Weekly Fig

A Private Buying Club, Chattanooga TN

Category: Education (page 1 of 4)

Vegucation: Boniato Sweet Potatoes

Boniato potatoes are similar to the vibrant orange sweet potatoes you’re used to. They have a less sweet taste and have the texture similar to a baking potato. They can even have a nutty flavor when cooked. Boniato potatoes are more common in Cuban and Latin American cuisines, but they are slowly gaining popularity in the states.

Why are they beneficial?

Just like traditional sweet potatoes, boniato potatoes have plenty of vitamins A and C which are important antioxidants. They are also rich in potassium and fiber. Boniato potatoes are low on the glycemic index which makes them a great carb for diabetics and those on a low sugar diet. 

When are they in season?

This variety of potato can be grown year round, so availability depends on farmers near you. 

How long will they keep?

If kept in a cool, dark place, potatoes will last for a week or two. You can also cook them in a large batch and store them in the refrigerator for three days as leftovers.

How do I prepare them?

You can cook boniato potatoes just like any other potato. The flavor will go with any dish that a normal sweet potato would go with. Here are some fun recipe ideas:

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Delivery

Getting a bag of fresh vegetables each week can be both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, you get amazing local produce delivered right to your door. But we are all familiar with the bell pepper all wilted in the very back of the refrigerator, or the squash that has sat in the produce basket a little too long. With proper planning and organization, all of those beautiful veggies won’t be wasted!

1. Prioritize which vegetables you eat first.

Some vegetables last longer than others. Plan on eating veggies like mushrooms, greens, cucumbers, and peppers first. These items are more perishable than winter squashes and potatoes, for example. By eating these veggies first, you are also getting the best flavor and nutrient content as possible.

2. Store them in the proper place.

Keep potatoes, onions, and winter squashes in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Cabinets and pantries are best. Just don’t forget about them! Everything else should be refrigerated unless you plan on eating it within a day or so. 

3. Freeze any vegetables you think might go bad.

Many vegetables you get in your weekly fig bag can be frozen with the proper prep. For example:

  • Clean and trim green beans. Blanch them, then freeze. 
  • Peel and pre-slice carrots.
  • Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets.
  • Dice peppers and onions to throw in soups or stir fries.
  • Cut the corn kernels off of the cob.

 

4. Don’t be afraid to use “ugly” produce.

Bananas that seem too brown or wilted kale can still be used. Bake some banana bread or add them both to a smoothie. Sautéing or roasting wilted or bruised veggies is a good way to use them since you won’t be able to tell once they are cooked. You can also cut around a bruise or bad spot sometimes. Of course,  if your produce develops a nasty smell or is visibly molded, just throw it out and don’t sweat it.

 

With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to use up all of your Weekly Fig goodies, reduce what is thrown away, and get ready for the next delivery!

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Vegucation: Microgreens

Microgreens may be tiny, but they are packed with nutrients. They are harvested when a plant is only 1-3 weeks old. Microgreens can be harvested from almost any herb or vegetable. The most popular ones are sunflower, cilantro, radish, beet, broccoli, arugula, and kale. Sprouts are often confused as a type of  microgreen, but sprouts are grown in water for 2-3 days while microgreens are grown in soil for 1-3 weeks. 

Why are they beneficial?

Microgreens can contain up to 10 times the amount of nutrients found in a full grown plant in one serving. Any dish can instantly be made more nutrient dense by adding microgreens. The particular nutrients found in microgreens depend on the plant they come from, but many contain antioxidants and enzymes that are not found in the adult plant. Antioxidants protect against free radical damage, and enzymes help the digestion and absorption of nutrients. 

When are they in season?

Microgreens can be found year round since they can be grown indoors. Availability depends on growers in your area. 

How long will they keep?

You want to consume your microgreens when they are freshest. This will ensure the highest nutrient content. You can store them between damp paper towels in a resealable bag in the refrigerator for a few days. Keeping them humid and cold will ensure they don’t wilt or dry out. 

How can I prepare them?

Microgreens require little to no prep and are ready to throw into recipes. The flavor will depend on the plant the green is coming from, so use accordingly. Here are a few ideas:

  • Replace lettuce in sandwiches.
  • Top off a soup or pasta.
  • Add to a pizza after cooking.
  • Add to your smoothie for a nutrient boost.
  • Mix them in with your salad greens. 

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Vegucation: Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers contain some capsaicin (the molecule that makes peppers spicy), but so little that they are less hot than a jalapeño pepper. Their smoky flavor goes with a variety of dishes, and they even have some amazing health benefits that may surprise you. 

Why are they beneficial?

One poblano pepper contains more B2 (riboflavin) than an egg, which is known for its B vitamin content. Riboflavin has been shown to fight against cancer cells and is needed to make glutathione, another antioxidant. Capsaicin has also been shown to protect against cancerous cells. Even though poblanos don’t have much, there is still enough to reap the benefits. Capsaicin can also help you lose weight. It supports a fast metabolism, lower fat percentage, and a good blood lipid profile. 

When are they in season?

Poblanos grow best in cooler temperatures, so they are abundant in the fall, winter, and spring. 

How long will they keep? poblano

Just like a bell pepper, they are best if kept in the refrigerator. However, the flavor will be best when eaten fresh. You can also chop up your poblano and freeze it to add to soups and sauces later. 

How can I prepare them?

Poblano peppers add a kick to any dish. Here are a few ideas for incorporating them into your diet:

  • Add diced pepper to your chili or black bean soup.
  • Add them to pasta sauce for a little more spice.
  • You can stuff them with ground beef, corn, and tomatoes and bake in the oven until wilted.
  • Roast them and make your own salsa
  •  Sauté them with bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms to make smoky veggie tacos. 

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods.

Vegucation: Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are actually a fruit, but widely considered a vegetable. Although they are called peppers, they contain no capsaicin, which is what gives peppers their spice. Their array of different colors and flavors make it one versatile food that fits into many different cuisines. 

Why are they beneficial?

Bell peppers are full of immune boosting vitamins like A and C. Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers have the most vitamin A content. They are also high in B vitamins that will give you energy. One bell pepper only contains about 37 calories and 8 percent of your daily fiber intake, so they make a great food for weight loss. 

When are they in season?

You can find bell peppers in the summer and fall. The length of the season depends on weather, but they are around for a good portion of the year. 

How long will they keep?

Bell peppers will last a few days in the refrigerator. You can also slice them up and freeze them to use in cooking. Freezing preserves the nutritional value in the peppers. 

How do I prepare them?

You can eat bell peppers raw or cooked. Raw peppers make a great snack with hummus or tzatziki dip or on a sandwich. Here are some ways to eat them cooked:

  • Stuff them with ricotta and spinach or ground beef, tomatoes, and lettuce. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees. You could even crack an egg in the pepper for a healthy breakfast.
  • Slice them and sauté with chicken and taco seasoning for a fajita style dinner. 
  • Sauté sliced pepper with broccoli and serve with a poached egg and brown rice. 

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Vegucation: Pumpkin

Pumpkins aren’t just for carving. Eating the flesh and the seeds can be very beneficial to you. Read on for more information about this season’s trendiest vegetable and ways to eat it that aren’t in pie form. 

Why is it beneficial?

Pumpkins are a vibrant orange which means they contain beta carotene. This is good for your eye health and for preventing cancer. They’re also plentiful in fiber which is why you get so full eating it! This fiber will help keep your gut happy and can help you reduce snacking by keeping you full longer. A pumpkin’s vitamin C will help your immune system this season, and it’s seeds have healthy fats to keep your skin glowing. Eating pumpkin seeds can also protect your heart health with their phytosterols. 

When are they in season?

Fall, of course! Pumpkins are the epitome of fall festivities. You can find pumpkins from September to November.

How long will they keep?

Pumpkins will last for weeks uncarved and stored in a dry, cool place out of direct sunlight. Once cut, you will want to cook it right away to maintain its flavor. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for about 3 days. 

How can I prepare it?

Pumpkin can be very versatile. Many pumpkin baked goods require pumpkin puree. Learn how to make your own here. Using a pie or sugar pumpkin for baking and cooking is generally better than large carving pumpkins. They have more flesh and are smaller and easier to work with. Here are some healthy pumpkin recipes to inspire you:

  • Cut the pumpkin into cubes. Cover with oil and season with salt, pepper, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving. 
  • Roast the pumpkin like above, but with just salt and pepper. Blend the pumpkin with a clove of garlic, thyme, and milk to make a creamy pumpkin soup. 
  • Make this easy pumpkin loaf.
  • Or these healthy pumpkin scones.

 

You can always add your pumpkin puree to oatmeal, protein shakes, smoothies, pancake batter, etc. The possibilities are endless! Share your pumpkin creations with us on Facebook or tag us in your photos on Instagram, @weeklyfig.

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Why Eating in Season is Good For You

Before we had modern farming practices, humans ate whatever was available for scavenging, and nature dictated what was fresh. Mass transportation and the ability for us to grow whatever we want under synthetic conditions has changed the way we eat today. But what does this mean? The benefits of changing what you eat with the season may surprise you. 

Nutrition

In-season produce is at its peak of freshness. The plant has perfect conditions for developing, which means all of its nutrients have developed as well. For example, broccoli that was grown in season will have higher levels antioxidants and vitamins than out of season broccoli. 

Health 

Produce grows in a certain season for a reason. Fall fruits like apples and figs give us fiber and antioxidants to prepare for the colder months ahead. The bright orange winter squashes give us vitamin C and beta-carotene (precursor for vitamin A) to help fight off cold and flu season. Spring greens help us detox and shed weight from the winter. Summer berries and veggies like cucumbers help us stay hydrated in the heat. Everything in nature has its place, and eating in season allows us to reap the benefits.

Variety

Eating in season also gives us a variety of foods to cook with and a chance to try new things we might not be aware of. Have you ever tried a purple sweet potato? How about a roselle bud or a lemon drop pepper? Do you know the different varieties of apples and when their peak season is? Eating locally and in season lets you try new things and experience food in a different way.

 

Eating this way also allows you to get back to nature before humankind intervened. Luckily, Weekly Fig makes this easy for you by delivering local, in-season produce every week. Our meal plans also give you some recipe inspiration. 

Vegucation: Turnips

Turnips are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli to name a few. The turnip greens are probably more commonly used than the root of the vegetable, but both offer plenty of health benefits and flavor!

Why are they beneficial?

Cruciferous veggies have been known to decrease the risk of cancer because of their antioxidants and phytochemicals. Turnips also have a lot of vitamin K which supports a healthy heart and healthy blood. They are also high in folate, which is important for development and the cardiovascular system. Overall, turnips are a very heart-healthy vegetable.

When are they in season?

Turnips’ peak season is in the fall. Although they are a root vegetable, their leaves can still be sprayed with pesticides, so always try to buy organic when possible. 

How long will they keep?turnips in ground

Once you get your turnips, cut the greens off the root and store them separately. The unwashed greens will last a few days in the refrigerator, while the roots will last a couple weeks in the refrigerator. 

How can I prepare them?

You can use turnips just like any other root vegetable. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Chop the roots up and boil them. Then mash them and season them for an alternative to mashed potatoes.
  • Roughly chop the greens and add them to soups or stews. 
  • Roast the roots with other fall veggies like carrots or butternut squash.
  • Add the diced root to a beef stew. 
  • Make classic southern turnip greens.

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Vegucation: Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is almost the definition of fall. It’s sweetness comes out when cooked which goes well with seasonal savory dishes. This veggie is technically a fruit and is a member of the gourd family, along with pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers. 

Why is it beneficial?

Butternut is high in fiber which makes it a heart healthy choice for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It is high in folate which is essential for a healthy pregnancy and contains the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C. These nutrients protect your immune system which is perfect during cold and flu season. 

When is it in season?

Butternut squash can be found throughout the fall. Look for a squash that is matte on the outside. A glossy exterior can mean it was picked too early and won’t have a developed flavor. 

How long will it keep?

Whole butternut squash will keep for a couple weeks if kept in a cool, dark place with ventilation (not in the refrigerator). Peeled and cut squash will last a few days in the refrigerator. 

How can I prepare it?butternut squash soup

Butternut squash is a pretty versatile veggie to cook with. It goes with many flavors and moods. The only downside is it can take a while to cook since it is so dense. If you want a quick dinner, cook your squash when you have time and eat it with various meals throughout the week. You can:

  • halve it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, roast it, then stuff it.
  • peel it and cut into cubes. Season and roast it, then eat as a side dish or puree for an easy soup.
  • or boil the cubes for a veggie boost in your smoothies.
  • boil the cubed squash, mash it, and stuff large pasta shells or ravioli with it. 

 

No matter how you fix it, you’ll enjoy this yummy taste of fall!

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods 

Vegucation: Roselle Hibiscus

Roselle is a type of hibiscus flower bud that has a beautiful hot pink color. However, this flower has more to offer then just its beauty.

Why is it Beneficial?

Roselle has many nutrients including vitamins A, B2, B3, and C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Because of these nutrients, roselle can help lower blood pressure to protect your heart. The calcium builds strong bones and teeth. Vitamin C protects your immune system and fights cancer-causing free radicals. Roselle is safe to consume for adults and children. 

How long will it keep?

Fresh roselle buds only lasts a few days, but dried buds will last weeks to months if stored in an air tight container. Learn how to dry your buds here

How can I prepare it?roselle tea

You can use dried roselle hibiscus in many ways. Here are a few ideas:

  • Steep it for a few minutes in boiling water to make your own hibiscus tea. Add lemon juice and honey for a health tonic. 
  • Add it to lemonade.
  • Turn your tea into popsicles with freezer molds or paper cups and popsicle sticks. 
  • Chop the dried buds and add them to muffins or cakes. 

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

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