Sweet Potato or Yam?
Tuber tutorial — here’s what you need to know!

If you’re a little confused about the differences between yams and sweet potatoes, you’re not alone. Many of us think about fluffy, soft orange yams topped with marshmallows served at Thanksgiving — but chances are, you have never tasted a true yam. What we call 'yams' are in fact sweet potatoes. And sweet potatoes are not potatoes. But many stores use the terms ‘yams’ and ‘sweet potatoes’ interchangeably to describe these tubers. Why?

Winter Squash
Fall Harkens Arrival of Winter Squash

The Fall farmers market is full of colorful displays of many varieties of winter squash in all shapes and sizes — from familiar pumpkins and butternut squash to more exotic items like turban and kabocha squash. Our market chef, Andrew Cohen, shares his tips for selecting the best winter squash.

Pomegranates
Ruby Jewels of Autumn

Many scholars believe that the forbidden fruit that Eve could not resist was a pomegranate, not an apple. The name comes from Middle French, pomme garnete, which means ‘seeded apple.’ Whether you enjoy snacking on the tangy, juicy arils (seeds) or sipping a glass of juice, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods you can eat!

Brussels Sprouts
A Very Healthy and Versatile Vegetable

A relative newcomer to the vegetable world, Brussels sprouts have only been around for five hundred years, whereas there are records of cabbages that go back three thousand years. Why the name ‘Brussels’ sprouts? It is thought that they have always grown near Brussels and they became associated with the area. Thomas Jefferson was an avid farmer, and his are the first records of Brussels sprouts in North America from 1812.

Edible Paradise :: Seasonal Cooking

MBCFM Recipes

From Our Markets to Your Table

Edible Paradise celebrates the year-round abundance of the highest quality, freshest food grown on the Central Coast by our family farmers at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets. If you enjoy preparing and eating locally grown food, this blog is for you!

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Pears – Sweet Pleasures of Autumn

Autumn pear harvest

Autumn pear harvest

Pears are one of the world’s most alluring fruits with its voluptuous contour and buttery textured flesh. A perfectly ripe, luscious pear is without peer as a sweet pleasure of autumn. This ancient fruit captured the praise of the well-known Greek poet, Homer (8th century B.C.), who referred to pears as a “gift of the gods.” The Romans developed over 50 varieties of pears and introduced the cultivated pear to Europe.

The California Bartlett is an ancestor of a pear originating in Berkshire, England from the 17th century. California grown pears include Bartlett, Bosc, Sekel, Comice, Starkrimson (red pears), D’Anjou, Forelle, Packhams, Taylor’s Gold,  and Warrens.

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A Passion for Summer Tomatoes

California Heirloom Tomatoes

California Heirloom Tomatoes

Where would we be without our favorite summer fruit? How many other fruits or vegetables have a song written about them?

Native to the Americas, at one time feared as poisonous due to its family ties (nightshades), the tomato is now one of the most popular of foods. Quick, how many things can you think of which feature tomatoes?

Starting with just ketchup, pizza, and spaghetti, think about how popular the tomato is. So many foods and dishes use tomatoes, in either in a starring or supporting role. Not bad considering it wasn’t until the late 1700s that tomatoes began to find their way into the dining room in any quantity. Continue Reading →

Stone Fruit Season Has Arrived!

Stone Fruit Season

Stone Fruit Season

Stone fruit season has arrived and the markets are brimming with sweet, juicy peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, pluots and apriums. Did you know California grows about 90 percent of the nectarines and plums grown in the US, and produces about 60 percent of all the peaches?

With over 200 varieties of peaches, 200 varieties of plums, and about 175 varieties of nectarines, it’s easy to get confused about the flavor and color characteristics! Here’s a quick reference for stone fruits. Continue Reading →

Cooking with Whole Grains

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DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY GRAINS!

Grain Image

W hole grains are healthy, highly nutritious, contain fiber and protein, and a great substitute for refined carbohydrates. If you find it challenging to get the recommended three servings of whole grains each day, try adding them to soups, salads, main dishes, or eat like a hot cereal in the morning.

Enjoy crunchy textures like popcorn? Some whole grains can be popped too. Simply heat a cast iron skillet (or similar heavy-bottomed pan), toss in some whole grains, and you’ll have popped grains in moments. Add to salads, or eat like a puffed grain cereal. Continue Reading →

The Mediterranean Diet — Eat Like A Greek!

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EAT LIKE A GREEK!

A recent study published  in The New England Journal of Medicine confirmed what Greeks seemed to know all along — eating a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, olive oil, vegetables, fresh fruit, legumes, fish, poultry and red wine has proven health benefits, especially for those at risk for heart disease. Contrary to the popular belief that a low-fat diet was best for cardiovascular health, the results of the new Mediterranean diet study were so clearly evident that the researchers ended the trial early.

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