Box Contents Week of August 15, 2021

August 15, 2021

Here's what we're delivering this week! Read on for produce descriptions, recipe suggestions, and more!

The Original: Cowpea greens, Texas Rose garlic, Pears, Bibb lettuce, Banana Peppers, Gold beets, Green beans, Peaches, Red slicer tomatoes

The Individual: Texas Rose garlic, Pears, Bibb lettuce, Banana peppers, Gold beets, Red slicer tomatoes

Note on tomatoes: Unfortunately, the tomatoes packed in your box this week are not local or organic. The partner from whom we ordered local tomatoes did not end up having them this week. We are working very hard to make sure we have systems in place so this does not happen again. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Note on garlic: There are a few boxes that do not have garlic. If you did not receive garlic in your box, then we packed extra green beans, tomatoes, or peaches instead! Again, we are working hard to make sure this doesn't happen and we thank you for your understanding in the meantime.

Cowpea greens from Fruitful Hill Farm

These delicious greens are from the cowpea plant which produce cowpeas, also known as black-eyed peas. (That's right, the very same!) Not only are the peas edible (and they bring good luck when eaten on New Year's), the greens are also delicious and full of proteins, vitamins such as provitamin A, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin C, and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Best of all, cowpeas do wonders for the soil! As legumes, they pull nitrogen out of the air and fix it into the soil, improving the health of the soil for seasons to come.

Wash and store: Wash the greens in a colander, pat dry, and store in a plastic bag or other airtight container in the crisper drawer of the fridge. They should hold 5-7 days in the fridge.

Prepare: Cowpea greens are best when cooked. They can be sautéed, braised, or used in a stir fry. Substitute cowpea greens in any recipe calling for cooked spinach, kale, or collards.

Texas Rose garlic from Fruitful Hill Farm

Texas Rose garlic is a softneck garlic with a beautiful color and a rich flavor. It is known for growing well in South and Central Texas due to its tolerance for hot spring weather. The garlic in your Good Apple box will be small, but small food deserves to be eaten too! We promise it will be just as big in flavor!

Wash and store: This garlic is cured, which means it will last outside of your fridge. Store it in a dry, dark area such as your kitchen cupboard. The unbroken bulb should last about three months. Once you break the garlic bulb to use the cloves, the remaining cloves will last about 10 days. To keep your garlic longer, try mincing it and freezing the minced garlic in olive oil using an ice cube tray.

Prepare: The easiest way to prepare garlic is to separate the cloves you want to use, then crush the cloves using the flat side of a heavy duty knife. The peel should remove easily this way! Then mince the insides for use in all of your favorite dishes.

Pears from Lightsey Farms

Most of the pears grown in Texas, including the ones in your Good Apple box, are actually Asian pears. Asian pear trees are more disease resistant and are relatively low maintenance. The fruit is more firm than European pears but it's just as delicious!

Wash and store: Asian pears will remain firm but will have a very slight give when ripe. Store ripe pears in the fridge and consume within 3-5 days. If the pears appear unripe, you can let them sit out at room temperature until they are ripe (set them next to bananas to speed up the process!).

Prepare: These pears are delicious raw, but try them chopped in a salad or baked into a cake for an extra special treat!

Bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi Farms

Bibb lettuce is mildly sweet with nutty flavors and buttery, crisp textures. This lettuce was grown hydroponically (in nutrient-rich water instead of soil) by Bella Verdi Farms, which is how we're able to get lettuce in the summer season!

Wash and store: Remove any damaged leaves, then chop off the base of the lettuce (including the root ball) so that the leaves are loose. Gently wash the leaves in a colander under low water pressure. Pat dry, then wrap the dried lettuce in a dry paper towel and store it in a plastic bag or other airtight container in the crisper drawer of the fridge. They should hold 5-7 days in the fridge.

Prepare: Once your lettuce is washed and dried, simply chop and add your favorite dressing and other salad toppings!

Banana peppers from Gundermann Acres

The banana pepper is a member of the chili pepper family, although it has a mild, tangy flavor--more like a bell pepper! Although usually sold when they're yellow, banana peppers can also be green, orange, red, or any combination of those colors depending on its ripeness.

Wash and store: Store peppers in the fridge before washing them! Added moisture will make them rot faster. Place them loose or in a mesh bag (not an airtight bag) in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Prepare: When you're ready to use them, simply wash and chop. If you'd like, you can even save the seeds to grow your own pepper plants!

Gold beets from Gundermann Acres

If you don't like red beets, we recommend that you give this one a try! Gold beets are sweeter and less earthy-tasting than red beets. They're also packed with nutrients! All beets are a great source of folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C, not to mention plenty of fiber and antioxidants.

Wash and store: Gently rub away any soil before storing your beets. Don't wash the beets before storing (or if you do, make sure to thoroughly dry them). Beets can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Prepare: Wash and trim off any remaining stem. You can peel the skin if you want to (doing so will remove some of the texture and earthy flavor), but it's healthy to eat! Beets are great roasted, boiled, pickled, raw, juiced... even baked into desserts! The possibilities are endless.

Green Beans from J & B Farms

Did you know that green beans are the unripe, young fruit of beans? Yep, they're the same thing! These beans are from J & B Farms, which started in 2001 as a farm specializing in Texas-grown green beans. Initially, they sold their fresh green beans from a truck without packaging, but now you can have them delivered to your door with Good Apple.

Wash and store: Store unwashed, whole green beans in a plastic bag or other airtight container is the crisper drawer of your fridge. They should last 7-10 days.

Prepare: Cut both ends off the green beans, then chop to your preferred length. Green beans are delicious cooked, but did you know you can also eat them raw with dip?

Peaches from Gundermann Acres

A summertime favorite, peaches are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and lots of other beneficial nutrients. The trees grow well all across Texas, but this week's peaches came to you by special delivery from Gundermann Acres. Although it's a diversified vegetable farm these days, Gundermann Acres actually started out in the 1980's as a peach orchard (the farm's original name was Peachland!).

Wash and store: If your peaches are firm to the touch, they may need a few more days to ripen before eating. Store them unwashed at room temperature until they are ripe enough to eat. Once ripe, we recommend eating them right away but you can also move them to the fridge to keep for a couple more days.

Prepare: Wash and enjoy! Seasonal fruits and veggies tend to go well together, so we highly recommend adding fresh peaches to your summer salads along with other seasonal favorites such as peppers, tomatoes, and corn.

Red slicer tomatoes

In Central Texas, tomato season starts in late May/early June and continues all the way through the fall. Tomatoes come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, but red slicing varieties are a long-time favorite. Did you know there are over 10,000 different varieties of tomatoes in the world?

Wash and store: Store tomatoes unwashed at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and stem-side down. Keep them in a single layer and don't store anything else on top of them. Consume quickly, we recommend within a couple of days! If you need to keep your tomatoes for a little bit longer you can store them in the fridge, but make sure you let them come to room temperature before eating.

Prepare: There are so many ways to prepare tomatoes, but we love them raw, sliced with a sprinkle of salt.

Fresh banana pepper salsa:

1) Finely chop banana peppers, 2 ripe tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, 1 jalapeño or Serrano pepper (or omit to cut the heat), 1 garlic clove, & 1/4 c. cilantro

2) In a bowl, combine all ingredients, along with lime juice & salt to taste

3) Let flavors come together in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving

Banana pepper quick-pickle:

1) Slice banana peppers into thin rings & add to a clean mason jar

2) In a saucepan, bring 3/4 c. apple cider or white vinegar & 3/4 c. water to boil

3) Add 2-3 minced garlic cloves + 1/2 tsp. salt to the mixture; remove from heat & stir to combine

4) Let cool 5-10 minutes, then pour mixture over banana peppers in jar

5) Once jar reaches room temp., cover with a well-fitted lid & place in fridge for 24-48 hours before opening. Your quick-pickled peppers should stay good in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!

Summertime tomato tart:

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F

2) Thaw 1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry

3) Slice tomatoes into 1/8 in. thick rounds & place in a single layer on top of paper towels; salt to remove excess moisture

4) In a bowl, combine 1/2 c. each mascarpone & goat cheese, 1 diced shallot, & 1/4 tsp. salt

5) Roll puff pastry into a thin square

6) Using a fork, prick the pastry a few times, distributed randomly across the top

7) Add cheese mixture in an even layer across the pastry, leaving a 1/2 in. border at edge

8) Add tomatoes in a single layer on top of cheese; sprinkle with salt

9) Bake for 30-35 minutes, broiling for the final 2-3

10) Top with fresh herbs like basil or mint or a drizzle of balsamic glaze & serve warm

Eat more veggies, do more good!

We want you to feel the impact of your purchase! For every produce box you buy, we send another to your neighbor in need. To date, we have donated over 30,000 Good Apple boxes to food-insecure families in Austin. Here's what one of our impact clients, Joseph, has to say:

The quality and quantity of food fluctuates being on a limited income. The stress lowers knowing you have healthy, as opposed to processed, foods. The timing could not be better as I am working on improving my health, which has been an issue for the past few years. I am very grateful and very appreciative of Good Apple!

Joseph uses a wheelchair and has been on a fixed income since 2010. Last year, Joseph had to have surgery on both of his shoulders and so he is unable to go to the grocery store independently. With Good Apple, he has been making lots of sautéed kale and squash seasoned with lemons and garlic. He also likes mixing fresh apple slices with mayo and chicken to make a California-style chicken salad.

We're so grateful to our customers like YOU that allow us to do this work! Thank you for choosing Good Apple, and always email us at contact@goodapplefoods.com if you have any feedback!