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Beachside offers year round availability of bok choy. A part of the cabbage family, Bok Choy is noted for its sweeter flavor than standard head cabbage varieties. Select Bok Choy with dark green, large leaves and thick white stalks, Bok Choy varieties are chosen for their flavor and consistent quality. Originally cultivated in China, Bok Choy is a staple ingredient to Chinese cuisine. With its sweet flavor and crisp texture, Bok Choy works well with a variety of foods. Feel free to experiment and use it as a substitute for cabbage in other dishes.
Dating back to 600BC, Kale was a main vegetable source for people throughout the middle ages. Known for its broad leaf, good texture, dark green color, and high nutritional value, Beachside Kale is available year round. Although used as a garnish for many dishes, kale is rich in nutritional value and well regarded as a source for cancer preventing compounds.
Accepted more throughout Europe than in the United States, leeks can be found as a main ingredient in soups and stews. Leeks have a milder and sweeter flavor than onions and a crunchy texture when cooked, making them a delicious side dish served on their own. Choose leeks with dark green leaves, white stalks and clean appearance. Since leeks are related to garlic and onions, it contains many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables. Some of these benefits include reducing LDL and increasing HDL cholesterol levels, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and leading to a variety of cancer preventing compounds. Beachside offers premium leeks year round.
Noted for its lime color and oblong shape, Napa cabbage is the most popular family of Chinese cabbages seen in supermarkets. This cabbage vegetable is very tender and delicious making Napa an excellent alternative to other cabbage varieties. A modest source of vitamin C, fiber, and folate (folic acid), Napa also contains compounds that assist in the prevention of a number of cancer related ailments. Napa is delicious either in raw form (cole slaw) or cooked in stir-fries or soups. Beachside offers year round availability of premium Napa.
Beachside offers year round availability of snow peas. Both sugar snap and snow peas are a type of legume. The edible pods contain five to seven seeds and can reach a length of two to three inches. Snow and sugar snap peas differ in appearance in that sugar snap peas have round pods where snow pea pods are flat. Both varieties can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets and are prevalent from May through October. Look for brightly colored, crisp pods that have fresh-looking leaflets and small seeds. Use as soon as possible, or store in a plastic bag, refrigerated for up to three days. There are a variety of potential health benefits from consuming snow peas which include asthma, skin bruising, and compounds that prevent multiple sclerosis (MS). Just before using, pinch off the ends and rinse the peas in cold water. Try wok-frying them with shitake mushrooms, red and sweet peppers, carrots, and sesame seeds or combine raw snow peas with grapefruit slices and mixed field greens.
Beachside offers year round availability of fresh spinach. Found in virtually all supermarkets that carry fresh vegetables, spinach comes loose or banded in its fresh form. Although it will not produce the magical effects that Popeye enjoyed, spinach is most definitely good for you. Spinach is rich in vitamin K, a variety of minerals and an excellent source of beta-carotene and carotenoids. Raw spinach is a healthy and suitable addition to salads, but to get the full benefit from this leafy green, eat it cooked at least some of the time. Cooking makes the antioxidant carotenoids responsible for much of spinach's nutritional potency easier for the body to absorb. Select small spinach leaves with good green color and a crisp, springy texture; avoid wilted, crushed, or bruised leaves, and those with yellow spots or insect damage. Spinach can be found in a number of dishes and has picked up popularity in fine cuisine for its health benefits and flavor.
Often used as garnish and ignored for its nutritional purposes, parsley in fact is noted as one of the worlds most healthy and popular herbs. A part of the celery family, parsley is rich in a variety of nutrients and a unique source of volatile oils and flavonoids. These unique compounds assist in the prevention of cancer related tumors, rheumatoid arthritis, and promote anti-oxidants within blood cells. Having been cultivated for nearly 2000 years, Parsley is known to have originated in the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe and used for its medicinal properties by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Whenever possible, select fresh over its dried form to maximize parsley's flavor benefits. Choose parsley that is dark green, fresh and crisp. Wilted and yellow parsley should be avoided as it indicates over maturity.
Fresh parsley should be refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag. If wilted, sprinkle water on parsley before refrigerating to lengthen shelf life. As with most fresh vegetables and herbs, it is best to use parsley soon after purchase in order to maximize its health and flavor benefits.
Cilantro is used as a primary herb in Indian, Asian and Latin American food, although its origin would never indicate this. Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean region, traces of coriander seeds, the true plant name for cilantro, have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs indicating the history of this plant. The worldwide popularity of cilantro can be credited to the Romans and Spanish conquistadors who spread this herb throughout Asia and Latin America.
Cilantro is available year round. Choose bunches with bright green leaves and crisp, firm stems and fragrant aroma. It is best to use immediately after purchase. If stored, refrigerate in a plastic bag or place roots in water and cover leaves with a plastic bag.
In American cuisine, cilantro is most familiar as an ingredient in salsa and guacamole. However, cilantro is an excellent herb and can be found as an ingredient in a variety of salads, sauces and dishes. In order to preserve its fragile flavor, add cilantro toward the end of cooking or just before serving.