Hi CSA Members!
For this week’s share, you’ll be enjoying some of the most colorful produce of the season thus far (and arguably, the most colorful produce you can even grow and eat!).
So we’re calling it a “Rainbow Share.”
Here’s what you’ll be getting tomorrow:
- Rainbow Carrots
- Rainbow Baby Beets
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Red Slicer Tomato
- Yellow Hot Pickling Peppers
- Green Kale
- Green Beans
- Red Onion
- Thai Basil
We hope you enjoy all the color and flavor these veggies can offer. Enjoy!
What Is Thai Basil? | Explanation and Tips
This week, the culinary herb you’ll be getting is Thai basil. It looks a bit like the other varieties of basil that are more popular and that you’d usually see at the grocery store (those are called “sweet basil” varieties, the green one you see a lot is considered an Italian or Genovese type basil type).
Thai basil has a bit of that sweet flavor like Italian basil, but also has a prominent “licorice” or “anise” type flavor thrown in, too. It should be cooked like Italian basil too, best thrown in at the end of a recipe to infuse it with its flavor.
Be sure to look up some Thai recipes featuring Thai basil and give them a try if you like. Though here are some ideas that Jupiter Ridge farmer Will has used:
Combine it with sweet fruits in a sauce to top cooked meats after they are prepared (especially pork or fish), or even as a marinade. Will has paired Thai basil with plum and it’s a flavorful match made in heaven.
Substitute mint for Thai basil in a mojito recipe (or if you don’t drink, a mojito mocktail recipe sans the booze). The result is an absolutely refreshing and cooling beverage (we’ve been enjoying it ourselves here and there up on Jupiter Ridge)! Throw your cucumber into the drink, too, if you like – cucumber and Thai basil taste amazing together in beverages.
Wellness Spotlight On: Rainbow Beets
In your share, you’ll also be getting a bag of rainbow baby beets: white beets, gold beets, chioggia beets, and the standard red beets.
These are awesome pickled, cooked, or roasted whole (a farmer friend of ours even smokes them after cooking – amazing!). But where they may really shine is when they are used raw in juices and smoothies (yes, you can probably see where I’m going with this).
Before beets were widely considered a food, they were actually considered more of a medicinal herb. Nowadays they are a popular addition to “detox” juices and smoothies not only because they turn them such an appetizing red color, but also because they’re chock-full of antioxidants and fiber that support a healthy liver (which in turn helps your body detox naturally), improve gut health, and boost heart health, too.
More specifically, red beets contain natural nitrates that help lower blood pressure and boost circulation (as a result, athletes love to use it because it helps increase aerobic capacity). Red beets also contain betalains (responsible for red beets’ red dye-like color).
But what about the other beets: gold, white, and chioggia?
Well, chioggia beets (the pink ones in your share that when you cut them open, have a bull-eye like pattern on the inside) share some of the same health properties as red beets because they have some of the same pigment.
Gold beets on the other hand have an entirely different set of antioxidants and health benefits. Instead of betalains, the gold pigment they have is actually made of lycopene and zeaxanthin, two different antioxidants (lycopene is great for reproductive health and heart health, while zeaxanthin is GREAT for eye health, apparently!)
OK – what about the white beets?
These have less antioxidants, but are plenty high in fiber (great for your gut). Here’s the kicker: they’re SWEETER than all the other beet varieties. So while the others will keep you healthy, enjoy the white beets as a sweet treat (they’re awesome sliced or grated raw into salads, or throw them into your smoothie/juice blend).
Have questions about how to cook/prepare items in your share?
Or are you curious about the health benefits of any of the herbs, veggies, or mushrooms you receive?
Don’t hesitate to contact us! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm