Category: Featured Produce

Beets

Beets

Beets are filled with good things.  High in fiber, vitamins A and C, and surprisingly, more iron than most other vegetables, including spinach!  They also contain calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and folic acid.  The pigments that give beets their signature coloring are strong antioxidants. (more…)

Peppers

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers belong to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family of plants, along with chili pepper, cayenne pepper, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes (except sweet potatoes and yams).  Their scientific name is Capsicum annuum.  This scientific name, however, is used to refer not only to bell peppers, but also to wax peppers, cayenne peppers, chili peppers, and jalapeno peppers. (more…)

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

The tomato, like the eggplant, is a member of the Solanaceae, or Nightshade family.  Tomatoes are native to western South America, but were cultivated in Mexico by Mexican Indians, who were intrigued by its resemblance to the tomatillo – a staple in their cuisine.  With the discovery of the New World, tomato seeds were brought back to Spain, beginning the introduction of the fruit into Europe.  Tomatoes made their way to North America with the colonists who first settled in Virginia. (more…)

Eggplant

Eggplant

Eggplant is a member of the Solanaceae, or “nightshade,” family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers, and potatoes. As you already noticed, they come in a variety of shapes and colors. While the varieties exhibit slightly different tastes and textures, generally eggplants have a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. (more…)

Rainbow Carrots

Rainbow Carrots

Did you know that carrots are not originally orange?  That’s right.  The original carrot, which dates back more than 4.000 years to Afghanistan, was purple.  The orange carrot didn’t come into being until about 400 years ago, when Dutch farmers bred the carrot to be orange – their country’s color.  Today, carrots have been bred in a rainbow of colors, which makes them much more fun to eat, not to mention, more nutritious. (more…)

Onions

Onions

Onions are part of the allium family of vegetables and herbs, which also includes chives, garlic, scallions, and leeks. Allium vegetables have been cultivated for centuries for their characteristic, pungent flavors and for their medicinal properties – these vegetables have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, including stomach and colorectal. A nutrient-dense food, onions are low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. (more…)

Green Beans

Beans

Green beans, also known as snap beans because they “snap” when broken, are harvested when young, when the beans inside the pod are small and tender and the pods are thin. They are very low in calories and loaded with vitamins K, A, and C, fiber, folate and anti-oxidants. Interestingly, green beans were originally cultivated in Peru and were then spread throughout Central and South America by Indian tribes. Spanish explorers brought them back from the “New World” to Europe in the 16th century, and from there they spread around the world. (more…)

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Corn, also known as “maize”, is one of the most important cereal crops grown around the world.  Farmers differentiate “sweet” corn – varieties grown as food – from other varieties used for animal feed, industrial use, or products like flour, corn syrup, and popcorn.  Corn was originally domesticated starting around 9000 years ago in south-central Mexico, with early farmers selecting favorable traits from the wild teosinte plant.  By the time of European colonization in the 15th century, corn had spread across the Americas and become a major food source for the indigenous population. (more…)

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Welcome to Summer Squash season!  As you may have noticed already, summer squash appears in a variety of shapes and colors, the most prevalent being the well-known green zucchini, the straight or crooked necked yellow squash, and the round, flat, often scalloped edge, patty pan squash.  All these varieties are tender, warm-season vegetables that differ from their fall and winter cousins in that they are selected to be harvested while still immature.  Thus, the entire vegetable, rind, flesh, and seeds, can be eaten. (more…)

Spinach

Spinach

Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach provide more nutrients than any other food.  Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia.  Spinach made its way to China in the 7th century when the king of Nepal sent it as a gift to this country.  Spinach has a much more recent history in Europe than many other vegetables.  It was only brought to that continent in the 11th century, when the Moors introduced it into Spain.  In fact, for a while, spinach was known as “the Spanish vegetable” in England. (more…)