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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Rhubarb — Old Fashioned Goodness

Sunday Brunch

For the Love of Rhubarb!

What is it about rhubarb — people either love it or hate it! Rhubarb is an old-time garden favorite, and my Southern grandmother always had a few plants tucked in amongst her roses. I remember her carrying a bundle of freshly cut red stalks from the garden into her kitchen and in no time at all, turn the stalks into a warm, rose-colored compote to spoon over vanilla ice cream. No doubt my own positive memory is associated with this delectable treat! However, it wasn’t until years later that I realized others didn’t share my fondness for rhubarb. Either they didn’t know what rhubarb was and hadn’t tasted it, or some didn’t like their first experience with it. How sad! Continue Reading →

Pastry Chefs Secret Ingredient — Duck Eggs

Pastured Duck Eggs

Located in the foothills of Watsonville, Mello-Dy Ranch is home to over 400 Khaki Campbells, a heritage breed of ducks. This five-generation family also grows apples, berries, squash, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, apricots, beans, lemons, persimmons, pears, along with pasture raised chickens, ducks and quail.

What’s the Difference Between a Chicken Egg and a Duck Egg?
If you’ve never tried duck eggs, you may be wondering how they differ from chicken eggs. Duck eggs are larger than some chicken eggs, but not by much. They are about the size of a jumbo chicken egg, slightly more oblong in shape, and have harder, off-white or grayish shells. The yolks are a deeper shade of orange gold than chicken eggs. Continue Reading →

Confessions of a Foodie on a Diet

The Moment of Truth

The Moment of Truth

At some point, many of us will probably hear the dreaded words, “Your cholesterol is elevated and we are concerned about (fill in the blank)” from our doctors. My husband and I had our wake-up call this past Fall after our annual check-ups and had to face the music about a few too many pizza nights and In-N-Out burgers. Ironically, I love to cook well-balanced meals with lots of veggies and make a good portion of my living writing about healthy food. (How embarrassing!) But, with a demanding schedule and long hours, it was getting easier and easier to resort to something quick and simple — and unhealthy. Continue Reading →

Power Up Your Diet with Microgreens!

Sprouts Microgreens

Nutrient Dense Microgreens

Here’s an easy way to improve your diet – add microgreens. Ounce for ounce, microgreens provide more nutrients than any other natural food known. Microgreens are seedlings (young plants) between seven and ten days old that have sprouted from seed, but don’t yet have true leaves. These super-food seedlings are naturally high in quality protein, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and anti-oxidants, and have few calories and no cholesterol. We are fortunate to have New Natives at the Aptos Farmers Market year-round, selling a wide variety of organic microgreens – a true living food. Continue Reading →

The Mysterious Jujube Fruit

Jujubes or Chinese Date

Jujubes or Chinese Date

Fresh jujubes (pronounced joo-joob) are stone fruits about the size of small dates with a crisp texture and mild apple flavor. The taste ranges from mildly sweet-tart to sweet. Under-ripe fruit can taste chalky or floury, but jujubes gradually become sweeter as they mature. Despite their thick skin, the skin is edible, albeit a bit tough. Jujubes have a flavor affinity for almonds, brown sugar, chocolate, coconut, cream cheese, honey, orange, pistachios, and walnuts. Continue Reading →