by Kristen Troy
These pears ripen on the tree before being picked. Once they are picked, they must be carefully handled to not bruise or discolor. Asian pears are favored across the world for their crunchy texture and sweet flesh and are mainly consumed as fresh fruit. In addition to being eaten as fresh fruit, the pears were used to reduce symptoms of coughs, laryngitis, ulcers, and constipation. They were also used to promote a healthy complexion, lighten under-eye circles, and relieve retina pain.
A vegetable that is typically known for being the crunchy little green things in soups and stews, celery is used in many culinary dishes. The celery stalks are what most people think of when they think the veggie, but there are also uses for the celery leaves. Celery stalk is used in many weight loss diets because celery has low-calorie content to begin with, and during digestion only a small portion of those calories are taken in.
Otherwise known as celeriac, is a bulb typically harvested around 10-14 cm in diameter. Some harvesting is done while the root is smaller to have a more intense flavor from the root. It can be eaten raw or cooked by roasting, stewing, blanching, or mashing. Celeriac without roots attached has a shelf life of six to eight months if it is stored in a refrigerator, making sure it doesn’t dry out. If celeriac goes bad, the center becomes hollow and the flavors will decrease.
Part of the onion family, these vegetables do not have a bulb, but a bundle of leaves that can be used in dishes for a milder onion flavor. The bottom of the leaves are white gradually increasing in green coloring to the top of the leaves. They can be used raw for a crunchy texture or cooked to have a soft and milder flavor.
Related to cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus, okra is a fruit capsule that can be up to 18 centimeters long with many seeds inside. Pods can be cooked, pickled, eaten raw or used in salads. In some developing countries, okra is used to mitigate malnutrition and food insecurity. The composition of raw okra is 90% water, 2% protein, and 7% carbohydrates. There are significant amounts of fiber, vitamin c, and vitamin K in a serving of raw okra.
One of the first fruits to be domesticated by humans, these fruits are related to peaches and cherries. They have a groove on one side and a pit in the middle. The outside of plum is smooth and can sometimes have a waxy coating. Plums are typically 2 – 7 cm in diameter and have juicy flesh that can be sweet or tart. When plums are dried out they are referred to as prunes.
Not just a squash for Halloween and Thanksgiving. This squash starts to become available in late summer and can satisfy many fall cravings. Pumpkins are used in savory and sweet dishes, as animal feed, for decoration, and for crafts. The United States is one of the biggest international producers of pumpkins, joined by Canada, Mexico, India, and China. Among the pumpkins we typically see that range from 6-20 lbs, there are giant pumpkins that grow to be more than 1 ton. Large pumpkins are grown for competitions and festivals.
Rapini is also known as broccoli rabe, which is a cruciferous vegetable with edible leaves and stems. The rapini buds loosely resemble broccoli. Widely used in Italian cuisine the leaves are known for their nutty, bitter, pungent, almond flavor. Rapini is prepared most by sauteeing or braising but can also be used in soups or pasta. In 100g of raw rapini, there are 224 micrograms of Vitamin K, which is about 213% of an adult’s recommended daily value.
This root vegetable is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Both the root and the leaves are edible. Some livestock is fed rutabaga root and leaves. Rutabaga is perceived as bitter similar to watercress, mustard greens, turnips, and horseradish. We perceive how bitter the root is based on the TAS2R bitter receptor gene. This causes some people to find rutabagas too bitter to eat.
Still In Season
Learn about these from, In Season This Month: July
- Bell Peppers
- Brussel Sprouts
- Chili Peppers
- Lima Beans
Learn about these from, In Season This Month: June
- Black-eyed Peas
- Green Beans
- Summer Squash
Learn about these from, In Season This Month: May
- Green Onions
Learn about these from, In Season This Month: April
- Collard Greens