The surprisingly versatile pear!


Distinctive in shape, texture, and color, the pear offers a nutritious alternative to typical office snacks. ORCHARD At The OFFICE is providing several varieties of pears with each basket and box we deliver, and here’s a more detailed look at this uniquely-styled bundle of goodness.

There are more than 3,000 varieties of pear grown in the world, but the majority sold in America come from the Pacific Northwest: Washington and Oregon. Of these, the Bartlett is the type that comes to mind for most people when they hear the term “pear”. Sweet and juicy, Bartlett pears are either bright green (becoming golden as they ripen) or bright red in color. In contrast, Anjou pears have a slightly more rounded shape, but otherwise share many of the characteristics of their Bartlett counterparts. Occupying its own place in the ORCHARD At The OFFICE lineup is the distinctive Bosc pear, with its rust color, long, thin neck, and exceptional sweetness.

The quality of the pear’s flavor is only matched by its nutritional value. A standard pear is only 86 calories and provides 18% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of fiber, 10% the U.S. RDA of vitamin C, and 5% the U.S. RDA of potassium. It is fat-free, low in sodium and cholesterol, and its natural sugars provide the energy to keep a workforce feeling refreshed and energized.

The versatility of the pear is demonstrated in its varieties. Pears range in size from the tiny Seckel to the grapefruit-sized Asian pears. (The term “Asian pears”, while accurate, is also misleading, as there are a great many varieties grown in China, which as a nation accounts for over 2/3 the global pear production.) A Ukranian pear called Humbug is your classic pale green with vertical pale yellow stripes, and residents of Texas will of course be familiar with the “prickly pear” which grows on cactus and is edible – though in limited quantities!

ORCHARD At The OFFICE supplies pears you can consume at work in their natural state. But there are lots of ways to serve pears at home. Pears make excellent preserves, crisps, tarts, and even as a sweeter substitute for apples in pies. The method of preparation depends on the variety of pear you’re using, so check the recipe carefully.

The next time you’re ready to snack, look for the pear shape in the basket with the distinctive ORCHARD At The OFFICE logo!

Snackdown I: Fresh fruit vs. vending machine fare


Simple intuition tells us that when it comes to office snacks, fresh fruit is a healthy alternative to the denizens of the vending machine. But how much difference does it really make? The answer is: quite a lot more than you’d expect!

Let’s examine the difference between some of the fruits you’ll find in your basket from ORCHARD At The OFFICE, and some of the candies you’ll find in your vending machine.

Bananas vs. Candy Bars

Here, we’re examining the difference between one medium-sized banana and one regular-sized candy bar. Here’s a side-by-side comparison (banana information first):

Calories: 105 vs. 271

Saturated Fat: 1% U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) vs. 26% RDA

Sodium: 1 mg vs. 140 mg

Potassium: 12% RDA vs. 5% RDA

Vitamin C: 17% RDA vs. 0% RDA

Apples vs. Potato Chips

One medium apple is compared to a snack-sized bag of potato chips:

Calories: 95 vs. 150

Saturated Fat: 0% RDA vs. 16% RDA

Sodium: 2 mg vs. 7 mg

Potassium: 6% RDA vs. 9% RDA

Vitamin C: 14% RDA vs. 10% RDA

Oranges vs. Cookies

This is the nutritional data from one medium-sized orange compared to a snack package of cookies:

Calories: 62 vs. 270

Saturated Fat: 0% RDA vs. 12% RDA

Sodium: 0 mg vs. 370 mg

Potassium: 7% RDA vs. 1% RDA

Vitamin C: 116% RDA vs. 0% RDA

When you see the numbers right next to each other, the healthy choice becomes clear. The good news is that eating fruit becomes habit-forming! Soon you won’t even miss that candy bar, the bag of chips, or the cookies. You’ll be craving the fresh fruit provided by ORCHARD At The OFFICE – and you’ll feel better for it!

A five-minute fruit salad


Need a quick snack during your break? Here’s a simple three-fruit recipe that gives you two servings of taste, nutrition, and energy. All you need is two bananas, an apple, and a plum, along with either a Ziploc bag or small (2 cup) container.

  • Peel and cut the two bananas, each into 10-12 pieces.
  • Cut the plum in half, remove the pit, and continue to cut until you have eight pieces.
  • Cut the four sides off the apple, dispose of the core, and continue to cut until you have sixteen pieces.

Now, you simply mix the fruit in a bowl, and set aside half in your bag or container. (Be sure to label it with a Sharpie so that officemates don’t steal it…unless you don’t mind sharing, of course!) Next comes the best part: eat and enjoy!

Of course, you can use any combination of fruit when you do a fruit salad. We’ve started with this recommendation as these are currently in season, and the crisp texture of the apple complements the softer banana and plum nicely. Additionally, the acidity of the plum provides a flavorful counterpoint to the sweetness of the apple and banana.

This simple snack gives you a great energy boost. Within 170 calories per serving, you’ll get 29% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, nearly 500 milligrams of potassium, and plenty of dietary fiber to keep you healthy and happy throughout the day! Plus, sealed properly, your snack will be there for a good 24 hours.

We hope you enjoy this quick recipe for fruit salad. Live well!

An apple a day…


…is a pretty good idea!

Perhaps the most readily-identified fruit, apples are loved for their great taste, versatility in preparation, and nutritional benefits. Of course, the term “apple” is quite a broad one, as there are more than 7,500 varieties! This means you could have a different type of “apple a day” for over 20 years without repetition.

The fall apple varieties, which ripen in mid-September, tend to store well and include both the red and golden delicious, the Jonathan apple, and the Cortland, a favorite for making applesauce. These differ primarily in their color, texture, and flavor. For example, the golden delicious has a tender skin and mild flavor, whereas its counterpart, the red delicious, has a thicker skin, firmer texture, and sweeter flavor.

Whatever the variety, all apples store a wealth of nutritional value. One apple provides 12% the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of dietary fiber and 10% of vitamin C, as well as calcium, potassium, and iron. Since they contain natural sugars, they rank high on the “snack satisfaction index” as well!

In addition to tasting great in their natural state, apples can be steamed, baked, boiled, or even grilled! Dried apples make a tart treat ideal for camping trips; stewed apples are a great side dish especially as the nights get cooler. With their versatility, it’s no wonder they’re a featured ingredient in so many recipes.

Which variety do you prefer? With so many options in the apple kingdom, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to experiment. Recently, it was reported that there was a resurgence in “heirloom apples”: varieties popular decades or centuries ago that had faded out and are making their comeback, with colorful names such as Sheepnose and Nickajack.

Whatever the color, size, shape, texture, or flavor, the popularity of the apple – and its place in American history – will always be there. Take a bite today and enjoy!

Vitamin C: it’s not just from citrus anymore!

vitamin c

Good for bones, muscle, and blood vessels, it’s our friend L-ascorbic acid! An important antioxidant, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and form collagen. It’s a key component in wellness…and as it can be naturally found in fruits and vegetables, it comes in some tasty packages!

How much vitamin C is enough?

The U.S. RDA (recommended daily allowance) of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men, and 75 for women. It is possible to take too much vitamin C and get kidney stones or nausea, but this only comes from ingesting 2,000 milligrams or more a day. So, how do you get your daily dose of vitamin C? All kinds of ways!

One vitamin from many fruits.

The fruit that produces the greatest source of vitamin C is the kakadu plum, with 3,100 mg of vitamin C is one 100 gram serving! (Generally speaking, 1 medium-sized banana or plum is about 100 grams.) However, we’re looking for something a little less extreme than that. The most well-known sources of vitamin C are the citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, and limes contain 50, 40, and 30 milligrams of vitamin C, respectively. However, the kiwi fruit contains 90 milligrams – a full day’s dosage! Also ranking highly are the papaya (60 mg/100g), the strawberry (60mg/100g), and cantaloupe (40mg/100g).

Fruits with lower vitamin C content, but just as packed with nutrition, are the plum (10mg/100g), banana (9mg/100g), peach (7mg/100g), and apple (6mg/100g). Remember, in the world of nutrition, every little bit helps!

Vitamin C tips.

Here are some handy things to remember in order to get your daily dose of vitamin C:

  • Don’t try to get it all from one source. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables during the day will get you the amount you need.
  • Cooking can reduce the amount of vitamin C, but refrigeration doesn’t. So if you’ve cut up that fruit salad, you can have it the next day and you’ll get the same health benefits.
  • Mix it up! Have an apple on Wednesday; go bananas on Friday. Keeping variety in your diet is good for your health and imagination!

Vitamin C: proof that nutrition can taste great!