January Is for A Healthier You
Steamed Black-Eyed Peas
These small, beige-colored peas are commonly referred to as “cowpeas.” They get their name because of the black spot on each pea, which looks like an eye. They were 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 by Spanish explorers. Black-eyed peas earned a reputation for good luck when eaten during the New Year celebration. They are very popular in the Southern US. Most black-eyed peas are packaged dry, but Melissa’s Steamed Black-eyed Peas are steamed and vacuum-sealed in a ready-to-use package. They make great dips and are delicious in hearty chili and stews.
These small cucumbers are just a mini version of a larger cucumber. The best part of it is their edible, thinner skin, making them perfect for salads and veggie plates. They are crisp and refreshing and perfect for holiday gatherings!
Try them diced with tomatoes and a little rice vinegar for a simple side. Mini cucumbers can be used for pickles, garnishes or snacking.
Brussels sprouts look and taste like mini cabbages. They have a nutty flavor and are delicious roasted or sautéed. Brussels sprouts are a trending vegetable used shaved in salads, roasted or grilled. They are the perfect side dish for any meal. They are easy to prepare and add color and dimension to everyday meals.
Peeled and Steamed Butternut Squash
This convenient and delicious steamed item is perfect for an easy side. Melissa’s Peeled and Steamed Butternut Squash. Not only does it taste fresh and amazing, but it is a huge timesaver in the kitchen! Heat and serve as a side dish sprinkled with a little brown sugar, or use in casseroles or soups. They are full of flavor without the long prep.
Butternut squash is an excellent choice when you are looking for a satisfying and delicious side dish.
Organic Baby Yams
Organic Baby Yams are smaller yams, about ¾-1-inch in diameter. There are several varieties: Jewel, Garnet, Japanese and Charleston to name a few. They are packed full of vitamin A and have almost zero fat. Baby yams have an interior flesh ranging from white to deep orange, depending on the variety. Each variety is delicious and creamy and can be prepared like a large yam with a shorter cooking time. Try using these instead of potatoes for a mash or sautéed side dish. Baby yams are generally available until April.
Chinese Long Beans
Chinese Long Beans are green beans that are in the same family as the black-eyed pea. They are known to grow several feet in length and are usually found twisted like a rope in the produce department. Oftentimes, they are cut into shorter pieces for convenience. Chinese Long Beans are generally cut into 4-6” pieces and sautéed for stir-fries or side dishes. Note: The whole bean is eaten.
These unique and tasty beans are not as crispy as a regular green bean but add plenty of flavor. They are low-fat and contain small amounts of protein and vitamin A and are available year-round.
Russian Banana Fingerlings, named for their development in the Baltic States, look like a banana in shape. These yellow-skinned potatoes are unique fingerlings; they have a firmer texture and are an excellent base in potato salad. Russian Bananas are one of the most popular of the fingerlings. Ruby Crescent Fingerling potatoes are long and slender with rose-pink skins and sweet yellow flesh. These potatoes are very interesting in the way they occasionally grow branched off one another. They are the best roasting potato and are also delicious boiled for potato salad or baked and topped with sour cream.
French Fingerlings are medium-sized tubers with satin smooth reddish-orange skin. These potatoes are rumored to have been smuggled into America from Europe long ago in a horse’s feed bag. A welcome addition today, these potatoes are delicious boiled for potato salad or baked and topped with sour cream. Fingerling potatoes make a great side dish for any meal. They are low-calorie and filling, making them great for those watching their food intake.
Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes
Grown year-round in nutrient-rich volcanic soil where the days are warm and the nights are cool, Melissa’s Dutch Yellow® Potatoes are produced under ideal conditions to create an irresistibly creamy potato. Our 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 they’re low in calories. They are great when baked, roasted, mashed or sautéed. They are also delicious in potato salad, too.
Check out our DYPs® cookbook, too!
Steamed 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! 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!
Melissa’s 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.
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 available year-round and Melissa’s offers them packaged in several ways. Pearl onions are a 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, when they are generally used in vegetable sautés, casseroles, or creamed in a side dish. Pearl onions are also 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. The prep 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.
Fresh Ginger Root
Ginger has been a popular root for thousands of years. Its origin is unknown, but it is believed to have come from Southeast Asia. Did you know? Ginger was considered a food preservative before there was refrigeration. It has also been used for many medicinal purposes. Visually, ginger is irregularly shaped with knobby “fingers.” The pieces are often referred to as hands. It is available all year-round, making it an essential ingredient in many cuisines.
Ginger is best when used immediately, but can be frozen in pieces and used as needed. It can also be refrigerated for a week or two but may tend to dry out this way. Note, ginger is generally peeled before using. It can be grated, chopped, minced or sliced for recipes. Ginger will add a delicious, spicy flavor to any recipe and is especially great in tea, stir-fries, desserts and baked goods.