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Incorporating Vegetables in a Kid-Friendly Way

Learn how to prepare items in your Produce Box this week in ways your family will love!

I know, getting your little ones to eat greens is a fight at every meal. It’s so easy to want to give in and let them only eat frozen chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. But with great challenges comes great responsibility as a parent: You are responsible for making sure your child is getting the correct nutrients. 

Here are a few ways to incorporate items we have in our Produce Box this week into your meals in a way that may not raise a red flag for your child and will hopefully make your life a tiny bit easier.

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How St. Louis Produce Box was Born

How St. Louis Produce Box was born…

You may be wondering “Why did we wait until the world shut down with quarantine to start ordering produce delivery?” The answer is simply, most people didn’t think of it.

Our company was born in the middle of the pandemic, and kind of unintentionally. The owners, Kathryn and Matthias, both have their own full-time jobs and are also full-time parents with a lot on their plate. 

Matthias’ dad, Vince, owns a wholesale produce company, VMP Produce, on Produce Row in downtown St. Louis. Produce Row is where almost all grocers and stores in St. Louis get their produce from. There are multiple wholesale produce companies of all sizes on produce row, and it’s not a place people can walk through to buy one or two items. This is a vendor produce market, so they only deliver to stores (or in our case, your front door).

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Recipe: Spiced Jicama Sticks

  • 2 Cups Jicama, thickly sliced into julienne strips
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  1. Peel Jicama and slice into julienne size pieces the size of thin fries.
  2. Place in bowl and sprinkle Olive Oil, Paprika, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt and Lime Juice.
  3. Mix thoroughly to ensure all the slices are coated.
  4. Mix in the chopped Cilantro.
  5. Serve immediately sprinkled with coarse sea salt or store in the refrigerator for 1 day.
    Eat alone or dip into guacamole, hummus or salsa.
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Did You Know? Produce Fun Facts

Did you know that humans and bananas have 60 percent of the same DNA? That’s truly bananas.

Did you know that strawberries and raspberries aren’t actually berries, but bananas are? These are the fun facts you need to know to stump your friends in trivia and write in your kid’s lunch notes.

But wait! Before you read this, hop on over to the order page and place an order for this week’s box. This blog post will be waiting for you when you get back.

Here’s the order page: https://www.stlproducebox.com/whats-in-the-box/

Okay, you’ve ordered, right?

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Recipe: Cactus Pear Juice

Cactus Pear, Prickly Pear, Cactus Fruit (they are all the same thing!)… you’ve heard about it but maybe have never tried it? You’ve tried it but those seeds ruined the delicious taste? We’ve hear you and we have the solution.

Cactus pears are around 40 calories each, rich in antioxidants, high in fiber, and loaded with Magnesium. They are a great healthy snack choice and once the seeds are removed, can make a delicious drink. Below is a drink recipe suited for any occasion, breakfast to happy hour.

Cactus Pear Juice Agua de Tuna

  • 3 Cactus Red Pears
  • 1 Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp. Agave Syrup, or other sweetener
  1. Slice both ends of the cactus pear off. Make one long vertical slice down the body of the cactus pear. Peel back the skin. The skin should come right off, and you should be left with just the cactus pear.
  2. Place peeled pears in blender with 1 cup of water. Blend at the lowest speed for 1 minute.
  3. Strain and discard the seeds and pulp.
  4. Place cactus pear juice back in the blender, with orange juice, and agave syrup. Blend until smooth.
  5. Serve over ice.

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So You Got a Bad Apple?

Not just an apple, but any produce that we send you that’s past ripe or a little questionable, we apologize. Let us explain how this happens.

While we definitely want to provide quality produce, since it’s all fresh, it’s hard to guarantee every single item is perfect. The more detailed we are at inspecting, the more times we have to touch your produce, and although we are a sanitary facility, we’d assume that the fewer hands on your produce the better. Part of what makes us different from other produce delivery services is the reduced amount of human contact your produce has in our facility, because each box is generally only packed by a handful of people (all of which are trained on how to do so in a sanitary way).

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Recipe: Ina’s Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

4 ounces bacon, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar *if you have regular balsamic vinegar, just boil it down until it becomes thicker!*

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Place the Brussels Sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they’re roasted. Add the pancetta, olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, toss with your hands, and spread out in a single layer.

 Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re tender and nicely browned and the bacon is cooked. Toss once during roasting. Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar, and toss again. Taste for seasonings, and serve hot.

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Recipe: Grilled Marinated Vegetable Kabobs

Labor Day weekend demands Kabobs! This week’s box plus a few pantry staples will have you feeling happy & healthy.

  • 8 Cups Vegetables including Onions, *Mushrooms, *Peppers, *Zucchini, *Corn, *Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

*Indicates items in 8/3/20 boxes

Instructions

  • Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  • Wash and chop all veggies into bite sized pieces.
  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a large Ziplock bag. Add in veggies and allow to marinate 4 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally. (If you are pressed for time, you can just toss and let sit 15 minutes but longer is better).
  • Thread the veggies onto skewers.
  • Preheat grill to medium and grill skewers 10 minutes or until done.
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Recipe: Napa Cabbage Slaw

4-5 Cups Napa Cabbage, shredded*
1 Carrot*
1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped Scallion, Parsley, Cilantro, or Dill
Juice from half a Lemon*
salt + pepper to taste

*indicates items in St. Louis Produce Box 8/24/20

Prepare vegetables.  Finely shred Napa cabbage and shave carrot with a vegetable peeler.

Make dressing.  Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

Toss dressing with ingredients and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

“This slaw is amazing! I was looking for the best way to use the Napa Cabbage in this week’s box and am very happy with this recipe. It’s creamy from the greek yogurt and the dill added a lovely flavor!”

Becky B. – Wildwood, MO
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Recipe: Guac Your World with Homemade Guacamole

Whether you’re making a snack for yourself or appetizers for a socially-distant dinner party, guacamole is a perfect go to. Even better, when it’s a hot St. Louis day, it’s a NO HEAT food option. Luckily, this week’s box contains some of the most crucial ingredients to make guac, so muster up the few remaining ingredients and you’re on your way to a satisfied appetite.

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