Monthly Archives: September 2014
Welcome to the 8th Fruit Delivery of 2014; Sept 24 & 25
Have you ever tried cutting out a lot of food items out of your diet? Every fall over the course of several days I like to get my diet down to just apples, pears, vegetables and water. I crave some sugary treats and crunchy chips at first but then I find myself replacing these cravings with a sweet Honeycrisp apple or a juicy Concorde pear more than satisfies these cravings and gives me more consistent energy throughout the day. Since we are heading into peak of apple and pear season I’m sticking with my handy fruit snacks to maintain a healthy blood sugar throughout the day. If your interested in the specifics of this cleanse let me know.
Here are some of the reason pears are so great for you. Pears contain two of three antioxidants that are thought to decrease risk of type 2 diabetes. Pears contain more fiber than almost all other fruits, with 22% of your recommended daily intake. They also contain about 12% of your recommended daily vitamin C. They are a good source of vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium. Pears contain more pectin than apples, which helps keep your cholesterol levels in check. Fresh pears are considered “hypo-allergenic” because people with food allergies can often enjoy pears without having a reaction. They are low glycemic, which means the carbs in pears are slow to convert to sugar – so you don’t get a sugar high and crash, which can wreak havoc on your body.
Everett Myers, Founder and President of FruitShare™
In your box
Honeycrisp and Gala apples
Bartlett, Bosc and Concorde pears
Storage and Ripening
Take all of your pears out of the box right away. Store them on the counter at room temperature. Test ripeness by checking the neck, or pressing gently on the pear near the stem. When the pear gives to gentle thumb pressure, the pear will be juicy and soft. This is the best way to check pears because they ripen from the inside out, and pressing near the stem gets you closer to the center of the fruit. Remember that pears are an ethylene-producing fruit; that means that they naturally produce a gas that will make them ripen faster. If you want to ripen up your pears quickly, put a few in a paper bag to trap the gas. Once they give to thumb pressure you can refrigerate them, which lets you enjoy them over a longer period of time. Keep the apples in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator to keep them fresh for several weeks.
What It Takes
This week’s Honeycrisp, Gala, Bosc, Bartlett and Concorde pears are from the Stennes family. Like many of our organic growers, the Stennes family farm in Washington’s Cascade Mountains is a family affair. The farm began in 1894, when the Stennes family emmigrated from Norway and planted apple trees on their homestead. Now, Keith is joined by his twin sons, Mark and Kevin to make up the third and fourth generations of Stennes farmers. They have grown the orchard to include not just apples, but also cherries, pluots, plums, and of course, pears. This week they’ve provided some great pears. Concordes are known for their sweetness and juiciness, as well as their tall, beautiful shape. They have yellow-green skin, and can be eaten while crisp, making them a unique variety because you don’t need to wait for them to fully soften! If you do like a softer pear you can wait until they fully soften and you will enjoy all the complex juicy flavor they have to offer. Concorde pears are perfectly suited for slicing on a cheese plate or into a fresh salad because they don’t turn brown when sliced like most pears. Bosc pears are a distinctive variety with a crunchy-yet-tender flesh and sweet, spiced flavor. Don’t be deterred by their brown skin: the flesh is firm and spicier than other varieties. Bosc pears are more flavorful earlier in the ripening process. Enjoy their complex, sweet flavor before they have fully softened. When you test your Bosc pears to check their ripeness, keep in mind that their flesh is denser than other varieties. This means that when you “check the neck,” it will not give as much to pressure. Don’t wait around for these pears to get super soft; they’re ready to enjoy while they’re still firm. Because of this firm flesh, Bosc pears are great for baking, broiling and poaching. Their strong flavor is also less likely to be overwhelmed by spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. The Bartlett pears are the classically pear-shaped fruit in the box with green to yellow-green skin. As they ripen, they turn from bright green to nearly all yellow. Remember to “check the neck”. When they give to thumb pressure at the stem end they will be fully sweet and juicy.
David Bedford of the University of Minnesota developed the Honeycrisp apples with good old fashioned cross breeding over 20 years ago. It is the most popular apple we know of for eating fresh. It’s crisp sweet and tart combination along with the juicy crunch makes it a favorite. Bedford says that studied under an electron microscope, Honeycrisp cells are twice the size of other apples, which accounts for their unique, pleasing texture. The cells fill up with natural sugar water, which makes then delicious even to the core. We try to get you as many honeycrisp as we can every year, but they are always limited and their season is short so enjoy them while they last. Galas are a beautiful and delicious early season apple. They are great for eating out of hand but if you’re so inclined they make fantastic applesauce. Keep all your apples in the coolest part of your refrigerator to keep them crisp.
Health and Wellness
Great news! Eating the apples and pears in your box this week could help decrease your risk for type 2 diabetes – especially for women. It is known that certain antioxidants called flavonoids can help improve insulin sensitivity. There are three types of flavonoids that scientists are particularly interested in, and pears include two of them. While eating these antioxidants has been connected to decreased risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women, a new analysis of the Nurses’ Health Study shows that the combination of flavonoids in apples and pears has the most consistent association with lower risk of diabetes. So dig in. This week’s box might as well be called the Flavonoid Box.
I grew up enjoying this recipe. It is great for breakfast straight or as a topping on oatmeal, pancakes or waffles. In the evening it is a delicious dessert and it makes a great topping for vanilla ice cream if you really want to indulge.
Cinnamon Sauteed Apples & Pears
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 apples—peeled, cored and sliced 1/3 inch thick
2 pears—peeled, cored and sliced 1/3 inch thick
2 tablespoons light brown sugar (experiment you may be able to use less)
Pinch of cinnamon
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the apple and pear slices and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight and rewarm before serving.
Courtesy of foodandwine.com
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Welcome to the 7th Fruit Delivery of 2014; Sept 10 & 11
Signs of the end are summer are appearing all around me. Tomatoes and sweet corn have reached their peak. Kids are heading back to school and if you look closely there is that rogue tree changing color already. These early signs remind me that the fruit season will also be shifting soon from summer stone fruits to more apples and pears in the coming weeks. In this box the first apples of the season are from Colorado. Over the course of the fall we’ll see many varieties and always keep in the varieties that are at their peak of flavor. Thanks for your support and I hope you had a good Labor Day weekend and are settled in to your fall schedule!
To Your Health!
Everett Myers, Founder of FruitShare™
In Your Box
Colorado Gala apples
Dapple Dandy pluots
Storage and Ripening
Store your grapes in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Only wash them right before you eat them, as moisture can contribute to molding. If the grapes arrive damp take them out of their package and dry them off with a paper towel and then put them back in their bag and refrigerate. Keep your peaches out on the counter at room temperature until they give to gentle thumb pressure. Watch carefully, some might be ready to eat right out of the box. Once they give to thumb pressure you can refrigerate them too, which lets you enjoy them over a longer period of time First Gala apples of the year from Colorado is a sign of Fall coming. Keep these crisp in the coldest part of your refrigerator. The Dapple Dandy pluots you can eat right away and will keep well in your refrigerator. Don’t wait for them to get soft they are best a little firm.
What It Takes
Have you ever imagined quitting your job/career and becoming an orchardist? This is exactly what Rosemerry, a poet and teacher, and Eric a builder and project manager did in 2007. Living near Telluride at the time they would take drives on rural roads and noticed this beautiful land with an orchard that had fallen in disrepair. They couldn’t get this land, 2 hours from where they were living, out of their mind. Thinking they would fix up the buildings and sell it; they instead fell in love with the idea of becoming orchardists and followed through on their conviction. They are now raising their two young children and taking care of fruit trees on 75 acres of land on the Western Slope of Colorado. Now after 7 years of being full time organic orchardists they are harvesting some really nice crops. We are fortunate to bring you the first picking of their 2014 Gala apple. The fruit is small, but it is Colorado sweet because of the cold mountain nights that bring on more sugar than fruit grown in climates that don’t have the “chill hours”.
We also continue to get delicious organic peaches from Brant and Carol. They have a firm commitment to good land stewardship. They use a blend of old and new technology to keep their soil fertile, control pests, and keep their trees healthy and productive. One of their most successful techniques is simply being observant. Brant claims that if you are in your orchard all the time, and you really know your orchard, it’s possible to detect potential problems and nip them in the bud. It is the care that the whole Harrison family puts into their peaches that sets them apart. At their orchard on the western slopes of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, it is a family affair. The whole family including their sons, parents and nephews, work side by side to grow these excellent peaches. The mountainous location and unique climate of their farm make it perfect for growing delicious peaches. At almost 4800 ft. in elevation, the orchard’s water supply comes from melting snowpack high in the Rockies. This snowmelt joins the Colorado River and flows down the slope of Grand Mesa where the Brant and Carol tap into it to irrigate their orchards. The hot days and cool nights in their river valley bring the peaches to the peak of flavor and juiciness. Eat these quickly they are tree ripe and will be ready to eat when you get them or within just a day or two. They are delicious alone or sliced and served with any breakfast, cereal, waffles, pancakes. If they are getting to soft for you, wash the peach fuzz off of them, then slice them off the pit and put them in a freezer bag. We like to use these frozen peaches in a smoothie. They are also great for baking and grilling. Enjoy!
The Thompson grapes this week are from Three Sisters Farm, owned by Joe and Johnni. Located near Fresno, CA, they use beneficial grasses and flowers – especially poppies – as cover crops, making their vineyard exceptionally beautiful. Three Sisters has been certified organic since 1981, but even before Joe and Johnni began farming, Joe’s parents owned the farm. Some of the vines are over 80 years old! As the Thompson hang on the vine longer they develop more sugars and begin to change colors from green to yellow. These late season Thompson will be some of the sweetest green grapes you ever eat.
The Stennes grew the Dapple Dandy pluots in your box today. Like many of our organic growers, the Stennes family farm in Washington’s Cascade Mountains is a family affair. The farm began in 1894, when the Stennes family emmigrated from Norway and planted apple trees on their homestead. Now, Keith is joined by his twin sons, Mark and Kevin to make up the third and fourth generations of Stennes farmers. They have grown the orchard to include not just apples, but also cherries, pluots, plums, pears. Soon we will see various apple and pear varieties from them. Honeycrisp apples are just around the corner and then Concorde pears a couple of favorites.
Health and Wellness
Our philosophy of having a certain fruit like blueberries, cherries, grapes, pluots, Colorado peaches etc in the box more than once or twice in a row is as follows. We pick the windows of time when each fruit is great and peaking. They are a very high value crops and appreciated by most so we really want to get them to you while they are happening. Blueberries are all done now until next June and I miss eating 1-3 pints a day, as I do during the season. The cherries and peaches are the same way. They are such a short window all year that we try to put the focus on that fruit which is really at its prime. Cherries are now done and gone and I will miss them until next July. Colorado peaches will wrap up in Mid September and then apples and pears start coming on strong. You get your first taste of new crop apples today. I know this can be difficult to understand when you can find fruit all year round now in the stores, but just think of the apples that are in the stores now from Chile, Argentina, New Zealand. These apples are over 8 months old and you will see them in the stores into February when they are over a year old! We work hard to keep a good mix of fruit in your box, but I am always conscious of keeping it in season and at its peak. Thank you so much for your continued support.
Rustic Gingered Peach Tart
Heat oven to 400°F.
Combine 4 medium peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches; 1/4 cup sugar; and 1/4 tsp ground ginger in medium skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring gently, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Place a store-bought 9″ piecrust on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Mound peaches in center. Fold edges up and over filling, leaving center exposed.
Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serves 6.
Nutrition (per serving): 227 cal, 2 g pro, 36 g carb, 1 g fiber, 9.5 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 187 mg sodium
Courtesy of Prevention Magazine
Chilled Peach Shooters
Combine 1/4 cup honey, 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 12 ice cubes, and 3 medium peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches in blender. Puree until smooth.
Pour into 8 shot glasses and garnish each with a peach slice. Serves 8.
Nutrition (per serving): 55 cal, 1 g pro, 15 g carb, 1 g fiber, 0 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 1 mg sodium
Courtesy of Prevention Magazine
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