Weekly Fig

A Private Membership Association

Category: Education (page 1 of 2)

Vegucation: Green Beans

Did you know that there are over 130 varieties of green beans? And not all of them are green! Keep reading to learn more about this staple vegetable.

Why are they beneficial?

Green beans are high in vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin K is especially important for bone health, while vitamins A and C are both antioxidants. Green beans also have folate and fiber which are two important nutrients. Folate promotes growth, so it’s especially important for pregnant women and young children. Fiber keeps our digestive systems functioning properly. Fresh green beans have way less sodium and higher amounts of nutrients than canned varieties. 

When are they in season?

You can usually find local green beans between mid-May and mid-July in Tennessee. Fresh green beans have way less sodium and higher amounts of nutrients than canned varieties, so choose fresh whenever you can.

How long will they keep?green beans and almonds

Green beans are best when they snap in half when bent. Bendy green beans are still okay to eat, but they won’t have the best flavor. Keep your unwashed green beans in a loosely sealed container in the refrigerator, and they should last 3-5 days. 

How do I prepare them?

Always trim the ends of your green beans and wash them before cooking. Here are some quick ideas:

  • Roast them in the oven with olive oil, sliced almonds, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
  • Eat them raw with sliced cherry tomatoes and feta drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
  • Stir fry them in soy sauce and ginger with some sliced mushrooms.
  • Make a three bean salad.

Green beans go great with other summer veggies like yellow squash, heirloom tomatoes, and sweet corn. Make use of them while you can!

 

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

Why Choose Local?

Our Mission

At Weekly Fig, we strive to bring our members the best quality food we can find. We always try to source locally first. In fact, the majority of our products are local. Admittedly, in Tennessee it is difficult to grow every single food people like to eat, but we do everything we can to make supporting local as easy and convenient as possible. That’s why we include some non-local items like bananas and avocados that are still top quality, so you can find everything you need in one place and have it delivered to your home or office. Our main goal is to support local first, then find our remaining products from other sustainable and responsible sources.

The Impact of Eating Local

Did you know that if everyone in the Chattanooga area spent 5% of their weekly food budget on local products, we would increase the local economy by 100 million dollars? That 5% is about one meal per week. When you shop local, you are supporting farmers and their families, local artisans, the local economy, and the environment. Farmers and artisans bring their products to Weekly Fig because they’ve already done the hard part–making it. All we do is make it easier to reach our community for those who need to shop on their own time.

Not only would our economy be booming if everyone supported local, but our environment would too. The transportation required to ship produce all over the country is astounding. The distance that food from local farmers has to travel is much shorter in comparison, not to mention you are supporting green space and farmland in your own community. We also partner with farms that practice sustainability. By making small individual changes together, we can all make a huge impact, one veggie at a time.

To Learn More

Check out our about page.

Read about the people who supply our products here.

weekly fig logo

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

Vegucation: Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is in the same family as spinach and beets because of their leaf similarities. You might hear it referred to as Roman Kale. This is because it’s mostly found in the Mediterranean, but Swiss Chard is not a kind of kale. Its stems come in a variety of colors like yellow, green, white, and red, which add color and variety to any meal. 

Why is it beneficial?

Swiss Chard is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s especially a good source of vitamin K, but avoid if you are prone to kidney stones. A lot of vitamin K can affect how much calcium you absorb, causing the stones. Swiss Chard is also a great source of vitamins A and C–both are great for skin–and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron. Because of these nutrients, swiss chard benefits blood health, immune health, and tissue health. 

When is it in season?

You can usually find local swiss chard anytime between mid-May and mid-July depending on the farm and the weather. Try to buy organic whenever possible. 

How long will it keep?red swiss chard

If stored properly, your swiss chard should last about five days. Keep it in an airtight container or bag, unwashed. It will taste better and offer the most benefits when really fresh.

How can I prepare it?

You can use swiss chard just like any other green. Its flavor goes best with hearty or savory dishes. Always rinse your chard really well to get rid of any dirt or debris. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:

  • Sauté it with garlic, salt, and pepper until wilted. Top with fresh lemon juice and parmesan.
  • Add it to a quiche or frittata with some sliced mushrooms for a healthy breakfast. 
  • Add it to soups, pastas, or stir fries. 
  • Use the whole leaves for lettuce wraps.

 

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

Vegucation: Cauliflower

Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family along with arugula, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and of course broccoli. Although it is almost identical to broccoli, cauliflower has a less bitter taste. This is why cauliflower recipes have gained popularity. 

Why is it beneficial?

Because it’s a cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower has many cancer fighting properties. A sulphur compound in the veggie kills cancerous cells. This same compound helps regulate blood pressure, so your heart stays healthy too. The fiber in cauliflower helps your digestive system runs smoothly. Overall, cauliflower is a super beneficial food. 

When is it in season?

You can usually find local cauliflower in the month of May in Tennessee. How long the season lasts depends on the year. Buying organic cauliflower isn’t always necessary since it’s part of the Clean 15. 

How long will it keep?chopped cauliflower

A whole head of cauliflower will last about 5 days if stored properly. Keep it in a loosely sealed plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb any moisture. 

How do I prepare cauliflower?

Cauliflower is super versatile. Here are a few fun ways to cook it:

  • Make mashed cauliflower for a healthy twist on mashed potatoes.
  • Pulse cooked cauliflower in a food processor to make “rice”.
  • Make cauliflower pizza crust.
  • Roast it in the oven and season with turmeric and garlic.
  • Grill large slices to make cauliflower steaks.

No matter how you make it, anyone can reap the benefits of this veggie.

 

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

Vegucation: Snow Peas

Snow peas were once called Chinese pea pods because they were only found in that region of the world. Today, you can find them all over. Snow pea season is in the spring in Chattanooga, along with the other green vegetables that represent the season like asparagus, cabbage, and lettuce. All of these veggies, but snow peas in particular, are a great way to refresh your diet and prepare for summer. 

Why are they beneficial?

Snow peas are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as the minerals magnesium and potassium. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, so they are a great vegetable for those who suffer from asthma, arthritis, and irritable bowl syndrome. All of these nutrients work together to heal the body from the inside out.

When are they in season?snow pea bowl

Unfortunately, snow peas don’t have a very long season in Tennessee. You can usually find them locally in the month of May. However, most grocery stores have less fresh ones in the freezer section.

How long will they keep?

Snow peas only last a few days and have a better flavor when very fresh. Try to buy your snow peas when you know you’ll be able to cook them soon. If you need to store them, keep them in a breathable bag in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them in a zip top bag to use later. 

How do I prepare them?

Luckily, snow peas are fairly easy to cook. Be sure to cut the very ends off before eating them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add them to your stir fry. They only take a few minutes to become tender.
  • Combine cooked snow peas with citrus like oranges and grapefruit for a healthy summer salad.
  • Put them on kabobs with pineapple, chicken, and teriyaki sauce.
  • Roast them in the oven with some rainbow carrots or beets for a fresh side dish. Cook at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

 

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

Vegucation: Yellow Squash

About Yellow Squash

Squash is a general term that encompasses many varieties like acorn, butternut, pumpkin, and even zucchini. Usually squash is separated into either summer or winter squash. Yellow squash is a summer variety, and is the most widely grown squash across the United States. It’s also one of the oldest crops with evidence dating back to 10,000 years ago. 

Why is it beneficial?

Yellow squash is a very beneficial vegetable because it’s full of nutrients for very few calories. It has vitamins A and C which are both important for your immune system. It also has vitamins E and B6 which give you energy and healthy skin. Yellow squash has many important minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. 

When is it in season?yellow squash

You can usually find local yellow squash in Tennessee from June through September. Always try to find organic squash since it is part of the Dirty Dozen. 

How long will it keep?

Unwashed, fresh squash will last 3-5 days if kept in the refrigerator. However, nutrition fades the older your vegetables get, so try to eat them as soon as possible.

How do I prepare yellow squash?

Always prep your squash by washing it first. Luckily, squash only takes a few minutes to become tender, so it’s the perfect quick addition to a meal. Here are a few ways to add more squash to your diet:

  • Add squash slices to chicken kebabs and grill. 
  • Saute sliced squash with greens of your choice for an easy side dish.
  • Roast sliced squash in the oven with some cherry tomatoes and salmon filets. Top with parmesan.

 

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

Vegucation: Asparagus

Asparagus is one of those veggies that signals the start of spring after a long winter. As soon as it starts popping up in grocery stores and farmers markets, I love incorporating it into recipes this time of year. 

About Asparagus

The most common variety is green, but asparagus comes in white and purple as well. It takes three years to grow from seed, and it is harvested in the spring. Asparagus is famous for the way it makes urine smell because of a specific compound found in it. It’s a myth that not everyone is affected by this. The truth is not everyone has the ability to smell it. Thankfully, asparagus is part of the clean 15 which means it’s not necessary to buy organic. This means that it is least likely to have harmful residue left on it from pesticides. 

Why is it beneficial? wrapped asparagus

Asparagus is a nutrient dense food which means it offers a lot of benefits for very few calories. It’s a great source of fiber and vitamins A, C, E, and K. It also has plenty of minerals like chromium and selenium. Asparagus is great for people with high blood pressure because it is a diuretic and flushes out a lot of salt content. It can also help fight and protect against cancer. It’s antioxidants neutralize carcinogens and keep your cells healthy. Asparagus can improve brain function, too.

When is it in season?

Local asparagus can be found in a short season in April and May. It’s often found in limited quantities since it is very difficult to grow.

How long will it keep?

You should eat your asparagus as soon as possible for optimal freshness and nutrition. Any leftover stalks can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. Put the stalks in a glass container with water covering the ends and refrigerate.

 How do I prepare asparagus?Prosciutto-Asparagus

Always remember to wash and trim the tough ends of the stalks before cooking. Here’s some fun ways to use your asparagus:

  • Sauté the whole stalks in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Toss some chopped walnuts or almonds into the pan before serving.
  • Grill the stalks then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and lemon juice
  • Wrap the stalks in bacon or prosciutto and bake in the oven.
  • Add sliced asparagus to quiches or pastas for a little extra nutrition.

Be sure to enjoy this spring vegetable while you can!

 

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

Vegucation: Celery

You might have heard that celery is good for you because you burn more calories chewing it than you do consuming it. Although this is a myth, celery is still a healthy snack and addition to meals. 

About Celery

It was first used in cooking in 16th century Italy. Before that, celery was used in ancient Chinese medicine and during the Middle Ages to treat conditions like insomnia, hypertension, and arthritis. People back then thought it purified the blood. Celery belongs to the same plant family as parsley and carrots. 

Why is it beneficial?celery chopped

Celery is full of nutrients to be so full of water. In fact, it is 95% water, so it makes the perfect snack for staying hydrated in the warmer months. It has vitamins K, C, B6, and B9 (folate) and minerals like potassium. Because of these nutrients, celery has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating celery regularly can detox the liver, reduce bloating, prevent infection, and even protect against cancer. 

When is it in season?

You can usually find celery in July and August in Tennessee. Sometimes it comes early or later depending on the weather. Try to buy organic celery whenever possible.

How long will it keep?

Fresh celery stalks will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Only wash the stalks you are about to use. Celery leaves are also edible and have the same health benefits.

How can I prepare celery?

There are many ways to eat celery besides the traditional ants on a log snack. Here are a few ideas:

  • Chop up the stalks and the greens and add it to soups. This is especially great when you’re sick.
  • Add the stalks to a juice. It goes great with cucumber and lemon or lime. (Don’t try adding celery to a smoothie because the stalks are too tough. They might tear up your blender.)
  • Sliced celery makes a great crunchy addition to stir fries. 

celery juice

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

Vegucation: Carrots

We’ve all been told as kids to eat our carrots or we’ll go blind, right? Although this isn’t completely true, carrots are important for a number of reasons.

About Carrots

Carrots were originally grown to use as medicine before people started eating them. We can still use carrots as medicine today by nourishing our bodies from the inside. Besides the classic orange carrots, there are also white, red, yellow, and purple varieties. These are usually called rainbow carrots. 

Why are they beneficial?rainbow carrots

Raw orange carrots have beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A when we eat them. This vitamin is important for growth, which is why carrots are a great snack for kids. Vitamin A also helps growth on the cellular level for people of all ages. All cells throughout the body need vitamin A to make new cells. This is why carrots are especially good for our eyes and skin. Carrots also support your immune system with their vitamin C. Different colored carrots offer different nutrients. For example, a specific antioxidant gives purple carrots their color, and it protects against free radicals that cause disease. 

When are they in season?

Local carrots can be found in short seasons in the spring and fall in Tennessee. You can always find different carrot varieties in grocery stores. 

How long will they keep?

Fresh carrots can last up to four weeks if stored properly. Keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If your carrots come with the greens attached, remove them before you store them, but don’t throw them away! Carrot greens are edible. Toss your carrots when they turn white and dry.

roasted carrotsHow can I prepare them?

There are so many ways to get carrots in your diet. They make an easy side dish for almost any meal. Always be sure to wash your carrots thoroughly before eating since they do come from the ground. Here are a few different ways to prepare them:

  • Make carrot fries in the oven. This recipe only has three ingredients and only takes 20 minutes.
  • Add them to your smoothie or juice. Carrots go great with citrus like orange or grapefruit. Add some ginger for an extra health boost and flavor.
  • Make homemade carrot hummus. Just combine carrots, chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and your favorite seasoning and puree.
  • Saute chopped carrots in grass-fed butter, minced garlic, and thyme for a warm side dish.

 

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

Vegucation: Spinach

About Spinachpopeye and spinach

Some of us might imagine Popeye guzzling down some canned spinach when we think of this leafy green. The canned spinach made Popeye stronger, and increased Americans’ intake by a third when the cartoon was popular. Canned spinach isn’t so popular anymore, but there are a few varieties that we eat today. There’s Savoy (which has crinkly leaves), smooth or flat leaf spinach (baby spinach belongs in this category), and a hybrid of the two. Spinach needs a cool and moist environment and partly sandy soil to thrive in. This is why most of the United States’ spinach is grown in California. 

Why is it beneficial?

Spinach has an abundance of beneficial nutrients for your entire body. Leafy greens are known for their high levels of iron, which is important for growth. It also has magnesium that activates over 300 reactions in the body. In addition to these minerals, it contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and some B vitamins. All of these vitamins work together to protect against free radicals and cancer, lower cholesterol, and promote a healthy heart, bones, brain, and respiratory system. The B vitamins in spinach–niacin, thiamin, and folate–work to convert carbs into energy. The body does not store vitamins B and C like it does the other vitamins, so it is important to eat them every day. 

When is it in season?spinach

Local spinach is found in the spring and sometimes fall when the weather is cool. Be sure to buy organic spinach whenever possible since it is one of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.

 

How long will it keep?

Fresh, unwashed spinach will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Eat it as soon as possible for optimal nutrition. You can also freeze spinach at peak freshness, just make sure to wash it first.

How can I prepare spinach?spinach smoothie

Eating fresh, raw spinach is the best way to receive all the benefits. However, if you are prone to kidney stones, you might consider cooking it slightly to decrease the amount of oxalate that causes them. Also, if you are trying to get more iron in your diet, cook the spinach with a little lemon juice or vinegar  to preserve the iron. Here are a few ways to get your dose of greens:

  • Use frozen or fresh spinach in a smoothie. Bananas, pineapple, and strawberries all go great with spinach.
  • Sauce it with garlic and red pepper flakes for about a minute. Add an egg or two and scramble it together for a healthy breakfast. 
  • Replace the iceberg lettuce in your salad or on your sandwich with spinach for an extra serving of veggies
  • Make this homemade spinach pesto to top your favorite whole wheat pasta with. 

Eating more spinach might not make you instantly stronger like Popeye, but it will benefit your whole body and wellbeing. 

 

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

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