Category Archives: Produce Info

Black Radish – Say What?

December 12th, 2013

The black color of Spanish Radishes has been an interesting addition to culinary cuisine. Our co-op style produce shares will be happily decorated with this extremely nutritious vegetable this weekend. This lovely root has been a favorite of European cooks for centuries, and if you have an ancestor from the other side of the Atlantic, you might have already tasted this flavorful vegetable.

Radish-Black-Spanish

Image: Burpee.com

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Image: Gastography.com

Black Spanish radishes are a winter vegetable that bestows the eater with many nutritional benefits – they’re a good source of vitamin C, sulfur, fibers, and vitamin B and are thought to promote digestive health, detoxify the liver, boost the immune system, and fight aging.

Now, the only question you might have is how to get rid of the sharpness or spiciness of this radish. The most popular (and easiest) way to do this is:

  • Slice the radish with a mandoline or cut it really thin
  • Salt and let stand for 10 minutes
  • Serve it on sandwiches

These recipes are also loved by many:

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 Black Radish Salad

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 Roasted Black Radishes

Storage Tips:

How to keep radishes fresh: 

  • DO separate radishes from greens
  • DO rinse them in cold water
  • PUT paper towel in a glass jar (you can also use a Ziploc bag), add wet radishes, and put additional paper towel on top

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We’ll have additional bunches at the Farmstead this weekend for you to pick up. Enjoy.

Partnerships That Count

December 6th, 2013
We love the white flake decoration at the Farmstead

We love the white flake decoration at the Farmstead

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Snow and ice on the ground can halt life in our big city, but how does bad weather affect the farmers that we work with at Urban Acres? In short, it greatly affects them, and your partnership really matters.

Because of your commitment to local, fresh, organic food, we’ve been able to build numerous relationships with farmers in the Dallas area who count on us purchasing produce from them and even plant crops especially for us. Some of these smaller farms don’t have the opportunity to serve grocery store chains or even insure their crops. We’re extremely fortunate to know these farmers personally – we’ve met their families and been to their farms so we can see exactly where our food comes from. We have a commitment to these farmers just as much as they are committed to growing excellent produce for us.

Morrisons copy-600x448_0

The Morrisons

Here’s a great example – last week, the radishes in our co-op style produce shares from Morrison Organic Farm had no leaves due to a cold front.  Thankfully, these radishes were saved from frostbite because of being underground, but younger radish plants did not survive the cold. Even though the Morrisons lost most of their crop, they kept a positive spirit and are ready for new planting possibilities.  Says Cindy Morrison, “We are excited to be able to save some of the crop for UA members.”

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So, we just wanted to thank you for your partnership, especially in times of crazy weather and changed delivery schedules. If we stick together, farmers can continue doing what they love most, and we can rest assured that we’re receiving the freshest organic produce available in Texas.

The Top 5 Leafy Greens

December 5th, 2013

Leafy greens have been abundant in our co-op style produce shares lately. These greens are full of vitamins, fiber, and minerals that can protect us from heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

Here’s the countdown to the most nutritious leafy greens:

5. Spinach

Well, Popeye had it right!  Spinach is packed with Vitamin A, C, and folate at only 20 calories per serving. Interestingly spinach has more nutritional value when cooked due to heat freeing up its dietary calcium. Serve it cooked in water, or add it to soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes.

4. Swiss ChardRed_chard

With its signature bright red stalk, soft texture, and a beet-like taste, Swiss chard provides 15 calories per serving and is full of Vitamin A and C. Just like spinach, it also has more nutrition when cooked. Try to add vinegar and raisins to cooked chard to achieve a sweet-and-sour flavor.


3. Turnip Greensturnip-greens-vitamina-lg

Turnip greens are actually two vegetables in one. The head is usually consumed roasted. The leafy part is full of Vitamin A, C, K, and calcium. The greens have a tender texture and are easily prepared by cooking and using bacon for flavoring.


2. Collard Greenscollards_0

A hearty and chewy green that is loved in traditional Southern style recipes. A half a cup has about 25 calories and is full of Vitamin C, E, and antioxidants. Using them as a wrap has made them very popular with all ages.


1. Kalelacinatokale

This green has everything you need! Full of Vitamin A, C, K, folate, calcium, potassium. Our members are constantly sharing their love of kale – some love to juice this nutrition power house or make kale chips which are very popular with the kiddos.  Make sure you try some of these divine kale recipes.

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Greens are not only packed with nutrition but with their vitamin content they can strengthen our immune system and improve our health.

Fill half your plate with greens!

Source: WebMD

Collard Greens to the Rescue

November 28th, 2013
collard-greens

Image source: summertomato.com

It’s Thanksgiving and many of you might be making the traditional collard greens recipe, by boiling this leafy vegetable with salt pork or ham hock. Some families’ Thanksgiving traditions would not be the same without this great side dish.  Collard greens are great to eat, not only because of traditions or because our mothers said so, but because they are full of Vitamin C, E, and antioxidants that help protect our skin from aging and sun damage.

Collard greens are best eaten raw to keep most of their alkalinity. Incorporating foods with high alkaline content into your daily life will boost your metabolism immensely, providing you with ample nutrients, enzymes, and fibers to increase your energy and heal your body.

Here is a refreshing Veggie Collard Wrap recipe:

You can use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey in this delicious wrap:

Collard-Wraps-12 copy “Turkey” Collard Wrap

Storage Tips:

How to keep greens fresh:

  • DO wrap greens in a damp paper towel, place inside a plastic bag, and keep in your fridge
  • DO use within 10 days of storage, because they will start to wilt

Enjoy!

Brassica Greens for the Adventure Seeker

November 16th, 2013
Image source: jansmith.org

Image source: jansmith.org

If you thought eating pea shoots made you a more adventurous vegetable eater, we’ll surprise you once again with our local Texas Brassica Greens from Yellow Prairie Farm. For years, farmers and shoppers alike composted or threw away the green leaves that grow on Brassica vegetables, such as cauliflower and broccoli. Not until people realized that these leaves have as much nutritional value as the vegetable itself did they start eating them.

These lovely Brassica leaves are not only full of Vitamin A, C, K but are also rich in a chemical that boosts our cells DNA repair. Repairing our cells is extremely important because cell division on its own can cause tumors that later can become cancerous. By eating a bowl of these greens, you’re one step closer to a healthier you!

But how can you serve a leafy green that you’re not familiar with? As always with greens, it’s important to remember how to prepare them so they’ll keep their nutritional value:

  • Boiling your vegetables will surely kill most of the nutrients, but if you like your vegetables soft, steaming them will do the trick.
  • For a quick and easy recipe, we recommend sautéeing Brassica Greens for 4-5 minutes in olive oil infused with garlic and ginger.

If you’re a more adventurous cook, you can also try these recipes:

FINISHED STUFFED BROC. CASSEROLEStuffed Broccoli Leaves

Beef & Broccoli LeavesBeef & Broccoli Leaves

Storage Tips:

How to keep greens fresh:

  • Do not, we repeat, DO NOT store greens on the counter top unrefrigerated, or just throw them on a shelf in the fridge!  They will surely wilt and go bad quickly.
  • DO wrap lettuce or greens in a dry paper towel and place in plastic bag in the fridge.  The paper towel will absorb any excess moisture that makes the lettuce rot and will keep it fresher for much longer.
  • Here is another plastic-free way to store greens in the fridge crisper drawer, lined with dish towels.

How to revive wilted greens:

If your greens DO start to wilt, here’s a simple, easy way to revive them…

  • Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and immerse the greens in the water for several minutes.
  • Remove the greens from the bowl and they will be perked up and crisp again.
  • Drain carefully on towels, or run individual leaves through a salad spinner to remove the moisture.
  • Eat immediately, or follow storage tips above.

Persimmons and Other Mysteries

November 6th, 2013

Persimmon

This week, Urban Acres co-op members will get to enjoy organic Fuyu Persimmons. Many of us have never even tasted a persimmon so here’s an opportunity to try something new!

We hope you enjoy this unusual treat!

Where’s the fruit?!

July 27th, 2013

1No matter how technologically advanced we become we still rely on good old mother nature when it comes to growing food, and when she refuses to cooperate it can mess with the timeline or availability of any crop. The weather in Texas is notoriously unpredictable and this summer is no exception. With unseasonably cool temps, heavy rainfall and hail storms, our local fruit have had the deck stacked against it. Texas favorites such as blueberries and peaches have struggled the most, some farms have seen as much as a 95% decrease in production this season.

Urban Acres has always been committed to buying what’s available locally first, while providing an eclectic mix of fruits and veggies for our members. While we would love to bring you the best organic fruit that Texas has to offer, our farmers just don’t have them available right now.

We certainly appreciate your patience with us, and our farmers, as we strive to bring you the best of Texas agriculture. Thank you for all of the positive feedback lately and thanks for being a part of the real food movement in Dallas.

Texas Sweet Corn Is Back!

May 29th, 2013
Non-GMO Texas sweet corn growing in the fields at Gundermann Acres

Non-GMO Texas sweet corn growing in the fields at Gundermann Acres

This weekend’s co-op style produce shares will have the first round of non-GMO Texas sweet corn of the season!

From EatingWell.com

There’s a lot of confusion over corn. It’s gotten a bad reputation due to what’s happened with cornfield corn, which is distinctly different from sweet corn. Harvested when its kernels are hard and dry, field corn is a commodity crop used in the manufacture of products like livestock feed, ethanol, high-fructose corn syrup, corn oil, liquor and all manner of processed foods: cookies, mayonnaise, margarine… Introduced in the mid-1990s, genetically modified (GMO) seeds now produce nearly 90 percent of the field corn in the United States (along with more than 90 percent of the soy and canola). Unlike hybridized plants, which are ­created through cross-pollination, genetically modified plants have strands of DNA added to achieve desired characteristics.

Companies like infamous Monsanto have created genetically modified (GMO) sweet corn seeds that are bioengineered to survive applications of Roundup, a toxic herbicide that destroys competing weeds.

Planting “Roundup-resistant” varieties allows farmers to control weeds by spraying, an alternative to expensive and time-consuming­ methods like mechanical tilling. Monsanto has also spliced genes into the corn that produce toxins that kill corn-eating caterpillars, helping farmers reduce their use of pesticides.

GMO seeds are also responsible for superweeds and superbugs which can only be killed with more toxic poisons.

Learn more about genetically modified corn.

The moral of the story?  You want local, non-GMO corn!  And we’re thankful for our local farmers like Gundermann Acres in Wharton County, TX who provide that for all of us.

Steps to Enjoying Urban Acres Sweet Texas Corn, easy as 1, 2, 3!

1.) Grill it up

2.) Season it Up

3.) Eat it Up

Hello Texas Peaches, Bye Bye Texas Citrus

May 22nd, 2013
Local Texas peach

Local Texas peach

Exciting news – this weekend’s co-op style produce shares will have our first round of local Texas peaches for the season, from Gundermann Acres in Wharton County, TX.  If you’ve been around awhile, you know just how sweet and drip-down-your-chin-juicy the Texas peaches are.  We should also have some for sale in the store this weekend…come get them before they’re gone!

We’ve also gotten lots of positive feedback on the Texas Rio Star Grapefruit and other citrus in the shares lately…we’re getting very close to the end of citrus season so they’ve been extra juicy and ripe.  Enjoy the last of your local citrus!

Local Organic Sunchokes

February 15th, 2013

sunchokes

Here’s a fun little treat we have in the store this weekend- these funky-looking molecule-shaped spuds called sunchokes!  They’re local and organic, too.

Sunchokes are tubers from the sunflower family and are also called “Jerusalem artichokes,” although they’re neither from Jerusulam or related to artichokes.  Hmmm.

According to localharvest.org:

The humble sunchoke is considered gourmet fare by many. Raw, it’s an excellent substitute for water chestnuts in hot and spicy stir fries, or cooked in cream soups, broiled with sweet potatoes, or simply scrubbed and baked.

Ever had sunchokes?  Try them out and let us know what you think!