Box Contents Week of September 26, 2021

September 23, 2021

The Original: Avocados, limes, Gala apples, cilantro, arugula, yellow squash, pickling cucumbers, baby bok choy, purple potatoes or red potatoes

The Individual: Avocado, limes, cilantro, pickling cucumbers, baby bok choy, purple potatoes or red potatoes

Avocados from G & S Groves

Did you know that an average-sized avocado contains 9 grams of fiber and more potassium than a banana? These avocados came from G & S Groves, a certified organic fruit grove in McAllen, Texas. "G & S" stands for "George and Sons" in honor of George Strohmeyer, who founded the grove in the 1930s. After a drought followed by a freeze wiped out his original citrus grove, his son David purchased the farm from his father and planted the first trees of today's grove in 1994.

Wash and store: Until they're fully ripe, avocados should be stored at room temperature. To help them ripen faster you can place them next to other fruit such as bananas or in a paper bag (just make sure not to forget about them!). Press a finger firmly but gently on the avocado to see if it is ripe; ripe avocados will yield slightly to pressure. Once they are ripe, consume immediately or store them in the refrigerator for up to a few days.

Prepare: Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the avocado in half lengthwise, then twist the two halves to separate them. To remove the pit, spear it with the length of your knife blade (you don't have to go too deep, just enough for the pit to come out with the knife). Then use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the avocado. If you don't plan to use all of the avocado at once, sprinkle the rest with lemon or lime juice, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate to prevent the avocado from turning brown.

Limes from G & S Groves

Slightly smaller and less sour than lemons, limes have a vibrant, slightly bitter flavor and are commonly used in Mexican, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisine. The juice of one lime provides a whopping 32% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake––a proven way to boost immunity, improve heart health, and increase iron absorption when paired with foods high in iron.

Wash and store: Rinse limes with warm water, pat dry, and store them whole in the crisper drawer of the fridge.

Prepare: When you're ready to eat it, cut the lime in half and then slice crosswise from each half to create smaller slices. Limes can be used in practically any sweet or savory dish. Try adding lime zest to baked goods, squeezing a lime over a fruit salad, or incorporating lime juice into a salsa or ceviche recipe!

Gala apples from Sweet Ruthie's River Ranch

These Gala apples were grown by Sweet Ruthie's River Ranch located on the banks of the Canadian River in Canadian, Texas. They are a fruit orchard with many different varieties of apples, peaches, plums, and grapes, but apples are their best seller!

Wash and store: Handle apples with care, as apples bruise easily. Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge. It's best to keep separate drawers for fruits and vegetables in your fridge since the ethylene gas fruits (including apples) makes vegetables go bad faster.

Prepare: Wash and enjoy!

Cilantro from Patty's Herbs

The cilantro in today's boxes came from Patty's Herbs in Pearsall, Texas, about an hour south of San Antonio. In 1981, Patty Johnson began growing herbs in a flower bed, knocking on doors, and delivering her fresh herbs to restaurants in the San Antonio area. Now she is able to reach many more people and her products are available throughout much of Texas.

Wash and store: Like other leafy herbs, cilantro can wilt quickly so it's important to store it properly. Chop off about a quarter inch of the stems, then place them upright in a clean glass or jar filled with about an inch of water, as you would a bouquet of flowers. Loosely cover the leaves with an upside-down plastic bag and then store in the fridge. If you don't use it all within a few days, just make sure to occasionally refresh the water.

Prepare: Both the leaves and stems can be eaten as long as you chop the stems up small enough. Add chopped cilantro to rice, salads, soups, curries, chili, coleslaw, tacos, pasta... Or, you can pop it in the food processor and make a cilantro chutney or salsa verde.

Arugula from Gundermann Acres

Arugula is in the same family (Brassicaceae) as other cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and radishes. You might have seen baby arugula sold as a salad green at the grocery store. Mature arugula is just a little bit larger with a more peppery, spicier flavor! It's a great source of calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamins C, K, and A.

Wash and store: Chop off the base of the stems, giving the arugula stems a fresh cut. Gently wash the leaves in a colander under low water pressure. Pat dry, then wrap the dried leaves a dry paper towel and store it in a plastic bag or other airtight container in the crisper drawer of the fridge. They will be best if used within 3 days.

Prepare: Try using mature arugula in salads (it's especially great in warm salads), sautéed, or as a substitute for basil in pesto.

Yellow squash from Gundermann Acres

Summer squash, including this yellow squash from Gundermann Acres, is a prolific producer in the Texas summer! It also packs a nutritional punch with vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.

Wash and store: Store summer squash unwashed (dampness will cause rot) in a perforated bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. If you do not have a perforated bag, you can take any plastic bag and poke some holes in it for airflow. This will keep your squash fresh for as long as possible! Summer squash is best consumed within 4 days.

Prepare: When you are ready to eat it, simply cut off the two ends, wash, and slice. Summer squash is incredibly versatile; it can be roasted, sautéed, grilled, quick-pickled, or even eaten raw with dip.

Pickling cucumbers from Gundermann Acres

Pickling cucumbers are shorter, bigger around, and thinner skinned than slicing cucumbers. Basically, they're ideal for pickling!

Wash and store: Wash and thoroughly dry cucumbers, as added moisture will make them rot faster. Store them in the warmest part of your fridge (likely the highest shelf of your fridge) and consume within a week.

Prepare: Pickling cucumbers are great for pickling (see recipe below), but you can also eat them just like regular cucumbers! Add them to your salads or sandwiches, or eat cucumber slices with your favorite dip or just a squeeze of lime juice.

Baby bok choy from Gundermann Acres

Sometimes referred to as white cabbage, baby bok choy's delicate leaves and crunchy stems have been cultivated by the Chinese for more than 5,000 years. This quick-growing veggie is sweeter, more tender, and more compact than full-sized bok choy. Like all vegetables in the brassica family, baby bok choy is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and insoluble fiber.

Wash and store: Store baby bok choy in the crisper drawer of your fridge, unwashed and in a paper or plastic bag, until you are ready to eat it. Make sure to separate the leaves and the stems prior to washing under running water.

Prepare: Because insoluble fiber can be hard on the gut when eaten raw or on an empty stomach for those with GI issues, try sautéing, steaming, or roasting with a little bit of sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Baby bok choy can also be a fun way to elevate any soup, salad, or sandwich!

Purple potatoes from Buena Tierra Farm, or red potatoes from Gundermann Acres

Did you know there are about 5,000 different kinds of potatoes found worldwide? You may have received either purple potatoes or red potatoes in your box this week. Both of these varieties can be prepared any way that you normally prepare potatoes, but their beautiful colors mean that they're packed with antioxidants, helping to protect cells, prevent illness, and reduce inflammation.

Wash and store: Make sure your potatoes are completely dry before storing them. Store potatoes in a cool, dark area such as a kitchen cupboard. Good air flow is required to prevent potatoes from going bad, so try storing them in a basket, bowl, or paper bag, not in an airtight container. Check potatoes periodically and remove any that show signs of rot. We recommend using your potatoes within a few weeks. If they begin to sprout, simply cut off the sprout and use as normal.

Prepare: These potatoes can be used any way you would use regular potatoes. A lot of the nutrients are found in the skin, so try keeping the skin on when you cook your potatoes!

Guacamole

1) Cut open 2 avocados lengthwise, remove the pit, & scoop avocado flesh into a medium bowl

2) Use a fork to mash the avocado until creamy but still chunky

3) Stir in juice of 1 lime, 1/4 c. chopped cilantro, 2 small diced tomatoes, 1/4 c. chopped onion, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. If you have leftover serrano peppers from your Good Apple box a couple weeks ago, you can also add 1-2 tsp minced serrano pepper for a spicy kick!

4) Adjust to taste and serve with corn tortilla chips or add to sandwiches, wraps, burgers, or burrito bowls.

(If you have the Individual subscription, you can use 1 avocado and halve the rest of the ingredients.)

Easy refrigerator dill pickles

1) Slice cucumbers into spears or 1/4 inch slices

2) In a saucepan, combine 2 c. water, 1 c. white vinegar, 1 Tbsp salt, & 1/2 tsp sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until salt & sugar dissolve, & remove from heat.

3) Add cucumbers to jars (do not pack super tight). Add 1 bunch chopped fresh dill, 1/2 head of garlic (skins removed, cloves smashed), & 1 tsp peppercorn kernels. Pour in enough brine to cover the cucumbers & cover with a lid.

4) Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 week before consuming. Pickles should last up to 6 weeks in the fridge.

Baby bok choy & cucumber salad

1) Combine 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp minced garlic, & 1 Tbsp sesame seeds in a medium bowl & whisk

2) Add 3-4 c. thinly sliced baby bok choy, 2 c. thinly sliced cucumber, 1 c. thinly sliced apple, 1 c. thinly sliced red bell pepper, & 1/2 c. chopped cilantro to the bowl

3) Toss vegetables until coated evenly with dressing

Sautéed baby bok choy

1) Add 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat the entire surface of the skillet.

2) Add 2 cloves minced garlic & 1 minced shallot to the hot oil, stirring continuously for 1-2 min until fragrant

3) Roughly chop baby bok choy into large peices, then add to the pan along with 1 Tbsp soy sauce & 1/2 tsp sesame oil (can omit soy sauce & sesame oil if you do not have them). Toss to coat & cover with a lid. Cook 1-2 min, uncover and toss, then cover & continue to cook until bok choy is cooked to desired tenderness (about 3 min more).

4) Sprinkle with crushed red pepper & serve immediately

The first official day of fall was met with highs in the 80s this week, and already we're thinking about pumpkins, baked apples, and warm soups (yes we know it's early, but we're sooo ready!). The start of fall means a new harvest season, so here's what you can expect to see in your Good Apple box over the next few months:

Greens: As the temperatures drop, we welcome the return of field-grown greens! We'll make sure you get plenty of your favorites as well as something new from time to time. Be on the lookout for kale, collards, swiss chard, spinach, salad mixes, lettuce, arugula, mizuna, endive, mustard, broccoli rabe, Asian greens, and more!

Fruit: You've probably already noticed the start of apples in your box, and you'll continue to see them throughout the fall and early winter. We'll mix it up with other fall fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, limes, pears, grapes, and persimmons.

Other seasonal fare: Thank goodness for broccoli, cabbage, onions, brussels sprouts, potatoes and sweet potatoes, squash (both summer and winter varieties), cauliflower, radishes, carrots, beets, cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, white salad turnips, peas and pea tendrils, cilantro, kohlrabi, bok choy, and sooooo much more. Have a favorite that's not listed here? Email us at contact@goodapplefoods.com and we'll see if we can make it happen!