Fresh Fruit News and Fun Fruit Facts

Fruit Profile: Ataulfo Mango

Ataulfo Mangos are easily one of my favorite fruit varieties that we feature here at FruitRevival, and our customers and staff agree! This variety has a deliciously sweet and creamy flavor, and the flesh has a wonderful, firm texture. The flesh is also very smooth, and does not contain the stringy fibers that you may encounter in other mango varieties. Next week is the first time this year that they've been available to us, and we don't want to wait another minute before we get them in your fruit deliveries. We'll give you all the information you need about this delicious mango variety, and even some super easy tips for preparing them quickly and easily in your office break room or kitchen. We hope you enjoy!


How to Pick your Mango

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Ataulfo mangos are smaller than other mango varieties, and they have a skinnier, flatter shape. When unripe, they can be quite green, but will turn to a golden yellow color as the fruit ripens. To test for ripeness, give the mango a gentle squeeze - if it is ripe and ready to eat the fruit will give slightly, but shouldn't be too soft or mushy. Additionally, don't worry if the skin has started to wrinkle, this is completely normal and means that your mango has reached it's optimum ripeness and achieved its maximum flavor.

You may encounter Ataulfo mangos in the store as early as February, but the peak season typically lasts from March through the early summer months. You may be able to find them through most of the year, but to really experience the full flavor of the mango, try to pick them up during the peak months. Ataulfo mangos need a warm climate to grow, and while they can be grown domestically in Florida and California, most mangos of this variety are grown in Mexico.


Nutrition Information

Ataulfo mangos, because they're so sweet and delicious, make it very easy to supply your body with some much needed nutrients, without adding many calories. One of these mangos contains only about 150 calories, but are a good source of vitamin A and also yields more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Ataulfo mangos are also fat and sodium free, and contain 3-4 grams of dietary fiber. Eating healthy is easy when it tastes this good!


How to Cut a Mango

If you're unfamiliar with mangos, don't let them intimidate you. This fruit is incredibly easy to prepare, even in your office breakroom! With just a small knife you can easily prepare a mango in less than a minute. Here's how:

1. There is a pit in the middle of the mango, and you'll want to avoid it. Using a knife, slice the two meaty "cheeks" off the side of the mango. If you prefer, you can stop here and eat the flesh out of the skin with a spoon. mango-cheeks-800
2. Place the mango halves flesh side up, and using your knife make a series of criss-cross cuts across the flesh. Make sure you don't cut through the skin of the mango as it won't be eaten and it will be difficult to remove from the small pieces of flesh. mango-cut-800
3. You can eat the chunks of mango right out of the skin if you'd like, but for a less messy approach we recommend using a small knife to separate the chunks of mango from the skin, and eat them out of a cup or bowl using a spoon. Once the chunks are removed, you can also add them to a salad or salsa or use them for cooking. mango-final-800

That's it, your mango is ready to enjoy! I hope this information has been helpful, and I hope you love this fruit as much as we do here at FruitRevival.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me at kyle@fruitrevival.com with any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!

Mango Tango! All About Mangos!

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Mangos come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and each variety has a unique smell, taste, appearance, and flavor. At FruitRevival, we love to feature mangos in our deliveries because they are sweet and nutritious and they offer an easy (and delicious!) way to get your fruit servings each day. Typically, one mango yields about 2 servings of fruit. We try to offer as many different varieties of mangos as we possibly can while they are in season, and if you’ve been a customer of ours for the past year you’ve probably seen a number of varieties in your deliveries, including: Kent, Keitt, Tommy Atkins, Ataulfo, Haden, and other varieties of mango. Most recently, we’ve delivered the Kent and Ataulfo varieties.


Appearance, Taste, and Ripeness

Mangos come in various shades of greens, yellows, and reds, and their skin often shows 2 or 3 different colors. While there are many mango varieties, there are basically two distinct appearances that you’ll find. Kent, Haden, Keitt, and Tommy Atkins mangos are large and round, and tend to be very green when unripe, showing more red/orange as they reach their peak ripeness. Francis, Ataulfo, Champagne, and Manilla mangos are skinnier and slimmer with green/yellow flesh. Again, these mangos will turn from green to bright yellow as they ripen.

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When selecting a mango to eat, look for one where the skin has started to break from green to red, orange, or yellow. Additionally, look for a mango that gives slightly when squeezed, but isn’t mushy. Ataulfo mangos will also start to show small wrinkles in the skin as they approach full-ripeness. Don’t be alarmed by the wrinkly skin, this is perfectly natural and means that your mango is ready to eat! See picture to the right for an example of this kind of wrinkle.

Every mango variety has subtle differences in their appearance and aroma, making each one a uniquely delicious snacking experience. Ataulfo mangos are sweet and creamy with smooth flesh that has no strings or fibers. This is probably my favorite variety because they have no fibers – every bite is incredibly smooth and creamy. Kent mangos have a rich, sweet flavor, they are incredibly juicy, and the flesh has fewer fibers than other round mango varieties (for example, Tommy Atkins mangos have strings and fibers throughout the flesh).


Nutritional Information

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Mangos make a great healthy addition to your daily diet. One cup of sliced mango contains only about 110 calories (most of which come from the natural sugars in the fruit, they are delicious and sweet). The same amount of mango also yields 1g of protein, 3g of dietary fiber, 25% of your daily Vitamin A, and 75% of your daily vitamin C. Mangos are also a good source of vitamin B6, and are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.


Uses

Photo source: http://www.thetasteplace.com/

Photo source: http://www.thetasteplace.com/

Mangos are delicious when eaten by themselves – they make a great addition to your morning breakfast or can be served as a sweet, succulent dessert fruit (cut one up with a small bowl of vanilla ice cream… you’ll thank me later). Ripe mangos can be sliced and canned for future consumption, and they can also be used for juices, preserves, jellies, and jams. The sweetness of the mango also creates a nice contrast to spiciness when used in salsas and dips. Try this recipe for mango habanero salsa. It’s great for dipping with chips, or can be a delicious sweet and spicy topping for chicken breast or fish filets. The same sweet and spicy combination of mango and habanero can be used to make a kickin’ hot sauce for chicken wings and other party appetizers. You can always tone down the habanero if you don’t have much of a taste for spiciness (personally, I add extra because there’s never too much heat!).


Preparation

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When making deliveries to new customers, or delivering mangos to a customer for the first time, I’m often asked “how do I eat this?” Please, don’t shy away from mangos because you think they require a lot of preparation or will be messy to eat in the office. Follow these quick steps for my favorite way to eat a fresh mango!

  • Slice the two meaty “cheeks” off of the fruit (there is a pit in the middle of the fruit). If you’d like, you can use a spoon to eat the flesh out of the two halves much like you would an avocado or a grapefruit.
  • On each of the cheeks (flesh side up), make a series of criss-cross cuts (see picture) across the whole fruit (but be careful not to cut through the skin as it is typically not eaten)
  • You can eat the cut mango in hand just like this, or you can use a paring knife to slice along the base of flesh, separating the cubes of mangos from the skin.

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Make sure you grab a mango before they get snatched up out of your fruit delivery! Don’t fret if they disappear quickly, though, because we’ll have access to multiple mango varieties through the end of the summer months.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me at kyle@fruitrevival.com with any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!


Hass Avocados: Smooth, Creamy, Delicious!

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I really came to love and appreciate avocados when I studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile, in 2009. The length of the country means that Chile has many different climates, from deserts to glaciers and alpine tundras. These many, varied climates allow Chilean farmers to grow all kinds of produce -- you've probably eaten Chilean grapes, plums, citrus, avocados, or other types of produce when domestically grown crops are out of season or unavailable. In Chile, the locally grown produce is incredibly cheap and very high quality. Avocados, in some form or another, were on the table at just about every meal I had in my 8 months in the country (and you could buy 3-4 kilograms worth for about $1 USD. If you've shopped for avocados at the supermarket when the California varieties aren't in season, you've most likely bought either Mexican or Chilean Hass avocados. Wherever they're grown, Hass avocados are deliciously smooth and creamy, and they are quite good for you as well.


Appearance and Taste

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Hass avocados are easily identified by their oval shape and a rough, bumpy texture to the skin. They are bright green and very firm when picked. The skin will turn to a much darker green (almost a purple/black color) when they ripen. Aside from the color of the skin, you can softly squeeze an avocado (it should give slightly) to determine if it is ready to eat. The flesh is yellow in the center and turns to a green color near the outside of the fruit.An overripe avocado will look shriveled from the outside and the flesh on the inside will have brown, overly soft spots. Similarly, an avocado that is left out will turn a brownish color relatively quickly, similar to a freshly sliced apple. Hass avocados have a smooth and creamy texture and boast an incredibly rich, buttery flavor, which makes them quite versatile in your kitchen.


Nutritional Information

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Hass avocados range in size, so I'll talk in terms of a 1 oz. (30 g) serving. A medium sized half avocados contains five 1 oz. servings. A 1 oz. serving of Hass avocado contains about 50 calories, and is good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and dietary fiber, while also containing many other vitamins and minerals (vitamin E, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and others). Hass avocados are also very low in cholesterol and sodium.

About the fat...

We’ve all heard the warnings of a high fat (especially saturated fats), high sodium, and high cholesterol diet. The FDA warns that such a diet can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Hass avocados are free of cholesterol and sodium, and over half of their fat content comes in the form of monounsaturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fats can help to lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood, consequently lowering one’s risk of heart disease or stroke. Avocado oil is rich in these fats, which also contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Try substituting Hass avocados for other foods high in saturated and trans fats for a healthy and delicious change to your diet!


Uses

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I love eating avocados on their own, and it's super easy to do at your desk or in your office kitchen or break room. Simply cut the avocado in half, pull the seed out and eat it with a spoon right out of the skin. I like to add a dash of salt as well, but that comes down to personal taste. You can also scoop the avocado out of the skin and cut it into slices or cubes to add into your lunchtime salad. You can mash avocados to make guacamole, or to use as a healthy substitute for butter or oil when baking. In Chile, mashed avocado (called "palta") is eaten all the time. One of my favorite Chilean breakfasts, which I still make regularly, is mashed avocado spread on a bagel with a little whipped cream cheese and diced red onion. Try mashing a ripe avocado and spreading it on crackers, breads, bagels, or just about anything!


Thanks for reading and make sure to grab an avocado next week! For more information than you could possibly ever need about avocados, check out Avocado Central. Please send comments or questions to kyle@fruitrevival.com.


Sugar Snap Peas: The Perfect Healthy Snack

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We all know it can often be difficult to get all of your recommended veggie servings each day. One of the biggest reasons I feel we skip on our vegetables is that most require preparation and/or cooking -- which means cutlery, cutting boards, appliances, who knows! Not exactly ideal for an office break room or a quick snack to hold you over until lunch. At FruitRevival, we like to feature a nice rotating selection of “snackable” vegetables in our deliveries. They help us keep the weekly variety fresh and exciting, and allow us to deliver you snacks that are delicious, healthy, and easy to eat on the go or in the office. Baby carrots and Hass avocados make regular appearances, and we've recently offered some beautiful baby cucumbers and sweet baby bell peppers. Next week we will be featuring sugar snap peas for the first time this season! These are definitely one of my favorite healthy snacks – they’re crisp, sweet, and have an extremely satisfying crunch and texture.


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Overhead of split sugar snap pea pod.

Sugar snap peas, a cross between green peas and snow peas first created in 1979, were bred as a result of demand for an edible pea pod that was large and sweet. The snow pea variety is relatively sweet, but the pods are flat and are not ideal for snacking. Green peas have large pods but lack in sweetness and they are difficult to chew. Sugar snap peas combine the best parts of both green pea and snow pea varieties to create the perfect healthy snack: a large, round, and sweet pod that is easy to chew and eat raw. The sugar snap pea has a remarkable texture that offers a great snap when eaten raw, try eating them in place of chips and other high-sodium snacks.


Nutritional Information

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Sugar snap peas are a good source of a number of different nutrients and minerals. One cup (about 2 ½ ounces) contains only around 30 calories, while yielding 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Sugar snap peas have no (zero) fat, and are very low in cholesterol and sodium. The 3 grams of natural sugars gives these peas their delicious sweetness.

The same quantity of snap peas also gives you more than half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C (always good for the winter months!), and is also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin K, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, and iron.


Uses

Group of sugar snap pea pods on cutting board.

Sugar snap peas are a perfect healthy snack when eaten raw. They’re super tasty, nutritious, and easy to eat. They are great for a mid-morning or afternoon snack and they make a great substitute for saltier snacks when watching a movie or the Broncos game. They’re sweet and easy to chew, but I have to say the texture and “snap” is my favorite part – just pop the bag open and crunch away! Sugar snap peas are great with dips and spreads like hummus or spinach artichoke dip (the latter was my Super Bowl party contribution, along with snap peas and bell peppers, amongst other dippers).

Snap peas also make hearty additions to many different kinds of dishes. Try throwing them in your lunchtime salad for some extra protein or tossing them into a curry or stir fry for a crunchy, colorful addition.

Adding sugar snap peas to your diet is a delicious and easy way to make healthier snacking choices in your daily life, and we are more than pleased to deliver them fresh to your office. I always have to buy extra when we have sugar snap peas… a couple boxes always seem to fall off the truck on the way back…

Thanks for reading! Please don’t hesitate to send me your comments or questions at kyle@fruitrevival.com

Read more: Nutrition Data, Benefits of Snap Peas

Fruit Profile: Ugli Fruit

This week we have a special new citrus variety that we have never before featured. Introducing, the Ugli Fruit. It may look a little rough on the outside, but don’t be thrown off by this fruit’s outward appearance – they have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor.


Appearance

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The Ugli Fruit is a tangelo that was discovered growing wild in Jamaica over 80 years ago. Popular belief is that the original Ugli fruit tree was a cross between the Seville orange, the grapefruit and the tangerine families of citrus. The Ugli fruit is named for its relatively “ugly” color and appearance. The skin is green with yellow streaks and splotches, while the flesh can range from a bright orange to darker orangecolor. On the inside these tangelos resemble other citrus varieties, but have a unique flavor that is all their own.

Taste and Uses

Ugli fruits are a little sweet and a little sour with a tangy kick that is sure to perk you up. They can be peeled and eaten like an orange or a tangerine, but one of the easiest ways to enjoy this fruit is to cut it in half, loosen the segments, and eat with a spoon like you would a grapefruit. Ugli fruits make a great breakfast on their own (get that Vitamin C!) or a great addition to salads or desserts. Additionally, these fruits are INCREDIBLY juicy and they squeeze easily, making them great for making juice or adding to other beverages. Ugli fruits tend to be a little tangier in the early season months (December and January), but they are always sweet and super juicy.

I’m not sure when and if we will be able to source this unique fruit again this year, so make sure to get a taste before they get snatched up next week! Click here to read more!


FruitRevival Partners: We Don’t Waste

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At FruitRevival, we come across many pieces of fruit that are perfectly edible, and delicious, but have some small defect. Many times, this affects a very small percentage of our inventory, but leaves an amount of fruit that is deemed “undeliverable.” We always strive to achieve the highest quality standards, and thus, do not serve these edible but slightly flawed fruits to our customers. It’s only appropriate that the most common question I am asked when delivering to a new customer, or interviewing a new employee, is “What do you do with your unused fruit?”
In early January 2015, we were introduced to We Don’t Waste through Tim Sanford, who we came to know through our donations to Metro CareRing, one of Denver’s largest food banks and hunger relief programs. When Tim got on board with We Don’t Waste, we were happy to contribute! Watch the video below for more information!


Did You Know?

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Did you know, recent studies estimate that 40% of food produced in the United States goes to waste? Additionally, Colorado has one of the fastest growing rates of child poverty in the nation (Colorado Children’s Campaign, 2012 Kids Count Colorado!, April 2012). What does this mean? In a nutshell, it means that there exists a major discrepancy between the amount of food produced and the number of individuals who go hungry each day.

We Don’t Waste collects excess food from various sources including: venues, events, caterers, restaurants, and other food distributors. This food is then delivered to local nonprofit agencies that help feed the underserved in our communities. We Don’t Waste distributes to over 40 community-based nonprofit agencies, collectively serving 5,000+ individuals every day. Click here for a list of providers.


What Can You Do?

We Don’t Waste distributes an average of 1,000,000 (yes, that is a million) servings of food every year. This translates to over 300 tons of would-be wasted food being saved from landfills each year. However, there is so much more waste that can be saved, and even more individuals who can benefit from this food. Please click here to donate, or click here to contact We Don’t Waste to start preventing food waste in our communities!


All images copyright We Don't Waste.

Citrus School!

group-whole-wmAt FruitRevival we always have some kind of orange available throughout the year, usually either the Navel or Valencia varieties (the two most common varieties). Oranges are great sources of dietary fiber and vitamin C, and can generally help prevent the build-up of bad cholesterol, while lowering your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and cataracts. While navel and Valencia oranges are the most popular and widely available, there are many other varieties of oranges and tangerines that are worth your while to check out, and we are always excited to show customers new and exotic varieties they may not have tried otherwise. Our customers have been enjoying Satsuma mandarins for the last several months but, unfortunately, they’re done for the year (always a sad day because the Satsuma variety is, without a doubt, one of my favorite varieties that we feature). But when one fruit goes out of season there’s always something else new becoming available, and do we have some INCREDIBLE citrus varieties for delivery next week and beyond. Allow me to introduce the Navel Orange, the Cara Cara Orange, and the Blood Orange.



Cara Cara Oranges

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The Cara Cara orange, a type of navel orange originally from Venezuela, is most easily distinguished by their bright pink flesh and distinctive flavor. Otherwise, they tend to look like other navel oranges from their outward appearance. Our Cara Cara oranges are larger and rounder than the regular Navel oranges we have stocked, if that helps you to tell the difference before you cut it open. The Cara Cara variety is sweet, juicy, seedless, and have lower acidity than other varieties. Lower acidity means these oranges are great for individuals with sensitive stomachs or those prone to heartburn (like me!) and other digestive issues. Cara Cara oranges are great sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. They are also a good source of folate (like other navel oranges) and potassium. Cara Caras also naturally contain Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that fights disease. These oranges have a distinct flavor – I pick up a sweet, tangy sort of grapefruit flavor (much sweeter though, with just a hint of tartness). Cut one open and try one for yourself!


Blood Oranges

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The blood orange originally comes from Spain and Sicily, sometimes referred to as “Sicilian Blood Oranges.” Depending on your location, the typical season for the blood orange runs from January through April and the beginning of May. The skin of the blood orange has a distinct red-colored blush, caused by colder nights during the growing period. This red blush foreshadows what lies within the rind – a bright red, sometimes deep maroon flesh with little to no seeds. While blood oranges tend to be slightly less sweet than other varieties, they have a unique flavor that is all their own – tangy and slightly sweet and I usually taste a subtle berry flavor reminiscent of blueberries, raspberries, and sometimes cranberries.

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Oranges get their color from carotene (found in just about anything orange such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash, and also kale, spinach, and other types of produce). However, blood oranges get their red color from a pigment called “anthocyanin.” Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that helps combat free radicals, and could slow and even prevent the growth of cancer cells. Additionally, blood oranges are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber.



Fruit Profile: Honeycrisp Apple

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At FruitRevival, we feature LOTS of different apple varieties during the fall and winter months, but few are as delicious and sought after as the Honeycrisp. This apple variety was developed and patented by the University of Minnesota (although we get ours from Washington growers), where fruit-breeder David Bedford created the strain by crossing Macoun and Honeygold varieties. The Honeycrisp apple was finally made commercially available in 1991, and today finds itself among the most highly demanded apples in the United States. Honeycrisp apples are super sweet when eaten raw, with just enough tartness to attract fans of Swiss Gourmet and Granny Smith varieties. The skin and flesh are very crisp and the apple offers an extremely satisfying crunchy and juicy finish.

Appearance and Taste

The Honeycrisp apple’s skin is a mix of bright red and pale green and varies across different trees and crops as they are exposed to varying degrees of temperature. This variety was specifically bred to withstand colder growing climates. This apple variety is one of our most popular for very good reasons – it boasts an extremely sweet flavor with subtle notes of tartness, while yielding a crunchy “snap” when eaten raw. Additionally, Honeycrisp apples store very well and can maintain freshness for months when properly stored in cool environments.

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Availability and Uses

The prime season for Honeycrisp apples extends from late August through the month of October, though they can often be purchased for several additional months. When you are unable to find this variety, try substituting Pink Lady or Fuji apples for a similar experience. Honeycrisp apples are quite a versatile variety and have many possible uses in your kitchen and daily meals. These apples are perfect for eating in hand, offering a sweet and satisfying snack that will help keep you full (the crisp skin and flesh of the Honeycrisp is a great source of dietary fiber). One of my personal favorite snacks (or breakfast… or lunch for that matter) is an apple with a healthy-sized glob of almond butter. These apples are perfect for a sweet, crunchy addition to your lunchtime salad at work or on-the-go. Honeycrisp apples are also ideal for cooking, baking (pies, crumbles, tarts, cobblers… I need to wait a bit longer after the holidays to start thinking about all of that but good to know) and use in sauces or marinades. On this lazy Sunday morning I think I’ll try my hand at these Lean Turkey Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage Patties with a couple Honeycrisps I have in my kitchen… my mouth is watering already!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend (GO BRONCOS!) and we’ll see our Monday customers tomorrow morning!