STULTS FARM: Fruit and Vegetable Information
Store all vegetables and fruit in refrigerator except potatoes and tomatoes. Cover only after completely chilled. Wash vegetables in cold water just before using them. To freeze vegetables, wash and prepare vegetables. Important to blanch to prevent loss of flavor and vitamins. Blanching is when vegetables are submerged in boiling water for short time, removed and chilled in ice water to stop further cooking. This process inactivates the enzymes that cause a change in color, nutrient, flavor and texture. Keep water boiling when blanching vegetables. Use 1 gal. boiling water to 1 qt. of vegetables. Place vegetables in wire basket, submerge in boiling water, cover and start counting time immediately. Remove vegetables and pour into colander immersed in ice water. Chill vegetables same amount of time as blanched. Drain and fill freezer bags ½ full making sure to take out air. Lay freezer bag flat in freezer.
BELL, SWEET OR HOT PEPPERS - Mature peppers have better flavor than immature. To freeze: wash, dry and cut into pieces. Lay in a single layer on a tray. Freeze solid then package in freezer bags, to use in cooked recipes later.
BITTERMELON - This bumpy-skinned vegetable is bitter in taste due to its high quinine content. It is a native to South China, Asia and India. Originally it was used as a medicine believed to purify the blood.
CUCUMBER - Regular slicing and Pickling. Both can be used in fresh salad or made into pickles. Picked sender it contains a small seed cavity. Picked very plump contains a larger seed cavity. All sizes can be prepared.
EGGPLANT - Select firm, uniformed color with high gloss. Can be eaten at any stage of maturity. All eggplant should be wrapped loosely and stored in crisper drawer to be used within 5 days. White eggplant is mild in flavor and less bitter than black. Black is the traditional eggplant found in many eggplant recipes. Italian is delicious and very thin skinned that only needs to be browned in a fry pan and cooked till tender. To grill eggplant, slice lengthwise leaving skin on, marinate in a bowl for 1 hr. Marinate with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and garlic powder or just use store bought salad dressing for the marinate. Grill on hi 2 to 3 min. each side of eggplant.
GREEN & ITALIAN BEANS - Select bright appearance and mature. Wash, cut off stem end, snap into pieces, leave whole, or French cut. Boil approx. 10 min. for cooking. To freeze: blanch bean pieces for 3 minutes.
LIMA BEANS - Pick well filled green pods. Wash, then twist pods to open, pick out beans. 2 - 3 lb. = 4 servings. Boil approx. 3 to 5 min. Don’t overcook. To freeze: blanch 3 to 4 min. depending on size of bean.
PEAS PODDED - (Also called Green or English) Pick bright green, well filled pods. To shell, press curved ends of pod with thumb and run thumb down seam to open. Remove peas. 1 lb. Peas = ½ cup shelled peas. Cook less than 5 min. on stove top. To freeze: blanch 1½ - 2 min.
PEAS- EDIBLE POD - (Eat both the pod and the pea) Use raw fresh in a salad or as a tasty healthy snack . To cook boil approx. 5 min. or stir fry. To freeze: blanch approx. 2½ min.
PEAS: BLACK EYE - Asian origin. Today these peas have become a delicious and nutritious food. Can be eaten like a green bean in the immature stage, be shelled when pea has formed in the pod or picked and used in the dry stage.
SWEET CORN - 2 ears equal approx. 1 cup of kernels. Husk corn, remove silk, trim ends and rinse. To cook: bring enough unsalted water to a boil that will cover corn, then drop in shucked ears. Let water return to a hard boil then boil 2 min. Remove immediately and serve. To microwave: shuck corn, spread with butter, cover with plastic wrap or wax paper. Microwave high 2½ min. per ear. To grill: pull down husks just enough to remove silk. Spread with butter and sprinkle with salt, then pull husks back up and twist closed. Grill ears about 15 min. turn often. To freeze: blanch corn 4 min., chill in ice water 4 min., drain, cut kernels from cob or wrap whole in plastic wrap. Package in freezer bags.
SQUASH - 100% edible. Select firm shinny skin. Choose small to medium size for best flavor and texture. Store in refrigerator in an unsealed plastic bag. Use within 5 days. High water content, never overcook or squash will turn to mush. Never needs peeling, just wash and discard thin slice from each end. Freeze: shred and pkg. in freezer bags.
LITA - Middle Eastern squash with light green skin, mild tasting and delicious. It’s the number one choice when selecting squash for cooking.
ZUCCHINI - Dark green skin. A very versatile vegetable. Makes excellent bread, muffins or soup.
TOMATO - Regular Slicing and Plum. Never refrigerate because it kills flavor, texture and nutrition. To freeze: wash and dry, place single layer in freezer bags. Lay flat in freezer. To use: thaw slightly in warm water, core tomatoes and slip off skin. Use in cooked dishes. Never leave unripe tomatoes on window sill. Keep on counter with stem up.
BLUEBERRIES - Pick plump with blue to blue black color. Reddish color are unripe, use these berries in cooking.
BLACKBERRIES - Choose black in color. If ripe, they will come off readily with a gentle twist.
MELONS - Cantaloupe store ripe melon in refrig. Watermelon seed or seedless. Serve cold for most flavorful taste.
PEACHES - Handle carefully to avoid bruising. To freeze: peel fruit, slice, add approx. ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. Fruit Preserver dissolved in 2 tbsp. water (to prevent browning) to each quart of fruit. Spoon fruit and juice in freezer bags.
RASPBERRIES - Select firm berries. To pick, literally slip berries off there stem. Rinse just before serving.
STRAWBERRIES - Store ripe, unwashed berries in refrigerator. Never remove caps until ready to eat. To freeze: wash berries with gentle spray of cold water. Hull, slice berries, use approx. 1 cup sugar to 8 cups berries. Mix in sugar with berries, let stand 10 min. to create juice, spoon into freezer bags. Lay flat in freezer. For Jam-Jelly buy Sure-Jell box.
FRUIT FACTS - Fruit must be stored in refrigerator and wash just before eating. Store all fruit uncovered. When serving frozen fruit, serve just as the last ice crystals are disappearing. Further thawing will make fruit to soft in texture for eating pleasure. Berries can be frozen unwashed without sugar. All berries have healthy benefits. They contain antioxidants, good source of fiber, high in vitamin C, 0 grams of cholesterol and excellent source of potassium.