Hollandia Produce, L.P. Celebrates Earth Day Year-Round

April 22, 2015 | post a comment


Here at Hollandia Produce, L.P., we believe that Earth Day is more than a day-long observation or celebration but a conscious commitment practiced year-round. This is especially true now that water conservation has become a critical priority for all of us living and working in California.

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown announced that the State Water Resources Control Board must immediately cut consumption by 25%. Cities across the Golden State are coming up with a multitude of ways in which their citizens can save water. One way is by using “smart meters,” which track home and business water use every five minutes and send usage reports in real time. According to National Public Radio (NPR), this effort has helped some homeowners’ in Long Beach cut usage by 80%.

we use a continuous-flow-hydroponic system known as nutrient film technique (NFT), where a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is recirculated. This hydroponic growing technique recycles water while also limiting water loss due to evaporation.

As the water scarcity in California continues, the adoption of water-conservation methods is increasingly important. That’s why we use a continuous-flow-hydroponic system known as nutrient film technique (NFT), where a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is recirculated. This hydroponic growing technique recycles water while also limiting water loss due to evaporation.  Moreover, our method produces nearly four times the yield per acre while using up to 84% less water than  if our lettuce were field-grown (exact figures depend upon the region, soil structure, time of year and irrigation method used).

Paper RECYCLE signIn addition to being water conscious, Hollandia Produce, L.P. also practices sustainability by using packaging that is both recycled and recyclable. Our Squircle® clamshells put your empty plastic water bottles to good use by being comprised of nearly 70% polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. (PET is a safe, recyclable material that does not contain Biosphenol A. (BPA)). We also reduced the amount of plastic needed to manufacture these clamshells by 15% in recent years.

A seed starter made with plastic clamshell

Photo: mylittlehomestead.com

If you and your family are looking for a creative way to celebrate Earth Day, you can repurpose the plastic clamshell that houses our Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce or Living 3-n-1 Lettuce as a seed starter. All you need is a bit of soil and a seed packet of your choice. Simply line the vessel with soil and follow directions on the seed packaging. The containers also make great organizers for office supplies, your children’s crayons, and as a holder for your hair accessories.

greenhouse with logoInnovative and creative sustainability practices are an integral part of our business ethos. We are dedicated to practicing conservation methods and learning new techniques so that generations to come can enjoy Hollandia Produce, L.P. products.

Labels: Uncategorized

Commit to Healthier Eating Habits during Stress Awareness Month

April 15, 2015 | post a comment

Stress RelaxIn an age where over-scheduling and an “I can do it all” mentality are commonplace, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever before. According to a 2013 research report by Carnegie Mellon University, Americans’ stress levels have increased 10-30% over the last three decades. Furthermore, individuals experiencing high stress levels over extended periods of time are at a higher risk for autoimmune disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Since April is Stress Awareness Month, we’re sharing solutions for better managing fluctuating stress levels.

Salmon with dark greens

Salmon with dark leafy greens


One way you can keep stress levels in check is by practicing healthier eating habits. Refined sugars and complex carbohydrates have been found to intensify stress. While fish, like salmon and sardines, eggs, pumpkin seeds and dark leafy greens, including watercress, can assist the body in minimizing inflammation–which can be onset by both emotional and physical stressors. Researcher Joe Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health in a NPR article about stress and diet says, “You can either be good at weathering stress or you can be brittle. And omega-3s [can help] make your stress system more flexible.”

Despite how insurmountable making dramatic lifestyle changes to combat stress while working, raising a family or running a household may seem, small steps can make a big impact and improve your overall health. Start with a bit of planning.

Watercress, sardine and orange salad.

Watercress, sardine and orange salad

Instead of reaching for convenient, sugary treats and preservative-laden fast food when you’re on the go, prepare and store nutrient dense, omega-3-rich meals in advance and store in tote-able containers. We recommend Whole Living’s Watercress Salad with Sardines, Oranges and Pepitas and Bon Appetit’s Pan-Seared Sausage with Lady Apples and Watercress, brimming with foods that contribute to a healthy immune system. Bonus: Olive oil-packed fish like sardines are affordable alternatives to their more expensive wild-caught cousins while offering similar health benefits.

Lastly, don’t forget to add Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress; they’re rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants and key vitamins and minerals!

For more stress-management tips, read “Healthy Eating to Decrease Stress” on WebMD.


Labels: Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Fresh Eating Tips, Fresh Home Recipes

Attention Friends, Fans, and Foodies…Want to Cash in on Your Passion? Enter A Better Butter Lettuce! Recipe Contest!

April 9, 2015 | post a comment

A Live Gourmet Original Chef Casear SaladDo you have a signature sandwich? Do you make a salad that no one can refuse? Then it’s time for you to cash in on your cooking passion with Hollandia Produce, L.P.’s first ever recipe contest.

Here’s how you can join in the fun. Now through July 31, create and submit an original butter lettuce recipe and enter it into one of our three category competitions: Salads/Sides, Appetizers, or Main Course. We’ll award a First-, Second- and Third-Place winner from each category with a $150, $75 and $50 gift card, respectively. And, we’ll award a $1,000 Williams-Sonoma gift card for the best recipe overall.

Need inspiration to get started? Visit www.lettucerecipecontest.com and download our six, chef-created recipes each featuring a different way to prepare and savor Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce. Whether you enjoy butter lettuce as a wrap, in a smoothie, on a sandwich or as Caesar, Wedge or salad, we have a delicious recipe for every occasion.

Then, when you’re ready, simply upload your recipe with a photo and the hashtag #butterlettucecontest onto the same website. A Live Gourmet original chef wrap receipeAlso, be sure to share your recipe on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so your foodie friends, fans and followers can you cheer you on or join in the competition too!

Butter Lettuce is both smooth (hence its name) and hardy — it’s an ideal stand-in for bread, especially if you’re counting carbs. It’s also rich in antioxidants and vitamins, particularly K, which is essential for a healthy heart and strong bones. But, if you need more convincing, read why the folks of thekitchn.com love this multifaceted green.

We know there are countless ways that our living butter lettuce can be prepared, served and enjoyed. That’s why we can’t wait to discover and share your original butter lettuce recipe!

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Butter Lettuce Recipes, Butter Lettuce salad dressing, Celebrity Chef Recipes, Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Eating "Butter", Healthy Eating Tips, Healthy Salad Recipes

Greens Abound in Easter and Passover Meals

March 31, 2015 | post a comment


This week all over the world, families and friends will gather to celebrate Passover (April 3-11) and Easter (April 5). Cooking a special meal for your loved ones can be stressful, but with a bit of planning, you can calmly create delectable dishes that your guests will remember for years to come.

One of the Passover traditions is the Seder dinner. The word Seder means order in Hebrew, which refers to 15 rituals that are Greens dipped in salted water as part of the Seder Dinner ritualperformed during the Passover Seder meal. One of those rituals is the dipping of a green such as watercress in a dish of salt water before eating. These greens symbolize the coming of spring and suggest the perpetual renewal of life.

Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Photo: foodnetwork.com

Watercress serves as an excellent side dish to the traditional Seder brisket. Try Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette; it will add color and crunch to the dinner. Or, if you’re a garlic lover, try Six Burner Sue’s Wilted Watercress with Garlic Chips.

Rack of Lamb with Watercress

Cooking channel TV.com Recipes: Michael-Symon

The Christian holiday also has an abundance of symbols and rituals, one of the most popular being the lamb. In past centuries, it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time. Ironically, not so fortunate for the lamb, as it’s become a traditional staple of the holiday meal. We recommend this Rack of Lamb with Watercress, featured last month on our Lettuce Be Fresh Blog.

If you have little ones, you’re sure to have a visit from the Easter Bunny who may be able to sway your youngsters into eating more vegetables–at least for the holiday. Hop into the kitchen and whip up this nutritious salad that will have your children cheering for more.

Easter Bunny Salad (Originally on the Lettuce be Fresh Blog in March 2011)

(6 Servings)
• 3 cups cottage cheese
• 2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
• 2 granny smith apples, diced
• 1 to 2 tbsp. honey
Combine everything and chill. Serve over a bed of Living Butter Lettuce

Happy Easter and Passover from Hollandia Produce L.P.




Wishing you a wonderful spring holiday season from our family to yours! Share your holiday meal photos with us via Instagram and Twitter @livegourmet

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Butter Lettuce Recipes, Eat Your Greens Recipes for Kids, Eating "Butter", Healthy Eating Tips, Healthy Salad Recipes, Holidays by Hollandia Produce, Live Gourmet Products, Organic Butter Lettuce, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Spring Renewal: Greens Meet Grains

March 24, 2015 | post a comment

Now that spring is here and our surrounding flora and fauna are emerging from their winter slumbers, we too can experience a renewal. One way we can achieve this is by consciously eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

According to a Harvard.edu article, fresh produce and grains, like brown rice and multigrain bread, are some of the best sources of fiber. The essential carbohydrate regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels and helps us feel full longer. While distinguishing itself from other starches and sugars, fiber doesn’t negatively contribute to your caloric intake.

Avocado, radish, upland cress, sea salt are arranged on a table

Click here to view a Flipagram video of assembling Avocado Toast with Upland Cress

Leafy greens like watercress and upland cress also provide servings of fiber. Together with an organic grain, watercress can complete the ultimate hearty meal. We’ve dreamt up two unconventional dishes that include high levels of fiber that you can eat morning, noon or night. Bonus: They also require little preparation and clean-up time.

Want to shake up your morning routine? Try Avocado toast with Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress. Toast a piece of organic whole grain bread to your desired doneness, layer with thinly sliced avocado and radish (which is also high in fiber), top with a cup of watercress, a pinch of sea salt and cayenne pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the colorful toast, which will be the envy of your Instagram foodie followers.

Savory Oatmeal with upland cress and root vegetables is a twist on breakfast for dinner. It’s even vegetarian! All you need is a whole grain like rolled oats, parmesan cheese, root vegetables (we used carrots and parsnip) and Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress.

Ingredients, including watercress, parsnip and rolled oat

Click here to view a Flipagram video of preparing Savory Oatmeal with Watercress

To prepare: Cook the oats according to packaging instructions while you roast the root vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees. Once vegetables are tender, add them to the oats and mix in a ¼ cup of cheese. Last but not least, add a mountain of upland cress or watercress for a subtle spicy bite.

Continue to experiment this spring by combining fruits, vegetable and whole grains to create your own unique, vitamin-rich meals. Once summer hits, you’ll have developed eating habits that make you feel energized and healthier. You may even not eye last year’s swimsuit with your usual wariness.

Labels: Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Fresh Eating Tips, Healthy Eating Tips, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Uncategorized, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Get your Green on this St. Patrick’s Day!

March 16, 2015 | post a comment

Ring in this St. Patrick’s Day by getting your green on! There’s no need to sacrifice taste for nutrition during this sometimes raucous holiday.

! Start your day off right by tossing a handful of Grower Pete's certified Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress into your AM smoothie. This Live Gourmet recipe inspired by Carrie on Vegan will keep you going during the long day of festivities.

Photo: carrieonliving.com

Top o’ the morning to you! Start your day off right by tossing a handful of Grower Pete’s certified Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress into your AM smoothie. This Live Gourmet recipe inspired by Carrie on Vegan will keep you going during the long day of festivities. Plus, watercress and upland cress contain high levels of vitamin C, helping keep your immune system strong whether you brave the brisk air during a parade or party into the wee hours.

If your proclivity is a bit stronger, prepare Watercress Soup with Whiskey Cream from Food Network. Who said leafy greens and libations don’t go together?

Photo: foodnetwork.com

If you are planning a tame evening with friends, take a cue from the Irish for your dinner menu. Guinness Risotto with Shrimp and Watercress from Atlantic.com is a sophisticated dish that balances the iconic Irish brew with the emerald, peppery superfood. If your proclivity is a bit stronger, prepare Watercress Soup with Whiskey Cream from Food Network. Who said leafy greens and libations don’t go together?

Try this twist on corned beef and cabbage by using butter lettuce as the roll

Photo: foodnetwork.com

For a kid-friendly affair, try a twist on Food Network’s Corned-Beef-and-Cabbage-Rolls. As the Irish Proverb says, “It’s no use boiling your cabbage twice,” you might as well swap the pale veggie for Live Gourmet® brand butter lettuce or Grower Pete’s Certified Organic Living Butter Lettuce. You’ll be finished preparing this no-fuss meal before the grown-ups can say “sláinte” (pronounced “slaan-sha” and Gaelic for “good health”) as they clink glasses of Guinness. After dinner, have the family reuse the Live Gourmet® plastic clamshells that hold living butter lettuce to make homemade St. Patty’s Day stencils. Go to about.com and Enchanted Learning for a few pointers and simple shamrock templates. May the luck of the Irish be with you as you prepare delicious and nutritious fare for your loved ones!

Labels: Butter Lettuce Recipes, Eat Your Greens Recipes for Kids, Green Smoothie, Holidays by Hollandia Produce, Live Gourmet Products, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Uncategorized, Upland Cress Recipes

Celebrating Revolutionary Woman in the Realm of Food

March 10, 2015 | post a comment

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating females who have revolutionized the way we eat and think about food.

Where would American cooking be without the late, gregarious Julia Child? In 1999, the famed chef and co-author of the iconic Mastering the Art of French Cooking visited the Hollandia Produce, L.P. facilities to see how its Live Gourmet® brand Living Butter Lettuce was grown. Though the jolly food enthusiast may be best known for her adoption of French cuisine such as her infamously rich Beef Bourguignon, Child also was a proponent of eating

Julia Childs with Hollandia Produce, L.P. Founder Art Overgaag.

Julia Childs with Hollandia Produce, L.P. Founder Art Overgaag.

seasonally and locally-sourced produce. She once said: “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.” Up until her death in 2004, Child lived in Montecito where she was a supporter of the area’s culinary and produce scene. In remembrance of Child, try her Casserole Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Watercress Salad.

Like her culinary predecessor, Alice Waters, founder of the eminent farm-to-table establishment Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA, is devoted to using fresh, local food in addition to advocating sustainable agriculture and the organic food movement. A forward-thinker, the James Beard-awarded chef has educated a generation of food lovers and even founded gardening programs in public schools that instill, “the knowledge and values we need to build a humane and sustainable future.” In the spirit of Waters’ locavore-driven fare, prepare her Watercress and Sorrel Soup.

Chez Panisse owner and chef Alice Waters

Alice Waters (http://www.chezpanisse.com/)

There are countless women who have contributed to make what our vibrant food culture is today. Many of these individuals can be found right in our own home—our mothers and grandmothers. Every day, these women nourish our bellies while trying to satisfy our taste buds—albeit some succeed in this category more than others! Laud these unsung heroes of the kitchen this month by preparing a dish in their honor. Check out Live Gourmet’s recipe section for nutritious ideas that the whole family will love.

Labels: Celebrity Chef Recipes, Uncategorized

Super what!?: From Natural to Organic, Deciphering Those Ubiquitous Food Labels

March 4, 2015 | post a comment

This week, Hollandia Produce, L.P. showcases its Grower Pete’s line of certified organic Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, the world’s largest event devoted to natural and specialty food. With over 2,600 exhibiting companies, Expo West will be buzzing with terms that describe food – grass-fed, locally-sourced, Non-GMO, superfood, to name a few.  Foods with labels “organic” and “natural” often are seen in grocery stores across the country yet the terms can be confusing to differentiate.

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hollandia Produce tradeshow booth being launched at Expo West #5050. The new messaging aims to complement its living wall of lettuce and showcase the company’s upcoming consumer merchandising campaign.

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hollandia Produce tradeshow booth being launched at Expo West #5050. The new messaging aims to complement its living wall of lettuce and showcase the company’s upcoming consumer merchandising campaign.

Their differences are considerable. For food to be deemed organic it must be grown and processed without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Natural products, on the other hand, are minimally processed and contain little to no preservatives, but are not regulated by a legal or federal entity. Therefore, there is a breadth of products marketed as natural, but in reality, widely range in the amount of additives, synthesized chemicals and dyes that they contain. [Source: foodnavigator-usa.com]

USDA Organic SealWhat does this mean for you, the consumer? Read your labels thoroughly. If you intend to buy organic items, make sure that the packaging includes the USDA organic seal. Organic Trade Association provides a list of various organic labels on its website.

A number of Hollandia Produce’s products are USDA organic certified. In fact, Grower Pete’s brand of lettuce and leafy greens are organic all the way to their root balls — unlike other hydroponic produce providers who also harvest with the roots attached. Additionally, Grower Pete’s brand complies with the most recent USDA’s NOP ruling and is naturally compostable.

Watercress and Upland Cress Named SuperfoodsLive Gourmet® brand Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic brand Living Watercress bear another produce distinction: They’re certified as Antioxidant-rich Superfoods by the SCS. What is a superfood you ask? It contains one of the highest concentrations of nutrients, most notably lutein, considered essential for long-term health.

Hollandia Produce looks forward to sharing its organic Grower Pete’s products with new consumers and industry leaders during Expo West where attendees can learn more about making informed, healthy food choices for themselves and their families.

Labels: Live Gourmet News, Uncategorized

Prepare to be Marketed To: Fruits and Vegetables Take Center Stage

February 27, 2015 | post a comment

Looks like 2015 may have just gotten a whole lot healthier, thanks to a new ad campaign called: FNV, the cool, new way to refer to fruits and vegetables. Here, at Hollandia Produce, we couldn’t be happier. As farmers ourselves and longtime supporters of Produce for Better Health, we’ve been promoting healthy eating and the benefits FNV for years!fnv logo

Boulder, Colorado-based ad agency Victors & Spoils, whose client list includes juggernauts Coca-Cola and General Mills, just put America on notice with their in-your-face “Prepare to be marketed to” campaign video teaser.

green healthy foodThe pro-healthy eating campaign will start primarily on social media networks like Twitter, posting short videos featuring actress Jessica Alba and NFL quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton. Additional videos will be released in coming days starring Curry, New York Giant Victor Cruz, actress Kristen Bell, and others.

Replete with its own fashionable logo, the FNV campaign is the brainchild of Partnership for a Healthier America, that was created in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to get families to eat better and exercise more.

Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest noted that an advertising campaign for fruits and vegetables may be powerful in influencing eating decisions, but that its effectiveness will depend on how much support the campaign receives. What do you think? Will athletes and actors purporting the benefits of FNV be enough? Only time will tell; stay tuned!

In the meantime, feed your curiosity and your body with this delicious superfood salad and this entertaining video clip.




Labels: Celebrity vegetables, Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Fresh Eating Tips, Healthy Living Quotes, Hollandia Produce Sponsorships, Lettuce Be Green, Lettuce Teach You Something, Uncategorized

Ring in the Chinese New Year with these Watercress-based Recipes

February 19, 2015 | post a comment

Watercress has long been a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine. So what better way to celebrate the world’s most nutrient dense food than to feature it in a traditional Asian Watercress Salad? And, since today is the beginning of The Chinese New Year, we thought we’d add a little goat cheese to the recipe for flavor, added protein, and, most of all, to honor The Year of the Goat.

Unknown-6Traditional Chinese recipes are integral to the Chinese New Year celebration. All family members gather together to eat these special foods throughout this festival time. Chinese Dumplings, Fish, Spring Rolls, and Nian Gao are a few samples of the traditional dishes enjoyed during this celebration. So, if you’d like to celebrate The Chinese New Year in traditional style, try this Asian Watercress Salad. Or, for a less formal gathering, also try our Upland Cress & Roast Beef Summer Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce.

Asian Watercress Salad
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp finely shredded fresh mint
1 package Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress
1 carrot, shredded                                         1768_l
1 cup bean sprouts
Goat cheese

1. Toss sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until toasted.
2. Whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, sweet chili sauce and ginger in a bowl. Add in the mint, stir to combine.
3. Place Upland Cress, carrot shreds, and bean sprouts in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the dressing over the salad and gently mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and goat cheese.

Wear your reds today, as the Chinese believe that by wearing red during New Year’s will bring you luck and ward off evil spirits. Eat your greens daily to stay healthy, combining it with goat cheese to ring in the Year of the Goat.

Labels: Uncategorized