What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 25, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Melons

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Melons

Summertime is melon time, so grab a sweet-smelling honeydew or cantaloupe from Sigona’s today and get ready for an explosion of sugary flavors!

Sweet Local Orange flesh Honeydew with a Drizzle of Reduced Balsamic

I really like this 2 minute recipe on a hot day. It’s quick, easy and refreshing. I really like to serve the melon chilled.

Ingredients

  • ½ orange flesh honeydew cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup balsamic
  • 3 sprigs of mint

Directions

  • Slice melon wedges and arrange on a plate
  • In a medium size sauce pan, gently reduce balsamic over medium-low heat by half (This takes several minutes or less.)
  • Remove from heat and cool
  • Drizzle over melon
  • With scissors, cut very thin strips of mint over the melons
  • Garnish with remaining mint and serve

Local Melon Red Wine

This little desert reminds me so much of my grandfather. He made his wine with a blend of 90% Lodi old vine zinfandel and 10 % Muscat. There was always fruit after dinner. This is one of the simple ways we enjoyed fresh fruit.

Ingredients

  • Any type of in-season local melon cut into cubes
    • If you want to get fancy, scoop out balls with a melon baller
  • Wine in a glass. We have two wines in particular that go very well and remind me of my grandfather:
    • Regio Zinfandel: A wonderful old-vine Zin from, you guessed it, Lodi. This wine is priced right for everyday drinking and has nice fruity notes with mild tannins.
    • Rare Red: A 4 blend of Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Cabenet and Petite Verdot. It’s light and fruity but has body.

Directions

  • Pour your desired wine into a glass
  • Add choice of fruit
  • Enjoy!

Prosciutto and Melon Salad with a Drizzle of Balsamic Syrup

Not only will this salad taste amazing, but the reduction of the balsamic will have your house smelling amazing. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 12 wedges of fresh honeydew melon, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma
  • 4 cups of wild arugula, washed, stemmed and patted dry
  • Drizzle of Sigona’s Chilean Koroneiki extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounce pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced balsamic, recipe follows

Directions

Season the melon with salt and pepper. Wrap two pieces of prosciutto around each wedge of melon. In a mixing bowl, toss the greens with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Mound the greens in the center of four plates. Arrange three prosciutto wrapped melon around each mound of greens. Shave the cheese over the greens. Drizzle each salad with the reduce balsamic.

  • Reduced balsamic
  • 3 cups balsamic vinegar

In a medium-saucepan, over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, for up to 30 minutes or until syrup-like consistency. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Yield: about 1/4 cup

Cantaloupe, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad with Peach Balsamic

This is one of my personal favorite summer salads that I make all the time. It pairs perfectly with the peach balsamic. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s peach balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sigona’s Arbequina olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, chives and parsley
  • 1 cantaloupe, peeled seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 10 ounces wild arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1 cup roughly chopped toasted sprouted gourmet almonds (On sale right now at Sigona’s)

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine the peach balsamic, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. While continuing to whisk the mixture, add Sigona’s Arbequina olive oil in a slow and steady stream.

Combine the Arbequina olive oil in a measuring cup. While continuously whisking the vinegar mixture, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, until completely emulsified. Whisk in the fresh herbs and set aside as you prepare the salad.

In a large bowl, combine the cantaloupe, red onion, prosciutto, wild arugula and sprouted gourmet almonds. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine; all ingredients should be well coated with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Free Honey Royal Nectarine or Doughnut Peach Gelato

Click coupon for an easy-print version

The Joys of Melon Season: Part I

The Joys of Melon Season: Part I

Nutritional Value and How to Select Them

By Robbie Sigona

I honestly love this time of year. The weather is warm and fantastic every day, the San Francisco Giants are battling for first place and the first melons of the season are arriving in our stores.

And let me just say this: they are tasting really, really good right now.

We get our melons from Turlock Fruit Company in, you guessed it, Turlock, CA. Owner and grower Don Smith is a second generation melon aficionado who decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. 94 years after his dad first started the company, the family business is as strong as ever. Heck, there’s even a third generation (Steve) and fourth generation (Alec) Smith continuing the legacy that started back in 1918.

We’re going to dig a little bit deeper in the unique history of Turlock Fruit Company – as well as their rare heirloom melons – in the next installment of our e-newsletter. For now, let’s focus on the deep nutritional value of melons and what to look for when you’re buying them the next time you visit Sigona’s Farmers Market.

Honeydew

Let’s start first with honeydew. Our honeydew that’s tasting magnificent right now is packed full of vitamin C, which of course is great for giving your immune system a turbo boost. This orange-fleshy goodness is a mighty anti-oxidant and provides your body with potassium (essential for proper cell function). You might be surprised to know that folks with high potassium levels typically have blood pressure lower than their peers, hence another reason to go melon crazy this summer.

My person favorite right now is the orange flesh honeydew. While it looks somewhat similar on the outside to typical honeydew, the inside color, taste and smell is actually more reminiscent of cantaloupe. Find one with a cream-colored rind and sugar-packed aromas and you’ll be enjoying yourself in no time.

Cantaloupe

If you’ve been disappointed with cantaloupe up until now you can’t miss with our current crop. This is truly the time of year to go for it.

Cantaloupes are a classic fruit loaded with vitamin A and C. The vitamin A will help you to keep your visor laser-sharp; for women who are pregnant, it will assist with developing and growing the little tike inside of you.

Cantaloupes are also a good source of:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Fiber

Speaking of fiber, did you know that the average American only consumes around 14 grams per day? This falls far short of the recommended daily intake of 20-38 grams. With fiber so essential to digestion (and preventing not-so-fun issues such as constipation, hemorrhoids and inflammation of the digestive tract), why not get your daily dose through delicious and healthy tasting cantaloupes!

What to Look For

Something we see every now and again in the store are folks who aren’t exactly sure which honeydew or cantaloupe to select. They know these fruits and healthy. They know they taste sugary-delicious. But sometimes they all look pretty similar. If you don’t know what to look for, it can be like sticking your hand into a fish bowl, pulling out a random raffle ticket and hoping it’s a winner.

That’s why if you stick to these basic tips the next time you’re in the store, you’ll be going home with a prize every single time:

  • Melons should have just a slight give when you squeeze them. Are they hard as a bowling ball? Move on and look for another.
  • Look for ones that are as blemish-free as possible.
  • A sugary aroma should waft into your nostrils as you smell them.
  • Once home, run the melons over cold water to clean off any dirt.
  • It’s smart to store them in the fridge right away. Cover them in plastic and consume within three days.

With melon season looking so phenomenal right now, we’ll be talking in our next e-news about heirloom varieties you won’t find at just any grocery outlet. You’ll learn how Turlock Fruit Company has kept these amazing fruits popping out of the ground for decades on end and why you need to try them as soon as humanly possible.

In the meantime, don’t forget to try out our recipes for Sweet Local Orange flesh Honeydew with a Drizzle of Reduced Balsamic as well as Local Melon Red Wine. We’ll guarantee you’ll be in melon heaven!

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nut Specials: July 25-31, 2012

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nut Specials: July 25-31, 2012

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Sigona’s Grocery Specials: July 25-31, 2012

Filed under: Grocery specials, Weekly Specials — Sigona's @ 8:02 am

Sigona’s Grocery Specials: July 25-31, 2012

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Click image to enlarge

July 24, 2012

Free Wild Persimmon Honey

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Sprouted Gourmet Almonds on Sale at Sigona’s

John Sigona’s Pick of the Week

Sprouted Gourmet Almonds: A Live and Very Healthy Food

On special right now through August 7th

Six months ago I introduced sprouted raw gourmet almonds, a hard-to-find raw food item with many health benefits. I’m re-introducing this wonderful item at a very special price.

California Raw Sprouted Gourmet Almonds: 5 oz. container for only $2.99 (regular $4.99)

A live, healthy and unique product from Central California, our sprouted gourmet almonds are absolutely incredible and hard to find anywhere but at Sigona’s Farmers Market.

I’m pleased as punch to offer them to you because they are truly so good for you. You’ll find them in our dried fruits and nuts section in 5oz. containers.

Believe it or not, these are actually healthier, better tasting and easier to chew and digest than our regular raw almonds. The sprouted unique formula is the key for this special almond, which originated from the farming family who grows these almonds, in Central California.

This healthy, original live sprouted food has exceptional nutritional value locked inside each kernel because sprouting enlivens the enzymes that are dormant within. Contact with water “awakens” the nut so sprouted almonds contain concentrated vital energy and nutrition. Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in the nut, allowing quicker and more complete digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

**Nutritional information:

  • Sprouted almonds contain resveratrol—an anti-aging factor—1.4 mg per 24 nuts—that’s the equivalent of 3 glasses of red wine
  • Sprouted almonds contain beta sitosterol, campesterol and stanols—cholesterol-lowering factors
  • Sprouted almonds contain stigma sterol—anti-muscle stiffness factor

Compared to “regular” raw almonds, sprouted are superior.

John outside with produce

John Sigona is the dried fruit & nut buyer for Sigona’s Farmers Markets in Palo Alto and Redwood City, Calif.

Per 10 oz. serving**

  • Calories from fat———-Raw…113———–Sprouted….99————(-13%)
  • Total fat——————–Raw…12.8 g——–Sprouted…11.25 g—–(-12%)
  • Saturated fat—————Raw…0. 88g——-Sprouted….0.74 g——(-16%)
  • Riboflavin B2————–Raw…31g————Sprouted…0.35 g——(+ 13%)
  • Niacin B3——————-Raw….0.95%——–Sprouted…0.99g——-(+ 4%)
  • Soluble Fiber—————Raw…..7.4%———-Sprouted…10.3%——(+39%)
  • Campesterol—————-Raw….1.2 mg———Sprouted…1.4 mg—-(+17%)
  • Beta Sitosterol————-Raw…..28.6 mg——-Sprouted…36.0 mg—(+26%)
  • Stanols———————-Raw…..9.5 mg———Sprouted…10.5 mg—(+11%)
  • Stigmasterol—————-Raw…..1.3 mg———Sprouted…1.7 mg—–(+31%)

Our sprouted live raw almonds are delicious to eat out of hand or in fruit and vegetable salads. They’re also great in granola and trail mixes.

**All nutritional information gathered directly from the source

The Benefits of Breakfast

Filed under: Feature Articles, Healthy Living tips — Tags: , , , , — Sigona's @ 9:18 am

Tips for Healthy Living

Geri Wohl is our latest and greatest Tips for Healthy Living writer. Geri is a Bay Area-based Certified Nutrition Consultant and Educator with extensive training in holistic and whole foods nutrition focused on emphasizing positive lifestyle changes. Her articles are sure to educate, engage and entertain. Feel free to contact her over at Better Eating Coach. – Carmelo Sigona

The Benefits of Breakfast

By Geri Wohl

Do you start your day with a bowl of cereal? Maybe it’s a bagel and cream cheese. Some people may begin with pancakes or French toast. Perhaps your breakfast begins with a cup of coffee and nothing else. Or are you part of the 44% of the US population that has no breakfast at all?

What’s in a good breakfast? Are there ways to start our days with vigor? While some of us don’t pay attention to our morning meal either because we’re not hungry or we lack time, we all need to jump-start our metabolism by providing our bodies with the fuel needed to be more effective at work or school. Breakfast provides fuel after an 8-12 hour fast.

Eating breakfast signals the body that the day is beginning and the appropriate hormones and enzymes need to get ramped up for the day ahead. As the brain is highly dependent on glucose (sugar), carbohydrates which break down to sugars are an important component of our morning meal. But having a heavily carb-rich meal will result in blood sugar spikes. Have you ever wondered why you’re ravenous at 10:00 am after eating a bowl of cereal? Sugar is used by the body as a quick source of energy. But once it is used, the body craves more sugar, resulting in continued hunger. In addition, sugar requires insulin to bring it into the cells. With increased consumption of sugary foods, the body may eventually develop insulin resistance.

Geri Wohl

Geri Wohl, Certified Nutrition Consultant

Skipping this meal can be just as problematic as having a carbohydrate-rich breakfast. No food signals the body to go into “starvation mode.” Without nourishment,the body tries to hoard every calorie possible until the food crisis has passed. Just like bears and whales put on fat and blubber to deal with the winter months of little food, so too our bodies have an inherent mechanism to protect us from periods of minimal food. The end result is extra fat and weight which most of us would rather avoid.

Eating a balanced breakfast has been shown to help with weight loss. Wholesome breakfasts help reduce hunger throughout the day. When people eat only two meals per day (lunch and dinner), they typically will eat more calories because those hunger pangs are so strong.

So what should be in that morning meal? I always recommend to my clients to start the day with a balanced breakfast including some form of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

So what are these different pieces? Proteins are broken down into amino acids, the building blocks for cells, hormones and enzymes. Proteins also help regulate blood sugar to prevent blood sugar highs and lows. In addition, they provide us with longer periods of energy so that we don’t get as hungry. Examples are eggs, vegetarian protein like lentils or beans, tofu or tempeh, fish, poultry or meat. Carbohydrates are any food that breaks down into sugar. Complex carbs are those that take longer to break apart, and are better for you as they have more dietary fiber. Vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruit fall into this category.

Eating foods that break down into simple sugars too quickly – which is what most Americans eat for breakfast – provide little nutritional value because they are “naked” carbs with none of the necessary fiber, vitamins or minerals. Part of your meal should contain high-fiber and low-glycemic value foods so that your blood sugar remains at a relatively constant level. If you want more information about fiber-rich and low-glycemic foods, please contact me through my website, www.bettereatingcoach.com.

Finally, fat should be included. You don’t need a lot and small amounts of the right fats won’t necessarily make you fat. But you do need to choose quality fats. Some examples of healthy fats are olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.

I want to address one food that has been controversial – eggs. Some of us are very concerned about cholesterol. Some new research has shown that consuming eggs in moderation is not responsible for high cholesterol levels. According to the American Heart Association, healthy people can eat an egg per day. One egg has about 70 calories. If you buy pastured eggs, these eggs have many wonderful nutrients that are anti-inflammatory and rich in protein as well. For a delicious vegetable frittata recipe, visit my website, www.bettereatingcoach.com/recipes.

So remember to begin your day right and allow your body to be at its maximum potential! Bon Appetit!

July 18, 2012

snackLets Provides Next-Generation Snacking

Filed under: Coupons, Feature Articles — Tags: , , , , — Sigona's @ 12:59 pm

snackLets Provides Next-Generation Snacking

By Andy Coffaro

An Interview with snackLets co-founders Laura Woo and Gina Song

snackLets

Laura Woo and Gina Song, co-founders of snackLets

Americans have long turned snacking into an art form. Let’s be honest here. If snacking were an Olympic sport, we’d be the favorites to bring home gold in London this summer.

The problem, of course, is the poor snacking choices we typically make. From processed cookies to greasy chips, there’s a reason why 36% of Americans are obese. Thank goodness we have Gina Song and Laura Woo, co-founders of snackLets, working tirelessly to create one of the most nutritious and best-tasting snacks you’ll ever devour. To achieve this, they naturally started with … kale?

“Both Laura and I are super passionate about food,” said co-founder Gina Song from their headquarters in Menlo Park. “Whether it’s preparing it, eating it or even watching the Food Network for hours, we’ve always gravitated toward food.”

These lifelong friends that have known each other since their middle schools days in Korea had a mutual friend in Los Angeles making amazing vegan kale chips they adored. Although Laura was in finance at the time and Gina was running her own doggie daycare business, they decided to perfect their own kale-licious recipe and go into business together.

Although only in business since early 2012, snackLets constantly receives praise and compliments from customers that devour their three flavors of kale chips (BBQ Giddy Up!, Double O Cheesy and Spicy Chili-lata). Considering the entire Sigona’s marketing team spent half of a meeting last month scarfing down these delicious bite-sized nuggets of nutrition, it’s not difficult to understand how they’ve come so far in such a short amount of time.

They’re Sneaky Good

American adults aren’t the only ones struggling with obesity. Recent research has childhood obesity rates soaring as high as 20%. snackLets is doing their part to chip away at this frightening stat.

“I have a two year-old boy and he hates any food the color green,” said Laura. “But these have been a huge hit because they taste so good. He eats them by the bag.”

snackLets BBQ kale chipsLaura continued, “The kale chips are also really good for him because he’s allergic to milk. Because these are 100% vegan, his favorite flavor is still the cheese.”

For all the parents out there, snackLets Kale Chips are a great way to feel good about your child’s snacking habits. Kale is a superfood loaded with vitamin K, A and C – not to mention fiber. The masterminds at snackLets use a dehydrator to cook the kale at an extremely low temperature to ensure the nutrients don’t burn off. By adding their top-secret spices – and a dash of TLC – you’re presented with an unbelievably tasty snack that’s incredibly good for you. Heck, you can even sprinkle them on your salad for that extra crunch!

Looking Down the Road

When I asked our fearless entrepreneurs if they have any new flavors or products in the works, they said that while they do have a few new snacks hidden up their sleeves, they’re incredibly focused right now on their three flavors of kale chips.

“We do have a lot of fun things in the pipeline, but we want to grow carefully and be smart about it,” said Laura toward the end of our conversation.

For now, the local outfit is focused on provided Bay Area residents with one of the most unique, healthy and flavor-packed snacks on the market. Come snag a bag the next time you’re in the store. We’re positive you’ll love ‘em. (They’re free between July 19-26 when you spend $30 or more in the store.)

And feel free to contact Gina or Laura with any questions and comments. As Gina said, “The great feedback is what keeps us going.”

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nut Specials: July 18-24, 2012

Sigona’s Dried Fruit and Nut Specials: July 18-24, 2012

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

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