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Archive for March, 2014

Forbidden Blueberries on Weekly Special

Earl’s is well-known for the terrific Forbidden Blueberries, from Lompoc, California, and they on our weekly specials this week.   Perfect weather has given us perfect blueberries!  Blueberries are very weather dependent, and so far the season’s great weather of warm days and cool nights has resulted in an early first wave of these delectable treats. Read the full blog here http://bit.ly/1gWLmhO

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Earl’s Favorite Berry Smoothie Recipes

March is National Nutrition month and Shari’s Berries asked Earl’s Organic for their favorite berry smoothie recipes. The crew at Earl’s loves making smoothies any time of year.  Some of our favorite berries to use are strawberries and blueberries, also known as “straws” and “blues” in the produce business.

Fun Facts About Strawberries:

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
  • On average, there are 200 seeds per fruit.
  • BUY ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES – conventional strawberries are one of the fruits that retain pesticides the most.  Save yourself and the planet exposure to pesticides by buying organic.
  • One serving of strawberries-about 8 straws-is an excellent source of vitamin C. in fact a serving of strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange.
  • 75% of the nation’s strawberries are grown in California.
  • TIPS:
    • Cutting off the tops tears the berries cells and destroys vitamin C! Store with tops intact.
    • Do not wash berries until ready for use.
    • Available from March – end of the year. Freeze berries at the end of the season so you can have smoothies all year long.

    Ca Straws

Fun Facts About Blueberries:

  • One cup of blueberries = antioxidants for the day
  • Wash only when ready to eat
  • Dusty white bloom is sign of freshness
  • Blueberries350

 Earl’s Smoothie/Owner and Fruit Buyer

*Fresh squeezed seasonal citrus juice

*Frozen banana

*Scoop of hemp protein powder

*Mix of frozen strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

Susan’s Smoothie/Marketing Manager

*1/4 cup cashews soaked in ½ cup water overnight

*1 cup coconut milk

*1 frozen banana

*1 cup of frozen blueberries

Kathy’s  Smoothie/Sustainability and Vendor Compliance Manager

*Big handful of spinach or kale

*Tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in 1 cup of almond milk

*One apple cut up

*Frozen banana

*1 cup mixed frozen berries

Christie’s Smoothie/Fruit Buyer

*Frozen banana

*Handful of frozen blueberries

*Handful of Kale

*1/2 cup of plain yogurt

*2 chopped medjool dates

*1/2 cup or more of coconut water

*Small handful almonds

 

Please share your favorite recipes on our Facebook wall.

Forbidden Blueberries Are Back

Perfect weather has given us perfect blueberries! Earl’s is well-known for the terrific Forbidden Blueberries, from Lompoc, California, and they are available now.   Blueberries are very weather dependent, and so far the season’s great weather of warm days and cool nights has resulted in an early first wave of these delectable treats. Each year the season and volume is a little different and historically we have seen the first blueberries of the season start as early as November or as late as January.

Blueberries350

Sandy Davis started Forbidden Fruit Orchards in 2002 and now has over 14,000 blueberry bushes on her 6 acre property. The farm is located about 15 miles from the ocean in Lompoc, Pinot Noir country in northern Santa Barbara County. The soil is very sandy providing excellent drainage and the ability to grow just about anything. Their main crop is southern highbush organic blueberries that produce large, crisp, flavorful berries.  These are hybrids of blueberries which grew wild when European settlers first arrived in the New World and were developed to grow in California and other climates with low chill hours.  The blueberries grow in hoop houses covered in netting all year to keep out the birds.  During the winter overhead irrigation is used to prevent frost.  The water is warmer than the cold air and by keeping the water going at a moderate rate it prevents frost from forming on the fruit and leaves.

We will have a limited supply of these blueberries intermittently, depending on the weather so make sure to try them while they’re in. Earl’s Organic delivers to customers in Northern California as far north as Arcata and as far south as Santa Cruz with our own fleet of trucks. Call us for an order today!

Kumquats, Limequats, Orangequats and more

Kumquats are a unique member of the citrus family and are thought to come from China.  The two main varieties of kumquats are the sweet and tart oval shaped Nagami and the sweet round Meiwa.  There are many other varieties of kumquats and hybrid kumquats including the Limequat, Orangequat and Yuzquat.

Kumquats are very hardy and can withstand cold temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. For that very reason hybrid kumquats were developed by a researcher in Florida who wanted to grow citrus farther north where citrus such as lemons, limes and oranges can not grow.  These hybrids can be substituted for lemons or limes and make great marmalades.

The versatile bite sized kumquats are small and fun to eat.  They don’t need to be peeled which makes them perfect for snacking. They are on average about an inch long and are completely edible including the seeds.

Nagamis

You are in for a powerful sensory experience as the ZING of the sourness hits your taste buds and your mouth puckers up.  The rind is sweet and the flesh is tart. I recommend slicing it up and adding it to your favorite salad. It goes particularly well with a quinoa salad.

Nagami heart cropped

Nagami heart

Meiwa

Sweet rind and flesh with a good spicy flavor. It is the best kumquat for eating out of hand.

Meiwa Kumquats Round with a spicy and sweet rind and flesh

Meiwa Kumquats

Limequat

Juicy and acidic. A great substitute for lime juice.

Orangequat

The most popular variety is the Nippon orangequat which is hybrid between a Satsuma mandarin and a Meiwa kumquat. It is a big larger than a kumquat with a sweet rind  and tart flesh.

How to eat a kumquat:

Let the fruit come to room temperature and then gently rub the kumquat between the palms of your hand to get the juices and oil going, releasing the amazing citrus fragrance. Pop them in your mouth and enjoy!

Kumquats can be hard to find at times but worth searching out. California leads the nation in production.  Northern San Diego County is where many farms focus on specialty crops such as kumquats but they can be found growing as far north as Placerville, north of Sacramento.

Full Belly Flowers at Earl’s

Beautiful bouquets of flowers from Full Belly Farm are here! Christie from Earl’s shows off tulips and a mixed bouquet. Various bouquets of flowers will be here through spring and summer. Call us with your pre order today!

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