Seasonal Produce Guides

Strawberries Top List of Pesticide-Laden Produce

Strawberries in a bowl

One of your kid’s favorite fruits is hiding a dirty secret. Of all the fresh fruits and vegetables available for sale in the United States, sweet, sun-kissed strawberries are the most likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues, according to the Environmental Working Group’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Contributed by Megan Boyle. Reprinted by permission of The Environmental Working Group (EWG). more→

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Great Ways to Use Baby Spinach all Year Round

Fresh spinach in a bowl

When vegetables are rated in terms of overall nutritional value, spinach is usually among the powerhouse veggies that top the list. It’s vitamin-rich and a good source of iron and fiber. Baby spinach is convenient to use since you need not stem or chop it. Baby spinach bought at the supermarket often comes in bags or plastic boxes marked “triple washed,” meaning that sand and grit isn’t much of a worry. Yet if this convenient type of spinach isn’t organic, skip it.

Unfortunately, spinach almost always appears at the top of another kind of list—the list of top ten produce items to avoid in non-organic form. Even if you buy it organic, always give it a good rinse, just to be on the safe side. No matter what, baby spinach is one of the most versatile veggies on the planet. Here are several ways to make the most of it. more→

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Five Fantastic Okra Recipes

Okra rice soup

Okra is a traditional spring vegetable, especially loved in American Southern cuisine, to which it came by way of Africa. Admittedly, it’s a love it or hate it kind of veggie, with very little in between. If you enjoy okra, you’ll love these five flavorful ways to use it. A true Southern classic, Okra-Rice Soup (shown above) is a wonderfully complex blend of flavors and textures—thanks mainly to the unique character of okra. more→

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Bok Choy: The Crispy, Healthy, and Versatile Vegetable

Seared baby bok choy

Of all Asian greens, bok choy is likely the most widely known and available in Western markets. Here’s a guide to how to use it lightly cooked or raw. The term “bok choy” is used to somewhat generically describe the larger kind, with the crisp white stalks and dark leaves. Baby bok choy is a smaller version of the former variety, with stems and leaves of a fairly uniform, pale green hue.Think of either kind as two-for-the-price-of-one item — a crisp veggie and leafy greens in one neat package. more→

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Getting to Know and Love Fennel

Quinoa, fennel, and cranberry salad

Fennel is a fall and winter vegetable that’s often overlooked — given its distinctive demeanor, that’s kind of surprising. Unlike the homely root vegetables associated with cold weather, fennel is a festive green amalgam of bulb, stalks, and feathery leaves.The stalks bring to mind celery, and the leaves call forth dill. Fennel has played its greatest culinary role in the cuisines of Italy and France, where it has long been a beloved kitchen and garden vegetable. more→

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5 Root Vegetables to Put on Your Radar

Roasted root vegetable medley

A wider variety of vegetables have become available year-round than once was the case. Fresh green leafy veggies can be had throughout the winter; decent tomatoes and asparagus are a lot easier to find in the winter than they used to be. Still, the one category of veggies seems more fitting to cold-weather meals are the root vegetables. And root vegetables are still more plentiful and prevalent in the fall and winter than they are in spring and summer.  more→

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August 2015 Produce Picks: 5 Fruits and Veggies to Use Now

Buy local tomatoes

Tomatoes – August is all about tomatoes, as they never taste better than they do this month. Enjoy luscious late summer tomatoes to their fullest by exploring what VegKitchen has to offer. Fresh salsas, salads pastas, cold soups, sauces, pizzas and much more are better with summer tomatoes and these ideas are at your fingertips: more→

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July 2015 Produce Picks: 5 Fruits and Vegetables to Use Now

Apricots on table

Apricots – with all the melons and berries bursting onto the markets, don’t forget about the stone fruits, especially apricots. These diminutive, smooth fruits often get overlooked, and there’s more to do with them aside from eating out of hand or using in fruit salads, in both sweet and savory preparations. Here are a few: more→

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