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September 2018

The Fruits of Fall: the Delicious and Dramatic Dragon Fruit!

Enjoy A Fruitful Fall with the Season’s New Darling – the Delicious and Dramatic Dragon Fruit

As Americans continue to explore their local Farmers Markets, and expand their culinary arsenals with healthier, cleaner, and less processed foods, many more unique fruits and vegetables have been gaining in popularity over the past few years. One such fruit is Dragon Fruit, favored for both for its sweet but mellow flavoring and dense nutrient content. Plus, lets face it, it’s become an international icon via Instagram, where its beautiful fuchsia tones (of the pink fleshed varietal) and unusual textures have made it a photogenic super star. So get ready to explore this under-rated Chef favorite and darling of the internet – from the basics to nutrition, to preparation and creative recipe ideas – we’ve got you covered!

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The most commonly recognized varietal of PitayaPitaya Blanca – also known as Dragon Fruit!

So Just What is a “Dragon Fruit”?

Easily recognizable, the Dragon Fruit (or Pitaya/Pitahaya as it’s called in its native environs) has a very distinctive appearance – being covered in a series of thick bright red/pink leaves (similar to those on an Artichoke) which taper off into pronounced green spine-like tips curving up and off the surface, giving it a wild and slightly “out of this world” appearance. The Pitaya’s source is as unique as its appearance, as you may imagine it stemming from a tropical tree in a lush jungle paradise somewhere, however the “tree” it actually comes from is a Cactus!

Filled with a spongy white to pink succulent flesh containing numerous edible tiny black seeds (it is because of the similarity of texture and seeds that its often compared to the Kiwi Fruit) the flavor of its juicy flesh is mildly sweet and fruity. Compared to its flamboyant appearance, the flesh is surprisingly mild in contrast, its flavor more akin to the mellow sweetness of a pear or slightly unripe melon than that of some of its strongly flavored tropical compatriots. The pink fleshed varieties typically have a slightly brighter and sweeter flavor.

Picking Hint: if you want it at its most deliciously sweet wait until the ends of the spine leaves start to dry up and the skin softens and reaches a bright deep red.

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The Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, taking stock of a freshly foraged crop of Dragon Fruit

Intuitive Foraging:

As always the Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, is dedicated to sourcing the very best in independently and organically grown produce – and in the case of Dragon Fruit it’s no different! In Kerry’s Words:

“Our Dragon Fruit comes to us from just up the coast in Ventura County (CA) and has been perfected on one farm – with over 17 years of growth and research used to create the perfect example of this fruit – and (of course) is sold exclusively through The Intuitive Forager!”

 

 

Types of Pitaya:

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Dragon Fruit (Sweet Pitaya) growing on its Cactus “Tree”

Dragon Fruit/Sweet Pitaya (Hylocereus Family) – These are the variety of Pitaya that are most common here in the US and abroad and which are commonly referred to as “Dragon Fruit” (a reflection of the fruits vernacular Asian names). These sweet varietals come in 3 main types: Pitaya Blanca (Pink/Red Skin, White Flesh), Pitaya Roja (Red Skin, Pink Flesh) and Pitaya Amarilla (Yellow Skin, White Flesh) – and it’s the first varietal that once again, is what most people are referring to as “Dragon Fruit”.

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Dragon Fruits Cousin: Pitaya Agria, or Sour Pitaya

Sour Pitaya/Pitaya Agria (Stenocereus Family) – Are native to the more arid regions of the Americas. These varietals tend to have a stronger and more sour flavor (than the common red varietals found in US Farmers Markets), and a juicier more refreshing flesh. Additional related varietals of Sour Pitaya come from the Dagger Cactus and the Organ Pipe Cactus. You most likely wont come across these Sour Pitaya’s unless you venture South of the Border.

 

 

Our Dragon Fruit as featured at Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel-Air in LA.

Dragon Fruit Nutrition: In addition to it’s high water content and ample Potassium, Carotene, Protein, and Vitamin C,  Dragon Fruit shows up on your Super Food lists as it contains a surprising level of both Phytonutrients and Antioxidants. The red fleshed varietals get their coloring from Lycopenes, anti-oxidants known for their cancer fighting properties as well as lowering blood pressure and helping protecting against heart disease. The edible seeds are also high in polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids.

Dragon Fruit in the Kitchen:

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Baja Kanpachi Ceviche with Dragon Fruit (Pitaya), Charred Cucumber, Passion Fruit, Jalapeno Oil, and Coriander – via Chef McVay at Wolfgang Pucks at the Hotel Bel-Air in LA.

Even though the Dragon Fruit’s flesh is soft and juicy, it also has some crunch and so still holds its shape when cut, and so in addition to fresh eating, it also makes a viable and delicious addition to fruit salads (especially those with other tropical fruits) and Salsas. It’s also great with desserts, or on top of your favorite breakfast selection, whether that’s yogurt, oatmeal, or even waffles. Juice it and add to a fruity cocktail – or puree for a frozen twist. You can also puree the flesh and combine with sugar and freeze to make your own sorbets and sherbets.

If you’re an “Acai Bowl” fan try making your own “Dragon Fruit Bowl” with your pureed flesh. Its high levels of Vitamin C (one cup = 190% of your recommended daily amount), Calcium, Fiber, and both Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (contained in the seeds) make the Dragon Fruit a great immunity boosting, nutrient rich and filling ingredient to add some light sweetness to your daily juicing and smoothie concoctions.

You also might try renowned New York Chef David Bouley’s intuitive twist with Dragon Fruit. He takes a perfectly prepared piece of wild caught salmon – places medallion cube Dragon Fruit and delicately sliced avocados on top with a zest of lemon – it’s so delicious!

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "dragon fruit" "dragonfruit" "pitaya" "dragon fruit smoothie recipe" "dragon fruit bowl" "breakfast bowl" "smoothie bowl"Like we mentioned in the Intro, Dragon Fruit (especially the magenta hued variety) has become a mega Instagram Star, mainly because of its nutrients combined with its kick of color (can you say photogenic?) perfect for smoothies and breakfast bowls. Here’s some of our favorite recipe links for consuming your Dragon Fruit in the AM: (Clockwise from Upper Left)

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl from the Sunkissed Kitchen:

https://sunkissedkitchen.com/dragon-fruit-smoothie-bowls/

Dragon Fruit Smoothie:

https://www.seeandsavour.com/2014/07/dragon-fruit-smoothie-foodpornindex.html#.W6LacPllDIU

Kiwi Dragon Fruit Green Smoothie Bowl from Smile Sandwich:

http://smilesandwich.com/2017/05/23/kiwi-dragonfruit-green-smoothie-bowl/

Coconut, Pitaya, and Pineapple Pancakes from Corina Nielsen:

http://corinanielsen.com/livefit/2014/06/29/coconut-pineapple-pitaya-dragon-fruit-pancakes/

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Beyond Breakfast: Try some Creative Ways to Prepare Your Dragon Fruit – Like Two of our Favorite’s – Salads and Salsas, and More:
(Clockwise from Upper Left)

Dragon Fruit Salad:
http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/dragon-fruit-salad-recipe/

Dragon Fruit Salad with Mandarins from Wander Spice:

https://wanderspice.com/dragon-fruit-salad/

Dragon Fruit Salad:
http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/dragon-fruit-recipes-a-la-alkaline-sisters/

Dragon Fruit Rainbow Rolls from One Green Planet:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/dragon-fruit-rainbow-rolls/

Dragon Fruit Salsa:
http://mamalikestocook.com/dragon-fruit-salsa/

Seared Tuna with Dragon Fruit Salsa:
https://beyondmeresustenance.com/seared-tuna-with-dragon-fruit-salsa/

 

 

Melon Mania – Including Freshly Foraged Varietals You’ll Only Find at the Farmers Market!

 

MELON MANIA!

Watermelon, Honeydew, and Cantaloupe may hog the spotlight when Summer starts, and we all start getting those cravings for their refreshing, juicy sweet flesh – but as the Season runs deep so do our options as a plethora of delicious and unique Melon varietals also come into season throughout the entire summer. These refreshing gems are some of Summer’s best kept secrets, and guaranteed to be in the arsenal of your favorite top Chef!

So get ready to explore some of these oft missed treats, and be sure to snag them if you see them at the Farmers Market (many of them have very short shelf lives, making them hard to find in any sort of commercial retailer, and one of the prime examples of “freshly foraged” produce you can only find via the Farmers Market).  Plus whether you try some of these new varietals, or slice up a timeless favorite, be sure and explore the creative recipe ideas (at the bottom) for making the most of your melons: there’s more to juicy melon’s than just fresh eating!

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Specialty Melon Varietals:

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "melons" "muskmelons" "ambrosia" "ambrosia melon" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits"Ambrosia Melon: A petite variety of the netted Muskmelon family, the Ambrosia resembles a smallish Cantaloupe. They feature a fairly thin rind, a light orange and very juicy flesh, and a small seed cavity. The flesh is very sweet and aromatic with floral notes (when ripe they should give of a pleasant sweet melon aroma), and soft and lush in texture. They have a short shelf life once harvested, so can be hard to find – finding yours freshly foraged at the Farmers Market is the perfect place to score this sweet and juicy favorite. When selecting look for the same ripeness cues as you would with Cantaloupe, but with a more fine netting.

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Charentais Melon: The Charentais is a petite varietal of melon, with a hard and smooth green to greyish tinged skin featuring darker green stripes. It’s bright to light orange flesh is particularly dense and firm, and yet succulent – and is favorited for its aromatic and highly sweet flavoring, with notes of tropical fruit and floral undertones. With its robust aroma and delicious flavor, the Charentais is a Chef favorite. The Charentais is a perfect candidate for fresh eating out of hand and other raw preparations, and unlike other Melon varietals the Charentais is not well suited to cooking. Its short shelf life once picked makes them hard to find except at Farmers Markets and other Farm to Table Venues. When selecting yours, use your nose, as they have a rich tropical aroma when ripe, and the green-grey rind may have a hint of yellow.

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Galia Melon – A medium sized round member of the netted Muskmelon family, the Galia is an Israeli hybrid (related to the Ha’Ogen) with a vibrant yellow to orange skin, covered with the families signature tan netting. The flesh is a light green with a crisp succulent texture, and known for its exceptional and rather unique spicy sweet flavor and perfumed aromatics. It’s this unusual and incredible flavoring that make them highly desirable, despite their short shelf life.

Galia Melons are best eaten fresh and used in uncooked preparations like fresh green and fruit salads, along with breakfast and main dishes. They pair well in both sweet and savory applications. Less about knocking and touching, the Galia Melons ripeness is best determined by the development of its distinct musky aroma, along with the depth of orange hue to the skin – the more orange coloration in the skin the higher the sugar content will be of the melons flesh. Like so many of the Melons on this list, you won’t find them in commercial supermarkets due to their short shelf life, but snag yours freshly foraged and their incomparable.

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "ivory gaya melon" "gaya melon"" "snow leopard melon"Gaya Melon (Ivory)/Snow Leopard Melon – Rare and hard to find. Snow leopard is a small cream colored melon with a splattering of bright green spots and streaks, a thin outer rind, and a dense seed cavity. Its creamy white flesh is crisp, becoming softer and juicier the closer you get to the center, and has a bright sweet cucumber like flavor, with undertones of honey and pear. It’s similar to a honeydew in texture and taste, but with softer and slightly sweeter flesh. Storing it at room temperature will bring out the flavor and sweetness even more (and permeate your kitchen with a lovely rich sweet melon aroma). It’s petite size and particularly sweet flesh make the Snow Leopard ideal for fresh eating out of hand, as well as an addition to fruit and green salads, as well as purees (it’s also an ideal choice to add to your kebobs!).

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "ogen melon" "haogen melon" "ha'ogen melon"Ha’Ogen Melon: Another smallish or “personal size” melon, originating in the kibbutz of Israel. Unique, and fairly easily identifiable with its yellow skin and green stripes. This rind is thinnish and gives way to a luscious and juicy green flesh, known for its sweet tropical flavor and strong notes of honey. Like many of the other varietals here, its size makes it ideal for eating fresh out of hand, however its distinctly sweet and tropical flavor make it an alluring addition to many of the recipes below. When selecting yours, find one which has a nice yellow peel in between the green stripes and sniff for a nice fresh tropical aroma.

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "orange melon" "sweet orange melon" "orchid melon" "orchid orange melon"Orchid (Sweet Orange) Watermelon: A small oval varietal of Watermelon featuring a beautiful and super sweet orange flesh, with hints of Sherbert. Orange Watermelon varietals are known for their crisp, juicy texture and brightly sweet flavor. The fruits are a small oval-round (about 5lb each) so a perfect personal size melon for fresh eating out of hand. They may also be used similar to Red Watermelon in recipes, and their particularly sweet flavor makes them a great addition (they can also be grilled or seared, caramelizing their natural concentration of sugars).

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Rocky Sweet Melons – One of the “netted” Muskmelons (the exterior looks like a Cantaloupe and the interior flesh like that of a Honeydew) – the Rocky Sweet varietal is known for its exceptional spicy sweet flavor and perfumed aromatics. It is round with a thick yellow skin covered with the signature golden tan netting. The flesh is a light green with a smooth and succulent texture. Less about knocking and touching, the Rocky Sweet Melons ripeness is best determined by the development of its distinct musky and sweet aroma, along with a lighter yellow to brown or even orange coloration of the skin – which indicates a higher the sugar content.

Rocky Sweet Melons taste like a bit of a cross between a Cantaloupe and a Honeydew – that being said, unlike most melons these are at their absolute best when chilled – and are best eaten fresh and used in uncooked preparations like fresh green and fruit salads along with breakfast and main dishes. They pair well in both sweet and savory applications. Rocky Sweet Melon’s incredible flavoring make them highly desirable, however you won’t find them in commercial supermarkets due to their short shelf life – which makes them the perfect candidate for our Markets – freshly foraged and direct to you (once cut, keep in a sealed container in the fridge).

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "sugar cube melon"Sugar Cube Melon – This “Mini Cantaloupe” is smaller than the traditional Cantaloupe with a more densely compact flesh and is known for its sweet flavor. Often also referred to as the Breakfast Cantaloupe, the bright salmon orange flesh is tender and juicy and has a higher sugar content than other varieties. It also maintains its sugar level longer than other melons, often up to two weeks past reaching ripeness. The exterior has a similar netted tan to cream rind like its larger cousin.

Their size makes them perfect for single or two serving for fresh eating and cut in half with seeds removed their ideal for filling with a variety of ingredients. Sugar Cube is also great to add a blast of refreshing sweetness to smoothies and juicing mixtures as well as pureeing and adding to sorbets, granitas, and frozen cocktails.

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "yellow doll watermelon" "yellow doll" "yellow baby doll" "watermelon" "yellow baby doll watermelon" "yellow watermelon"Yellow Doll Watermelon – Smaller, sweeter, and with less seeds than your average red watermelon (Lycopene is what gives them there reddish hue, without it Watermelon flesh is yellow) the Yellow Doll has become the darling of the West Coast over the past few years. Similar in appearance on the exterior (light green with darker green stripes) the Yellow Doll is firm and round with a relatively thin rind, and a surprisingly bright yellow flesh which is juicy and unusually sweet, with a honey-like flavor. Great for eating fresh out of hand, they can also be used in the same raw and cook preparations as Red Watermelon – plus its particularly sweet flavor can make it perfect for use in cocktails and grilled or seared in a hot pan to caramelize all those delicious natural sugars.

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "yellow watermelon" "seedless yellow melon"Yellow (Seedless) Watermelon – On the exterior Yellow Watermelon looks very similar to their more famous red hued cousins – with their familiar circular to oblong shape and dark and light green rind – but the interior of the Yellow Watermelon features a firm golden to bright yellow toned succulent flesh which has a super juicy and extra sweet flavor with surprising honey-like undertones.

In addition to fresh eating out of hand or cubed and tossed into summer salads (where it pairs great with feta and goat cheeses), like its Red Cousin, Yellow Watermelon is also great for juicing, smoothies, and cocktails – plus Watermelon can also be made into Preserves and Jams, and the rind can even be pickled! Additionally its unique color and high sugar content make the Yellow Watermelon perfect for grilling or searing to caramelize those natural sugars.

Melon Nutrition: Sharing many nutritional similarities with its gourd cousins Squash, the Melon combines the high water and low calorie content of the summer squash, with the high nutrient content of the winter varieties, including high values of Vitamins B and C, Potassium, and soluble Pectin Fiber. So during these especially hot and dry summer months, there’s nothing better to take a refreshing and cooling bite out of.

Additional Muskmelon Nutrition: Muskmelon (think your “netted” Melons) varieties, are a particularly excellent source of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Additional Watermelon Nutrition: The Orange-fleshed melons are high in vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, carbohydrates, fiber and protein (the Yellow-fleshed melons are very similar but with less beta-carotene) – while in addition the Red-fleshed varieties contain the antioxidant Lycopene (from which they get their red color). Watermelons are comprised of ninety-two percent water, making them an ideal healthy treat in hot weather, replenishing lost body fluids and potassium.

Melon Ideas and Links:

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "watermelons" "creative melon recipes" "melon recipes" "melon salsa recipes" "melon entree recipes" "melons" "cooking" "recipes" "melon salsa" "melon salad" "melon slices" "melon wedges" "melon appetizers"Melon Appetizers and Sides: From How Sweet Eats, Sunset Mag, and Vegetarian Adventures. Clockwise from Upper Left:

Mint Feta Lime Melon Salad

Melon Salsa

Spicy Watermelon Salad

Mojito Melon Salsa

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "watermelons" "creative melon recipes" "melon recipes" "melon salsa recipes" "melon entree recipes" "melons" "cooking" "recipes" "melon salads" "shaved melon" "shaved melon salads" "melon and tomato salad"Melon Salad Options: From BBC Good Food and Sunset Mag. Clockwise from Upper Left: 

Shaved Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad

Minted Melon, Tomato, and Prosciutto Salad

Tomato and Melon Salad with Scallops and Pink Peppercorns

Grilled Chicken and Melon Salad with Crispy Shallots

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "watermelons" "creative melon recipes" "melon recipes" "melon salsa recipes" "melon entree recipes" "melons" "cooking" "recipes" "melon salad" "melon pizza recipe" "grilled melon" "grilled cantaloupe" "grilled watermelon" "melon skewers"Grilled Melon Meals: From the Fit Fork, Popsugar,  and Sunset Mag. Clockwise from Upper Left: 

Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp Skewers

Grilled Cantaloupe with Ancho Date Sauce

Grilled Calamari, Watermelon, and Tomato Salad

Grilled Watermelon Pizza

"intuitive forager" "food blog" "farmers market" "food blogger" "produce blog" "farmers market blog" "cooking with" "recipes" "creative lemon recipes" "cooking with melons" "health benefits" “farm to table” “downtown 3rd farmers market” "melons" "muskmelons" "watermelons" "creative melon recipes" "melon recipes" "melon salsa recipes" "melon entree recipes" "melons" "cooking" "recipes" "melon pasta" "melon pana cotta" "melon fish tacos"Melon Entrees and Specialty Dishes: From BHG Mag, the Parma Crown, the Rosemary Kitchen Witch, and Sunset Mag. Clockwise from Upper Left: 

Fish Tacos with Melon Salsa

Prosciutto & Melon with Fig and Port Wine Sauce

Prosciutto & Melon Salad with Zucchini Noodles

Melon and Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

 

Bonus: Melons are perfect for making your own natural “Gatorade” at home – check out our Blog and Recipe here!

 

Getting Creative with Beans: From Summer to Fall Favorites

If you subscribe to our newsletters than you’ve probably read quite a bit about some of our favorite Summer bean varietals over the past few months, but as of yet we hadn’t combined all the deliciousness into one Blog. Now we’ve added some additional late Summer, and early Fall favorites into the mix so your beany culinary dreams can reach new heights as you contemplate all these unique and flavorful options (all of which are still available through the end of Summer). So here’s the rundown on how to recognize your favorites, what the differences are in terms of flavor and texture, and why you should give some of these more unusual beans a chance!

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Their vibrant and colorful red-pink hue gives the Cranberry Bean its name

Cranberry Beans – Cranberry shelling bean pods are easy to spot with their speckled red and yellow shell, and include an average of 5-6 ivory colored beans per pod (which are also highlighted with the bright red dapples of the exterior). When raw, the beans are fairly earthy, with a starchy and grassy flavor – however, once cooked the beans develop a creamy texture and rich, sweet, chestnut-like flavor. They can be harvested fresh as a pod, or left on the vines and used as dried beans.

Either, fresh or dried, Cranberry beans are great in the kitchen. Once shelled, fresh ones can be canned, pickled, or frozen – and cooked, where upon they absorb the accompanying flavors around them, making them a great companion to bold and savory ingredients. Simmer them in chicken stock until tender and creamy and then use them tossed with roasted veggies and crispy gnocchi, stew them into a ragout with fresh corn and tomatoes, or puree with sorrel into a soup.

They pair great with strong and salty or sour flavors like Pancetta and bacon, artichoke hearts, citrus, as well as both Mild and Hot Chiles. Basil and Cilantro are great herbs to use with them, and Aged Pecorino and Feta are the most complimentary cheeses.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" “downtown 3rd farmers market”  "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “California Family Farms” “organic produce” “California produce” “las vegas produce” "legumes" "dragon beans" "dragon tongue beans"
Another bean featuring a colorful shell, this Dutch heirloom bean has an incomparable nutty and mild flavor

Dragon Tongue Beans –  Dragon Tongue Beans are entirely edible including the bean, shell, and seed. The younger beans are a yellow to cream color, and when their purple markings begin to appear they’ve reached a mature enough stage to harvest. These fresh and immature pods have a succulent and crisp texture and typically contain 4-5 white seeds with small purple to pink stripes, and which are snappy and firm with a sweet and nutty, and slightly starchy flavor. As mentioned, these immature beans can be eaten in their entirety – either fresh or cooked (note: when cooked they will lose their bright purple coloring). If left to mature fully, the purple on the beans will change to a deep red, and these more mature seeds can be shelled and used as is, or they are ideal for leaving in their pods to dry and later use as a dried bean.

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Purple Haricot Vert Beans

French Filet Beans – Is a term given to an array of varietals of immature green beans which are primarily cultivated for their pods versus their seeds. Harvested young, these stringless edible pods come in both purple and green (although when cooked the purple loses its hue). Known for their crisp texture and earthy bright flavor with just a hint of sweetness, these beans are great served raw when young and tender, or only lightly cooked to preserve their crisp texture.

 

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" “downtown 3rd farmers market”  "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” “California Family Farms” “organic produce” “California produce” “las vegas produce” "beans" "legumes" "scarlet runner beans"
The pink to purple variegated coloring of the seeds make these an attractive favorite

Scarlet Runner Beans – The long and large bright green pods of the Scarlet Runner hide a deceptively unique and beautiful bean within. The kidney shaped beans inside range in color from purple to violet to light pink to almost vibrant fuscia – and are often a speckled blend of the two. Once cooked the starchy beans are creamy with a strong nutty savory flavor. Both the bean pods and their striking (often scarlet) flowers are edible as well, with a mild bean flavor.

Because of their large size and heartier skin, Scarlet Runner Beans take a little longer than your average bean to cook. Shelled beans should be booked before eating, and if using dry ones they’ll benefit from an overnight soaking before cooking. Their large size and starchiness also make them a popular source of protein in vegan and vegetarian dishes.

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Purple and Green Chinese Long Beans

Yardlong Beans – Also referred to as Yardbeans, Long, or Chinese Long beans, they come in purple, green and light green. The average length is anywhere between one and one and a half feet long. They taste similar to green beans, their texture is distinct. The beans are best cooked with oil: sauteed, stir-fried, or deep-fried, where their flavor intensifies and their texture remains tight and juicy.

 

 

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Wax Beans are most common in their Yellow and Purple varietals

Yellow Wax Beans – These long yellow wheat colored pods are stringless and house small bright lime green legumes (which despite their name are not particularly wax-ey). Typically harvested young, they are known for their succulent, crisp and yet tender texture and sweet earthy flavor, with both grassy and nutty undertones. In terms of prep and cooking, treat them as you would classic green beans or french beans. These have a particularly radiant yellow color and fresh sappy flavor and come to us from Brentwood, CA.

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