This Week in Produce

Updated every Friday

Last Updated: October 17, 2014

With beautiful fall weather expected this weekend, I am feeling particularly festive. I've got pies on the brain, along with hot apple cider, roasted root veggies, and hearty soups. It is officially that point in the season where all I want to be doing is cooking and baking. Luckily, here in produce we have everything I need to cook my way to the most delicious October ever.

It is now time for my new addition to the blog for this autumn and onward to the holidays: Winter Squash Recipe of the Week! This week I am going to talk about the coveted, and somewhat mysterious spaghetti squash. I will admit to you that I have spent most of my life skeptical of the "spaghetti" aspect of this squash, and had refused to buy into the hype. But I admitted recently that I was wrong and have since begun to truly appreciate the magical wonder that comes from baking a squash and being able to produce "noodles" from it. This recipe has great instructions (and great pictures!) to help guide you through the spaghetti squash process. One of the things I truly love about this round yellow squash is how mild the flavor is, which makes it a great pasta substitute. Try it with just butter and grated parmesan or your favorite tomato or pesto sauces. Kids love to help "make" the pasta too, which is a great way to include them in meal prep.

A few fun new items have arrived for the weekend, but the one that really has people buzzing is the Jujube fruit. I had never even heard of them until this week which is too bad because they are really quite interesting. Jujubes are a small fruit with a central pit; they have a flavor that is often compared to an apple and when they are dried out (the drier they are the sweeter they get), they resemble dates. A popular ingredient in Chinese and Eastern herbal medicine, this fruit is high in antioxidants, and is promoted as having a plethora of health benefits. They are eaten raw, used in tea, or preserved either dried like a date or prune, or soaked in alcohol (similar to a tincture). If you are curious, be sure to ask us about them next time you are in the department.

In other news, 3-lb bags of Harmony Valley rainbow carrots are now in stock. These delicious beauties are a customer favorite year after year. Perfectly crunchy, nice and sweet, and oh so pretty, they can be hard to resist. I get them every year and roast them in the oven with olive oil, a little maple syrup and a dash of salt. They taste just like candy. I also recommend picking up a bag of the Harmony Valley soup mix when you are here next. I can't get enough of the roasted roots recipes on the back of the bag, totally drool-worthy.

Hoch has some great seasonal items in this week that I know many of you are excited about. Their wonderful apple sauce is now here and comes in three different flavors. Don't forget to also try the cider jelly (great for spreads or mixed into plain yogurt), and the fresh-pressed apple cider that is far too delicious for its own good.

Speaking of cider, there will be free hot apple cider this weekend at our 2nd annual Pumpkin Patch! This Saturday from 10am-3pm join us in the south parking lot for cider tasting, face painting, and locally grown jack-o-lantern pumpkins. If you can't get the kids out to a farm or orchard this year, this is a great alternative; still a lot of fun and a lot closer to home. We hope you can join us for this wonderful family event!

We also have festive decorations here in the department, including organic and local ornamental corn bunches and decorative gourds. The floral department has some great items to get you in the autumn mood, including themed blooming plants and succulents.

If you can't get enough of This Week in Produce, be sure to follow the Wedge on Twitter. You can now get up-to-the-minute produce updates by looking for the hashtag #ProfProduce. Never miss out on your favorite seasonal items again!

Lastly, if you ever have any questions, please please, ask a friendly produce staff member! We love to help you find the best produce for you. With the holidays on the horizon, now is the time to start perfecting your recipes to blow everyone else out of the water. Ask us for help and advice, solving your produce problems is what we do!