As summer comes to an end and fall begins, so does the harvest of many delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables. The Bear Pantry provides not only nonperishable foods items, but fresh fruits and vegetables, many sourced right from the MSU campus garden! Peppers, tomatoes, okra, and Swiss chard are staples available in abundance this time of year in the pantry.
Each fruit and vegetable adds its own unique nutritional value to your diet!
Tomatoes are great sources of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. These vitamins support collagen growth, nervous system, muscle contractions, clotting ability, and maintain your body’s fluid balance. They can be eaten raw on a salad, in a taco, or be the base of your favorite salsa. In addition, tomatoes can be cooked down to be used for tomato sauces, soups, and casseroles.
Peppers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and degrees of hotness. Banana, jalapeno, shishito, and bell peppers are varieties you can find on the pantry’s shelves. Banana and bell peppers are two of the mildest peppers with little to no heat. Banana peppers tend to have a milder and sweeter taste than bell peppers. These peppers are great toppers for sandwiches, salads, and pizza. If you’re looking for a pepper with mild hotness, try shishito peppers. They are often used as an appetizer and filled with soft cheese then grilled or seared in a little oil. Jalapeno peppers are hotter in flavor and are often roasted or cooked then added to soups, jellies, sauces, or appetizers. Regardless of what pepper you choose, you’re consuming a good source of antioxidants which helps prevent inflammation within the body.
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that has red and purple stalks and veins. Its leaves and stalks contain vitamin A, C, and K, antioxidants, and which supports vision, immune system, digestive tract, and the body’s clotting ability. Swiss chard can be eaten in many ways. Enjoy it in a mixed salad, soup, sautéed with garlic and olive oil, substituted for basil in pesto, or tossed wilted into pasta.
Another pepper looking plant, okra, is known for its seed pods and is rich in vitamin C, K, folate, and antioxidants. Okra can become slimy when cooked, but it can be reduced by cooking it at high heat, in a tomato sauce, roasting in the oven, or grilling until slightly charred.
Stop in and stock up
Stock up on these fresh and delicious vegetables and see what else is in stock during our hours of operation Mondays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Wednesdays, 12 p.m.- 5 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.