Thinking back to growing up in the Midwest we had your basic red delicious apples, grapes, navel oranges and bananas. The only pineapple we ever had was out of a can. Sad but true!
When hubby Tom and I moved to CA in the late 80′s we were truly amazed at the wide variety of produce available year round at the local grocery store. I saw produce that I had no idea how to prepare but I didn’t let that stop me from buying it. I remember trying a kiwi, star fruit, celery root, leeks, Napa cabbage and fresh cilantro for the first time. I would look through my cookbooks and talk to the produce guys and ask questions about how to prepare certain items.
Remember this was before the Internet existed. Now with the TV Food Network, Internet, the actual grower at the Farmer’s Market and the wide range of cookbooks I have collected I have easy access to recipes and information on any food that comes my way.
I was in Costco and Sam’s club (Yes, I have memberships to both, don’t judge me!) and I was thrilled to see the vast variety of fruit they are starting to carry and many are Organic. With fruit being 0 points on the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus program I know a lot of people are eating more fruit these days, including me!
I had my first papaya during a trip to Hawaii. It was served with our breakfast and it was love at first bite! Every time I have a papaya it takes me back to that morning in Maui enjoying a sweet papaya on the patio breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the beautiful bird of paradise blooming right next to our table.
The papaya turn yellow when they are getting ripe. When you cut it open you find all these little black seeds. Scrape them out. Cut a lime into wedges and serve the papaya with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Sweet, juicy and so good for you.
This pumelo had to come home with me as well. A pumelo is like a giant grapefruit.
This California grown pumelo is shown here with a grapefruit and a cutie for size comparison.
Cut it in half and eat it like a grapefruit. This one tasted really tart!
Pomegranates are grown in CA and they are so juicy and delicious right now. Look for ones that feel heavy for their size.
Cut a slice off the top and bottom and score it once around, break it apart and separate the seeds into a bowl. The seeds are full of juice and have a little crunch to them. Enjoy eating them out of hand or sprinkle over a baby greens salad and be sure to sprinkle some on a yogurt and fruit parfait.
Meyer Lemons are also in season. My neighbor has a tree and keeps me well supplied. If you don’t have a generous neighbor like mine, Sam’s club did have them for sell this week and it was the first time I have seen them sold in a large quantity. They are sweet enough to eat out of hand!
Juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays to use through out the year. They taste mild and sweet and are perfect for flavoring Tilapia with white wine and capers, Chicken Picatta, lemon bars, my favorite cupcakes ever -Buttermilk lemon cupcakes cupcakes and Katy’s favorite - lemon poppyseed cake!
If you are new to my blog, our daughter Katy is attending college in Spain for a year and from time to time I do a little update and share some of her observations. Katy says that in Spain the produce available to her is not the best of quality and it spoils quickly indicating that it is old by the time she has purchased it. On top of that it is very expensive and there isn’t a lot of variety. There is a clerk in the produce department and you tell the clerk what you want and they pick it out and bag it for you! Fresh herbs are pricey and sold in little tiny plastic containers. This is of course a little disappointing for a California girl. She is use to an abundance of high quality produce, farmers market open all year long and making her own selections!
Eggs sit out on crates right on the floor with no refrigeration. Can you imagine that? She has not been able to find cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese or any cheese she is familiar with.
“Variety is the spice of life” that certainly rings true when it comes to our diet. Katy reminds me that we live in the land of plenty and we need to not take it for granted.
Eat well and be happy!
Add Your Thoughts
What fills your fruit basket these days?
Have you tried any new fruit or veggies lately?