This Week in Produce

Updated every Friday

Last Updated: September 12, 2014

Brrrr, September! With the odd drop in weather this past week, I feel more inclined to stay in and cook rather than brave the outdoors to grill or picnic. As the warm weather begins to retreat we're starting to say goodbye to a few items, such as the Gardens of Eagan sweet corn and local varieties of leaf lettuce.

But just because some things are done for the season, it doesn't mean there aren't other great things to enjoy. I am so excited about apples right now. Hoch continues to bring in new varieties this week, with the newest arrival being the Cortland apple. Cortlands are very crunchy, with a sweet-tart flesh that is bright white in color. Great for eating out of hand, they are also favored for cooking and baking. And don't forget about the other Hoch apples including the Zestar, Beacon, and Red Free.

Driftless Carrots are now in stock, and they are dang tasty! Fresh, early season carrots are a treat that a lot of us don't think about. But these local carrots are perfectly crunchy (never woody or tough), with a sweet and vibrant flavor. I love them for snacking (at any time really), but they are perfect for lunches or for taking as an after-gym snack. Try some out this weekend, they are also awesome roasted in the oven with those gorgeous beets from Harmony Valley.

If you would like more information on the farmers who grow those yummy carrots, be sure to check out their beautiful website.

Another exciting arrival this past week has been the white cauliflower from Gardens of Eagan, and the orange "cheddar" cauliflower from Harmony Valley. Local cauliflower always has a richer, almost nut-like flavor that's hard to find in non-local selections.

Both varieties are good sources of fiber, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Another benefit of cauliflower is that is readily absorbs the flavors of whatever you cook it with. Perfect for curries, roasted veggie medleys, or my favorite, as a base for a blended soup, cauliflower is as versatile as it is nutritious. Roasting it enhances its richness, but really any way you cook it, this local cauli is wonderful. It won't be here for long though, so don't miss it!

Lastly, in less than two weeks we will be having a little celebration here in the produce department; APPLEOOZA! Come try samples of great local apples, there will be activities for the kids, and even a discussion with the founders of Sociable Cider Werks about how hard apple cider is made! Join us Tuesday, September 23 from 3-8pm, for a great afternoon and evening of apple-tastic fun!