The Produce Mom® | Produce Blog | Healthy Recipes
I've worked over 7 years in this business.  I take pride in what we sell & represent in the Produce Industry.  I love how everyone can relate to it & enjoys it.  I believe in the culture, memories and love that surround food.  And I most definitely believe that our industry farms & sells the most wholesome & healthy foods in the world! My husband & I have a 5-year-old & a 2-year-old son.  Most of the produce served in our home is conventionally-grown.  I occasionally purchase organic produce, but more often than not my precious children are consuming conventionally-grown fruits & vegetables.  And I smile with pride every time I witness my boys enjoying fresh produce.   There is nothing more wholesome & nutritious than fruits & vegetables.  Take pride in your healthy choices!  And know that a diet rich in fruits & vegetables will lower risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes & obesity.  Any Doc will agree with that statement.... Even Dr. Oz! "By eating five different colored fruits and vegetables a day you can reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack." - Dr. Mehmet Oz.  Yep.  Here is a video of him speaking the famous words.  (never underestimate the web-navigation powers of a blogger!)  Did I miss the footnote in Dr. Oz's quote about the only cancer-fighting fruits & vegetables being those which are organically-grown?  No.  I didn't.  Because ALL PRODUCE IS GOOD FOR YOU. Let's set aside this belief that organic produce trumps non-organic produce because of the pesticide residues in fresh produce.  I encourage you to check out the pesticide calculator on The Alliance for Food & Farming website.  This webpage is the best consumer resource for science based information regarding pesticide residues.  Below are some interesting figures from this website regarding pesticides in produce - the numbers speak for themselves.  Fresh produce is safe for consumers young, old & in between.
  • A grown man could consume 133,951 servings of Celery in one day without any effect even if the Celery has the highest pesticide residue recorded for Celery by USDA!
  • A grown woman could consume 2,042 servings of Strawberries in one day without any effect even if the Strawberries have the highest pesticide residue recorded for Strawberries by USDA.
  • A teen could consume 298 servings of Apples in one day without any effect even if the Apples have the highest pesticide residue recorded for Apples by USDA.
  • A child could consume 56,117 servings of Carrots in one day without any effect even if the Carrots have the highest pesticide residue recorded for Carrots by USDA.
  The official response from the Produce Industry to Dr. Oz's show on fresh produce, pesticides & children's health is as follows: Produce farmers are committed to providing safe and healthy fruits and vegetables to consumers.  This is the same food they feed their own families.  The facts stand strong – the health benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (both conventional and organic) is well known and well documented.  Decades of nutritional studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have improved health and longer lives – these studies were largely conducted using conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Further, recent peer reviewed studies show that children who lack access to healthy foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, are twice as likely to develop behavioral problems.  Poor diets in children have also been associated with a five point drop in IQ. Our organizations represent both organic and conventional farmers and we strongly affirm the safety of both production practices.  The use of pesticides on organic and conventional farms is stringently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture as well as state and local regulatory authorities.  Produce farmers work with these regulatory bodies to ensure responsible use of organic and conventional pesticides.  It’s in their best interest – not only for the safety of consumers, but for their families as well. We urge consumers to learn more about the safety of organic and conventionally grown produce by visiting  Read, learn, choose, but eat more fruits and vegetables for improved health. Marilyn Dolan, Executive Director, Alliance for Food and Farming Tom Nassif, President and CEO, Western Growers Association Bryan Silbermann, President and CEO, Produce Marketing Association Tom Stenzel, President and CEO, United Fresh Produce Association Fruits & Vegetables... Good Choices For Your Family.  More Matters®.  It's that simple. xoxo Produce Mom [post_title] => Produce Industry Statement to The Dr. Oz Show [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => produce-industry-statement-to-the-dr-oz-show [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-10-05 13:28:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-10-05 13:28:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 721 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1248 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-09-27 13:26:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-09-27 17:26:23 [post_content] => It's so easy to become passionate about culture.  Everyone has a favorite movie, a favorite song, a favorite dinner, a favorite cheese, a favorite flavor of birthday cake, and more.  Fruits & Vegetables are no exception! I have a favorite.  You have a favorite.  And all the Indiana Heroes participating in my Indianapolis Public Schools healthy eating campaign have favorites! It is my honor to announce the favorites & corresponding heroes for FIND YOUR FAVORITE Bananas - Katie Douglas, Indiana Fever Blueberries - David Boudia, Team USA Diving Broccoli - Emily Dyson, Dance Kaleidoscope Cantaloupe - Boomer, Indiana Pacers Mascot Carrots - Robbie Baillargeon, Indiana Ice Corn - Rowdie, Indianapolis Indians Mascot Grapefruit - Emily Glover, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Grapes - Paul George, Indiana Pacers Green Beans - Christopher Wuensch, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Kiwi - Graham Rahal, IndyCar Series Mango - Blue, Indianapolis Colts Mascot Mushrooms - Anila Agha, Arts Council of Indianapolis Visual Artist Peaches - Gus Chavez, Indianapolis Fire Department Pears - Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts Pineapple - Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever Spinach - Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts Strawberries - George Hill, Indiana Pacers   Do you share a favorite with one of these Indiana Heroes?  My kids were certainly excited to hear that Boomer liked cantaloupe - which hero & his/her favorite brings a smile to your child's face?  I can't wait to see how the students of Indianapolis Public Schools respond to this campaign!  I am certain that by claiming a favorite, each of these heroes will inspire a child to eat more produce.   Maybe a little boy who dreams of being a firefighter will try a peach for the first time ever because of Find Your Favorite.  Or a little girl who plays basketball will never look at bananas the same thanks to hometown hero, Katie Douglas.  And the countless Indianapolis Colts fans who will forever associate pears with defensive rockstar Dwight Freeney.  These are powerful people helping me spread a very important message.  I love them all & cannot thank them enough for joining forces with The Produce Mom & participating in Find Your Favorite. What's YOUR Favorite?  Find Your Favorite. xoxo Produce Mom [post_title] => What's Your Favorite Fruit or Vegetable? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => whats-your-favorite-fruit-or-vegetable [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-09-27 13:26:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-09-27 17:26:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 722 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1223 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-09-17 10:00:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-09-17 10:00:34 [post_content] => Fall is here! Football, sweatshirts, boots, pumpkin spice lattes.... what a wonderful time of year! It's a great time of year for produce, too. While you can purchase most produce items year round, this is a list of what the produce industry considers "in season" during the fall:




Enjoy the seasonal bounty... and the pumpkin spice lattes! What's your favorite fall produce item? Share in the comments below.  Fall Produce: What's in Season? [post_title] => Fall Produce: What's in Season? [post_excerpt] => Fall is here! Football, sweatshirts, boots, pumpkin spice lattes.... what a wonderful time of year! It's a great time of year for produce, too. While you can purchase most produce items year round, this is a list of what the produce industry considers "in season" during the fall. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => fall-whats-in-season [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-18 01:04:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-18 01:04:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 724 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1193 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-09-11 15:04:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-09-11 15:04:37 [post_content] => According to the USDA Website:  The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. It is with great pride that I serve as a community partner to Indianapolis Public Schools' Foodservice Division.  Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is the state of Indiana's largest school district.  There are currently 61 schools in IPS & every day over 26,000 lunches are served in the district's cafeterias.  IPS participates in the following USDA Programs: 88% of IPS students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.  This statistic is on-par with other urban school districts across the United States. I believe IPS provides students with the necessary nutrition to perform in an academic setting.  Nutritional integrity & food safety standards are the primary focus in IPS' Foodservice Division.  The department's mission is "To provide students with nutritious meals they will enjoy and at the lowest possible cost to students, parents, and taxpayers." Stay tuned & together we will dive into IPS Foodservice operations and offerings.  I will help you understand the USDA's dedication to the health and nutritional needs of our nation's children through school meals. My son doesn't have a lunchbox.  He goes to school with lunch money. xoxo Produce Mom [post_title] => National School Lunch Program [post_excerpt] => According to the USDA Website: The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => national-school-lunch-program [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-09-11 15:04:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-09-11 15:04:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 725 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1185 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-08-22 12:21:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-22 12:21:13 [post_content] => My personal network has been instrumental in the growth of The Produce Mom.  This has been a true grassroots process.  My friend's husband designed the logo.  My co-workers' cousin manages this website.  My Aunt Jean proudly carries her Produce Mom tote during her weekly shopping trips to Kohl's & CVS.  From the local media, to my sons' schools, to the Indy Fruit family & beyond... it has taken a village & the role of this personal network will remain at the forefront as we continue to expand and grow The Produce Mom brand. I often am asked "How do you do it?"  or hear "You make it look so easy." Guess what...  It's the hardest thing I've ever done. My life is chaos, my house is never clean, my laundry is never done, and my neighbors often have to text me to remind me about trash day.  But that's all normal, right? Sometimes I just feel like quitting & returning to my old, low-profile self.  It's not easy when I take my kids to the pizza place after working a long exhausting day & get approached by a Produce Mom follower... "What are you doing here???"  Don't get me wrong now--I absolutely love that this has taken off & the awareness is growing with The Produce Mom.  But I'm also a human being who sometimes just doesn't feel like cooking dinner & having more dirty dishes piled up in the sink.  If you see me at the grocery store, I might have wine or cookies in my cart, but it'll also be full of fresh, healthy foods.  You might spot me at the neighborhood pizza place occasionally, but you can also find me cooking at home 5 nights a week.  And I'm convinced that this is why The Produce Mom is enjoying such a favorable response from consumers & our industry partners.  It's just real.  I'm not a doctor.  I'm not a dietician.  And I'm the first to admit that I love a cheesy appetizer or a chocolate dessert - yet nothing excites me more than the perfect apple.  The point here is that this has been an emotional journey.  I've had a shift in identity, but I'm still just that normal person who happens to know a lot about fruits & vegetables and enjoys them immensely. So, back to the question "How do you do it?" I can do it because I'm a mom.  If you can raise children, you can do anything.  That's something all my encouraging co-workers tell me when I'm crying by the coffee pot because I'm so overwhelmed.  They look me in the eye & say "You can do this.  You're a mom.  Moms can do anything." I know it's true because I witnessed the resiliency of mothers through my mom.  She's a big reason why I haven't gone crazy.  I'm 31 & keeping her busy as ever - calling for her advice or texting her to help with picking up the boys or bumming dinner at her house. So there you have it.  I love my fruits & vegetables, but have been known to enjoy pizza or eat a cookie after dinner.  My laundry usually gets washed & dried, but doesn't always get folded.  My mom is my biggest fan.  My best friend.  And the reason why I know I can continue down this demanding path.  Here's a challenge for all of us: find a mom with an easy life.  I don't think that exists. I'll close with this question: "How do any of us do it?" xoxo Produce Mom [post_title] => The Power of Mom [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-power-of-mom [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-22 12:21:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-08-22 12:21:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 726 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1164 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-08-19 11:41:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-19 11:41:16 [post_content] => It's National Potato Day!  If you love potatoes like I do, you will really enjoy this simple & delicious recipe.  Potatoes pair so nicely with grilled foods - why not grill the potatoes?  It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood...  I think we'll probably grill dinner on the patio & I'm certain that we'll be making these grilled potatoes to celebrate the beloved spud's holiday!  You should do the same - and don't forget to tweet or post a picture of your Grilled Potatoes! You can use whatever potatoes you have on-hand to make grilled potatoes.  I typically buy Reds or Yukon Golds, but I do not discriminate when it comes to potatoes.  I'm Irish & I love them all!  Here are some fun facts to help you feel good about choosing potatoes for your family:
  • Packed with Vitamin C - 1 potato provides 45% of your recommended daily intake
  • Potassium Leader - potatoes provide more potassium than any other fruit or vegetable
  • Source of Vitamin B6 - this vitamin is essential in carbohydrate & protein metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber - 1 medium potato boasts 2g of Dietary Fiber.  If you're like me & counting points... you know how important it is to have fiber
  • Carbohydrates - potatoes contain both simple & complex carbohydrates
  • Gluten Free - allergies?  no problem.  Potatoes are 100% gluten-free & offer fiber, which is often lacking in gluten-free diet
Here is a nice visual, compliments of the Idaho Potato Commission, about how potatoes stack up against other foods:   Now that you feel better about eating potatoes... here is my favorite recipe for Grilled Potatoes: [recipe] Counting points?  this is 4 points per 5oz serving!  That's about 4 grilled potato halves.
Happy Potato Day! xoxo Produce Mom
 [wpurp-searchable-recipe]Grilled Potatoes - - potato (Red or Yukon Gold, sliced in half), olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste), garlic powder (to taste), Italian seasoning (to taste), Preheat grill to medium-high heat. ; Toss all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well coated with spices and oil. ; Put foil on grill & coat with a non-stick spray. Place potatoes on the foil and grill for 10-12 minutes per side, until potatoes are tender and brown.; - [/wpurp-searchable-recipe] [post_title] => Grilled Potatoes [post_excerpt] => It's National Potato Day! If you love potatoes like I do, you will really enjoy this simple & delicious recipe. Potatoes pair so nicely with grilled foods - why not grill the potatoes? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => grilled-potatoes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-19 11:41:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-08-19 11:41:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 626 [post_type] => recipe [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1141 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-08-07 14:29:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-07 19:29:45 [post_content] => If you have ever been to a birthday party you are familiar with the scene: Kids fighting over Dora's eye, Spiderman's web, Justin Bieber's mouth & more.  An easy way to bring this excitement into the fresh offerings at your next party is to make Themed Fruit & Veggie Trays. I recently did a news segment on serving fresh, healthy foods to young children at birthday parties.  I made trays based off my favorite Sesame Street characters.  The trays were a big hit in the news studio... and they are always a big hit with kids, too!  When kids are fighting over the Cookie Monster's mouth... and it's a pile of blackberries instead of a gooey chunk of icing & vanilla cake - what's not to love?!

Try one or all of these Sesame Street Fruit Trays!

[caption id="attachment_70996" align="alignnone" width="2653"]Cookie Monster Fruit Tray Cookie Monster Fruit Tray: Blueberries, Blackberries and Yogurt Dip[/caption] [caption id="attachment_70997" align="alignnone" width="3780"]Oscar the Grouch Fruit Tray Broccoli Florets, Bell Pepper Strips, Olives, Dill Dip[/caption] [caption id="attachment_70998" align="alignnone" width="3229"]Big Bird Fruit Tray Pineapple Chunks, Mango Slices, Strawberry Slices, Yogurt Dip & 2 Blueberries[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9632" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Elmo Fruit Tray - Sesame Fruit Tray Ideas Strawberries, Blackberries, a Clementine & Yogurt Dip[/caption] From my party to yours, CHEERS! sesame street fruit tray ideas   Next up... SUPERHEROES! :) xoxo The Produce Mom Sign up here for our NEW weekly newsletter if you want more fun recipes, cooking tips, and more! [post_title] => Sesame Street Fruit And Veggie Trays [post_excerpt] => Cute and easy Sesame Street fruit tray ideas for kids! Fruit Centerpiece platter ideas for a child's birthday party or a baby shower. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => party-time-festive-fruit-veggie-trays [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-14 13:12:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-14 13:12:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 727 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 11 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1333 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-11-07 10:12:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-11-07 10:12:40 [post_content] => Brussels Sprouts are so DELICIOUS!  I am honestly obsessed with the veggie, but only when it is oven roasted.  Not a huge fan when they are boiled or steamed - too mushy.  Here's a recipe that will turn any B Sprout hater into a fellow lover. I often enjoy eating these with my fingers out of a bowl like you would popcorn!  Great healthy snack for TV night!  I also love dipping them in Dijon mustard.  YUM. [recipe] Enjoy! xoxo Produce Mom  [wpurp-searchable-recipe]Roasted Brussels Sprouts - - brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste), Preheat oven to 450 degrees.; Wash the Brussels Sprouts with cold water. Drain & pat dry. Trim the ends (just enough to expose a fresh white bottom) & slice each Brussels Sprout in half lengthwise. ; In a large bowl, toss halved sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season liberally with salt & pepper. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet. ; Roast on top rack of oven for approximately 18 minutes, until they develop a slight char. When properly roasted, Brussels Sprouts will be a bright green color with a slight brown char. ; - [/wpurp-searchable-recipe] [post_title] => Roasted Brussels Sprouts [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => roasted-brussels-sprouts [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-07 10:12:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-11-07 10:12:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 623 [post_type] => recipe [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1291 [max_num_pages] => 130 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 9b8ccbdb8df17ba284b0420425d20e61 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) -->
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Strawberry Muffin Recipe
Fall Produce: What’s in Season?
National School Lunch Program
Grilled Potatoes