Green Giant Fresh Blog

Green Giant® Fresh Just Got a Little Bit Sweeter

The Jolly Green Giant(R) has a long, flavorful history with Sweet Corn. In 1929 Green Giantintroduced vacuum-packed Niblets(R) “fresh whole kernel corn off the cob”. Four decades later, The Green Giant Company was the first to market frozen Corn on the cob with their new “Giant Size” Niblets Ear product.

2012 is where the next chapter in Green Giant Sweet Corn begins. Introducing Green Giant Fresh Super Sweet Corn — the latest addition to an iconic family of Sweet Corn products.

Green Giant Fresh will enter the Sweet Corn market this spring, bringing consumers fresh tray packed Corn available in three favorite varieties. This summertime favorite hits the stores just in time for barbeque season, when people fill backyards anxious to sink their teeth into something sweet and delicious!

Sweet Corn is just that – sweet! The Corn gets its sweet nature from high natural sugar content, known as brix, which occurs when the Corn is harvested early before the sugars convert to starch. Harvesting at the perfect ripeness leaves the Corn tender, sweet and juicy.

But Sweet Corn is much more than a mouth-watering side dish with awesome flavor. Corn is packed with antioxidant compounds that are known to provide numerous health benefits. Corn also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C, Potassium and Folate. Sweet Corn is a good source of fiber, naturally cholesterol and sodium free and contains only 100 calories per medium sized ear.

Sweet Corn can be prepared in a variety of ways, and tastes naturally great with or without seasoning. But whether grilling, boiling, microwaving or roasting, Sweet Corn is best when cooked for a short time, removing from heat as soon as Corn becomes crisp-tender.

If you’re feeling adventurous, and want to make your Sweet Corn even Sweeter, you might want to give this Glazed Grilled Sweet Corn recipe a try:

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 3 cloves of minced garlic and a dash of cayenne pepper in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Prepare 4 squares of tinfoil, place one cob of Super Sweet Corn in each, drizzle with butter glaze and wrap Corn in foil, enclosing entirely. Place foil wrapped Corn on grill for about 20 – 25 minutes or until just done. Eat and enjoy!

Now for the specifics: Green Giant Fresh plans to market yellow, white and bicolor Corn in 3, 4 and 8 count ear tray packs as well as 4 count microwavable packs. For all you Box Top fans, the new product will prominently feature just what you’re looking for! The Green Giant Fresh Super Sweet Corn products are scheduled to ship in early April.

Online Brainstorming Offers Tips for Box Top Teams

As you probably know, Green Giant® Fresh is a big supporter of the Box Tops for Education® program that has helped kids and parents raise more than $400 million for their schools since 1996. In fact, we’ve got Box Tops coupons on a whole bushel of our products so that you can help turn everyday activities into real money for cash-strapped schools.

So if your school’s Box Top crew is looking for some tried-and-true tips from the real experts on how to raise cash for your child’s school, the obvious go-to source for such information is the Box Tops for Education website and blog. There you’ll find a wealth of information provided by active members of the Box Tops team as well as moms and others who readily offer their own experience and insights.

In addition to a section called “Success Stories,” the Box Tops blog offers access to flyers and handouts, videos and webinars, images and logos, news and articles, and most important, tips on how to successfully rake in thousands of Box Tops for your school.

Here are just some of the tips we’ve garnered from the site:

Goal setting: By involving teachers and administrators, you can discover what the biggest need is, and then set your sites on accomplishing that goal before moving on to the next. Support comes more readily when your school community can actually visualize a tangible item to work toward.

Updates — always updates: Make sure the school family is well aware of Read the rest of this entry…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Parmesan Basil Dip

Be honest. You saw the headline above and said this recipe’s got failure written all over it because my kids hate Brussels Sprouts. No big surprise there. At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, a dim view of sprouts is pretty much a universal consensus among all those picky diners in the pre-grownup stage.

Maybe it’s because sprouts look like tiny little cabbages — and what self-respecting kid can trust tiny cabbages on a dinner plate?

Granted, if you’re a grownup or you’re young but possess mature taste buds, boiling (7 to 10 minutes), steaming (about 5 minutes) or microwaving (5 to 8 minutes) a batch of Brussels sprouts and then coating them with in butter & garlic is pretty much as good as it gets with these vegetables. Simple and delicious.

But for most youngsters, this is where the gag reflex kicks in. Again, we’re not here to judge, we’re here to offer you an alternative. Like maybe baking those little cabbages instead of cooking them in water. Everybody likes baked veggies, including kids!

How can you dislike something that’s cooked on a baking sheet? Cookies are prepared on baking sheets, for goodness sakes! So here’s our take on an alternative to drowning your sprouts. We won’t guarantee all kids will love it. But we’re betting you will.

So, on to our recipe of the day — Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Parmesan Basil Dip. Your prep time is going to Read the rest of this entry…

Meet The Team: Green Giant® Fresh VP of Technical Services Brian Stepien

Brain Stepien

Below is another in our long-running series of Meet the Team blog posts that gives us the opportunity to introduce you to the staff and team members at Green Giant® Fresh, as well as those who work with us in a variety of produce-related positions. Today we’re featuring Brian Stepien, who’s been with us more than two years as vice president of technical services.

Green Giant® Fresh: Who are you and what do you do here at Green Giant Fresh?

Brian Stepien: I cover a pretty broad range of responsibilities for the Green Giant Fresh program, which includes product safety, quality, research and development, and sustainability. Essentially, my team insures that all of our products — in all parts of the world — are produced safely and according to our stringent standards, and are also produced in a manner that is environmentally responsible. We’ve got a great team and I’m really excited about the things we’re doing.

GGF: What was your major in college and how did that prepare you for the job you have now?

BS: I studied food science in college, and in grad school as well. Quite a bit of what I studied in college directly applies to Read the rest of this entry…

Two-Cheese & Rosemary Mashed Potato Casserole

Two-Cheese & Rosemary Mashed Potato Casserole

If any vegetable has received a bad rap over the past decade or so, it’s the potato. In rapid fashion, the humble spud has been vilified as a high-carb, starchy side dish that should be banned from the plates of health seekers everywhere.

But here’s the thing, all these charges against the potato can be explained away in three words: guilty by association. It’s not the potato that’s the nutritional villain here; it’s the potato’s associates, the toppings! We’re talking about gobs of butter, ladles-full of gravy and a fistful of bacon bits. And, frying them up isn’t exactly in your heart’s best interest.

But take away or limit many of those unhealthy accouterments and what you end up with is a vegetable with an impressive nutritional content that includes 3-5 grams of fiber, tons of potassium and a boatload of Vitamin C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).

This doesn’t mean you have to eat your potato plain! There are recipes that take into consideration your pleasure in eating and your interest in nutrition.

One such recipe is our Two-Cheese & Rosemary Mashed Potato Casserole, a dish that’s perfect for the upcoming holidays. Better yet, you can make this dish ahead of time by covering the unbaked mashed potato mixture tightly with foil and then refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Just uncover it and bake for 40 to 50 minutes when you’re ready.

Each serving contains only 185 calories; 20 mg of cholesterol; 230 mg of sodium; 22 carbohydrates (minus 2 because of dietary fiber); and 9 grams of total fat.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started: Read the rest of this entry…

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Winter Squash

As the days get shorter and the weather forces you indoors for long stretches of dormant time, a regular dose of winter squash packs a healthy boost of blues-quelling B-complex vitamins.

Green Giant Fresh Winter Squash

The most common varieties of winter squash include: Butternut squash, Acorn squash, Hubbard squash, Turban squash, and the sweet Japanese Kabocha squash varietal.

Right now is the optimum time to buy winter squash, because the thick skin allows for longer shelf life in the winter months when other fresh vegetables might be harder to come by. You can store unmarred winter squash for up to six months in temperatures between 45 and 60 degree Fahrenheit.

You should make sure to select less shiny members of the winter squash brigade because a more matte fruit tends to be sweetest. Shiny skin is a sign your squash was probably uprooted just a tad early for maximum deliciousness. Choose unbruised, unmarred squash with at least an Read the rest of this entry…

Green Giant® Fresh ‘Raisin’ the Roof at Fresh Summit

We juggled a lot of activities at last week’s PMA Fresh Summit in Atlanta, Ga. Green Giant® Fresh introduced new products, launched a mobile marketing campaign, hosted a raffle to promote Box Tops for Education®, launched an online store locator, and one of own leaders even participated in presenting awards. If you’re not familiar with it, Fresh Summit is an annual event of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), featuring more than 18,000 participants from the global fresh produce supply chain.

In addition to Green Giant Fresh, the four-day event attracts retail grocers, wholesalers, terminal markets, food distributors, growers, packers, shippers, packaging companies, and others including industry vendors and service providers and members of the media.

For those of us at Green Giant Fresh, a highlight of this year’s summit was the announcement that raisins will now be marketed under the Green Giant Fresh label as the result of a deal between Sun Dried Marketing and our own Growers Marketing, which owns the licensing rights to our brand. In the works for the past two years, the agreement means we can further our focus on healthy snack food for you and your family.

Green Giant Fresh Raisins will be sold in miniboxes, a six-ounce pack of small boxes, bulk packs in a 12-ounce zip bag, a 15-ounce box and a 24-ounce canister. And, like many other Green Giant Fresh products, each package of raisins will Read the rest of this entry…

Looking for Us? We’re on the Map!

Believe us when we say we’ll go to any lengths to make it easier for you to buy Green Giant® Fresh produce. And now you can find our latest effort in that endeavor on our web site — GreenGiantFresh.com — where we’ve gone ahead and created an online store locator.

Just click on the box that reads Store Locator and then type in your zip code to find a local grocer who sells Green Giant Fresh produce. You can select from locations within five, 25 or 50 miles from you, and it’s all available via our website

The locator also tells you whether the store is carrying Green Giant Fresh produce with the Box Tops For Education™ promotion.

Give it a try and let us know what you think. To get started, visit http://locator.greengiantfresh.com or click on the image below:

 

Getting the Nitty-gritty on the Produce You Purchase

To get the best and most accurate information about anything, it’s always best to go directly to the source. And when it comes to gathering information about your fruit and vegetable purchases, that “source” has always been your grocery store’s produce manager. That store employee has always been the point man (or woman) when it comes to questions about nutrition, recipes, freshness and origins of your produce. In the changing landscape of produce departments and store formats, these experts aren’t always available and may not have all the information a consumer is looking for.

When it comes to getting good information about the food you’re purchasing for your family, another valuable source is the actual supplier of that produce. In other words… the grower. In an age where people want to know more about their food at point of sale and in their kitchen, technology is allowing consumers access to the producers of their food more directly.

Here at Green Giant® Fresh, we’re working hand in hand with TRUETRAC, a software company with its roots in agriculture, to bring you at-your-fingertips information about the produce you’re purchasing from us. TRUETRAC has developed a web-based system to trace produce from the fields to the market, as well as ensure food safety and sustainability. In particular, we’re working together on something called item-level traceability, which allows us to help you trace your food at the item level.

Green Giant Fresh has always had industry-leading quality control processes that are applied across our organization to ensure the fruits and vegetables that we grow and sell are fresh, wholesome, nourishing and safe to eat. These processes — growing, harvesting and shipping — are complex issues, which makes Green Giant Fresh the perfect candidate for the development of a traceability system.

Our recent decision to deliver our first commercialized consumer mobile marketing product – using TRUETRAC’s ItemTrac software – further signals our commitment to Read the rest of this entry…

Try our Artichoke, Mushroom and Pasta Toss Recipe

Ah, the artichoke. Such an interesting-looking vegetable, one that dates back to Ethiopia and is recognized as one of the oldest-known cultivated foods. It was considered to be a reliable digestive aid by ancient Greeks and Romans, but due to its scarcity, was only available to royalty with big bucks in those Mediterranean countries.

Artichoke Mushroom Pasta Toss

This silvery green globe was brought here to the U.S. by French and Spanish explorers and, today, 75 percent of our chokes are grown in California’s Monterey County. In fact, the town of Castroville bills itself as the artichoke center of the world. (Here’s a fun fact: Guess who was crowned queen of the 1948 Castroville Artichoke Festival? Would you believe it was Marilyn Monroe?)

Those wealthy Greeks and Romans knew what they were talking about when they said artichokes are good for the digestion. Modern-day testing in the United States has shown that artichoke leaf extract has potential value in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, the vegetable is an excellent source for fiber, magnesium and mineral chromium. They’re also a good place to find Vitamin C, folic acid, biotin, as well as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, Vitamin A and potassium. Talk about a nutritional powerhouse!

But a real health benefit that’s drawn a lot of attention these days is the artichoke’s capability to Read the rest of this entry…