This week’s box is truly an “antioxidant booster” because of all the superfoods inside! A superfood contains antioxidants, which help fight free radicals - cells that can cause diseases like cancer. As you may know, blueberries are known as the top superfood because they contain more antioxidants than 40 other fruits and veggies. You may not know that peaches and nectarines also contain lots of antioxidants along with nutrients and vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. These antioxidants often come as part of the molecules that give fruits their colors - so you know with blue blueberries, yellow peaches and nectarines, red cherries,napples and pluots providing a wide spectrum of colors, you’re getting lots of different types of antioxidants and nutrients. We hope you had a terrific FOURTH OF JULY.
Enjoy the fruit your brain will thank you.
Everett Myers, Founder and President of FruitShare
In Your Box: All Organic Fruit Blueberries, Lapin cherries, Yellow peaches and nectarines, Pluots, Cripps apples, and Valencia oranges
Storage and Ripening
I like to place the Peaches and Nectarines on the counter until they give to thumb pressure. Once the peaches and nectarines give to thumb pressure eat them right away or place them in your refrigerator to enjoy within a couple of days. Eat your Lapin (red) cherries and blueberries first and place any left-over in the refrigerator right away. They like to be cool and dry. Make sure to dry off any condensation they may have picked up during the delivery and place them in the refrigerator. Pluots are best when they give to thumb pressure too, but they are also good firm so see how you like them the best. The refrigerator will keep them longer. Apples and Valencia oranges will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
What It Takes
Cherries are one of the most difficult fruit crops to grow. All the harvesting happens in about a 2-week window. The weather has to cooperate perfectly for the fruit to be blemish-free. Harvesting is all done by hand, color picking through the orchard several times to pick just what is sweet and ready to eat. Harvest days being at 4:30 AM when the temperatures are the coolest and then before noon everything comes into the packing shed is cooled down to 36 degrees F and packing goes on until 9 pm in refrigerated coolers. Everyone gets up and does it all over again until the 2-week harvest is done. There is no such thing as a weekend or 4th of July Holiday for the cherry producer. Some years a Lapin crop doesn’t even happen, so we are excited that we were able to get these precious and extremely limited supply of organic Lapin cherries to you.
Dick Kauffman finds organic farming much more satisfying than conventional methods. Dick and I share a history of having volunteered in the U.S. Peace Corps. After years of farm management in the Napa area, Dick began his own orchard and switched over to organic growing methods in 1999. Now, he has 82 acres of delicious organic stone fruit, including the pluots in your box. The pluot ¾ plum ¼ apricot was developed by California fruit hybridizer Floyd Zaiger, who also developed the aprium, an apricot plum hybrid. Zaiger changed the apricot and plum fruit world with both these fruits. They are firmer and sweeter typically than the apricot and plum are alone and we have really found they consistently taste great.
John France began producing organic tree fruit in 1989, and quickly became well known for both the quality of the fruit and the quality of his operation. John is thankful that his three children are not exposed to the pesticides and fungicides used heavily in conventional stone fruit orchards. So what’s the secret to his exceptional organic fruit? Weeds. Or so it would seem – John says that what appear to be weeds are actually valuable cover crops. John strategically plants an assortment of grains and legumes between his trees. He explains that the legumes provide nitrogen when tilled under, and the grains create plant diversity, which John has found to be a crucial part of orchard health. The cover crops also house natural predators and make it easier for water to be absorbed into the soil. John has watched the health of his soil improve, and has seen insects and birds return to the orchard. Now raising 18 different types of fruit trees and vines, John has recently noticed increases in fruit production. So whether you say “tomayto” or “tomahto,” “weeds” or “cover crops,” you’re bound to enjoy these Peaches and Nectarines.
Blueberries are now coming from Washington State. These Duke blueberries are one of our favorite varieties.
The Valencia oranges come from Bill. He has been working with several of his organic orchard friends since the 1980s to grow delicious citrus and avocados. The Valencia oranges are super juicy and are perfect for squeezing a glass of fresh orange juice. Just cut them in half, cross-section, and squeeze the juice into a glass. It is the perfect way to start the day. They also make a great snack but can be difficult to peel, so your best bet is to slice Valencia’s into wedges. They do have some seeds so watch out.
Enjoy these new crop Pink Cripps apples.
Health and Wellness
Cherries provide tremendous benefits to your health. They have a low glycemic index of 22 making them a great choice for diabetics. They also help you sleep better because they are a good source of melatonin. The Alzheimer’s Association includes cherries as one of the memory boosting foods because they are rich in antioxidants. Cherries provide cardiovascular benefits as well. The anthocyanins, which are the pigments giving cherries their red color, may activate PPAR which regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism and thus, reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes. Eating cherries lowers the risk of gout attacks by 35-50 percent. They can also help reduce muscle inflammation and pain, making them a great choice for those who suffer from osteoarthritis, as well as athletes pushing their bodies to the limit, like long-distance runners. Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries help reduce bad cholesterol levels. In other words, eat cherries - they taste great and are good for you.
This easy summer salad takes healthy clean-eating up to the next level. Garden fresh arugula combined with nutty red quinoa and our freshest organic blueberries makes for a perfect summer dish.
Salad: 4 cups organic arugula (fresh cut from the garden is ideal!), 1 cup cooked organic quinoa, 1 organic yellow pepper—diced, 1 cup FruitShare fresh organic blueberries, 2-3 organic green onions, 1 handful of organic walnuts (optional)
Dressing: 1 shallot finely diced, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/8 cup organic blueberries—muddled, salt/pepper, maple syrup to taste (the real stuff of course!)
Strain and rinse 1/2 cup red quinoa. Add to saucepan with 1 cup water, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until water has been absorbed. Allow to cool or place in the fridge if time allows. Meanwhile, wash and spin arugula greens and place in a bowl. Add diced yellow pepper, green onions, blueberries. Add quinoa and dress salad with blueberry vinaigrette dressing (below) or vinaigrette of your choice. Enjoy fresh.
Blueberry Vinaigrette Dressing: Mix oil and vinegar in an approximate 3 to 1 oil to vinegar ratio. Add shallot, muddled blueberries, salt, pepper and maple syrup to taste.