Celebrate with December’s Best Veggies
This “New Year’s” ingredient is a must-have! Superstition rates them as the #1 ingredient to bring good luck into the New Year. These small, beige-colored peas are commonly referred to as “cowpeas”. They get their name because of the black spot on each pea, looking like an eye. They are believed to have originated in North Africa where they were a staple food for Greeks and Romans. Many years later, they appeared in the “New World”, possibly brought back by Spanish explorers. Black-eyed peas have earned a reputation for good luck when eaten during the New Year celebration. They are very popular in the Southern U.S., but even more so during this celebration.
Most black-eyed peas are packaged dry, but Melissa’s Black-Eyed Peas are steamed and vacuum-sealed in a ready-to-use package. They are also available in a refrigerated tub. They make great dips and are delicious in casseroles. Black-eyed peas are very low in fat and are an excellent source of folic acid. Try one of our delicious holiday recipes to bring you good luck in 2020!
Pearl Onions are members of the lily family. They are thought to have originated in Southern Europe. Pearl Onions are available in three colors: white, red and gold. They are a small, mild onion, about 1-inch in diameter. They have a papery skin and look like a miniature regular onion. Pearl Onions are very popular around the holidays. They are generally used in vegetable sautés, casseroles or creamed as a side dish. They are great on skewers or in sauces too.
To peel pearl onions, blanch them in boiling water, and then plunge them into cold water. Cut off the root-end, and squeeze the onion out of the skin. It is very simple and easy for such a delicious treat. Pearls should be stored in a cool dry place, just as you would a large onion. They are very low calorie, and very low sodium with some iron and vitamin C.
Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes
Grown year-round in nutrient-rich volcanic soils where the days are warm and the nights are cool, Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes are produced under ideal conditions to create an irresistibly sweet potato. Our Baby Dutch Yellow® has a distinct, yellow flesh with a subtle flavor and a creamy texture. These are one of the best-tasting potatoes on the market today. They are naturally sweet and taste like they are already buttered. Dutch Yellow® Potatoes are an excellent source of fiber and potassium, and low in calories. They are great when baked, roasted, mashed or sautéed. They are also delicious in potato salad. Check out our new DYPs® Cookbook, too. 150 recipes using these delicious potatoes. (ADD LINK TO DYP BOOK)
Shallots are a member of the onion family and are tender in texture, mild in flavor (less pungent than onions), and quick to cook. Since each head is made up of several cloves, shallots more closely resemble garlic, rather than onions. Covered with a thin, paper-like skin, shallots are an excellent way to enhance flavor without adding sodium or other salty seasonings. The skin color of a shallot can range from pale brown or gray to a soft rose. Once exposed, the ivory flesh is usually marked by a pale green or purple color.
Shallots should be stored like an onion, in a cool, dark place. They are low calorie; contain no cholesterol and have very minimal sodium (12mg per 3 oz.). Use shallots in sauces, sautés, casseroles, as a condiment or any way you would use an onion. You will love them!
Pine Nuts are a versatile nut that can be used in many dishes from sauces to salads. They are also known as piñon or pignolia nuts. Pine nuts come from pinecones that are harvested by picking the cones, placing them in a large burlap sack and shaking the nuts to the bottom of the bag. The nuts are then washed and shelled for sale. They are generally eaten raw or pan roasted.
Store pine nuts in a cool, dry area. Pine nuts will stay fresher if they are refrigerated after opening. They can even be stored in the freezer. Pine nuts are a very creamy nut and contain some fiber, iron and vitamin A.
Organic Baby Yams
Yams are the perfect vegetable to add vitamins and color to your meal. Candied yams make a tasty side dish, especially during the holidays. Their skin is edible, with a short cooking time due to their petite size. They are available in many varieties and can be used in baked goods or side dishes. They are generally available until mid-December.
Melissa’s variety squash will add color and warmth to your dinner table, adding flavor, variety and health. With over 20 different squash varieties to choose from, you won’t have any problem finding one you will love. Hard squash is extremely rich in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium. Squash can be easily prepared by halving and baking in the oven until tender.
This light beige colored squash is best when it is about 8 to 12 inches long. It has a bulb at the end of the long neck, as if it were an elongated pear. Butternut squash is a sweet tasting squash that is great when cooked and cubed as a side dish. The high beta-carotene content of butternut squash makes its flesh a deep orange color.
Ready-to-Eat Butternut Squash Cubes
Our latest and greatest shelf stable product is fresh cubes of butternut squash that have been roasted and prepared. All you need to do is heat and eat or add to soups, stews, side dishes, purees and more. It is so easy to use wherever you use fresh butternut without all the prep time.
Ready-to-Eat Baby Red Beets
Melissa’s Baby Red Beets are ready to use without the trouble of trimming, peeling, and steaming. We have taken all the mess out and left only the good stuff in! These delicious baby red beets taste so fresh because of our innovative packaging to keep the freshness in and the bitterness out. No one will ever know these beets came out of a package! These tasty beets come from France; a country well known for beets. We don’t add any additives, or preservatives-they are all-natural to keep that great tasting flavor until the very end!
Baby Red Beets should be kept in the refrigerator and used once opened. Beets are very nutritious, a great source of fiber, have no cholesterol and are low calorie. They will add color and flavor to your main dish, salad or side dish.
Veggie Sweet Peppers
These are small-sized sweet bell peppers that are shaped more like chile peppers but have a sweet taste and nice texture. These peppers are not hot at all and are similar in flavor to a regular sweet bell pepper. These virtually seedless red, yellow and orange assorted Veggie Sweet Peppers add a surprisingly mild flavor to dishes or can be eaten out-of-hand. Served raw, Veggie Sweet Peppers add crunch to salads and appetizers, or add a pleasant texture and crunch to stir-fries. They go wonderfully on a vegetable crudité plate or they can be stuffed and eaten as an appetizer.
Chile peppers have been cultivated for more than 7,000 years. Today, they are used by many ethnic groups in their daily cuisine. There are dozens of varieties of fresh chile peppers: Yellow (or Caribe), Pasilla (or Poblano), Fresno-red and green, Habanero-assorted colors, Jalapeño, Anaheim-red and green, and Serrano, to name a few. Chile peppers get their heat from capsaicin, an oil compound that can burn your eyes and mouth. The hottest of these mentioned is the habanero chile, which is off the heat scale in comparison to the others. Generally, the smaller the chile, the hotter the bite. Also, when preparing chiles, if you remove the seeds, the chile will be milder. We also suggest wearing gloves and using caution not to touch your eyes.
The Great Pepper Cookbook
Check out our Great Pepper cookbook, filled with easy and delicious recipes using every kind of pepper imaginable.