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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 3/4/2018)

Portabello Mushrooms:

Did you know a single Portabella can contain more potassium than a banana? They’re versatile in the kitchen, too. Flip the caps over, place in a baking dish, drizzle on some olive oil, stuff with veggies (try spinach and tomatoes, with mozzarella for a spin on caprice) or cooked grains such as quinoa and bake until tender about 20 minutes at 425F. You can also slice them up and added to salad or cooked in a skillet with some onion and garlic as a yummy sautéed topping for a breakfast, lunch or dinner plate. Portabellos are a great substitute in recipes calling for steak. Seriously, ask one of your Vegan friends. ? So, get out there and eat some fungus already!

Asparagus:

Asparagus is best cooked as fresh as possible but if you need to store it for 3 to 4 days treat it like a bouquet of flowers. Trim a small amount from the bottoms of the stalks with a sharp knife and place them in a tall glass with a little water in the bottom. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator. This will keep the stalks firm and crisp until you are ready to cook them.

To prepare; the smallest spears will only need to have their very bottoms trimmed off before cooking. However, the bottom portions of larger asparagus spears can be chewy and woody; they will either need to be snapped off or peeled. To snap off the tough portion, simply grasp the stalk with both hands and bend the bottom portion until it breaks off. The asparagus will naturally break off at the point where the tender portion ends and the tough, stringy part begins.

Zucchini:

Zucchini is more often used as a cooking vegetable but is also be enjoyed raw. It makes a great addition to salad or veggie trays with dip. When sent through the spiralizer this vegetable makes a sort of noodle which is often used as a substitute in paleo diets in spaghetti or noodle soup. To cook, simply heat oil over medium heat (sauté a little onion or garlic before adding the zucchini if desired), add zucchini noodles and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened. If you don’t own a spiralizer you can use a vegetable peeler and make long, flat noodles instead of round ones.

Serve as the bed to your pasta sauce and meatballs or add to your favorite vegetable soup.

 

Featured Recipe:

Portabello Baked Eggs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 large Portabello mushrooms, stem removed, wiped clean

Olive oil spray

½ teaspoon garlic powder

4 medium eggs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

4 tablespoons chopped parsley OR spinach ribbons for garnish

Salt & Pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

Preheat broiler to high. Set oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet.

Spray the mushroom caps with olive oil cooking spray on both sides. Sprinkle evenly with kosher salt and pepper and ¼ teaspoon of the garlic powder. Broil 5 minutes on each side, or until just tender.

Remove mushrooms from oven. Drain any liquids. Switch oven from broil to bake, setting temperature to 400 degrees F.

Break an egg into each mushroom. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 15 minutes, until egg whites are cooked.

Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Garnish with parsley or spinach and serve.                                                                                                                             

 

Adapted from recipe by healthyrecipesblogs.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/6/17)

This week’s How to Eat Your BOX and recipe brought to you by Ashley Rodriguez.

 

Green Beans:

I’m not one to eat green beans raw like my children although thinly sliced and added to green salads is a fine vegetal bite but the truth is my favorite way to eat green beans is when they are deeply tender and sweet.

This year I’ve discovered grilled green beans and that is now my favorite way to enjoy them.

Roasting is also a good choice when you don’t want to turn on the grill. Roast until thoroughly crisp and they’ve nearly shriveled down to nearly nothing. Dress in a simple vinaigrette and serve alongside anything.

When blanching green beans be sure to make the water taste of the sea. This will not only provide an adequate seasoning for the beans but also help to preserve the texture.

Zucchini:

Raw, roasted, sautéed, grilled – I love it all.

Use a vegetable peeler to shave long thin strips of raw zucchini. Toss with basil, olive oil, lemon juice or red wine vinegar and a heap of halved cherry tomatoes. Finish with fresh feta or goat cheese if you’d like.

Grilled zucchini steaks make a lovely accompaniment to grilled chicken, steak, or fish. Top with a fine chop of fresh herbs (basil, mint and chives are nice options), lemon zest, and garlic. Thin with a bit of olive oil.

Whenever you grill zucchini brush with plenty of olive oil and be sure to use a good bit of salt.

Small tender zucchini is best for eating raw or for a quick sauté. Larger zucchini can tend to lose some of its sweetness but are perfect for baking.

 

Grilled Green Beans with Basil Gremolata and Parmesan Brittle

This recipe is from my next book – yet to be titled. It uses my current favorite cooking method for green beans; grilling. While warm and freshly charred the green beans are tossed in a fragrant basil gremolata (an herb sauce laced with lemon, garlic and sometimes anchovy). It’s then topped with crispy baked Parmesan that you will want to put on all the things.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup basil leaves, finely minced

Zest and juice from 1 lemon

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Flake salt

1 cup crumbled Parmesan Brittle (recipe below)

Bring a large stock pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Blanch the beans just until their color shifts, about 2 minutes. Shock them to halt the cooking process by adding them to the ice water. I find a spider – the tool often used when frying – is the best for retrieving the beans from the boiling water. Or tongs.

Drain the cooled beans and toss with the olive oil and sea salt. Grill over high heat until the beans are tender and deeply charred in parts.

In a large bowl combine the basil, lemon zest and juice, and garlic clove. Toss the warm beans in the gremolata. Taste a bean and add flake salt or more sea salt if needed.

Turn out the beans onto a platter and finish with the Parmesan Brittle.

*To prevent the beans from falling into the cavernous grill set a wire cooling rack (not rubber coated) over the grill grates and place the beans on the wire rack.

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 7/2/17)

Rainier Cherries:

Although you’ll quite likely find yourself eating them straight from the bag that they traveled to your home from, you should also try serving cherries with dinner over ice. The ice slowly melts into the bottom of the bowl, dragging some of the buoyed little fruits with them. Those ones are the best – completely cold and crisp throughout, melting away the summer heat from the inside.

Fun Fact: The light skin and delicate nature of Rainiers occasionally leaves light brown spots on the skin. This is not a flaw, but actually an extra-sweet sugar spot.

Beets:

Beets are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually, I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375° for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done).  But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed or steamed as well so don’t throw them out! Don’t let cook them too long though or they’ll get slimy.

Zucchini:

Zucchini is more often used as a cooking vegetable but can easily be enjoyed raw. It makes a great salad when sent through the spiralizer and tossed with carrots, cucumber, and snow peas. Like cucumbers, zucchini is good when marinated for a couple hours in the fridge. Simply toss in lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, cover and let sit in the fridge for a time. Add freshly chopped basil or parsley right before serving.

 

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies are the number one thing I bake for my kids during summer and when I saw zucchini on the menu this week, I knew I needed to share this recipe with you all! These Zucchini Breakfast Cookies are ideal for active, hungry kids.

If you can keep some old-fashioned oats, coconut oil, honey, salt and cinnamon on hand—-you’re well on your way. Often, we add in smashed bananas (also on the menu this week!), peanut butter, apple sauce (or diced fresh apples), dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips.

My kids aren’t huge zucchini lovers so when I discovered that they’d gobble these, my day was made. I hope you try them out and that your people love them, too!

Ingredients:

 

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

dash of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Photo: © 2017 Northwest Healthy Mama. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Directions:

Grate the zucchini and put it in a bowl.

Sprinkle in a dash of salt and add in the cinnamon.

Measure in the honey.

Melt the coconut oil and then pour it in, stirring everything together well.

Add in the oats and flour. Stir well.

Lastly, gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are set and starting to lightly brown around the edges.

Notes: Feel free to add in raisins, peanut butter, nuts or dried fruit!

By Angela Strand

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/15/17)

Cucumber:

Apart from cucumber salad, cucumbers make a fun and refreshing topping to sandwiches! Whether it’s the traditional open faced cucumber and cream cheese with dill that they serve at showers, diced cucumber with tomato, onions and feta cheese wrapped in a pita bread, or simply sliced cucumber on your average, every day sandwich, I love the added crunch and fresh flavor it adds. Cucumber is also perfect in salsas, grain or pasta salads, egg salads or simply raw as a finger food. I like eating mine with a spritz of lemon and salt.

Zucchini:

I must admit, I didn’t use to like zucchini, However, what I’ve come to realize more and more (as about all produce), is that the problem often isn’t what it is, but how it’s cooked. Now I absolutely love zucchini because I’ve discovered ways I like to eat it. Firstly, I enjoy it raw! Who knew? 🙂 It’s great in salads or as a finger food with dip. I also like adding it to stir fry or making zucchini patties (which are amazing!). The key for me was to shred or “noodle” my zucchini when I cooked it. Chopping it into chunks always yielded the same mushy texture that just didn’t suit me. Whereas if I shredded it, suddenly it was a whole new experience! Make sure not to cook it too long or it might turn to mush. I always add it last to my stir fry or as the noodle to my “spaghetti”. It only needs to cook for about a minute or so. Try experimenting with zucchini this week to find how you like it best!

Cauliflower:

There are so many ways to use this vegetable that I don’t even know where to start. It can be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. The options are endless! You don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet at 450°F. for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks up all the other flavors. Healthy cauliflower recipes.

Brussels Sprouts:

The first time I ever tasted caramelized Brussels sprouts I was hooked! Below, I show you how I like to roast them in the oven, but they also caramelize well when sautéed!

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim off the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts (don’t take off too much or they fall apart) and outer leaves and slice lengthwise. Toss with olive oil (about a tablespoon), salt, pepper, and mix until coated thoroughly. Roast on a baking sheet until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. They can be served as is or for a little extra flavor, try drizzling balsamic vinegar or lemon juice on top. Mix together and add salt to taste.

Celeriac:

Celery root or celeriac is prized for its distinctive flavor which is somewhere between celery and parsley. Although cooked celery root is excellent in soups, stew, and other hot dishes, it can also be enjoyed raw, especially grated and tossed in salads. Raw celery root has an intense flavor that tends to dominate salads, so pair it with other strongly flavored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, beets, and apples. Before using celery root, peel and soak briefly in water with a little vinegar or lemon juice to prevent cut surfaces from darkening.

Recipe for: Mashed Celeriac

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Rustic Vegetables

 

INGREDIENTS:
 
– Assorted hard vegetables: KFF beets, carrots, red bell peppers, zucchini, KFF green beans, garlic, etc.
 
– 2 tablespoons Extra Virging Olive Oil
 
– Salt, pepper and dried dill to taste
 
PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 425. Cut vegetables into bit size pieces, leaving garlic whole. Toss vegetables in oil, salt, pepper and dried dill. Bake in a roasting pan for 20-25 minutes. I covered with foil for the first 15 minutes, then uncovered to let brown in the oven.
 
Recipe source: http://www.thecleaneatingmama.com/2011/06/rustic-vegetables.html
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The Summer “Crunch”

 

Pickles and summer go together like cherries and ice, ice cream and sticky faces, picnics and grass stains, and sweet and tangy relish on a hot-off-the grill burger. Crisp dill-infused spears of zucchini use up the inevitable glut of the loved and loathed summer squash. Blushed tangy purple onions that kick up the juiciest of tacos. Sweet and sour cherries next to creamy cheeses spread over crackers at a grown-up picnic.
 
Notice I didn’t even mention little dimpled cucumbers? Usually when the topic of pickles comes up, dill pickles or bread and butter pickles seem the most pressing choice, but in our house pickles come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve pickled peaches, onions, cherries, strawberries, prunes, zucchini, fennel, carrots and peppers. 
 
My other standard practice in pickling is to skip the water bath. I stick to small batches and store them in the fridge. Refrigerator pickles come together quickly and are a clever way to use up the bountiful produce available this time of year.  
 
My recipe in this newsletter uses a mix of summer vegetables: zucchini, carrots and fennel. The spices and herbs can be altered to your desire. In under 20 minutes you’ll have a fridge loaded with fresh pickles. I can’t seem to wait more than a day to start enjoying them, but if you are more patient than I, then a few days bathing in the potent brine will do the vegetables well. 
 
Use these pickles as a bright summer appetizer, alongside a grilled burger or as a healthful snack. Once you’ve discovered the simplicity and delight of fridge pickles, it’s quite possible there will be little room in the refrigerator for anything else. Not a bad problem to have, I’d say.
 
MIXED VEGETABLE FRIDGE PICKLES
 
Ingredients: 
2 zucchini
2 carrots
1 fennel bulb (with fronds attached) 
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon whole coriander
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons mustard seed
½ teaspoon chili flakes
3 Tablespoon kosher salt, divided
1 ¼ cup water
2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar 
 
Directions:
Cut the zucchini into spears that fit the height of the jars you are using. Place the spears in a bowl with ice water and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of the salt. Submerge the zucchini in the water, weighing them down with a plate. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will keep the spears crisp when pickled.
 
Cut the carrots in the same manner as the zucchini. Slice the fennel in ¼” pieces, reserving the fennel fronds. Set vegetables aside.
In a saucepan combine the remaining ingredients, including the 2 Tablespoons salt. Bring to a simmer then turn off heat.
 
Place the cut vegetables in clean jars. Add a couple pieces of fennel frond to the jar(s).
 
Carefully pour the hot brine over the vegetables until submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day. Well-sealed refrigerator pickles will keep for 1 month.
 
*NOTE: While I have never had the experience of making classic cucumber based pickles I do have discerning tastes and have garnered highly opinionated perspectives on a good pickle in which I am happy to share with you. A good pickle is well balanced with a bright vinegar bite, I like a touch of heat and nice balance of salt with a whisper of sweetness. The greatest classic pickle I ever met had all these things plus a satisfying crunch that is hard to find in a homemade pickle. The key was a grape leaf tucked into the jar. Apparently grape leaves have a substance that inhibits the enzymes that soften the pickles. The source of these enzymes is located in the blossom end of the cucumber, so you could simply remove that part and achieve the same affect.
 
Makes one quart.
Inspired by Bon Appetit, August 2011
 
by Ashley Rodriguez
 
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Fresh This Week Tips – July 26, 2011

KIWIS

STORE: Place unripe kiwis in a paper bag with an apple, pear or banana at room temperature for a few days. These fruits give off ethylene gas, which helps accelerate ripening.

USE: Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit speckled with tiny black seeds adds a tropical flair to any fruit salad. Of course, kiwis are also delicious eaten straight out of their skin.

PREP: Wash the kiwi and dry lightly with a paper towel. Cut the kiwi in half so that you have two oval kiwi halves. Hold one kiwi half in your hand and slip the tip of a metal serving spoon just under the kiwi skin. Slide the spoon along the curve of the kiwi to separate the kiwi fruit from the skin. Slice the kiwi half into 1/4-inch slices.

PEACHES

STORE: Even firm, unripe peaches are delicate, so handle them carefully to avoid bruising. Ripen hard fruits at room temperature, stem-side down, until the flesh feels soft when pressed and they begin to emit a subtle fragrance. Refrigerate peaches only after they’ve ripened, which can prolong freshness for up to 5 days.

USE: Try grilling or roasting peaches for an excellent accompaniment to pork, fish, and chicken.

PREP: If baking, look for freestone peaches, whose pits are easier to remove. To slice, cut through to the pit all the way around the seam, twisting each half to dislodge the stone. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can prevent sliced fruit from browning. To remove the fuzzy skins before baking, submerge whole fruits in boiling water for 10 seconds, then slip off the skins.

ZUCCHINI:

STORE: Refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.

USE: A component of ratatouille, zucchini is also good grilled, roasted, steamed, pan-fried, or raw. It also adds a boost to sweet breads and muffins.

PREP: Wash zucchini by gently rubbing them under cool water. Slice off both ends of the zucchini. Cut them into rounds, spears or half moons.

Start your morning off right with this interesting recipe, courtesy of Gojee.com, for Zucchini Pancakes.

RECIPE: ZUCCHINI PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed

PROCEDURE:

  • Shred the zucchini and onion on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor with the shredding disk. Place the shredded vegetables in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to combine. Let drain for 30 minutes, then pick up by the handful and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place on a kitchen towel or double layer of paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, garlic, cheese, herbs, lemon zest, and pepper. Beat well with a fork. Add the drained zucchini mixture and mix together. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top and mix with a fork just until well combined.
  • Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy pan. When the oil is hot, drop the batter into the pan by heaping tablespoonful. Cook for about three minutes on the first side, until nicely browned. Flip and cook for about two minutes more. Place the cooked pancakes on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining oil and batter. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, sour cream, tzatziki or applesauce.

Enjoy!

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Vegetable Stir Fry

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic scapes, chopped
2 tablespoons peanut sauce
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced green cabbage
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup fresh snap peas
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced tomato
1 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Add garlic and peanut sauce, and stir-fry for 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in broccoli, carrots, cabbage, celery, snap peas, zucchini, tomato, and green onions. Season with salt, and stir-fry for 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together water, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Stir into vegetables, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.
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Fresh This Week Tips – June 21, 2011

GINGER:

STORE: Fresh ginger will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer. Since freezing makes it easier to peel, slice and crush, you might as well freeze it as soon as you get it.

USE: Ginger can be used in Indian curries, and in Chinese, Japanese, and European spice blends, or in the always-popular ginger snap cookie! You can also add ginger flavor without any texture by juicing the root. Extract juice from a small piece of ginger by putting it through a garlic press. A juicer can handle much bigger chunks and extra juice can be frozen in ice cube trays.

PREP: To properly prep ginger, start by taking a “hand” and separate it into “fingers” Cut off any protruding “nubs” with your knife and then peel with the edge of a soup spoon using a downward scraping motion. Using the edge of a spoon is not only quicker, but it will result in a better yield since all that’s being removed is the ginger’s paper-thin skin. Next, cut the peeled ginger “finger” into round chunks about a quarter to a half inch thick. Using a traditional mincing motion, mince ginger to desired size.

ZUCCHINI:

STORE: Keep the zucchini in a cool place and store, if needed, in a perforated plastic bag. That will allow this vegetable to last approximately a week without perishing. Don’t store a zucchini in the refrigerator if at all possible. The cold inside the unit is not the best environment for a zucchini and can prematurely age it. Fresh zucchini doesn’t freeze very well. So if you want to freeze it, cook it in a recipe and then freeze the dish.

USE: Zucchini’s make a great and colorful addition to almost any dish. Whether you chop them up and roast them in a hot oven with olive oil and salt. They go well with tomatoes and onions, and add some herbs like oregano or thyme if you like. Or consider cutting them in half, scooping out the seeds and making zucchini boats to cook in the oven. The beauty is they can be stuffed with almost anything.

PREP: When it comes to preparing zucchini’s, the beautiful thing about this vegetable is that it’s hard to go wrong. Dicing, slicing, or mincing, this vegetable tastes great with the outer layer on or off. Simply rinse it off with water and enjoy them raw, cooked, boiled, or roasted.

KIWI:

STORE: Kiwis are a very simple fruit to please. You can keep a ripe kiwi for several days in your fruit bowl at room temperature. If you’re looking to keep it for an extended period of time, putting it in the refrigerator will make it last up to four weeks. When you’re ready for it, bring it out and allow it to ripen.

USE: Kiwis are a beautiful fruit and their sweet, green insides look fantastic when combined with raspberries, blueberries, oranges, and other fruits. They’re terrific pureed! You can use the puree to sweeten strawberries or raspberries, drizzle it over ice cream, or put it in ice cube trays, freeze, and eat like sorbet (there’s no need to add sugar).

PREP: While some believe you need to peel a kiwi in order to eat it, let us be the first to tell you, you don’t! Simply washing a kiwi will suffice. The thin brown skin does not taste bitter, and it holds the fruit together for eating out of hand.

KIWI ICE POPS:

Ingredients:

–  1 3/4 cup(s) water

–  1 cup(s) sugar

–  4  kiwis

–  1/2 cup(s) (about 4 limes) fresh lime juice

Directions:

    1. Make the syrup: Combine 1 cup of water with the sugar in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Set aside to cool.
    2. Make the ice pops: Using a paring knife, cut kiwis into quarters, peel, and remove the white core and seeds from each piece. Place the seeded kiwi pieces in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée to a liquid — about 1 minute.
    3. Combine the puréed kiwi, 3/4 cup syrup, lime juice, and remaining 3/4 cup water in a large bowl.
    4. Pour the mixture into molds and freeze until solid, for about 6 hours.

      *Recipe courtesy of Countryliving.com

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      Fresh This Week Tips 05.03.11

      Cameo Apples: Cameo apples have stormed onto the apple scene with their deep juicy flavor and crisp crunch.

      STORE:

      Keep apples as cold as possible in the refrigerator. Apples do not freeze until the temperature drops to 28.5 degrees F. If the apple skin wrinkles when you rub your thumb across it, the apple has probably been in cold storage too long or has not been kept cool.

      USE: Great for cooking, especially soon after harvest when it still retains some tart hints to its otherwise sweet character.

      Cucumbers:

      Available all year-round, cumbers are a member of the gourd family, along with melons, squash and pumpkins.

      STORE:

      Keep cucumbers tightly wrapped in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

      USE:

      With their cool sensation, cucumbers taste delicious raw—alone or in salads. What else can your cucumber give you? Pickles, of course! Check out this easy recipe for quick dill pickles!

      Quick Dill Pickles

      Ingredients:

      1 large cucumber

      1⁄2 cup plain rice wine vinegar

      2 tablespoons sugar

      1⁄4 teaspoon salt


      Directions:

      1. Thinly slice the cucumber and toss with

      the vinegar, sugar, and salt.

      2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

      3. Drain and serve.

      Zucchini: Zucchini—coming from the Italian word of zucca, meaning “squash”—is the most popular summer squash, possessing a light, delicate flavor.

      STORE: Store zucchini in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer four to five days and do not wash until just before you are ready to use it.

      USE: A component of ratatouille, zucchini is also good grilled, roasted, steamed, pan-fried, or raw. It also adds a boost to sweet breads and muffins. Zucchini is so versatile! If you haven’t “tried it all” with zucchini, do something different this week and try a new way of preparing them, just for fun!