Cherry Tomatoes


General
Tomatoes are a fruit rather than a vegetable. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat more than 22 pounds of tomatoes every year. More than half this amount is eaten in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce.

Nutrition
1 cup of cherry tomatoes is about 27 calories. It has 4 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. It is a good source of vitamin C, A, and K. Tomatoes have of late been cited as an excellent source of antioxidants because of there high lycopene content. Lycopene has been proven to prevent and fight certain types of cancer.

Storage
NEVER REFRIGERATE FRESH TOMATOES! Cold temperatures make the flesh of a tomato pulpy and destroys the flavor. Always store tomatoes at room temperature stem-end up.

Recipes

Tomatoes

Nutritional Value
1 cup of chopped tomatoes has 32 calories.  It has 2 grams each of protein and fiber.  It is freakishly high in Vitamin A and C with 30% and 32% of your reccomended daily intake.

General Facts
Tomatoes are members of the fruit family, but they are served and prepared as a vegetable.
Cancer Institute published a study that showed an association between consuming a diet rich in tomato-based foods and a decreased risk of prostate cancer.  Tomatoes contain large amounts of an antioxidant called lycopene, which may be responsible for this possible positive effect. Tomato paste and sauces contain a greater amount of lycopene, because they are more concentrated than fresh tomatoes.

Storage
Store tomatoes at room temperature until they have fully ripened. Try to store tomatoes out of direct sunlight, because sunlight will cause them to ripen unevenly. If you must store them for a longer period of time, place them in the refrigerator. Chopped tomatoes can be frozen for use in sauces or other cooked dishes.

Freezing tomatoes is one of the simplest ways to preserve them. Rinse them, then spread out on a cookie sheet, and freeze overnight. When frozen, put them in a freezer bag and return to the freezer. To use, remove from bag and thaw. When thawed, slip the skins off, and use in your favorite recipes.

Recipes

Summer Squash / Zucchini


Nutritional Facts:
1 cup of raw squash has 20 calories.  It has 1 gram of Fiber and 2 of protein.  It offers 34% of the reccomended daily intake of vitamin C and is a good source of b6 and K as well.  It is also considered a good source for riboflavin and folates as well.

General Facts:
There are several types of summer squash, but zucchini is the most popular.  Squash belong to the plant family that includes melons and cucumbers. The skin and rind of summer squash are rich in the nutrient beta-carotene, but the fleshy portion of this vegetable is not. To gain the full nutritional benefits of this vegetable, the skins or rinds must be eaten.

Storage:
Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Fresh summer squash should keep for up to a week. Thicker-shinned varieties such as chayote will stay fresh for two weeks or longer.

Recipes

Scallions

Nutrional Value
1 cup of raw chopped scallion has 32 calories.  It has 3 grams of fiber and 2 of protein.  It is an excellent source of vitamins C, offering 31% of the daily reccomended amount in 1 cup.  It is also a good source of vitamin A and K plus folate and a host of minerals.

General Facts
Scallions are onions that are pulled before a large bulb has formed. They are also called Spring Onions and are in season in Spring as one would imagine!

Storage
Wrap the whole trimmed scallions in a paper towel, and put them in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to a week before wilting.

Recipes

Broccoli

Nutrition:
Broccoli also contains the carotenoid, lutein. Broccoli is an excellent source of the vitamins K, C, and A, as well as folate and fiber. Broccoli is a very good source of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and the vitamins B6 and E.

Storage:
Broccoli is very perishable and should be stored, unwashed in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for a week. Broccoli that has been blanched and then frozen can stay up to a year. Leftover cooked broccoli should be placed in tightly covered container and stored in the refrigerator where it will keep for a few days.

AKA:
Calabrese, Italian green

Origin:
The history of this vegetable only dates back to the 1920’s in the U.S. and its cultivation originated in Italy.

Cooking tips:
Broccoli is a very versatile vegetable that can be steamed, pureed, stir fried or simply eaten raw.
When cooking broccoli, however, the stems and florets should be prepared differently. Since the fibrous stems take longer to cook, they can be prepared separately for a few minutes before adding the florets. For quicker cooking, make lengthwise slits in the stems. While people do not generally eat the leaves, they are perfectly edible and contain concentrated amounts of nutrients.

Sprinkle lemon juice and sesame seeds over lightly steamed broccoli.

Toss pasta with olive oil, pine nuts and healthy sautéed broccoli florets. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Purée cooked broccoli and cauliflower, then combine with seasonings of your choice to make a simple, yet delicious, soup.

Add broccoli florets and chopped stalks to omelets.


Substitutions:

Broccoli raab (bitter) OR Broccoflower OR cauliflower

Equivalents:
1 lb = 2 cups florets = 1 bunch = 3 cups cooked, chopped = 10 oz frozen = 1.5 cups raw, chopped

Recipes

Boston Lettuce



General Facts

Modern lettuce had its start as a Mediterranean weed. As early as 55 B.C., lettuce was served on the tables of Persian kings and praised for its medicinal values. The name comes from Latin words referring to its milky juice.

Nutrition
1 cup of shredded boston lettuce has only 7 calories, and 1 gram each of fiber, protein, and sugar. While it is low on calories it has 36% of our reccomended allowance of Vitamin A! It also has lots of Vitamin K and folate.

AKA

Butter lettuce

Storage

Lettuce will perish quickly if not stored properly. Boston lettuce can be stored (unwashed) for 3 to 5 days in a perforated plastic bag (wrap in damp paper towels if you want to be fancy), inside your refrigerator.
A little trick? Do not place your lettuce near fruits that release ethylene such as apples, pears or bananas to avoid premature ripening. Wash your lettuce in cold water and just before preparing it. Dry it immediately before leaves soften.

Recipes

Collard greens


Long a staple of the Southern United States, collards are leafy green vegetables that belong to the same family that includes cabbage, kale and broccoli. Although they are available year-round they are at their best from January through April. Their dark blue-green leaves are smooth in texture and relatively broad, distinguishing them from the frilly edged leaves of kale.  Some describe collards to be bitter, though many find they have a mild, almost smoky flavor.

Nutrition:
1 cup of boiled collard greens (190 grams) has 50 calories, 23% of RDA calcium, 44 of folate, 21% of dietary fiber and 57% of vitamin c. Studies  have shown that eating 3-5 weekly servings of cruciferous vegetables, such as collards,  reduce the risk of prostate, colorectal and lung cancer.

Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, folate, dietary fiber, and calcium. In addition, collard greens are a very good source of potassium, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6, and a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, and iron.

Storage:
Wrap unwashed greens in damp paper towels. Refrigerate in a plastic bag, in the crisper, up to 5 days. The sooner they are eaten, the less bitter they will be.

AKA:
Collards

Origin
Collards have been cultivated since the times of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. While collards may have been introduced into the United States before, but the first mention of collard greens dates back to the late 17th century. Collards are an integral food in traditional southern American cuisine.

Cooking tips:
Strip leaves from stems and discard stems. Rinse well. Boil, steam and microwave (cook just until wilted). Add to soups. Chop cooked collards for stuffings. After cooking, chill to serve cold with olive oil and lemon juice.
Leaves that are smaller in size will be more tender and have a milder flavor.

Drizzle cooked collard greens with olive oil and lemon juice.

Use lightly steamed, cooled and chopped collard greens as a filling in your sushi vegetable rolls.
Sautee with tofu, garlic and chili pepper.

Substitutions:
Mustard greens, kale, bok choy

Equivalents:
6-7 cups raw = 1.5 cups cooked

Bok Choy


Bok Choy is a Chinese leaf vegetable.

Nutrition
Bok Choy is a good source of calcium vitamin C and fiber.

Storage
3-5 days, refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag.

AKA
snow cabbage, brassica rapa

Origin
Bok Choy has been grown for over 1300 years.

Cooking tips
Both the leaves and the stalk can be used raw or cooked. It is often also added to hotpot dishes and soups. Baby bok choy is great for braising or stir frying. It is also great raw with dips and in salad.

Substitutions
watercress, dandelion greens

Recipes

Green Beans

Nutritional Data
1 cup of raw green beans has 34 calories, 2 grams of both protein and sugar, 4 grams of fiber and 30% of your daily intake of Vitamin C.  Green beans are a low sodium food and considered a good source for Vitamin A, folate, and iron.

General Facts

Green Beans are available year round, but peak of the season is May thru October.  They were first served by the French but were initially found in hot regions of the Americas, India, and China.  They are considered nitrogen fixers, which means they have the ability to draw nitrogen from the air and return it to the soil. Because of this, farmers often plant beans and legumes in their crop rotations to replenish the soil.  Green fruits and vegetables help maintain vision health and strong bones and teeth. They may also lower the risk of some cancers.

Offbeat Fact
Green bean casserole was invented in 1955 by the Campbell Soup Company test kitchen.

Storage
Store unwashed fresh green beans in a resealable plastic bag for up to 4 days. Wash just before using, removing strings and ends if necessary.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine is a pretty tight “head” of lettuce with long green crisp leaves. While lettuce is often overlooked it has a alot of health benefits and Romaine leads the way with its high Vitamin A content as well as other nutrients.
Lettuce came to the US in the 17th century. It was planted in California by Spanish Missionaries but took centuries to become popular once refrigeration became available and the railways were developed to deliver it cross country.

Nutrition
1 cup of shredded of romaine has a whopping 8 calories. It also has 1 gram each of fiber, protein, and sugar. It has a suspiciously high level of vitamin A, but after some internet fact-checking, the 81% of the daily recommended serving seems to check out! Romaine is also a good source of vitamin C, folate, iron, can calcium.

AKA
Romaine is also know as Cos.

Storage
Romaine and leaf lettuce should be washed and dried before storing in the refrigerator to remove their excess moisture. It should be stored either in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp cloth and stored in the refrigerator crisper.

Recipes

Community Supported Agriculture in the 11104