces.

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Okra provides fiber, folate, and vitamin K. Okra also provides some iron, niacin, phosphorus, and copper. Furthermore, Okra is a good source of antioxidants. Okra seeds contain oligomeric catechins and flavonoid derivatives, both of which have been linked to a lower risk of cancer. It can also promote heart health and strong bones!

STORING:

Keep okra dry, and do not wash it until you are ready to use it. Storing it in the crisper drawer in a paper or plastic bag can stop it becoming slimy or moldy. Fresh okra does not last for more than 3 to 4 days.

Freezing: 

Blanch your okra by submerging it in a pot of boiling water. Small okra pods need to be blanched for three minutes; large okra pods need four minutes. Blanching will halt the enzyme process, so your okra maintains that just-picked color, flavor, and texture.

It's important to stop this enzymatic activity because it can cause okra (as well as other vegetables) to decay. These enzymes can survive freezing temperatures and continue the decaying process even though the okra is frozen. Pre-treating the okra in boiling water kills the enzymes.

PREPARING: 

To wash the okra, fill a bowl with equal parts white vinegar & water. Then, soak it in the solution for a minute or two, and rinse. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve any other residues.

Then, cut off just the stems, being careful not to cut into the seed cells. If you can see seeds, you're cutting off too much.

QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

Ladies fingers of okra can be used in salads, soups, and stews, fresh or dried, fried, sautéed, roasted, or boiled. They can also be pickled.

Eggplant
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QUALITIES:

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, belong to the nightshade family of plants and are used in many different dishes around the world. They can be a deep purple, pink, white, or even black. They have a smooth skin and a light, airy texture to their flesh. 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Eggplants are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium. They also contain high levels of anthocyanins, a pigment not only responsible for the fruit's skin coloring, but also loaded with antioxidant properties. Eggplant is a high-fiber, low-calorie food & comes with many health benefits. From reducing the risk of heart disease to helping with blood sugar control and weight loss, eggplants are highly nutrient dense & a great addition to a healthy diet! 

STORING:

Eggplants are highly perishable & best when used as soon as possible. 

To store, place the whole eggplant in a paper bag. Don’t cut it before storing it, since cut eggplant spoils very quickly. Instead, loosely wrap the vegetable in paper. Leave the bag open 

  • The paper bag absorbs moisture. For that reason, storing eggplant in sealed plastic is not recommended. Sealed bags cause eggplant to spoil faster due to poor air circulation.

  • If you don’t have a paper bag, try wrapping the eggplant in paper towels and putting it in an unsealed plastic bag or vented bowl.

  • You can store multiple eggplants together. Try to keep them from touching to allow moisture to escape. If you’re using paper towels, wrap each eggplant separately.

Freezing: 

To freeze eggplant, first blanch it & then put in freezer bag. Freeze for up to a few months. 

PREPARING: 

Slice or chop the eggplant. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Transfer to a colander over a plate and set aside for 30 minutes to drain. This draws out the bitter juices. Carefully rinse each piece of eggplant under cold water, making sure you remove all the salt. Drain. Pat dry & cook as desired.


QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

Best way to use eggplant is to cook them in a recipe 

RECIPES:

  • 1 large or several smaller eggplants 

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  1. Start by preparing the eggplant: wash the eggplant and trim off the green end. You can peel the skin if you like. Next, slice eggplant into 1/2" disks. Place all disks in colander or cooling rack set over baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and let sit for at least 30 minutes

  2. Next, melt butter in a bowl. Mix breadcrumbs, spices and Parmesan cheese in another bowl. 

  3. Dip each eggplant disk into butter first, then breading mixture. Place on aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. 

  4. Bake in 400 degrees F oven for 15 minutes, then flip each disk and baked for 7 more minutes. The eggplant should be golden brown and the breading crispy.

  5. Serve as side dish, appetizer or use in eggplant Parmesan.

Summer Squash (Green or Yellow)

QUALITIES:

Zucchini is a firm skinned squash with a soft flesh that becomes very soft when cooked. 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

A favorite among low-carb diets, zucchini has a very low score on the glycemic index. Other things to love about zucchini  include the fact that it has a high water percentage; is low in calories, carbs and sugars; and is high in essential nutrients like potassium, manganese, and antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A. Zucchini squash, both yellow and green, have even been found to have therapeutic compounds, including lutein, β-carotene, zeaxanthin and dehydroascorbic acid. 

STORING:

If you're planning on using the zucchini soon, go ahead and store it in your fridge.

To store zucchini in the fridge, keep the squash whole, dry and unwashed. Store them in a plastic or paper bag with one end open to encourage air circulation, and pop them in the refrigerator crisper drawer. They’ll keep there for 1 to 2 weeks, though you’ll probably see the skin start to shrivel over time.


Freezing: 

Zucchini will keep for about 3 months in the freezer! 

• Wash the zucchini and slice them into 1/2-inch rounds and get ready to.blanch then. Blanching stops enzyme activity in the vegetables, which causes them to change texture and lose nutrients—and blanching also keeps the squash's color vibrant.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set up a large bowl of ice water. When the water is boiling, toss the zucchini slices in for 1 to 2 minutes, just until brightly colored and a bit tender.

  • Immediately drain them in a colander and transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking.

  • When the zucchini slices are cool, drain them in a colander and pack them in freezer bags in 1- or 2-cup batches. You can pack away grated raw zucchini, too. It’ll give off liquid when defrosted, but you can just drain that off or use it in soup.


PREPARING: 

Rinse the outside very well, no need to peel, the skin is good! Then cut off the very tips before cooking. 


QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • eating raw, roasted or cooked

  • Grilling zucchini is a good option

  • You can also slice raw zucchini and use it to dip in guacamole, hummus or other healthy spreads

Cucumber
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QUALITIES:

Cucumbers are firm & have a mild, refreshing taste and a high water content. 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

Cucumbers are rich in many nutrients including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, and vitamin A. 

Cucumbers also contain lignans. Research suggests that these decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer. 


STORING:

Cucumbers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Cucumbers can also be kept at room temperature, but the ideal temperature to store them fresh is around 50 degrees..

Freezing: 

Place whole in freezer bag & freeze for up to 3 months. 

PREPARING: 

Only wash cucumbers right before you plan to use them. Wash thoroughly & cut off the stems. 


QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Mix sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese for a Greek-style side dish

  • Jazz up your water by adding mint leaves and cucumber

  • Slice cucumbers into thick slices and dip them in your favorite hummus

  • Combine them with cheese or sliced turkeyin a sandwich

  • Cucumber juice, alone or combined with the juice of other vegetables, such as carrot and celery, makes a healthful and refreshing drink

  • Puree cucumbers with tomatoes, green peppers, and onionsto make a chilled gazpacho soup


RECIPES:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 small-to-medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced

  • salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced 

  • 2-4 cucumbers, thinly sliced


In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic until blended. Season with salt and pepper.

  1. Add the avocado and cucumbers to the bowl and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.

Green Beans
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Qualities:

Green beans are members of the common bean family, Phaseolus vulgaris. They are firm, hardy & snap when bent in half of fresh! 

*note* It is important to remember that green beans are unripe or immature foods, so some people prefer to soak or cook the beans before eating them, but there are no proven harmful effects of eating raw green beans. 


Nutritional benefits:

These delicious and crunchy beans are low in calories and fat and contain no cholesterol. The fiber content is very high, and it also provides some of your daily protein requirements. They also act as an easy source for acquiring vitamins like vitamin A, C, K, B6, and folic acid. In terms of minerals, green beans are a good source of calcium, silicon, iron, manganese, potassium and copper.

All of these nutrients boast numerous health benefits including: reducing heart disease, preventing colon cancer & other cancers, controlling diabetes, boost immunity, eye health, bone health, treat gastrointestinal issues, support fertility & pregnancy. 


Short Term Storage:

Store unwashed fresh beans pods in a plastic bag kept in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans stored this way should keep for about seven days.

Freezing: 

If you wish to freeze green beans it’s recommend that you steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let them cool thoroughly before placing them in freezer bags and storing them in your freezer. They can be frozen for 6 months but will lose some nutrient value after 3 months. 

PREPARING: 

When using green beans for cooking, run them under cold water well, then snap or cut off the very ends.

QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

One of the most common methods of preparation is to steam your green beans.

You can also eat them raw with a dip, sauté them with oil in a skillet or blanch for a quick side to any meal! 


RECIPES:

Easy skillet green beans 

1 pound trimmed green beans

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper



Place green beans in a large skillet; pour in 1/3 cup water.

Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as water comes to a boil, cover pan and cook 3 minutes.

Uncover pan, and stir in butter. Cook 1 minute or until water evaporates and beans are crisp-tender.

Sprinkle beans with salt and pepper.

Quick meal ideas:

Just prior to using the green beans, wash them under running water. Remove both ends of the beans by either snapping them off or cutting them with a knife.

We recommend steaming green beans for maximum flavor and nutrition. Fill the bottom of a pot with 2 inches of water. While waiting for the water to come to a boil, rinse green beans. It is best to cook green beans whole for even cooking. Steam for 5 minutes, drain & cool. Eat plain or toss with a healthy dressing and top with your favorite optional ingredients. Green beans pair very well with lemon juice, butter, dill, basil, garlic, onions, mushrooms, almonds & bacon. 


Spinach

Nutritional Benefits: Spinach is considered to be one of the world’s healthiest foods, with more than a dozen different types of flavonoid antioxidants, not to mention being rich in vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. Spinach has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities, and combined with its low amount of calories, it is easily one of the most nutrient-rich foods in existence.

Short-term storage:  Store leaves wrapped loosely in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Fresh spinach stored properly can last up to 7 days in the fridge — perhaps even longer.

Long-term storage: Blanch spinach leaves in boiling water or steam for one minute, followed by dunking leaves in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Remove spinach from ice water, and blot dry on a towel. Place spinach in ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, you can pop the spinach blocks into a freezer Ziploc bag

Quick meal prep: The flavor of spinach becomes more pronounced once it is cooked. Sautéing, boiling or cooking spinach for just one minute can improve nutrient absorbability while not destroying its antioxidants and phytochemicals, though overcooking destroys many vital qualities. Fresh, raw spinach has gained tremendous popularity in recent years as a bed of greens or an addition to smoothies.

Other Recipes:

Charles Burks
Beets
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Vegetable Qualities:

Beets are a root vegetable, a relative to chard and spinach. Beetroots and beet greens are two parts of the beet, both of which can be consumed. They have a rich earthy taste & slightly firm texture. They are usually red to deep purple, but can also come in golden varieties.

Nutrition:

Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains, which give them their purple hue and provide them with antioxidants, which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Beets are also a good source of fiber, and contain folate,  manganese, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium.

Short term storage: 

To store beets, trim the leaves 2 inches from the root as soon as you get them home. The leaves will sap the moisture from the beet root. Do not trim the tail.

Store the leaves in a separate plastic bag and use within two days. The root bulbs should also be bagged and can be stored in the refrigerator crisper drawer seven to 10 days.

Cooked or canned beets may be refrigerated up to one week.

Long term storage:

Fresh cooked beets may be frozen up to 10 months. Be sure to peel before freezing in airtight containers or baggies, leaving no air in the container. They may be frozen whole or in cut pieces.

Quick meal ideas: 

Simply shave or grate beets into salads for an easy and tasty health boost! You can also roast, saute, steam, boil, or grill to compliment any meal.

Use the bulb and the greens to get the full nutritional benefits and flavor of the beet. The greens resemble swiss chard in flavor and should be prepared in a similar manner.

Recipe for simple roasted beets with citrus: 

  • 6 to 8 small-to-medium beets

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • 1 large navel orange

  • Sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste

  • Handful of watercress leaves, arugula or microgreens

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Few pinches of flaky sea salt

other extra (optional) topping ideas:

  • Goat or feta cheese

  • Chopped walnuts or pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Place each beet on a piece of foil and drizzle generously with olive oil and pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Wrap the beets in the foil and roast on a baking sheet for 35 to 60 minutes, or until soft and fork-tender. The time will depend on the size and freshness of the beets. Remove the beets from the oven, remove the foil, and set aside to cool. When they are cool to the touch, peel the skins. I like to hold them under running water and slide the skins off with my hands.

  3. Use a citrus peeler to peel long strips around the orange, avoiding the white pith. Grated zest would work here also. Slice ¾ of the orange into segments and reserve the remaining ¼ wedge for squeezing.

  4. Slice the beets into 1” wedges or chunks and place them in a bowl. If you’re using red and yellow beets, place each color into separate bowls so the red beets don’t stain the yellow beets.

  5. Drizzle with olive oil and sherry vinegar, then add the lemon juice, orange juice squeezed from the remaining wedge, and a few pinches of salt and pepper and toss. Chill until ready to serve.

  6. Taste before serving and season with more salt (flaky sea salt, if using) and pepper or more vinegar (for more tang), orange, or lemon juice, as desired.

  7. Serve on a platter with the orange pieces. 

AnnCherie Dabney
Broccoli leaves
 
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Vegetable Qualities: It’s true! You can eat the leaves of broccoli plants. They have a slight cabbage flavor. They can be steamed & sauteed as they are very similar to collards, cabbage and kale.

Short-term storage:  Store broccoli greens in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to 5 days to keep leaves from going limp.

Long-term storage: Blanch leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes. Dunk in ice water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking. Strain and dry leaves. Quick-freeze small clumps of greens individually on a cookie sheet (or in ice cube trays). After they’re frozen, place clumps into freezer bags in bulk. Remove as much air as possible from bags before sealing. Use portions as needed for dishes.

Quick meal prep: Wash greens. To remove leaves from stems, fold leaves in half and tear or cut the central stem away. Roughly tear or chop leaves.

Sautéed Broccoli Leaves with Garlic

Ingredients:

1 bunch broccoli leaves, sliced into strips

olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup water

chili flakes, to taste

Directions:

Roll leaves lengthwise and slice into ½inch wide strips. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add minced garlic and cook until garlic is softened and fragrant - about 30 seconds. Add broccoli leaves and stir to coat well with olive oil. Carefully add ¼ cup water, cover and steam for 3 to 4 minutes, until the leaves turn bright green and tender. Remove pan from the heat, adding in salt and chili flakes before serving.

Broccoli Greens Salad with Apples and Cheddar

Ingredients:

4 cups very finely chopped or slivered broccoli greens

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted almonds

1 apple, cored and cut in 1/4-inch dice

1 ounce sharp Cheddar cheese, cut in 1/4-inch dice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste

1 very small garlic clove, minced

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

Combine the broccoli greens, almonds, apple and Cheddar in a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, garlic and olive oil. Add to the salad, and toss well. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top, and serve.


 
Charles Burks
Onions

Vegetable Qualities:  Onions are a pungent allium vegetable and they pack a punch, in flavor and nutrition. With plenty of nutrients and antioxidants including flavonoids and polyphenols — onion nutrition can help you maintain proper blood sugar levels, facilitate in building strong bones and protect against inflammation.

  • Onions have a great shelf life. You can store onions on your counter top for several weeks before they start to go bad. Once cut, onions should be stored in an air tight container in the fridge. 

  • There are many ways to use onions, both raw and cooked. Red onions and shallots are tasty when raw, while yellow and white varieties work great for cooking. A cool fact about onions is that their phytonutrient content (the great antioxidant benefits) actually increases if they are cut and exposed to the air for about 10 minutes before consuming or cooking! So if you have time, chop them and leave on a cutting board for those great nutrients! 

  • The longer you cook onions the sweeter they become. If you slice them thin and cook them quickly you will increase their absorbability. 

  • To get the most out of your onions, try sautéing them in a small amount of coconut or olive oil briefly or tossing them in a stock which will absorb their flavor well! Compared to other veggies, onions nutrients hold up pretty well in cooking, they aren’t as delicate as many other vegetables so don’t be afraid to cook them a bit in different recipes.  


Did you know you can eat the long greens still attached to onions? Don’t throw those greens away! They have a lovely mild onion flavor and you can use them just as you would use a scallion, very nutritional and tasty. 

Nutritional Benefits: As an example of the healthful properties of onions, Dixondale (our supplier of onion seedlings) reports that the Texas Legend "actually contains 25 active compounds that inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, help combat heart disease, and stimulate the immune system. It is also antibacterial and antifungal, to help ward off colds and relieve stomach upset and other gastrointestinal disorders."

Short-term storage: The best way to store scallions is to chop off about three-quarters of the tender green tips and stand the scallions in an inch of water in a tall container covered loosely with a ziplock bag. Place in the refrigerator or leave on your counter, refreshing the water every 3 days.. 

Long-term storage: How to Freeze Bunching Onions:

Use the flash freeze method. Chop the green onions to desired size. Place them into a freezer Ziplock baggie and freeze. You can also chop the green tops into one-inch sections, and freeze those separately. They are great for Asian soups and stir-fries.

If you start getting overwhelmed with green onions, remember you can always put them into your “freezer scrap bag.” When a gallon-size Ziploc gets filled with veggie scraps, you can dump them all into a giant pot, add some salt and peppercorns and bay leaf, and bring to a boil/simmer for 2 hours to make some DIY vegetable broth.

Quick meal prep:

Other Recipes: Grilled Scallions (Adapted from Mark Bittman)

Ingredients:

2 bunches scallions, trimmed, with a lot of greens still attached

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

2 limes, 1 halved, 1 quartered

chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Heat charcoal or gas grill to moderately high heat and put the rack about 4 inches from the

heat source.

Brush or rub the scallions with oil until well coated. Grill, turning once or twice, until deeply

colored and tender, 5-10 minutes. Transfer to plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and

squeeze juice of the lime halves over all. Serve with garnished cilantro hot or at room temp

Charles Burks
Collard Greens
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Vegetable Qualities: Collard greens are a type of headless cabbage, similar to kale. The flavor is assertive, almost alkaline and true to its family, cruciferous in nature. Collard greens should be chewy in texture, a sign of good water content and freshness. 

Nutritional benefits: Collard greens are cruciferous veggies rich in sulfur-containing compounds which support detoxification and reduce the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer. Collard greens are high in vitamins K and A, and they’re also rich in soluble fiber and antioxidant properties. By adding raw or gently cooked collard greens to your diet, you can reduce inflammation, relieve digestive conditions, detox your body, and boost cardiovascular health! 

Short-term storage: Collard greens that are exposed to refrigeration will become wilted very quickly. Keep them in a plastic bag, unwashed, removing as much excess air as you can.

Long-term storage: To blanch collards, put the greens, stems and leaves, into boiling water for three minutes. The goal is to cook the greens slightly, while keeping their bright green color and not cooking them completely. After the two minutes of cooking, put the greens straight into an ice water bath for a minute or two. This will stop the cooking immediately. Blanching the vegetables will stop enzyme action that can cause decay. This causes loss of color and flavor. Dry off water & place in freezer bag, removing excess air. Use within 10-12 months.

Quick meal prep: Move over kale - collards deserve a spot in your salads and slaws! Collard Greens can be eaten raw, and they are delicious! Wash and cut into pieces and dress as you would a salad.

Southern Collard greens

Ingredients

  • 12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped

  • 2 medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped

  • 3/4 pound smoked ham, chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 3 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth

  • 3 lbs. fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp.

Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute.

Stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.

AnnCherie Dabney
Kale
Curly Kale

Curly Kale

Vegetable Qualities: Kale’s complex flavor wins it fans at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It boasts deep, earthy flavors that can range from rich and herbaceous to slightly bitter.  Red Russian kale offers a mild, nutty flavor that is slightly sweet and earthy with a hearty texture. The leaves are smoother than Winterbor (or “curly”) Kale, which is the variety commonly used for kale chips.

Nutritional Benefits: Kale is widely considered a "superfood" due to its outstanding nutritional qualities. As a member of the cabbage (Brassica) family of vegetables, kale is considered to be one of the most nutritious foods per calorie. 

Besides being low in calories and carbs, kale is also very low glycemic and an excellent source of vitamin K.  Kale is also packed with vitamin A, beta-carotene and other carotenoids. It also serves up 100 percent of our recommended daily requirement of vitamin C in one cup, cooked. In addition to the vitamins and minerals that kale provides, it is also an excellent source of fiber. It has many anti-cancer properties and can reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Short-term storage:  Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use within 10 days. To prevent wilting, place kale in a plastic bag first and close it loosely. If you are unable to use it in a few days, you can cook it—sauté lightly or steam, and place it back in the refrigerator cooked.

Long-term storage: Blanch leaves for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water. Dunk leaves and stems in ice water to stop the cooking process. Use a strainer to fish leaves from the water. Dry leaves by placing them on a towel. Fill the towel with leaves, then roll it up and squeeze to remove excess water. Quick-freeze small clumps of kale individually on a cookie sheet, or in an ice cube tray.

After they’re frozen, place clumps into freezer bags in bulk. Remove as much air as possible from bags before sealing. Good for up to 6 months.

Quick meal prep: Wash thoroughly and remove thick stems. Cut into small pieces and eat as a salad with favorite dressing. Or, simmer kale in a skillet with 1 tbs. of olive oil, garlic and just the moisture from washing the leaves. Simmer for up to 15 minutes. The longer and slower you cook kale, the sweeter it becomes.

KALE CHIPS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large bunch of kale

  • 1-2 tbs. melted coconut oil or oil of choice.

  • Seasoning of choice (sea salt, pepper. cayenne pepper, chili powder, curry powder- be as creative as you want!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Use convection bake if available to speed cooking time and help chips crisp up even more.

  2. Rinse and thoroughly dry kale, then tear into small pieces and discard any large stems.

  3. Add to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil and seasonings of choice. Toss thoroughly to combine, using hands to distribute the oil and seasonings evenly.

  4. Spread the kale over 2 large baking sheets (according to batch size), ensuring the kale touch each other as little as possible to help them crisp while baking.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the pans around and lightly toss/stir kale to ensure even baking. Bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until kale is crispy and very slight golden brown. Watch closely as it can burn easily.

  6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly - chips will crisp up even more once out of the oven.

  7. Enjoy immediately! Best when fresh. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Charles Burks
TURNIPS
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Vegetable Qualities: The turnips we grow are a Japanese variety called Hakurei.  They are very popular at farmers markets and many restaurants due to their mild flavor, compact size, and tenderness. 

Nutritional Benefits: Both the turnip root and greens are good sources of Vitamin C along with many other nutrients, so be sure and enjoy both parts if the greens are included in your share.

Turnips are low in calories but high in fiber and a host of other important micro-nutrients. Other benefits of turnips include improved immunity, better heart health, enhanced weight loss and increased regularity. They also contain cancer-fighting compounds and have even been associated with a reduced risk of cancer in some studies.

Short-term storage: Turnips can be refrigerated for several weeks. Larger or blemished roots should be used first.  

Long-term storage: Turnips will last for months in cold storage if stored properly. Spread those to be stored longer in a single layer in a box with some damp newspaper or sawdust to keep them humid. Place the box in a cool, dark place and check frequently to remove those that are losing quality.  


Quick meal prep: Aside from enjoying them raw, there are numerous ways to cook and enjoy turnips. Try roasted turnips or sautéed turnips for a tasty side dish by tossing them with some herbs and seasonings and cooking them until they start to soften. Boiling and mashing turnips - as a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes - works very well, along with steaming, grilling or blanching hakurei turnips.


Other Recipes: Balsamic roasted turnips 

Ingredients:

6-8 medium turnips, greens removed

1 T olive oil

1 T balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

additional 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar for finishing (optional)

chopped parsley (for serving, optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450F/230C. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or oil.

Cut the stem and root end off the turnips and cut into bite-sized pieces.   Whisk together olive oil balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Toss the turnips with the balsamic mixture, coating with the oil and vinegar very well. 

Spread turnips in a single layer on the baking sheet, arranging them with a flat side down.  Roast turnips 25 minutes; then remove the pan and turn each one over so a different side is touching the pan.  Roast about 10 minutes more, until turnips are softened and lightly browned.

Arrange cooked turnips on a serving plate and drizzle a little more balsamic vinegar over them. 


Charles BurksComment
Radishes
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Vegetable Qualities: Radishes are a delicious root vegetable that are wonderful eaten raw! Raw radishes are spicy, crisp, and zesty. Varieties can range from very spicy (similar to the heat of raw garlic) to very mild. Cooking brings out their sweetness and dampens spiciness. Even when eaten in small amounts you will still gain the wonderful benefits of radish nutrition.

Radish greens are also edible and have a flavor similar to mild spinach. The raw radish greens have a fuzzy texture that can be a bit off-putting to some folks, so it’s recommended that you eat them cooked. They can also be blended or juiced with other vegetables.

Nutritional Benefits: The radish has powerful detoxifying properties, helping to cleanse the blood of toxins and waste. Per serving, Radishes provide 29 percent of your daily value of Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help limit damage to cartilage that may be caused by free radicals found in the body. Ultimately, this can help heal or prevent arthritis from attacking our bodies. 

Short-term storage:  Remove radish leaves if they are still attached, though you can eat them too! Store the unwashed leaves in a Debbie Meyer green bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator and use ASAP.

Store radish roots dry and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1 week. The root should be firm and crisp. Watch out for woody interior flesh.

Long-term storage: To freeze radishes, you’ll need to blanch them. Wash radishes in cold water and trim the tops and bottoms. Don’t peel, but dice into smaller pieces. Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Quickly remove the radishes and dunk them into a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Drain well and place in a freezer bag to freeze.

Quick meal prep: Remove the greens & then wash the radish well. You can eat them whole with a bit of salt sprinkled on, dip in hummus or fresh guacamole, or slice them thinly to add a spicy crunch to salads.

Other Recipes: You can also roast radishes in an oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper to get a sweet, delicious side dish that has a flavor and texture similar to cooked zucchini. To cook radish greens, saute them in a bit of butter or oil until tender and wilted. They also work really well in soups and stews.

Roasted Radishes

ingredients:

  • wash radishes, cut in half

  • olive oil to coat

  • sea salt

  • garlic powder

  • black pepper

  • herbs to taste

instructions:

  • Wash, trim and quarter radishes.

  • toss radishes in small bowl with olive oil.

  • spread on cookie sheet.

  • sprinkle with salt & seasonings.

  • roast at 375 for 20 to 25 minute.

Bon apetit

AnnCherie Dabney
CABBAGE
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Short-term storage: Put dry, unwashed cabbage heads in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may eventually get floppy or yellowish, but they can be removed and discarded to reveal fresh inner leaves. Cabbage can keep for 3 months with high humidity! If you cut the cabbage head, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag and continue to refrigerate; it will keep for several weeks.

Long-term storage: You will need to blanch cabbage before freezing. First, rinse cabbage, then cut into quarters, wedges, or shred it. Choose how to cut your heads based on your end use. Cook in boiling pot of water for 90 seconds. Douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the cabbage and dry as much as possible. Place in Ziploc freezer bags based on the portions you plan to use, and remove as much air as possible. Put in freezer.

Quick meal prep: Rinse the cabbage under cold water before use. Cut cabbage head first into quarters, then diagonally across the wedge. Be sure to remove the stem end and triangular core near the base.

Healthy, No-Mayo Cole Slaw

INGREDIENTS For the slaw:

  • 1 medium head of green or red cabbage, shredded

  • 2 heaping cups shredded carrots

  • ¾ cup finely chopped cilantro

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

  • Optional: ½ cup diced scallions (the green part of the onion)

  • ½ cup toasted or roasted sliced almonds

  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

    For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all the ingredients for the slaw except for the almonds and sunflower seeds to a large bowl.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour all over the slaw and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Cover and place in fridge for at least an hour to allow flavors to marinate together.

  3. Before serving, sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds and sunflower seeds; toss again and serve.

Caramelized Cabbage

ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp butter (preferably grass-fed)

  • 1 white onion, diced

  • 1/4 cup garlic, whole or crushed cloves, skin off

  • 1 cabage (use half if very large cabbage - whole head if small) sliced into thin strips

    1 tsp celtic sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat butter in large pan on medium-high heat until melted and foamy. 

  2. Add diced onions to pan, cook until soft and transparent, about 4 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking or burning. 

  3. Add garlic to pan, cook until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes. 

  4. Add cabbage to pan and toss well to coat in butter. 

  5. Generously season with salt. 

  6. Let cabbage reduce by half, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as it cooks down to prevent burning and allow it to cook evenly. 

  7. When cabbage has lost much of its volume and started to turn shiny and slightly translucent with slightly browned edges, it is ready to serve. 

  8. Remove from heat and pair with your favorite meat, casserole, fish, or other main dish! 


AnnCherie Dabney
Broccoli
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Short-term storage:   Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. It will keep for over a week, but is firmest and tastiest if used within a few days.

Long-term storage: Don’t freeze broccoli raw- blanch or steam broccoli & then dry & place in freezer bag.

Quick meal prep: All parts of the broccoli plant are edible: leaves, stem, and florets. First, strip the stalks of leaves. The leaves can be prepared like collards or kale. Break the head into florets of desired size. Then use a peeler or paring knife to cut the tough skin off the broccoli stalk, and cut into equal size pieces. You can eat broccoli raw, with your favorite dressing or dip and also add in to salads for a tasty crunch! If you choose to cook it, the stalks will require a few extra minutes of cooking time.

Simple roasted broccoli

Heat the oven to 425°F. Make sure the broccoli is as dry as possible.Toss the broccoli florets and stems with a few teaspoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the broccoli on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until broccoli is crunchy and you can see deep caramelized spots. Serve immediately.

Charles Burks
Carrots
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Vegetable Qualities: Mildly sweet and crunchy, carrots are a tasty, hardy root vegetable! They come in a rainbow of colors, each with a slightly distinctive taste and nutritional content.

Nutritional Benefits: The health benefits of raw or gently cooked carrots are tremendous: lots of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and antioxidants, which may protect against cancer and prevent vision loss. And if you want the maximum nutrition from each carrot, don't bother peeling, which reduces certain phytonutrients and vitamins.  Since our carrots are grown without toxic chemicals, you don't have to worry about consuming pesticides from the skin.

Short-term storage: Roots: If you get your carrots with green tops, remove the tops immediately before storing the carrots, as they draw out moisture and nutrients from the roots and will turn “floppy.” Refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag for at least 2 weeks

Long-term storage: To freeze carrots, you’ll need to blanch them first. Wash carrots in cold water and trim the tops and bottoms. You do not need to peel them if they are organic. Dice into smaller pieces. Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Quickly remove the carrots and dunk them into a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Drain well and place in a freezer bag to freeze.

Quick meal prep: Remove the root tip and green tops. Removing the skins is not necessary with carrots grown in a non-toxic environment. Wash carrots and slice strips into a salad with your favorite toppings. Or cut into sticks and dip in hummus as a delicious snack

You can also use carrots as the base for a fresh veggie-juice, along with celery, apple, ginger, cucumber, beets, and/or greens.

Carrot Coins with Maple Balsamic Browned Butter

Ingredients:

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices 1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Steam carrots, covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook butter 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add syrup, vinegar, salt, and black pepper; stir until combined. Add carrots; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring to coat. Stir in parsley.


Charles BurksComment