Organic the best choice for select fruits, vegetables

Fruits, veggs

Pickled cherry tomatoes give a nice zip to vegetable trays and cheese boards.

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 01:37 PM.

There is so much discussion these days about buying and eating organic foods. The latest research claims that these are the foods you should consider buying that should be organic because of the residual pesticides. The fruits and vegetables are: apples, strawberries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and potatoes. If you are purchasing conventional versions of these fruits and vegetables make sure to scrub the surfaces well before eating.

It is a bountiful season with eggplants, squash and tomatoes. Eggplant can be a flavorful meat substitute and works similar to zucchini in recipes. Leave the purple skin on for most recipes.

Zucchini and yellow squash plants have a very tasty and edible blossom that can be used in many recipes. They can be stuffed and lightly fried. To eat zucchini and squash blossoms remove the stems of the blossoms, and toss cut up flowers with pasta, or chop to put in an omelet. They can also be dipped in a batter and gently fried.

Tzatziki dressing is very popular these days and can be used in various combinations. To make zucchini tzatziki, grate a zucchini and mix with Greek yogurt, grated garlic, and lemon juice. This makes a great vegetable dip and is also good with tortilla chips, crackers, or toast.

To keep zucchini fresh, store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to prevent them from losing water and becoming rubbery. For best cooking results with zucchini, and also eggplant, toss sliced or grated zucchini with salt to draw out the water, then squeeze dry or blot with paper towels, otherwise the zucchini release too much moisture while they cook.

Remember to store tomatoes stem side down to prolong their shelf life and prevent bruising. Tomatoes tend to lose their flavor when refrigerated; storing them on the counter top is a good place for them.

Quick and easy tomato salad is to toss together sliced ripe tomatoes (mix various ones), add EVOO olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt, toss with fresh basil and flat parsley, let it sit for 10-20 minutes for flavors to blend together, serve.

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