Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fruits of the Week: Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruits

If you visit the Gilbert Farmers Market on a normal basis you have probably noticed the abundance of Arizona Grown Citrus! Its been such a popular purchase that we wanted to give you some information about them!

Vitamin C, the antioxidant vitamin that boosts the immune system and protects from the signs of aging, is found in abundance in oranges.

Oranges are one of the least expensive sources of vitamin c, which protects against cell damage, aging, and disease. The fruit is a also a good source of fiber, folate, and potassium as well as calcium, which is vital for bone maintenance. They contain the carotenes, zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which can help maintain eye health and protect against macular degeneration. Oranges also contain rutin, a flavonoid that can help slow down or prevent the growth of tumors, and nobiletin, an anti-inflammatory compound. All these plant compounds also help vitamin c work more effectively. 

Did You Know?
You should was some of the white pith of the orange as well as the juicy flash because to contains high levels of fiber, useful plant chemicals, and antioxidants. 

Practical Tips: 
Buy Oranges that feel heavy to hold compared with their size-this means they should be juicy and fresh. Store them in the fridge to retain their vitamin C. Orange peel contains high levels of nutrients, but should be scrubbed and dried before use. 

Indispensable in many recipes, lemons are rich in vitamin c and can help protect us from breast cancer and other cancers.

The fresh, acidic flavor of lemon juice enhances both sweet and savory foods and dishes, while the peel can be used to add flavor. the acid and antioxidants in lemon juice means that it can help prevent foods from browning once peeled or cut. All parts of the lemon contains valuable nutrients and antioxidants. They are a particularly good source of vitamin c. The plant compound antioxidants include limonene, an oil that may help to prevent breast and other cancers and lower "bad" cholesterol, and rutin, which has been found to strengthen veins. Lemons stimulate the taste buds and may be useful for people with a poor appetite. 

Did You Know?
An average lemon contains about 3 tablespoons of juice. The tenderizing acid in lemons makes a useful addition to marinades for meat, or meat stews.

Practical Tips:
Either wash thoroughly or buy unwaxed or organic lemons if you want to use the peel. You can get more juice from a lemon if you warm it for a few seconds, in the microwave or in hot water, before squeezing. The heavier the lemon, the more juice it should contain. Lemon juice, thanks to its pectin, helps hams and helloes to set, can be used instead of vinegar in salad dressings, or added to mayonnaise. 

An excellent source of vitamin c, eating grapefruit boosts the immune system and protects our hearts.

In recent years, the pink-fleshed grapefruit has become as popular as the white or yellow-fleshed variety. It is a little sweeter and contains more health benefits - The pink pigment indicates the presence of lycopene, the antioxidant carotene that has been shown to help prevent prostate and other cancers. Like other citrus fruits, grapefruits contain bioflavonoids, compounds that appear to increase the benefits of vitamin c, also found in this fruit in excellent amounts. Grapefruits are low on the glycemic index and very low in calories, so make an important fruit for dieters. Because grapefruit juice can alter the effect of certain drugs (e.g. drugs that lower blood pressure), people on medication should check with their doctor before they consume the fruit. 

Did You Know?
The slightly bitter taste of some grapefruits is caused by a compound called naringenin, which has cholesterol-lowering properties.

Practical Tips:
Grapefruit is delicious halved, sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled for a short while. Try to eat some of the white pith with your grapefruit because this is high in nutrients. Grapefruits, like all citrus fruits, will contain more juice if they feel heavier. 

P.S.: We have an average of 5 vendors selling citrus each weekend, shop around to get different varieties!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

January "Double Market Dinner" Community Dinner @ Liberty Market

January 30th, 2012 6:30PM
We arrived early to meet a few vendors, friends & followers that were lucky to sign up for the Community Dinner that was filled with in 3 Days of it being announced. We were joined by old friends & met a bunch of New Friends, one of the perks about Community Dinners at Liberty Market!

Joe & Cindy Johnston were setting up the 40 Seats as we talked with a few customers & ordered a Cortadito to enjoy while we waited for our company! Do you not know what a Cotadito is... Its a wonderful drink that you MUST try if your ever in Liberty Market!

"Double Market Dinner" Menu Side 1
"Double Market Dinner" Menu Side 2
"The Calm Before the Storm"
Chef David talking to us about what is coming... It was all amazing!

Amuse Bouche Starter of Filet tar tare
Cauliflower Soup with Lemon Olive Oil
Market Greens, Duck Breast with Go Lb. Salt Black Truffle Vinaigrette
Sweet Potato Ravioli, Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice with a few drops of Beet Juice... AMAZING!
Cold Poached Salmon, Egg Filled Brioche sauce gribiche

Braised Veal, Creamy Blue Cheese Polenta, Veal Au Jus & Broccoli Shots
Tangelo Tart with Candied Fennel
Thank You to Joe  & Cindy Johnston, Chef David & Kiersten & the entire crew at Liberty Market for the AMAZING "Double Market Dinner". You helped us check off a goal we have had for over 14 months and we hope to do it again! 

If you haven't already, be sure to "Like" Liberty Market on Facebook to stay in the loop regarding any upcoming Community Dinners! They are all so wonderful & different that we have made a New Years Resolution to "Never miss a Community Dinner at Liberty Market"!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recipe of the Week: SUPER BOWL Spinach & Artichoke Dip


  • 1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and julienned
  • Pita Chips for Dipping


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil and flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly 5 to 6 minutes for a blond roux. Whisk in the milk and bring the liquid up to a boil. Season the liquid with salt and cayenne. Simmer the liquid for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Set the sauce aside.
In a saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in handfuls of spinach at a time, until all the spinach is incorporated. Add the garlic andartichoke and saute for 2 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and cayenne. Remove the vegetables from the heat and turn into a mixing bowl. Fold the cheese sauce into the vegetables. Turn the mixture into a baking pan. Bake the dip for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Recipe borrowed from Here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vegetable of the Week: Spinach

Spinach from Desert Roots Farm
Researchers have found many flavonoid compounds in spinach that act as antioxidants and fight against stomach, sing, breast, prostate, and other cancers. Spinach is also extremely high in carotenes, which protect eyesight. It is also particularly rich in vitamin K, which helps to boost bone strength and may help prevent osteoporosis. In addition, Spinach also contains peptides, which are aspects of protein that have been shown to lower blood pressure, and its relatively high vitamin E content may help protect the brain from cognitive decline as we age. 

*Flavonoid and carotene protects against many cancers.
*Vitamin  C, Folate, and Carotene content helps maintain artery health and prevent atherosclerosis.
*Helps keeps eyes healthy.
*Vitamin K content boosts bone density.

Did you know?
Researchers found that feeding aging labratory animals spinach- rich diets significantly improved both their learning capacity and motor skills.

Practical Tips: 
Avoid buying spinach with any yellowing leaves. The carotenes in spinach are better absorbed when the leaves are cooked rather than eaten raw, and also if eaten with a little oil. Steaming or stir-frying retains the most antioxidants. To cook, simply wash the leaves and cook in only the water still clinging to the leaves, stirring if necessary. 

Keep an eye out for the Recipe of the Week  featuring Spinach!