With March quickly drawing to an end, we look toward April and the beginning of spring to bring about showers of rain and the chance to see an elusive rainbow. While actual rainbows might be hard to come by, grabbing a rainbow of colorful produce at your Co-op is easy. This week we are focusing on rainbow carrots in purple, yellow, orange, scarlet and white, red leaf lettuce, and sunny, yellow pineapple.
Red leaf lettuce is a looseleaf variety, meaning that the lettuce does not grow to form a tightly packed head. Generally, looseleaf lettuce has a mild flavor and works well in salads which contain strong flavors or dressings. When selecting red leaf lettuce look for signs of freshness. This type of lettuce often has a softer texture than Iceberg or Romaine but should not be wilted. Looseleaf lettuce can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator prior to preparation. Avoid washing the lettuce prior to storage as this can increase the rate of spoilage.
Like their name implies, rainbow carrots come in a wide array of colors. These colorful carrots are traditional heritage cultivars and were around long before growing practices standardized orange carrots for public consumption. Select carrots which are firm and hydrated. Avoid carrots which have leathery skin or wilted tops. To store, cut off the top of the carrots and store carrot roots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Carrot tops can be eaten in salads or used to regrow the carrot by placing them in a water filled glass by a window. Once new roots begin to form, the tops can be transferred to a garden bed or pot filled with soil.
Select pineapples which are plump with evenly sized eyes and a fresh, green crown. Whole pineapples can be stored at room temperature until they are ready to prepare. After the pineapple is cut it can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen for later use. While New Hampshire weather is not ideal for pineapple growing, pineapples can be grown indoors and used as houseplants. To grow a pineapple, remove the store-bought pineapple’s crown by twisting it off. From the crown remove the bottom few layers of leaves and place the crown in a glass of water. After about two weeks roots should begin to develop, transplant the crown to a soil filled pot and water weekly. It takes about two years for a pineapple plant to grow a pineapple.
For our Delightfully Healthy demo we will sample the following two recipes:
3 cups cubed fresh pineapple (small chunks, freeze overnight)
¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp shredded coconut (toasted)
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (toasted)
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts and coconut on cookie sheet. Bake 3-5minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven to cool, set aside.
- Best if can cube & freeze pineapple the night before. Otherwise, add 2-3 ice cubes. Process all ingredients together in food processor, about 15-20 seconds.
- Top with shredded coconut and chopped walnuts
Rainbow Carrot Salad with Kiwi Vinaigrette
Makes about 4 side servings
Rainbow Carrot Salad
5-6 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
4-5 stalks scallions
1 bunch of red leaf lettuce
3 kiwi fruit (peeled, coarsely chopped)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
- Slice carrots and scallions thin, toss together in mixing bowl
- Peel and chop kiwi
- Combine chopped kiwi, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in blender, blend about 5-10 seconds.
- Mix vinaigrette with carrot mixture. Serve over red leaf lettuce