Zucchini & Yellow Squash
Green leaf and romaine lettuce are excellent choices for green smoothies. They add tons of iron and protein with a mild taste, and since they’re relatively inexpensive compared to the other greens, you can blend a batch on a budget. Leaf lettuces are often washed and dried before storing. Rinse each leaf under cold water and lay out on a length of damp paper towels. Roll up (like a jelly roll) and refrigerate. Wilted lettuce can be crisped up with a bath in cold water.
Lubbers Brothers Farms in Zeeland, Michigan has been growing leafy greens for over 30 years and have been supplying Meijer with fresh romaine, escarole, endive, and other leafy green lettuces from their 100-acre farm since 1998.
“Lubbers is proud to bring Meijer shoppers the finest, freshest lettuce anywhere.”
You probably don’t know that peppers are fruits, since they come from a flowering plant and contain seeds. Red, orange and yellow bell peppers are actually very ripe green bell peppers, but the green variety are the most popular. Since bell peppers don’t have a lot of capsaicin (that’s what makes chili peppers spicy), they have a mild and sweet flavor. You’ll want to choose peppers that are glossy, firm, and richly colored. Oh, and how many peppers did Peter Piper pick? As many as he could fit into a 2-gallon container, the size of a peck :-)
Walcher Farms in north central Ohio has been raising vegetables on rich, high-organic muck soils since 1903. The 5th generation farm has been providing locally grown produce to Meijer for over 25 years.
Zucchini and yellow squash are both summer squashes that can be substituted for each other in most recipes. They’re harvested when young (about 6-8 inches long) so the skins and seeds are tender and edible. Both should be firm, especially near the stem. You can refrigerate them in a plastic bag up to a week. When you’re ready to cook, wash and trim the ends. Don’t peel. Bulbous squashes are firm and mild and great for soups. Longer and thinner squashes are more tender and richer in flavor.
Both from farming families, David and Rosanne Ruhlig met at Eastern Market in Detroit and started a 40 acre farm in 1965. Today, that farm is over 1000 acres, growing everything from squash and cucumbers to muskmelons and watermelons to nine varieties of specialty peppers, hand-picked fresh daily.
No fruit says “summer” louder or sweeter than watermelon. The best watermelon is firm, symmetrical, and should feel heavy for its size - this means it has a lot of water content. On the underside of the melon there will be a cream colored spot. This is quite natural, as that’s where the melon rested on the ground when ripening in the sun. Give the outside a firm thump. Ripe melons will sound hollow and be perfect for the dog days of summer.
Piedt Farms began over 180 years ago and is in its sixth generation farming in Michigan. Everyone in the Piedt family has their own responsibility on the farm, from growing to running the Piedt farmer’s market in Detroit to the fruit stand and baked goods.
“A close family bond and a love to farm is what keeps us motivated.”