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

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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

The Value of Youth Labor in the Fields

Keith Wilson, owner and operator of King Fresh Produce told his three sons early on that they could earn money working and contributing to the operations of the King Fresh Produce, the family business. Initially the boys thought their contribution would start in the office; filing, running errands, and doing other tasks, however, their father said no. According to Keith, to fully understand the business it starts in the field–working the dirt, planting, growing the crop, and harvesting. The sons were told “Field work begins in the morning so be at there at 5:30 AM tomorrow morning.” Keith told them to not forget a hat and to wear a long sleeve shirt to not get sun burned.

“Working in the fields helped me learn the value of a dollar. It makes me think if I buy something it took me this many hours to earn what I am purchasing.” Zachary Wilson, 15 years old said.

Working in the fields can be overwhelming. These young men have to wake up early in the morning since it is over 90 degrees by 10 or 11 AM.  After working in the fields for King Fresh for two summers now, Zachary is interested in working in other parts of the company.

“Working in the fields makes me realize how much an education is worth. I need to go to college because I do not want to limit myself to a manual labor job. I love working outside but having to crawl into a grape vineyard doesn’t sound appealing to me to do for the rest of my life.” Brenden Wilson, 16 years old said.

kfpvineyards

Adolescents understand that the jobs available today if only receiving a high school degree are likely to be filling orders, manual labor, and moving boxes.  More and more teens believe that receiving a bachelor’s degree is the first step in moving up in the social and economic ladder.

This generation sees education in a different light compared to the older generation who decided to go to work right out of high school. It seems necessary to earn a higher education to open the door to more prestigious jobs and higher earnings. The focus on earning a higher education’s provides our generation with a feeling of security.

Working in the fields at King Fresh Produce as  young adults has been a beneficial experience for Brenden and Zachary. They enjoy seeing their projects through and visualizing the positive effects they have on the company. They realize the small things they are accomplishing can have a huge effect on the company. They will carry the lessons they learned in the field with them throughout their life and never forget their summers spent in the fields.

-Paige Wilson

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!!

EAT HEALTHY–Seven Steps To A Healthier, Happier YOU!

Eat-Healthy

It’s a new year, and we’re sharing seven simple ways you can maximize your health and happiness in 2015!

1-Start The Day Right  Kick-start and energize your day by eating a breakfast that has at least 4 grams of protein. Also eat at least 4 grams of fiber, which will help you maintain a healthy weight and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Oatmeal with fruit is a good choice, and surprisingly, even some grab-and-go breakfast bars and other prepared foods offer good numbers.

2-Snack Sensibly  Snacking between meals has its benefits, sure…but only if you snack smart.  Be mindful of how much you are eating.  Keep healthy snacks on hand so you aren’t lured into a poor substitute.  Nuts and dried fruits are great choices.

3-Ditch Empty Calories  Sugary drinks are loaded with empty calories.  Limit your liquid calories by swapping sodas and sports/energy drinks for fruit and vegetable juices…or better yet–water!

4-Fresh Picked Diet  Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal.  These fantastic foods will help you feel full while providing loads of vitamins and nutrients.

5-Sugar Is NOT The Enemy  Put a limit on how much sugar you consume, but don’t cut out the sweets entirely.  Try satisfying your craving for sweets with fresh fruit.  Grapes are great!

6-Add Activity  Good health is much more than just the meals or snacks you eat.  A healthy body also requires activity.  You were made to move.  A brisk walk is just the ticket; take the stairs instead of the elevator and choose a parking spot further away from your destination, if you’re not interested in a full workout.  Every little bit of movement helps!

7-Shop The Perimeter  Did you know changing your shopping habits is an easy way to improve your diet?  Instead of spending so much time in the middle of the grocery store (where most processed foods line the shelves!) shop around the store’s perimeter.  This is where you’ll find the fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, and other items that are processed very little…or not at all.

Here’s to your health in 2015!  *Happy New Year!*