June: A Cherry Good Month for Fresh Produce

One of the best things about summer is the abundance and availability of fresh produce. Although it is now easier to buy fresh produce year round, to get the best deals on fruits that you love you should buy them when they are in season.

Right now is a great time to buy and enjoy California Cherries. Cherries are a versatile ingredient for pies, desserts, and more! They are also a sweet treat by Fresh_Cherry_Asparagus_Salad.jpgthemselves. For a delicious cherry and asparagus salad recipe to try this summer, click here! Even more awesome recipes that incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables can be found at the Fruits and Vegetables More Matters website.

Grapes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are also in season during the summer months. Remember to always try and fill half your plate with fresh produce, and to take advantage of the bountiful amount available during the summer! Check back at our blog throughout the summer for more yummy recipes!

Savannah Millburn

Grapes to the Rescue; A Vine New Twist on Heart Disease Prevention

wheezy grapesGrapes are always a delicious treat on a hot day and can be great additions to salads, desserts, and various other summer dishes. Loaded with health-boosting antioxidants and vitamins, grapes are also widely known for being a nutritious alternative to unhealthy sweets like candy and cookies. While we all know that fruit is an integral part of a healthy diet, did you know that grapes can actually lower the risk for heart disease?

New research being conducted by molecular biologist Susan Zunino with the Agricultural Research Service’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, CA would suggest that various compounds found in cherries have a positive effect on immune systems in obese people.  In a study conducted by Ms. Zunino, two groups of obese people drank either a mixture of water and freeze dried grape powder, or a placebo that contained no additional compounds. After the study, blood samples were taken and analyzed. The group that had received the compound had a marked difference in their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is commonly considered “bad cholesterol”.

Research has lead scientists to believe that increased consumption of LDL lowering fruits and vegetables can be helpful in reducing risk for heart disease in obese and at-risk people. Although more research is needed to determine exactly how different compounds in grapes and other fruit effect the body and onset of disease, it doesn’t take any molecular biology to know that King Fresh grapes are a tasty, juicy and health boosting treat that can be enjoyed year-round!  To read more about research being done about health, food safety, produce and more courtesy of the USDA, click here.

Savannah Millburn

Royal Rainbow-Carrot Ribbon Salad

Want to spice up your winter?  Well, I did, too…and I couldn’t resist these beautiful rainbow carrots with their vibrant, exciting colors that I came across recently at the PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in Anaheim, CA.   This absolutely gorgeous feast for the eyes and the tummy was inspired by their unique look!  The colors are amazing–deep purple, yellow, red, white, peach and of course orange. I decided to make a salad by shaving the carrots into ribbons using my vegetable peeler so I could showcase all the gorgeous colors inside. Surprisingly their flavor isn’t all that much different…some of the carrots might taste slightly sweeter than the others but you sure can’t beat the visual!  Enjoy!!
 inside-peel  carrot-salad
Rainbow Carrot Ribbon Salad
Ingredients
  • rainbow carrot ribbons
  • baby arugula (substitute kale if you like)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano ribbons
  • slivered red onion
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh basil
  • toasted pine nuts, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • light vinaigrette of your choice or see recipe below

Instructions

  1. Use a large bowl to toss and coat every thing completely then place your salad on a platter.
  2. VINAIGRETTE RECIPE:  3 parts good olive oil to 1 part wine vinegar, a splash of balsamic, 1 smashed garlic clove, a dollop of dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, ground pepper to taste. Whisk everything together.

    rainbowcarrotsalad

    Here’s to your health…and your senses!!