Every good cook, from your grandmother to a Michelin-starred chef, knows it’s never a good idea to spring a new dish on your guests during important meals like Thanksgiving. But what if you are dying to jazz up things a bit, yet still stay true to tradition? The produce buyers at Meijer are recommending their top five unique vegetables and fruits to try this Thanksgiving that will help add a little flair to your family favorite dishes.
- Butterkin Squash: Cross between a pumpkin and butternut squash. Described as being sweeter tasting than butternut squash, it is less stringy and has a creamier texture. Try substituting this squash variety into your squash dishes this Thanksgiving. Cooking tip, you may want to reduce the sugar in your recipe to balance the flavor of this sweeter tasting variety. Meijer sources Butterkin Squashes from local Michigan Grower by E. Miedema and Sons.
- Red & White Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple. Meijer produce buyers report that consumers are increasingly excited to try different varieties this Thanksgiving. This year’s buyer picks are the “Red Diane” and “Bonita” varieties. Regarded as an “heirloom” sweet potato, a Red Diane has dark red skin and deep orange flesh. It is best used in recipes that call for mashed or grated sweet potatoes such as pies, cakes and breads due to its high moisture content. A favorite “white” sweet potato variety this season is the “Bonita.” With tan skin and white flesh this sweet potato variety has high sugar content and a nutty flavor. It is perfect for baking and frying. Red Diane and Bonita sweet potatoes come from Garcia Farms in California.
- Creamer Potatoes: A “creamer” potato is described as a small potato variety that is thinned skinned, rich in flavor, nutritious and are easy to prepare. Creamer Potato Producer, The Little Potato Company, recently opened a new processing facility in DeForest, Wis. Here are some Thanksgiving creamer potato recipes to try this holiday.
- Stalk Brussels Sprouts: Serving Brussels sprouts on the stalk is popular in the culinary world because it makes a great presentation and is a fun addition to a holiday table. Stalk Brusselssprouts roast nicely and come off the stalk with ease.This year’s crop come from Ippolito Produce based in California.
- Pazzazz Apple: This new apple variety is the Meijer buyers’ featured apple for November as part of the Company’s “branch out” program. A Pazzazz apple taste is described as an intense burst of sweet and tart flavors. It is extremely crisp. Poach, roast or bake the Pazzazz apple to enhance its naturally sweet flavor. Slice and utilize with skin on to showcase its unique coloring. Its large size makes it ideal for making stuffed apple preparations. Its flavor pairs well with pork, sweet potatoes, pears, honey, sharp cheeses, winter squashes, pecans and warm spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Pazzazz apples are grown in the state of Washington.
Looking for new recipes to try this Thanksgiving? Go to More for A Healthier You, and search “Thanksgiving” for new recipes.