Stay Refreshed & Celebrate Iced Tea Month

Fresh produce is the perfect addition to refreshing summer iced tea recipes. Whether you prefer rooibos, green tea, black tea, oolong or herbal blends, there are countless flavour combinations to explore and enjoy. Our Smuccies Sweet Strawberries pair really well with other flavours like pineapple, our Naked Leaf Living Basil and grapefruit while our Seedless Cucumbers are the perfect match for mint. Curb your craving for sugary beverages and stay hydrated with these infused iced tea recipes that will have you sipping in the sunshine all summer!

 

 

Cucumber Mint White Iced Tea

Use our fresh, local cucumbers to make this delicious iced tea blend that’s perfect for afternoon caffeine fixes, unexpected guests and lazy summer days.

 

Cucumber Mint Tea

Click here for this recipe. 

 

Strawberry Iced Tea Cooler

Our Smuccies Strawberries are sweet on their own but when you pair them with lime and Naked Leaf Living Basil, they take your tea experience to a whole new level!

 

Strawberry Iced Tea Cooler

Click here for this recipe.

 

Spicy Ginger Iced Tea

Looking for something less sweet? Our Seedless Cucumbers are the perfect addition to this spicy iced tea that’s guaranteed to tease your taste buds.

 

Spicy Ginger Iced Tea

Click here for this recipe.

 

Strawberry Orange Mint Iced Tea

Fresh orange and lemon juice make the perfect pairing for our Smuccies Sweet Strawberries and the citrus flavour is always refreshing on a hot day!

 

Strawberry Orange Mint Iced Tea

Click here for this recipe.

 

Iced Tea is such a refreshing summer drink and customizing it to suit your taste is so easy! Have fun with it by adding fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, juice and your favourite sweetener/sugar to make a unique blend that’ll last all summer. For more refreshing summer drink recipes, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

mucci farms CPMA chef michael smith freggie relaxation lounge

CPMA Post-Event Recap


This year, Mucci Farms was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s 2015 convention and trade show in Montreal. Canada’s largest event dedicated to the fruit and vegetable industry, CPMA’s annual convention and trade show attracts over 3000 participants from all segments of the produce supply chain. As a platinum sponsor, our focus was on our trade show booth and our branded relaxation lounge for guests. We spent days setting up and preparing for the big event but our hard work paid off when registration began and the trade show doors opened on Thursday.

 

Booth Collage

 

The Mucci Relaxation Lounge was a special space near the registration desk where attendees could escape the hustle and bustle of the trade show floor to sit down and charge their devices. The talented Tino Popovic played the violin as guests relaxed and recharged with a glass of our fresh cucumber infused water. Our photo booth drew in the crowds as guests chose their own props and left with a printout souvenir of their time at the event. We even handed out samples of our Smuccies Sweet Strawberries, Sun Drops Sweet Grape Tomatoes and CuteCumbers Snack-Sized Cucumbers to anyone looking for a quick snack.

 

Relaxation Collage

 

Aside from the lounge and our trade show booth, we also had two products featured in the new product showcase alongside other innovative items that were designed to inspire and excite buyers. Our Naked Leaf Living Lettuce/Herbs and The New Pint Packaging Series including Fresh Mix, that allow consumers to enjoy two of their favourite tomato varieties in one unique package.

 

Product Showcase

 

The traffic and interaction at our booth on Thursday and Friday was amazing! While buyers, suppliers and guests mingled, they were able to enjoy an array of product sampling and recipes created by our very own Chef Daniele and Chef Bledar. He served up an assortment of beautiful, fresh food that featured Sun Drops Sweet Grape Tomatoes, Naked Leaf Living Lettuce/Herbs and CuteCumbers Snack-Sized Cucumbers. Chef Michael Smith even stopped by to try some of our food and chat with the chefs about the #halfyourplate campaign.

 

Michael Smith

 

On Friday, we had a blast with Freggie and the students from Roslyn and St Gabriel! We passed out our Veggies To Go packs, gave them a booth tour and even had an impromptu dance party in the relaxation lounge!

 

Freggie Photos

 

Overall, our experience and exposure at CPMA’s annual convention and trade show was great and we look forward to building and developing the working relationships that were created at this year’s show. To learn more about Mucci Farms and stay updated with the latest news, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day With Mucci Produce

St Patrick’s Day is all about leprechauns, shamrocks and the luck of the Irish so the easiest way to celebrate is to deck yourself out in green clothes and accessories. Here at Mucci Farms we took the celebration to a whole new level with our love for green produce. Our CuteCumbers™, Mini Cucumbers, Seedless Cucumbers, Naked Leaf Living Lettuce and Herbs, Green Sweet Bell Peppers and Hot Shots Jalapeños peppers make celebrating in the kitchen a cinch! Check out our best green recipes and get inspired to make this St Patrick’s Day about more than just your outfit.

 

CuteCumbers Boats

With the perfect combination of crunchy and creamy textures, these little boats are a great appetizer for your St Patricks Day Party, a crowd-pleasing addition to your potluck, or a simple mid-day snack. (Click here for recipe.)

PrintSweet Summer Rolls

Packed with our Sweet to the Point™ Mini Pointed Peppers, Naked Leaf Living Basil leaves and Mini Cucumbers, these sweet summer rolls are a trifecta of flavour! Great for light lunches and appetizers, they’re a healthy choice you can feel good about. (Click here for recipe.)

PrintCitrus Shrimp Salad

Everyone loves a good salad! Great as a main dish, this salad features our CuteCumbers™, Naked Leaf Living Watercress and Living Salanova Lettuce. It’s drizzled with a sweet, light dressing that really compliments the flavour of the shrimp and citrus.  (Click here for recipe.)

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Spicy Thai Noodles

Give your taste buds a reason to celebrate with this spicy noodle dish featuring our Hot Shots Mixed Hot Peppers, Seedless Cucumbers, Sweet Bell Peppers and Naked Leaf Living Basil. A beautiful combination of colours and some serious stimulation for your senses!  (Click here for recipe.)

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Get Creative

Looking for kid-friendly suggestions? Use our produce to make a fun snack or meal for your little ones! Try cutting a green bell pepper into shamrocks. You can add them to just about any sandwich, pair them with a dip or even crack an egg inside each for an Irish inspired breakfast! Use our Seedless Cucumbers and a shamrock cookie cutter to make tiny shamrock cucumbers that make the perfect healthy snack for your little ones to munch on. Expecting guests? Slice our Seedless Cucumbers and arrange them on a plate in the shape of a giant shamrock. You can even add a few slices of our Seedless Cucumbers and our sweet green bell peppers to some pita and cream cheese for the perfect St Patrick’s Day tea sandwiches!

 

st_patricks_day_fun 

Regardless of how you celebrate St Patrick’s Day, these green recipes will help you incorporate more vegetables into your meals and hopefully inspire you to have some fun with your food! For more cooking inspiration be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

Winter Vegetable Inspiration

Although Winter is winding down and the groundhog has predicted an early Spring, it might be a while until we start seeing mild weather, trees blossoming, and flowers budding. While we all wait patiently for the big thaw, we’ve come up with some winter vegetable inspiration to get you through the rest of the season with some delicious and healthy meals that are sure to warm you from head to toe.

 

Mac And Cheese

There are few foods that earn the classification of comfort food easier than mac and cheese. What started as a classic has now become a blank canvas of inspiration for restaurants and home chefs across the country. Putting your own twist on a basic mac and cheese dish is a great way to incorporate more vegetables. Try adding our sliced grape tomatoes into your dish or place slices of tomatoes on top of your mac and cheese before you bake it.

Looking for a healthier alternative? Try making a vegan version of this classic dish with a faux-cheese sauce made from our eggplants! Recipe here.

eggplant

 

Soups/Stews

There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup or stew on a cold winter day. Incorporating more vegetables is easy when you can slice, dice or puree them in a variety of different combinations. Our tomatoes and eggplants lend themselves well to soup bases, our bell peppers make the perfect addition to a hearty stew and our cucumbers add a fresh crunch to warm Vietnamese noodle dishes.

 

Short on inspiration? Take a tried and true dish like Stuffed Peppers and turn it into a soup the whole family will love that’s full of protein and vegetables. Get the recipe.

peppers

 

Casseroles

These one-pot wonders make time saving weekday meals a breeze and with so many options, you’ll never run out of ways to incorporate more vegetables! Whether you choose a classic or invent your own, casseroles are a hearty meal that’s easy to precook, pack for lunches or serve at home. Our eggplants and beefsteak tomatoes are great for stacking in a layered casserole, our Roma tomatoes are perfect for stuffing and our sweet bell peppers make an excellent addition to just about any combination.

 

Love the idea of breakfast for dinner? There’s a casserole for that too! Pour beaten eggs over hash browns, ham, cheese, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions and bake in the oven. Customize with your favourite vegetables and create your own unique dish that’s healthy, hearty and suitable for any meal of the day! Try this delicious Denver Omelette Casserole.

sapori

Make the most of Winter by putting your own twist on these classic comfort foods that make it simple to incorporate vegetables in a way the whole family will love. For more cooking inspiration be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

Mucci Farms: Local Tomato Production & Roll Out of Their First eat brighter!™ Package

Despite the cold weather and snow, the Mucci greenhouses are only days away from being in full swing production. Our tomato crops are looking great and soon to be shipping alongside our mini cucumbers which we’ve been producing locally all year.

tomato_collage

This news comes with perfect timing as we release our new eat brighter!™ packaging for our locally grown mini cucumbers as part of the PMA and Sesame Workshop collaboration.

tomato_cuke_collage_4

At Mucci Farms, we’re so excited to get involved with this campaign and to help spread the word about healthy snacking options for kids. We’re doing our part to ensure that every child grows up with access to fresh local produce so they can lead a happy and healthy life.

“Making a change is about more than just buying fruits and vegetables, it’s about exploring new options, changing habits and switching up routines,” says Emily Murracas, Marketing Director at Mucci Farms.

It takes effort and commitment in order for a lifestyle change to be successful so we’re dedicated to making the transition easier with simple, fresh products your whole family will love. Incorporating vegetables and fruits into your child’s snack routine is the first step towards a brighter future but we know that kid-approved snacks can be hard to come by, which is why we pride ourselves on our innovative snack-sized items. Moms love how versatile and simple they are and kids love them because they’re small and delicious. The best part? Thanks to the ‘eat brighter!’ movement, now Big Bird is on board too! Look for these new packages to hit store shelves in Canada next week and expect to see more additions to our ‘eat brighter!’ packages very soon.

Help us put an end to childhood obesity and encourage your family to ‘eat brighter!’

Family Day Food Activities

Next Monday is family day and while there are usually plenty of things to do indoors, we suggest taking the day to educate your children about food. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your kids and teach them everything they need to know about food so when they’re old enough to make their own decisions, you can rest assured that they’ll make the right ones. Below you’ll find some tips and activities you can use to get the conversation going with your family. Get started teaching your children how to appreciate fresh, local food and most importantly, how to cook it too!

 

Read Books About Food

You read books with your kids to help them learn about shapes, colours, animals and everything in between so why not incorporate some food education? Visit the library or a local store to pick out some books that teach kids about where food comes from, who grows it, and what sorts of foods are both healthy and delicious. You get to spend some quality time with the kids and they’ll be thrilled to read a new story together. It’s a great and fun way to start the conversation about food!
Looking for suggestions? Check out the following books:

1. To Market, To Market by Nikki McClure: A mother and son who go to the weekly farmers’ market where they learn how each food they come across was grown or produced. http://www.amazon.ca/Market-Nikki-McClure/dp/081099738X?tag=ca-skim1x137633-20

To Market

 

  1. The Good Garden by Katie Smith Milway: A teacher at Maria’s school introduces her to sustainable farming practices that she begins to implement in her family’s garden at home. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8666745-the-good-garden

The Good Garden

Make Learning Fun

Regardless of how important the lessons are, there’s no reason why you can’t make it fun! Incorporate technology, work sheets, puzzles and games to help children engage. Look for educational food apps for your smartphone or tablet that make learning about ingredients a fun point-and-shoot game and download printable work sheets and colouring pages that teach kids about fresh food, food groups and eating a balanced diet in a fun way. Check out the Nourish Interactive website for printable pages, nutrition tools, and games to get you started.
Create A Weekly Meal Plan Together

Take this opportunity to sit down with your children and create a meal plan for the following week. Get their input on what foods they’d like to eat, what snacks they may want in their lunches and any new foods they’d love to try. When kids help with making food-related decisions, they take ownership of their own choices and become more involved in the process. This also opens up the door to teach them about budgeting, how to shop for healthy foods and how to cook delicious meals at home.

Want to continue educating your children about food? Try these options that you can explore and experiement with throughout the year:
Establish Family Meal Times
Having a concrete meal time at home fosters communication and builds a stronger sense of belonging. A University of Florida study found that eating together at mealtimes builds stronger family bonds, reduces the likelihood of obesity, and increases the likelihood that each family member is getting a nutrious, balanced diet.

 

Start A Family Garden

Regardless of how much space you have, it’s easy to create a family garden at home. You can begin gardening on a small scale with something as simple as herbs on the windowsill. When kids are involved in the process of planting, watering, harvesting, and preparing food with the herbs they grow, they feel more connected to food.

 

For healthy eating habits and cooking inspiration be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

This Valentines Day, Think Pink With Mucci Produce

This weekend is Valentines Day and here at Mucci Farms, we know that food made from the heart is the best way to show someone how much you care. Let us help you plan a perfect, simple and delicious meal this Valentines Day with our pink produce: Curio™ Gourmet Pink Tomatoes, Tango Pink™ Tomatoes and Smuccies Sweet Strawberries!

 

Appetizer

Start the meal off right with Mucci Farms Tango Pink™ Tomatoes! With a pleasant savoury taste, they offer a perfect balance for your palate. Use them to create our Stuffed Tango Pink™ Bites; an appetizer that is small is size but big in taste. Stuffed with a mixture of soft cheeses and fresh herbs, they’re as easy to make, as they are delicious.

tango_pink_bites

 

Mains

Our Curio™ Tomatoes’ timeless, rich and intense taste is reminiscent of the finest of those “Old-Fashioned” tomato flavours but with a beautiful pink hue! Use them to make two delicious dishes that are quick to prepare and look gorgeous on the plate. Our Curio™ Pesto Salad highlights the tomatoes on a bed of fresh lettuce, with mozzarella and a light pesto to enhance their natural flavours while our Curio™ Panini takes a basic sandwich to new heights. Want to make these dishes extra special? Use a heart cookie cutter to shape the mozzarella and the sandwiches!

curio_pesto

 

 

curio_panini

 

Dessert

Nothing says I love you like dessert! Luckily our Smuccies Sweet Strawberries are bursting with delicious strawberry flavour and are the perfect ingredient for just about any dessert. Use our Smuccies to make these bite-sized Mini Mascarpone Pies for a quick, easy and fun end to your meal.

 

mini_mascarpone_pies

 

For more cooking inspiration be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

Everything You Need To Know About Greenhouses

The idea of growing plants in environmentally controlled areas has existed since Roman times but technology has helped us adapt and sculpt this idea over time. Greenhouses are a highly researched method of growing that help create the perfect environment for growing vegetables: providing plants with the optimal temperature, humidity, feed and water to produce the highest yields. While many companies use greenhouses, not all of them are created equally. Below we’ve compiled some basic questions about greenhouses and a peek inside how ours operate.

 

What Is A Greenhouse?

A greenhouse is a building or complex in which plants are grown. They can range in size from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings depending on what they’re used for and where they’re located.

Greenhouses can be constructed from glass or plastic. Commercial greenhouses are usually high-tech production facilities for vegetables or flowers. Greenhouses use state of the art equipment and computers to control the environment and maximize potential growth and yields

 

How Does a Greenhouse Work?

A greenhouse works by allowing all the possible components needed for creating optimum conditions for plant health and yield to be controlled. All growing is dependent on light. The greenhouse allows all possible available light to enter thus giving the plants every opportunity to make energy through photosynthesis.

Greenhouses shield the plants from weather conditions and bugs, allowing vegetables to be grown all year round and with maintainable pest pressure. In addition, a greenhouse facility has the ability to recapture all nutrients and water for the purpose of recycling, therefore leaving little or no footprint on the environment.

greenhouses

 

What Are Some Advantages of Greenhouse Grown Produce?

– It can be grown year round and the quality remains consistent.

– Produce can be accurately and safely grown in Non GMO varieties.

– The controlled temperature and humidity regulates temperatures as they fluctuate to avoid stressed plants and slow growth, which leads to better produce, faster!

– Produce grown in a greenhouse is protected from adverse weather conditions

– Pests are kept outside where they cannot harm the plants.

 

What Makes Muccis Greenhouses Unique?

 

muccci_farms_greenhouse_interior

Integrated Pest Management: Even with computer controlled irrigation and temperature, Mother Nature is still active in our greenhouse ecosystem. Bees fly around to pollinate the plants and rather than pesticides we use a program called Integrated Pest Management where ‘good bugs’ (such as lady bugs) prey on ‘bad bugs.’ Additionally, we’re able to use a fraction of the land and water that traditional farming requires with high yields and by sterilizing and re-circulating our run-off water.

Biomass: The heat for our greenhouses is created with biomass energy sources. Biomass is viewed as one of the main renewable energy sources of the future, biomass is virtually carbon-neutral and almost inexhaustible. Waste products generated from everyday living are efficiently converted into energy while capturing the CO2 for our plants.

Water Recycling: Population growth and increasing demands on water resources make effective water conservation essential to sustaining environmental quality and maintaining a sensitive ecosystem balance. Mucci Farms maintains an aggressive water recycling program where run-off water is collected and recycled, ensuring that no water is wasted and that the water table is not polluted by fertilizers.

Greenhouses are everywhere but it takes more than glass walls and a computer system to produce safe, fresh, environmentally responsible produce. Next time you’re in the market for something fresh and green-house grown, remember to do your research!

To learn more about our GreenERhouse and our sustainability practices click here, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

 

What Is NON-GMO & Why Does It Matter?

You’ve most likely heard the term GMO and Non-GMO, but do you know what they mean and why it’s important to learn more? As a proud company with Non-GMO Certified products, we’ve put together a list of some frequently asked questions about GMOs so you can better understand what they are and why our Non-GMO certification is so important.

 

 

What does GMO/ GMO Food mean?

GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are living organisms that have been manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering technique.  GMO food refers to foods that are produced using GMO technology and possibly poses greater risk to human health than conventional food.

 

Why should I be concerned with GMO Foods?

There has been speculation that the introduction of GMOs in our diets has caused increased food allergies, reproductive disorders, digestive problems and an increase in other chronic illnesses. Genetically modified crops are also bad for the environment. They can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. They increase herbicide use because of their tolerance and they contaminate the gene pool forever, continuing to put future generations at risk.

 

 

What is the Non-GMO Project?

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. They strongly believe that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms. Look for their butterfly seal of approval on our packaging!

 

 

How do I find Non-GMO verified products?

For consumers such as yourself, it can be difficult to understand what does and does not include GMOs since the list of at-risk ingredients is always changing. The Non-GMO Project is a great resource that can help you find products that are Non-GMO certified. From processed foods to raw fresh vegetables, you’ll find a full directory at your fingertips right here. Since September 2013, Mucci Farms has been certified by the Non-GMO Project and continues to add new produce offerings to their ever-growing list. We’ve been advocates of a healthy lifestyle since the beginning, so being able to promise our customers that our produce is Non-GMO certified is very important to us!

 

non-gmo-logo-eng

What does Non-GMO Project Verified sealmean?

You may have seen this seal on our packaging and wondered what it meant or why it was important. The verification seal shows that the product bearing the seal has gone through the Non-GMO Project’s verification process. The verification logo indicates that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for avoiding GMOs:

 

– They require ongoing testing of all at-risk ingredients—any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a verified product.

– They use an Action Threshold of 0.9%. This is in alignment with laws in the European Union (where any product containing more than 0.9% GMO must be labeled). Absence of all GMOs is the target for all Non-GMO Project Standard compliant products. Continuous improvement practices toward achieving this goal must be part of the Participant’s quality management systems.

– After the test, they require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to be followed in order to ensure ingredient integrity through to the finished product.

– For low-risk ingredients, they conduct a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets to determine absence of GMO risk.

– Verification is maintained through an annual audit, along with onsite inspections for high-risk products.

 

 

What should I do now?

We’re glad you took the time to read this blog post! What you see here is just the basics pertaining to GMOs and Non-GMO. If you’re concerned or just curious about learning more, visit the Non-GMO Project online to get educated and get involved.

 

To continue the discussion, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

The 52 New Foods Challenge

We know that setting and following new years resolutions can be lots of work but we recently stumbled upon the 52 New Foods Challenge (#52NewFoods) and loved the idea so much that we had to share it with you!

52 New Foods Book

The concept is simple; the book contains one new recipe for each week of the year so you can embark on your own personal cooking adventure. Along the way you’ll find yourself trying new foods and different preparations of foods you’re already familiar with. The challenge is designed to end battles over food, make mealtime fun again, boost the variety of foods you eat, and encourage everyone in the household to pitch in with cooking.

 

The best part? This can easily inspire you to create your very own New Foods Challenge for 2015, even without the book. It’s as simple as trying a new fruit, vegetable, cuisine, meat or recipe each week. Be adventurous, take risks, have fun and create a newfound love of food in your household by discovering new tastes, textures, flavours and experiences as you progress through the challenge together.

 

Regardless of how big or small, we’d love to learn more about your healthy resolutions for 2015. Check out our recipes and get started by using our fresh produce to create fun and delicious dishes. Share your story with us on Facebook or Twitter and inspire others to get involved!

 

For more every day inspiration, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.