Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery.

Don’t get us wrong — you’ll need some form of meat for a “meat” ball, but in this case — you don’t need cows. At all. The point is to avoid red meat altogether, and when focusing on the versatility that is arugula, we have a dynamite option for you to try out: an arugula meatball!

As We Mentioned, Though, It’s Not Just an ARUGULA Meatball

We need a meat in there. And chicken is the best substitute for that red meat. This does go against the grain a bit given meatballs arugula meatballare quite popular in Italian cuisine. After all, meatballs typically require beef or veal, browned, and then simmered in some simple sauce. You typically throw those meatballs in a salad or, of course, spaghetti, and lo and behold — you have a beautiful Italian dinner.

What if you want something a bit ‘slimmer’ and more organic? The point of using chicken is to ‘beef’ up that meatball, so it holds its shape as you cook it. The arugula gives it that dynamite bite you want in a meatball. Just mix it with ground chicken, shape them into balls, toss in a frying pan, and simmer! When they’re brown enough, pull them out, serve them, let your guests stick them, and just watch with joy as they pop those beasts in their mouths. Simple.

You Can STILL Use Barbecue Sauce, Too

Forget spaghetti. Forget salads. Just eating them with barbecue sauce at a buffet, and you wouldn’t even know the difference that there’s no red meat in there. How’s that for cleverness. Creativity. Your kids love meatballs? Cook these suckers, and they really wouldn’t even know the difference.

That’s just the start of what you can do with arugula, though. There’s a ton you can do with the leafy green. Check it out here and be inspired. After all…. We love invention!

Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, produce report.

Full disclaimer here about pizza — it’s the ultimate palate and canvas for you to experiment with anything you could ever possibly want. Just ask those ninja turtles. Just about anything can go well with a pizza pie, but take caution. Some things don’t. You already see the headline here saying something about “arugula pizza,” and it goes way over your head. A leafy green other than spinach? Come on!

If Done Right, Arugula Pizza Will Knock Your Socks Offarugula pizza

Just remember that arugula’s quite peppery — savory, even. When baked, you’ll need something complementing that taste, and gorgonzola hits the mark quite well. Add some toasted walnuts, and you’ve got a classic combo on a pizza that’ll throw you for a loop.

Why gorgonzola? The creaminess, and the more subdued cheesy flavor is just what that arugula needs. If you used regular mozzarella, the pizza would be a bit too strong for its own good. Walnuts sort of replace that same bite you get when you chomp on a pepperoni without the meatiness, which defeats the purpose of the whole combo right away. So you see the connection — gorgonzola, ARUGULA, and walnuts! An excellent pizza to try out.

That Brings Us to the Big Point We All Want to Make:

Be creative! Even with pizza. The truth is just about any well-known dish can be reinvented with organic food, and this is just one example. Sure, pizza can be a bit of a massive undertaking, but you can even kick it with some great organic products — like arugula — to make one awesome arugula pizza, with a thin crust and a salad — perhaps with arugula in it! — to complement. Eating well can also mean eating right! So check this out as well as other ideas for arugula, and you’ll realize —

Organic’s great!

 

Posted by & filed under fruit, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery.

Ooops…. You just got yourself a produce bag of persimmons when you meant to get some good tomatoes for your tacos. What. Do. You. Do? ….Thankfully, you honestly should keep those persimmons for what it’s worth, because lo and behold, you have quite the versatile fruit on your hands!

The Persimmon Is a True Delicacy

This list of guidelines for what you need to do with your persimmons is the proof. You see, this isn’t your everyday fruit. In fact, you persimmon-1can liken it to a pomegranate or an Ugli fruit, but the main noticeable characteristic of the persimmon is the fact that it looks virtually identical to a tomato.

Explains a lot of the confusion! Rest assured, you can benefit well from the mistake at the organic grocery store if you follow these guidelines about what to do with your persimmon batch:

Who knows — after going through this, you just might have your new obsession with organic fruit.

Why? Because the Persimmon Can Be Used in a Multitude of Ways

But know this: specifically, you’ll want to learn this guideline, because if bitten into when not fully ripe, you’ll want to spit it out! The unripe persimmon may have an astringent taste to it, and that’s largely why it’s so rare. You don’t exactly make a pie with it (although you could, if you know what you’re looking for). Still, Golden Gate approves. And if you time it just right, you might have quite the sweet foray of persimmons to work with. Just remember these prized secrets…. And don’t tell anyone!

Posted by & filed under fruit, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery.

Surprising, right? I mean, after all, most fruits pretty much hold the same shape they’re known for. Apples look like hearts. Pears look like, well…pears. But a persimmon? That’s an entirely different ballgame given that while it does resemble a tomato, not every persimmon is created equal. And it’s important to realize this:

The Shape of the Persimmon Directly Determines Its Sweetnesspersimmon-2

We want to eat fruit that’s sweet, obviously. And it just so happens that if you’re wondering about persimmons, you’re going to want to know that not every variation will be that tasty. Western countries, though, have it a bit easier, but if you just happen to be over in East Asia, know that there are a huge variety of shapes, and it’ll help to have a bit of a guideline about which shapes are ‘good’ (and which shapes are, well, ‘bitter’).

For starters, many sweet persimmons tend to have a flat base, very much like a tomato. Typically, indented lines will run from the stem to the base, but not always; some are smooth. What you have to keep in eye on is whether or not your persimmon has a longer, tapering to a blunt point, sort of like a mutant acorn. If that’s how your persimmon looks like, don’t bite into it. They’re even nastier than lemons, which thankfully makes those varieties of persimmon fantastic for all sorts of cooking.

Hence Why the Shape Matters, But Doesn’t Make the Persimmon Any Less Desirable!

When have you ever come across a fruit capable of so many different possibilities? It’s remarkable. For the more astringment persimmons, you can utilize in salads and dash with other savory items to go along with it. The sweeter kinds can be eaten raw right away. Of course, you won’t know that unless you’ve read this article straight through. So don’t make the mistake of following the guidelines — or else you just might be puckered for a while there.

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Nutritional Value Organic Vegetables Soil MattersWhen we blog about various veggies here at Golden Gate Organics, we do our fair share of research to provide accurate information about nutrient content in an effort to increase your attraction to these colorful, dietary wonders.

The truth is, if you’re purchasing veggies from local farmers, who use organic or biodynamic farming methods, and who focus on the quality of their soil – you shouldn’t ever need to spend another penny on vitamin or mineral supplements; you’ll get everything your body needs from the seasonal foods you eat.

But, here’s the thing: those “nutrient values” are a moving target of sorts. For example, in a recent post about the wonders of collard greens we stated a cooked cup of collards contains 250% of the RDA for Vitamin A. But whose cooked cup is that? Are the collards you get in your weekly veggie box equal to those found in the average grocery store? Or in the neighbor’s backyard garden?

Nutrient Values Vary Depending on How Your Veggies Are Grown

You see, who is growing your veggies – and how they grow those veggies, makes a tremendous difference in the nutritional values of the vegetables you eat. Case in point: The Tale of a Friendly Butternut Squash.

A recent post in Mother Earth News (a must-have subscription for those of you who love to garden, grow your own veggies and/or dream of creating a homestead), shares how different soil and growing conditions vastly altered the nutrients of butternut squash.

The “tester,” John Frank, works for International Ag Labs.  He made a point of gathering 29 different butternut squash from growers around the nation. The growers submitted information about their farming practices – from conventional to backyard organic.

The squash were each tested in a lab and compared with the current “nutrient values” for butternut squash as stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Take a look below to see how vast the nutrient spread was between the lowest and highest scoring butternuts:

Nutrient                          Low Score                           USDA Level                        High Score

Protein (g)                           0.4                                         1.0                                           4.4

Calcium (mg)                       27                                           48                                           78

Phosphorous (mg)             23                                           33                                          166

Potassium (mg)                 282                                         352                                        1083

Magnesium (mg)                13                                            4                                             51

 

While the spread might not seem that extreme at first glance, keep in mind that the squash with the highest nutrient content had three-times higher values than the lowest-scoring squash, and that phosphorous (the second most important mineral when it comes to healthy bones and teeth) was found in seven-times higher concentration in the highest-scoring squash than the lowest-scoring squash.

Organic is good and biodynamic is even better

What Mr. Frank learned was that while organic farming is good, biodynamic farming is even better. It’s not surprising that all of the highest scoring butternuts were grown organically, so was the lowest scoring squash. That goes to show that while subtracting herbicides and pesticides is Step One in a health farming culture, concentrating on soil quality is absolutely crucial.

The highest scoring squash was grown by Doris and Calvin Bey, owners of Harmony Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Beys make it a priority to grow nutrient-rich veggies, and they do so by concentrating on healthy soil.

Your farmer’s soil is the food source for your food, so to speak. The nutrients and minerals in the soil are absorbed through plant roots and used to grow vibrant foliage and – hopefully – nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits. Nutrient-rich soil means minerals that are balanced correctly. It also means that the soil is alive with microbes, worms, and mycorrhizae (fungus)  – all of which work in the soil to keep it fertile and energized.

So, the next time you visit your farmer’s market, start asking questions about how they farm and – more specifically – inquire as to what they do to nurture nutrient-rich earth. What do they do to keep their soil alive and energized? Do they rotate crops? Do they let chickens and pigs naturally till and fertilize the soil? Are they composting? As the Beys see it, “Meeting minimum organic standards give no assurance that the produce will be nutrient-dense.”

Looking for organic veggies that are grown with an emphasis on nutrient rich products? Sign up for a weekly CSA box from Golden Gate Organics. Your veggies never tasted so good.

Posted by & filed under fruit, organic, organic produce, produce report.

You basically need to follow that dogma to a tee minus a few exceptions. Tricky, yes. But that’s the case for persimmons as you can see here. As far as learning more and more about persimmon varieties, though, the one thing you have to keep in mind is this — not all “varieties” are alike! And we don’t mean necessarily by how they look.

Yes, Apples Can Have Varying “Tastes,” But THESE Persimmon Varieties Will SHOCK You

Lest we forget…. We’re not talking about apples. Obviously. The persimmon is one of those rare varieties of fruit that will perplex you like no other, but one thing’s for sure — you’ll love these. They’re very healthy for you, but hard to know what you’re getting when shopping. Here’s what you need to know about persimmon varieties:

Thankfully, here in the West, we have it pretty easy — there are only two varieties — Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyu is the type of persimmon that’s generally always sweet and can be eaten when firm, very much like an apple. And this is a fruit resembling a tomato! Hachiya persimmons, though, generally are quite ‘tangy’, rough to the taste when firm. You’ve got to wait for those suckers to soften up a bit before you can bite into them.

Go to the orient, though, and you’re in trouble — there are at least a dozen persimmon varieties out there:

  • Jiropersimmon varieties
  • Izu
  • Hanagosho
  • Midia
  • Suruga
  • Shogatsu
  • Tanenashi
  • Eureka
  • Tamopan
  • Gailey

The first six are considered among the sweet kind. So pay attention.

Need more help and differentiation? Check it out: Triumph persimmons (also known as Sharons) tend to be quite sweet when sold in the market. However…. If you get those kind of persimmons straight from the tree, pucker up. If you really want to know which varieties will make you suck out of a straw, find the varieties out there that are seedless and more orange-yellowish in color. The good thing is if you wait enough, those tangy ones get seeded and darker…and taste tremendous. Some of those varieties are as follows:

  • Giombo
  • Hyakume
  • Nishimura Wase
  • Rama Forte
  • Luiz de Queiroz
  • Chocolate (yes, that’s the variety name)

It’s a Journey With the Persimmon Variety, so It’ll Be a Good One

The good thing is — astringent or sweet, it doesn’t matter. Persimmons are fantastic for you. If they’re a bit tangy, wait for them to ripen. If you can’t wait, slice them up and throw in a salad. Golden gate approves.

Posted by & filed under fruit, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery.

Good at checking the corn for rotten parts? Good. What about apples? They’re easy to spot the bad ones. But persimmons? It all depends on what you want in one. The good persimmons isn’t about whether or not they’re actually ‘good’ (as in ripe enough, or rotten). What’s funny is even the special shapes and ‘defects’ on a persimmon can lend a certain characteristic you may or may not want to have.

Here Are Four Things You Need to Know About Good Persimmonsgood persimmons

Let’s talk about the American kind — and if you want more information about persimmons, just check this out right here. The American kind, however, chances are you’ve seen quite often. They’re typically called “possum apples,” native to the eastern United States, growing on wild trees. They are indeed harvested often and are quite small — but don’t bite into those suckers. They ain’t sweet. But they’re great for salads and soups.

You might come across a persimmon that happens to have four sides. If that’s the case, don’t bite into that one either. They’re often astringent. Same goes for any persimmons possessing “concentric rings” around the leafy tops. However, if the persimmon has “cracks” around that leafy part, you might have some sweetness there. Strangely enough, the more rotten the fruit, the tastier it is!

Just Another Reason Why You HAVE to Get Yourself a Persimmon

Most haven’t even heard of the fruit. It’s not exactly the common one to get at the grocery store supermarket. Everyone loves the apple, the pear, the grapes, even the blackberries. But the real rare ones out there, like Ugli fruit, dragonfruit, and, of course, the persimmon — it’s all here. The great thing is now you know. And all the info’s right here. Want more information about more organic produce? Just check out the blog for more of our goodies!

 

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, tips & tricks.

You read that correctly. Soup. It is possible. If you were to check this article out on celeriac, though, you’d be even more surprised given how the weird “veggie” looks like. It’s not exactly a vegetable, per se — it’s a root. So, naturally, when it comes to roots, you typically think they’re often used as seasonings when ground to a powder or shavings. Not so. Celeriac can be used, in fact, as much more —

And, in This Case, Celery Root Soup is a Real Winnercelery root soup

winter soup, of course, featuring some hearty notes to it. The great thing about celery root is that it’s so hearty. It’ll fill you up. And in the winter, that’s crucial for us to get filled up while we hibernate like bears. Take note: this soup’s relatively easy to make as long as you have all the other necessities. And you’ll thank us later:

First off, what goes well with celeriac? Potatoes, of course! Hence why you can use both in a rich, hearty, warm, thick, and almost meal-like soup. Potatoes often go well with soup, so all you need to do is slice them up as well as some cubed celeriac, some leeks, a healthy amount of butter, and either chicken or veggie broth. Simmer it all until tender. But don’t stop there….

You have to puree the entire concoction. Or else you’ll just have a stew. And it really won’t have much body to it. A soup has to have a lot of body to it. Mix it up and throw in some cream for a little extra thickness. You want this soup to slowly drool off your spoon — not ‘spill’. Add a little lemon zest for that bit of a kick, some chopped fresh parsley, crispy croutons, and you’re good to go.

The Best Part? It’s a Pretty Decently Healthy Meal

Well, it could be. Add some protein in there, and you’ve got a meal. And you’ve also used up that celery root for good use. Because guess what: that soup can freeze and be stored! Mmmm…. For more goodies, just check out the Golden Gate blog. We promise — you won’t be disappointed.

 

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, tips & tricks.

We’re all about creativity and invention, and nothing beats creative like the celeriac — also known as the “celery root.” Looking like something you basically do not eat, the celery root stands as the cornerstone for healthy eating and organic food since this is what literally comes from the ground. You can’t process this type of food. At all. As a result, when you eat this, you’re dealing with some major power-packs of vitamins, minerals and other goodies you never thought you could ingest in your wildest dreams.

But We Dare You to Look at the Image of a Celeriac. It’s Not Pretty.

Go ahead and try eating this thing. We dare you. Believe it or not, it is edible. It won’t hurt you. But the thought of chewing on this sort of ‘branch’ thing doesn’t exactly whet the appetite or make the tummy growl. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to use celeriac in your diet without grounding it up and simply using it as a seasoning (which would be easy!). This might shockceleriac-1 you — but we have the TRIFECTA of great dishes that can be primarily created with celeriac. Check it out:

Sound too good to be true? Why don’t you just click the links yourself and find out. Celeriac is versatile, and that’s what we celebrate.

Organic Versatility — Right Here at Golden Gate Organics

There’s a lot many people don’t know about the most obscure and rare foods offering the best possible sources of health known to man. You can learn more about it right here. Not just this trifecta. But so much more. Enjoy.

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Believe it or not…. But salad does not require lettuce. Not even romaine! And that’s a shocker, because we at Golden Gate love romaine. This is, however, about breaking the mold when it comes to organic food and getting inventive with your foods. So here’s a big challenge for you: celeriac. What can you possibly do with celeriac?? Well, you can find out right here.

One of the Things You Can Do Is Make a Celeriac SALADceleriac salad

But it requires a certain technique, so to speak. After all, you can’t just toss a giant celery ROOT into your salad and pour some ranch on it. Get the knife. Start sharpening it up. And get to work. This is what you do to make a great celeriac salad along with some sweet companions for a wickedly hearty wintery taste:

You’ll need endives, for starters. Slice up some along with some pears, throw in some toasted walnuts for that crunch and protein, and forget the ranch. Go with blue cheese dressing. And you’re good to go. But don’t forget the celeriac, please!

Want to know what you do with that gigantic celery root? Here’s the secret: you’re going to need to slice the celery root into ‘matchsticks’. The result is getting a coleslaw-style type of yumminess that adds to the crunch with those walnuts — and with that blue cheese dressing, you have something guaranteed to fill you up even without eating meat.

And you heard right: you don’t need to braise the celeriac. You don’t need to saute it. You don’t even need butter. Just slice them up into thin layers and add to the salad to your heart’s content. Simple as that. You can even grate a whole lot of that celery root as a topping if you want. We suggest do both.

We’re Not Kidding: This Might Make You Love Salads All Over Again

And chances are good there are plenty of other ways to make a celeriac salad. That crunch just nails it right on the head. Like eating an awesome bunch of hearty fries — and you didn’t even have to fry ’em.