Vegetable of the Week

Every week we will highlight a vegetable from your share. We hope you learn something different each week and try these yummy recipes!

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Week One:
Shitake Mushrooms

Translated from Japanese, "shii" refers to the tree on which these mushrooms originally grew, while "take" simply means mushroom. These little beauties are venerated not just because of their primordial origin, but because of the many health boosting properties they contain. Shitake mushrooms are famous for their rich texture and smoky flavor. When compared to white button mushrooms, shitakes are purported to have more than 10 times the flavor.

Keep your mushrooms refrigerated in a paper bag for up to a week. Just before use, wipe them with a clean, damp cloth to prevent sogginess. Sauteing shitake mushrooms gently is the best cooking method to keep the good stuff good, both taste-wise and nutritionally.
 

Week Three:
Kale

Kale is among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. A single cup of raw kale contains vitamins A, K, C, and B6 along with manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. Kale is also very high in antioxidants, which help you fight against infections and protect healthy cells. There are many varieties of kale - curly kale, flat Tuscan kale, blue kale, red russian kale—the list of varietals that grow throughout the year is almost as long as the ways you can prepare it.

Looking for an easy way to eat this Kale tonight? Simply heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the kale, salt, garlic, and a ½ cup of vegetable stock (or water) and then cover and cook for about 5 minutes! But if you're looking to be more adventurous, try the kale chip recipes below!

Week Five:
Green Beans

Green beans are among the most popular garden plants in the world, owing in large part to the fact that they grow very fast. The length of time from planting to harvesting is only 45 to 60 days. The nutritional benefits of green beans are hard to argue with. These delicious and crunchy beans are low in calories and fat and contain no cholesterol. The fiber content is very high, and it also provides some of your daily protein requirements. They also act as an easy source for acquiring vitamins like A, C, K, B6, and folic acid. Our favorite way to cook green beans is on a large skillet for about five minutes and then tossed with butter, lemon pepper, salt, and garlic!

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Week Two:
Strawberries

Okay so, they’re not a vegetable, but how can we not feature strawberries this week?! Strawberries are a perennial and are the first fruit to ripen each Spring. They are the only fruit that has seeds on the outside, and each one has an average of 200 seeds on it! The name can be misleading, as the strawberry is not technically a berry, it is actually a member of the rose (rosaceae) family. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as providing a good dose of fiber, folic acid, manganese and potassium. They also contain significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavanoids which makes strawberries bright red.

To store fresh strawberries, wash them and cut the stem away. However, if you plan to keep them in the fridge for a few days, wait until before you eat them to clean them. Rinsing them speeds up spoiling.

Week Four:
Snow Peas

Snow peas are edible legumes and pea pods that are known as a vegetable, and are believed to be native to the Mediterranean area, not Asia like many assume. They contain peas that can be harvested once ripe, although they may taste different to typical peas, and are not normally eaten at this stage. They are known and loved for their crisp, sweet pod. Snow peas are very high in vitamin C, and are a good source of vitamins A and K as well as iron and magnesium. Snow peas differ from snap peas in that their pod is much thinner and flatter, but both are often eaten raw in the shell (since they lack inedible fibers like other pea plants) and cooked in stir-fries.