Welcome to the 3rd Fruit Delivery of 2015
This week’s box is another “antioxidant booster,” because of all the superfoods inside! A superfood contains antioxidants, which help fight free radicals – cells that can cause diseases like cancer. These antioxidants often come as part of the molecules that give fruits their colors. You know with blue blueberries, yellow and white peaches, white nectarines, red cherries, purple pluots and grapes you are eating the spectrum and getting lots of different antioxidants and nutrients. If you want more blueberries and cherries than what is in your box this week for a limited harvest period we will have full boxes of blueberries and cherries that you can purchase on our website. These incredible fruits are only at their peak for a short window every year.
Enjoy the fruit your brain will thank you.
Everett Myers, Founder and President of FruitShare™
In Your Box: Lapin Cherries, Sierra Rich yellow peaches, Babcock white peaches, Arctic Jay white nectarines, Dapple Fire pluots, Red Scarlet grapes, and Duke blueberries
Storage and Ripening
Keep all of the fruit in the refrigerator. Blueberries, Scarlet grapes and Lapin cherries are more delicate and should be refrigerated and enjoyed first. Only wash your blueberries, grapes. and cherries before eating them as moisture can lead to mold. Sometimes a split blueberry, grape or cherry will create extra moisture in the bag or clamshell and cause a spot of mold. If this happens, take them out of the bag immediately, remove the fruit that caused the issue and wash the fruit. Dry them off by placing them on a paper towel and then refrigerate them again. Peaches, nectarines and pluots will be ready to eat when the flesh gives to gentle thumb pressure. Some people like peaches, nectarines and pluots more firm – if this is the case keep them in the refrigerator. Otherwise place a few fruits on the counter to soften if needed. Please note white peaches and nectarines have an extremely high sugar content and are susceptible to brown spots. Enjoy these first. You can also slice and freeze pluots, peaches, grapes, nectarines, blueberries and even cherries (after taking their pits out). After they are frozen, we like to use them in smoothies, no sugar necessary because they are so sweet on their own.
What It Takes
Apple and George’s cherries are at their prime again this year. Apple and George have been growing organically for over 30 years, and they believe firmly in the benefits of organic agriculture. When they bought their current orchard in 1997, the crops were already planted and pesticides were present. Over the next few years, Apple and George slowly transitioned the land back to its natural, organic state, enduring tough harvests and learning a lot. They haven’t looked back. Now, George enjoys the simple pleasure of watching folks eat the cherries he and his wife grew on their central-Washington farm. Apple, the self-professed philosophical spouse, loves being part of a bigger movement and of course providing some of the healthiest, tastiest food grown today. They employ about 40 seasonal workers, who work in an environment free of harsh chemicals alongside Apple and George, their three grown children plus their significant others. Harvest days began at 2:00 AM, with head lamps this year, and packing went on until 9:00 PM. The orchard is only 3.5 acres large, but the small size allows for plenty of care. The cherries are hand-selected, so you know that the cherries in your box are truly at their peak of ripeness. Sometimes Apple, George and their team of harvesters sweep through the orchard on four separate occasions. Fresh cherries are a great source of vitamin C an antioxidant. It is thought that eating cherries, as well as other antioxidant fruit and vegetables, will reduce the risk of heart disease and even some types of cancers. Eating cherries is known to help the body normally absorb iron, improve the growth and repair of all body tissues, help heal cuts and wounds and even aid in keeping teeth and gums healthy.
The blueberries are from our favorite blueberry farmer, Lou. At his farm in New Jersey, Lou and his wife, Liz, grow some of the best blueberries we’ve ever tasted. They are big, plump and very flavorful – you’ll notice the difference as soon as you eat just one! Lou and Liz’s farm is a busy hive of activity throughout the growing and harvesting season, and they don’t take the easy way out when it comes to farming. Organic growing practices require a lot of effort, and they like to be as hands-on as possible, which is why they have just a small team of workers. Lou and Liz truly have the best interests of their kids, employees and customers at heart. And we think that’s why they have some of the best blueberries we’ve ever tasted.
Mike Naylor has provided the gorgeous Babcock peaches and Arctic Jay white nectarines. Mike has been farming organically since 1990. He converted the farm to organic practices after inheriting the orchard from his father because he was concerned about the negative effects of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers on workers and in the water. Mike now allows visitors to come to his orchard and rent a house there! His fruit is so special because he picks and packs it directly in the field, so it is riper and sweeter than many other orchards. You’ll taste the difference in this week’s peaches!
The Sierra Rich yellow peaches and Dapple Fire pluots are from John France. He began producing organic tree fruit in 1989. John is thankful that his three children and employees are not exposed to the pesticides and fungicides often used in stone fruit orchards from conventional growers. 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 yellow peaches and Dapple Fire pluots.
Health and Wellness
Some incredible benefits of Sweet cherries follow: they have a low glycemic index of 22. This makes them a great choice for diabetics. They 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. 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 risk of gout attacks by 35 -50 percent. They help reduce muscle inflammation and pain. People with osteoarthritis and distance runners love them for this reason. 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. I other words eat cherries they taste great and are good for you.
Summer Peach Pie Crumble (of course you can substitute nectarines, pluots and even blueberries here too)
1/4 cup rolled oats (25g)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar or agave
2 1/2 tbsp coconut flour
6 loosely-packed cups sliced peaches
Optional: 3 tbsp oil or melted butter spread
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 380 F and grease an 8×8 pan. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, and stir very well. Put peaches in a separate large bowl, add the vanilla extract and optional fat source, and stir to coat. Now evenly disperse the crumble on top of the peaches, and stir until it’s as evenly coated as possible. Pour into the pan, and cook 50-60 minutes, opening the oven after 30 minutes to turn the peaches (so all sides cook evenly).
Courtesy of chocolatecoveredkatie.com