Why Celeriac

Kelsey MacDonald, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

celeriac

            What is that funky, knobby looking vegetable at the market? It’s celeriac! Celeriac is a root vegetable, a cousin of your traditional celery. It’s leaves are not eaten, but have the delicious celery smell; a tease when weeding. Like its cousin, they both have a long growing season; celeriac takes about 112 days from seed to harvest. Its inner beauty has the starchiness of a potato with a delicate flavor of celery and parsley topped with a slight nuttiness. It is not watery like celery and is a great addition to other roasted or mashed root vegetables with some garlic. It is a great complement to many meats, makes a great stew for these cold winter days, can be fried (see recipe below) or can be eaten raw as snack sticks or in a salad or slaw. When cooked it is silky and smooth, and when raw its flesh is crispy.

celericpic

            Feeling adventurous and ready to try one next market? You can always find celeriac at Heron Pond Farm and sometimes other farms at the winter markets. You can pick the best one by ensuring there are no soft spots and keep in mind about one-quarter of the weight will be peeled off during preparation. You can store it in your refrigerator for two to three weeks in an unsealed produce bag. When ready to prepare it, take a thin slice off of the bottom and cut the knobbiness off of the top down to the flesh. It is best to peel the edges off using a chef or paring knife, whichever you are more comfortable with as opposed to a peeler because the skin is so thick.

 

So why celeriac?

Low calories and fat with only 42 calories per cup cooked.

It is a good source of fiber, vital for digestion.

Celeriac is highest in vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and phosphorus.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps immunity and prevents scurvy.

Vitamin K is needed for blood coagulation and calcification of bones.

Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte assisting in essential body functions.

Phosphorus is a necessary mineral for bone health.

You may not be too familiar with this unique and fun vegetable because it is not very commonly used outside of Europe and West Asia. It was commonly used in ancient European times and is most popular in France and Italy. In France, the most popular recipe is Celery Remoulade, a side dish of shredded celeriac with a mustardy mayonnaise and lemon dressing (see recipe below). Give Celeriac a try the next time you are shopping at the market!

 

 

Celery Remoulade

celery remoulade

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/04/celery-root-remoulade-celeri-rem/

  • 1 cup (240 g) mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt, plus more, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 kg) celery root
  1. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. Peel the celery root and grate it coarsely.
  3. Mix the dressing with the celery root and taste, adding additional salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice, to taste.

Note: If the salad is too thick, you can add a few spoonfuls of whole or low-fat milk to thin it out.

 

 

French Friend Celeriac

celeriac fries

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6551175

 

3 large celery roots, peeled

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 cups vegetable oil

Salt

Juice 1/2 lemon into a big pot of water and put it on to boil.

Julienne the peeled roots by using a mandoline (a device with adjustable blades) on the French-fry setting. If you don’t have a mandoline, peel the roots, cut them into 1/4-inch slices, then into 1/4-inch sticks, and put them in a bowl of acidulated water.

Add celeriac to the pot of boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and dry well.

In the same pot or a deep-fryer, heat the vegetable oil until smoking (about 350 degrees) and start deep frying in batches until golden. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Reheat in the oven before serving.

Sources:

http://www.eattheseasons.com/Archive/celery_root.htm

http://www.urbanorganicgardening.org/celery-and-celeriac.html

http://www.fao.org/wairdocs/x5403e/x5403e09.htm

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2395/2

 

 

Now Introducing: Kohlrabi

Now Introducing: Kohlrabi
Emily Whitmore, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

Pictures from Emily Whitemore, and http://www.reneesgarden.com/

Kohlrabi. What is that? Some sort of spice? A car? Wrong, it’s a vegetable! For those of you who have never heard of kohlrabi before, it’s a native to Germany and means “cabbage turnip.” As a member of the Brassica family, kohlrabi is a cabbage that looks like a root vegetable but actually grows above ground. There are purple, white, and light green varieties, all with white flesh. It is a cool-weather crop, so now is the best time to pick up fresh kohlrabi from the winter farmers’ markets!

I know you’re probably wondering what kohlrabi even tastes like. Typically the bulbs are the part that is eaten, but the stem and leaves are also edible. Kohlrabi bulbs are described as a mildly sweeter version of broccoli stems while the leaves have a similar taste profile to kale or collards. When raw, kohlrabi has a pleasantly crisp texture. For those who have never cooked with kohlrabi, the good news is that kohlrabi is a very versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. Enjoy your kohlrabi roasted, pickled, steamed, or even slaw-style!

Want to hear the best part? Not only can kohlrabi be prepared just about any way you would like, but is also a guilt free food as it comes along with an abundance of nutrients and health benefits! It is also naturally low in calories and has no fat or cholesterol. Here are a few of the many benefits:

  • Very rich in Vitamin C – eat kohlrabi to help prevent those pesky winter colds!
  • Health promoting phytochemicals that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects
  • Rich in Vitamin B6 which is important for digestive, immune, and cardiovascular function
  • Fiber which is beneficial in digestive health and lowering cholesterol levels
  • Potassium which plays a role in maintaining blood pressure and bone and muscle maintenance

Delicious AND healthy, you can’t go wrong with kohlrabi! So next time you’re snowed in (and knowing New Hampshire it won’t be long) take a break from shoveling and treat yourself to a nice warm bowl of creamy kohlrabi soup. See the recipe to this tasty dish below. Enjoy!

Creamy Kohlrabi Soup.
kohlrabisoup
Picture and Recipe from
http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/soups/r/kohlrabisoup.htm

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

PREPARATION

  1. Melt butter in a large pan with a lid. Add onions and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi and cook 2 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, milk and bay leaf to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes or until kohlrabi is tender. Let cool a few minutes and remove bay leaf.

Using an immersion blender or conventional blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. You may want to strain the soup through a fine sieve if the kohlrabi is especially fibrous. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls with hearty bread of choice.

Sources:

http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/eating-kohlrabi-good-for-you.php

http://www.thekitchn.com/kohlrabi-is-weird-heres-what-you-can-do-with-it-ingredient-spotlight-189813

http://www.gardenguides.com/130185-history-kohlrabi.html

http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/kohlrabi.html

Duck Processing Workshop, March 31st

Duck Processing Workshop
Élevage de Volailles
March 31st, 9am-3pm. Rye, NH
Register online, limited spots available (register in top right corner of workshop page)

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.52.10 AM
Some of the things you will learn:
  1. Basic approach to waterfowl processing
  2. Time honored traditions & modern techniques
  3. Working with the 3 windows for slaughtering
  4. USDA slaughtering methods & regulations
  5. Humane slaughter methods for the small farm
  6. Waxing – the purpose, benefits, & quality
  7. Packaging for a professional end product
  8. How to use Featherman Equipment effectively
  9. And much more…..

31 March 2015   9:00AM – 3:00PM
$50.00/person

Élevage de Volailles
1085 Washington Road
Rye, NH 03870-2340
(603) 964-7810

 

Getting Real With Red Velvet!

Getting Real With Red Velvet!

By Kelsey MacDonald, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

 

golden beets   3_varieties_of_beets

I love beets and all you can do with them! They are great sliced raw, shredded onto a salad, pickled, roasted, in a soup, and believe it or not sometimes in dessert. The three most common beets seen at local farmers’ markets are golden beets, Chioggia beets, and the dark red beets. The golden beets are generally quite sweet. The Chioggia or candy cane beets are mild, with less of the typical earthy flavor. While the dark red beets have the traditional earthy flavor and deep red juices. Be cautious, as these can stain easily, so gloves are preferable when preparing them.

 beet salad pics

February is traditionally a time when most think of red, love, hearts and sweet things. Beets are a great way to incorporate all of these plus are heart healthy! Their red color is very prominent, aside from the golden beets, in all beet dishes. This comes from a phytonutrient known as betaine, which gives beets anti-inflammatory benefits. As a result, beets are known to help against heart disease, preventing unwanted inflammation and helping to decrease the risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease and Type II Diabetes. Preparation of this root vegetable is a great way to show love for your body and those you are sharing your meal with as they provide many beneficial nutrients. Beets are a great source of folate, manganese, potassium, copper, and A, C, and B Complex vitamins. This powerful combination of vitamins and minerals can decrease the risk of certain birth defects, high blood pressure, and anemia, while also aiding in eye and nerve tissue health. They provide a great source of energy due to natural sugars but are naturally low in fat and calories. They are in fact one of the top sugar containing vegetables, which is why there is an entire industry built around sugar beets. Despite all this natural sugar, beets are a very healthy addition to a balanced diet due to being an excellent source of dietary fiber (3.8 gm in 1 cup of beets), and their high dose of vitamins and minerals.

A great way to incorporate these vegetables into your Valentine’s Day celebration is to try them in cupcakes. Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes that is! They incorporate the traditional chocolate while featuring the beet color without an over powering flavor. I opt for Santa Barbara Chocolate white chocolate couverture. I was able to make my own with some local ingredients from the winter market. They are delicately spongy and moist while satisfyingly sweet. These sweet endings can be made vegan and are great just the way they are or topped off with cream cheese frosting. See the recipe below.

 

red velvet cupcakes
Picture: Kelsey MacDonald

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes

Serves: 24 mini cupcakes + 3 regular sized cupcakes, or 12-14 regular sized cupcakes.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • – ¾ cup freshly puréed beets (boiled until tender, then puréed)
  • – ⅓ cup oil (I used Sunflower Oil from Coppal House Farm)
  • – 1¼ cup sugar
  • – 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • – 1¼ cup flour
  • – ¼ tsp salt
  • – 1½ tbsp natural cocoa powder (NOT dutch processed)
  • – 1½ tsp baking powder
  • – 1 cup almond milk (or other milk)

 

For the icing

  • – ¼ cup Butter
  • – 1 block cream cheese (250g)
  • – 1 to 1½ cups icing sugar
  • – a splash of vanilla extract

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the beet purée and oil until incorporated.
  3. Add sugar, vanilla extract.
  4. In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk until incorporated into the batter.
  6. Divide among cupcake liners, filling them ¾ full, and bake for 15-20 minutes (for mini cupcakes) and 20-25 minutes (for regular sized cupcakes) until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle.
  7. To make the cream cheese icing, whip together all ingredients (add the icing sugar ½ cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency)
  8. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired. The beetroot may discolor the frosting if left for too long, so if you are piping this ahead of time, do not do so more than 24 hours ahead of time.
  9. Keep the cupcakes in the fridge and let sit at room temp at least 30 minutes before serving.

http://alimentageuse.com/home/2013/06/14/natural-red-velvet-cupcakes-made-with-beets/

 

Other sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/beet.cfm

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/beets.html

Photographs:
http://wise-habits.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/3_varieties_of_beets.jpg /
http://eatboutique.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Beet-and-Apple-Salad-1.jpg
http://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/9/uploads/2013/05/Golden-Beet.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Bees! Beginner & Advanced Classes

Hive Healthy 2015 Bee School

March 7 & 14
9:00– 4:00 pm
Jerimiah Smith Grange Hall
Lee Hook Rd. Lee NH

Course will cover everything you need to know to get started in Bees including

Honey Bee Biology – their fascinating life cycle and how they do it
Hive equipment – costs, what to buy and how to assemble it. Nucs vs. Packages, locating your hive
Installing your bees
Hive Management Spring thru Fall
Beyond basics – Swarming, requeening, inspections, what can go wrong
Pests and Diseases – bee friendly practices geared toward the small scale keepers
Demos: Using the smoker, Working the hive, Moving bees, Hive tools and tips, Assembling Frames

Taught by Wendy Booth, Beekeeper 13 yrs., 2008 NH Beekeeper of the Year, past NHBA President and EAS Dir., featured on NH Chronicle and NH Magazine, NHNPR Laura Kinoy Show and regular guest speaker at local garden clubs.

 Course Books: (not included with class)
Beekeeping for Dummies
Beekeepers Handbook by Diana Samataro

Cost: $100 per person for 2 day course   Space is limited
Send payment to: Wendy Booth, 37 Swan Drive, Nottingham NH 03290
Call 603-557-7468 or email [email protected] to reserve a spot.

1/2 hour lunch break. We will show a movie during lunch if you want to BYO lunch

Also offering a Second Year Beekeeper Class on Advanced Management March 28, 2015 9AM-4PM

Bee-2-250x183

 

Hive Healthy 2015  Advanced Beekeeping Class

March 28th, 2015
9:00– 4:00 pm
Jerimiah Smith Grange Hall
Lee Hook Rd. Lee NH

Course will cover:
Re-Queening
Reversing
Laying workers
Finding the Queen
Feeding for flow & supering
Mites
Cells—to cut or not to cut
Drawing comb
Trapping Pollen and Propolis Swarming and preventing it
Catching & Making splits,
nucs and why
Tips and tricks

 Cost: $50 per person for one day course

Send payment to: Wendy Booth, 37 Swan Drive, Nottingham NH 03290
Call 603-557-7468 or email [email protected] to reserve a spot.
1/2 hour lunch break. BYO lunch
Bring your Questions and Experiences…Good or Bad!

www.HiveHealthy.com

Butternut Squash Done 6 Different Ways!

Butternut Squash Done 6 Different Ways!
Sarah Jacobson

I absolutely love winter squash! It’s warm, filling, and nutrient packed. My favorite variety lately has been delicata, because of its edible skin and ease of preparation. Yet, there are many other varieties, such as butternut that simply cannot be replaced! I find that for me it is best to cook in batches. This cuts down on cooking time, cleaning, and gives me lots of leftovers to use throughout the week or to freeze for later.

IMG_3163

 

Butternut is a classic winter squash that most people are familiar with. You will find them in abundance at fall and winter farmers’ markets. The bright yellow-orange skin is an indication that this squash is high in beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for eye health and promotes healthy skin. Butternut is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is used by the body for wound healing, gum health and also aids the body in the absorption of iron. While naturally low in calories, squash is also a dietary source of fiber, keeping your feeling full longer after eating. It is a perfect healthy addition to any meal – Try it roasted and cubed on a salad with cranberries and feta, add to your favorite stir fry rice bowl, or try it in a healthy breakfast hash!

Like most winter squash they have a thick tough outer skin. This is helpful when storing them over many months during the winter, but it can also be a task to cut through when cooking. Instead of spending time cubing and peeling, I simply cut my squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake them in their skins. Once cooked the flesh can be scooped out easily and either mashed as a side, or pureed to go in other dishes or soups. Check out the Seacoast Eat Local Pinterest page for Butternut for even more ideas!

butternut

Below I have some photos of  squash I roasted using very different spices and flavors. This was a fun way to cook the squash because I ultimately ended up with 6 different dishes, all of which were cooked at the same time and on the same pan! Talk about easy! All of the squash was cut in half, cleaned out, and drizzled with a bit of olive oil. We baked them at 375 degrees until tender. For the squash that we wanted to put “sauce” on  we scored the flesh with a fork – this helped keep the toppings in place so they could seep in as it cooked. If your squash is rolling away on your pan you can simply make a shallow, flat cut on the back side to create a flat surface.

The six varieties of seasonings are as follows (clock wise):
Sriracha & Brown Sugar
Minced Garlic, salt & pepper
Chinese 5 Spice
Ginger & Honey
Olive oil, salt & pepper
Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & vanilla

Our favorite was the maple syrup with cinnamon and nutmeg. Next time I plan to use fresh grated ginger instead of dried and just a tad bit more honey. Feel free to experiment! Squash lends itself well to spicy and savory seasonings as well as sweet.

For the Love of… Wait, What Are Those?!?

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce!
Kayla Parker, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

For the Love of… Wait, What Are Those?!?

This week at the farmer’s market as I looked around, trying to figure out my next recipe idea, I started seeing a lot of new vegetables that I was unfamiliar with. With a long list of root vegetables at the farmers market, many customers can be confused about which vegetable is which! Taking this into consideration, I decided to veer from my usual format and create a blog about some of the different types of less commonly seen vegetables. You can find all of these veggies and many more at the Winter Farmers Markets all winter long.

Rutabaga
rutabaga

I have heard of this vegetable before, however I don’t think I have ever seen it or eaten it until now. I decided to take one of these home, cut it up and roast it. It tasted was very similar to a turnip, with a little more bitterness, so I was not at all surprised when I founnd out that it is classified in the same root vegetable group as a turnip, and is actually a hybrid of a cabbage and a turnip!

Scarlet Turnip (The red ones of course)
scarlet turnip

This next vegetable, I had guessed was a radish, I was wrong! I did take some home, and  after roasting the outside was a bit spicy like a radish, but the white flesh was nice and sweet on the inside. Turnip greens can also be used in soups or sautéed in a similar fashion to beet greens.

Watermelon Radishes
watermelon radish

Okay, so these ones are the radishes! (Maybe you can understand why now I was so perplexed by all of this!) I truthfully have never seen OR heard of these before. I spoke with Andre from Heron Pond Farm, who told me that the best way to eat these is shredded into a salad or pickled. This variety is much sweeter than a normal radish.

Adirondack Blue Potatoes VS Gold Potatoes
potatoes

Now these I have tried, and heard of! I must admit, I really just wanted a good excuse to bring these home because I love potatoes, and well, they are blue! So cool right?!? I was really curious as to what the difference might be between these and other potatoes in their usage and nutrient content, something that I did have to look up. In general, the blue potatoes have a similar carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral content, but due to the dark blue color they can be higher in antioxidants!

And Voila!

Roasted adirondack blue potatoes and scarlet turnips with rosemary, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pretty, easy, quick to prepare and really nutritious!

Information from Health-care-clinic.org johnnyseeds.com healthyeating.sfgate.com

For the Love of Romanesco

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce!
Kayla Parker, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

Romanesco
Romanesco

For the Love of Romanesco!

It was the last and coldest day of the outdoor farmer’s market in Portsmouth, but if you had braved the elements, you may have noticed that with the change of weather came another slight change in crop variety. One vegetable that gained a lot of attention this weekend was the Romanesco Broccoli. I wasn’t sure what to think of this unusual light green, crowned vegetable myself, guessing that it must be some unusual type of cauliflower.

IMG_3016

Why You Should Love Romanesco Broccoli
Also called Romanesco cauliflower, this vegetable’s roots (no pun intended) can be traced back to 16th century Italy, and is a cross between the broccoli and cauliflower plant. It is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, carotene, and zinc. Zinc is a mineral that can act as an antioxidant as well as aid in immune system function. A low calorie food, with only about 25 calories per cup raw, the Romanesco has also been described as more easily digested than regular cauliflower. With a slightly nutty flavor and ability to maintain its structure when cooked, it can be used in a variety of dishes in which you might use either regular broccoli or cauliflower.
Nutrient profile from  bonduelle.org and nutritiondatsa.self.com

How to Love the Romanesco Broccoli
For my recipe I decided to treat the Romanesco like regular broccoli and toss it in a delicious pasta dish. Romanesco can also be used in soups, sautees, grilled or roasted in sections or whole.

Local roasted Romanesco tossed with pasta, chicken and tomatoes
Recipe devised from a recipe that I’ve made using regular broccoli
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 medium head of Romanesco
2 medium tomatoes
4 medium chicken breasts
½ lb whole grain pasta (I used brown rice fusilli)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut head of Romanesque into quarters and toss in 1 tbsp olive oil. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until slightly tender.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat in large pan. Cut chicken breasts into bite sized cubes and season with salt and pepper and cook in olive oil until done, about 8-10 minutes until golden brown on the outside and the internal temperature reaches 160 F. .

Dice two medium tomatoes and set aside. Grate 6 oz of cheese and set aside.

Boil pasta as directed (will vary depending on pasta used). Drain and move to a large bowl. Remove Romanesco from oven and chop into smaller pieces. Add cooked Romanesco, chicken, tomatoes and cheese into pasta and lightly toss. Serve hot.

 

 

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce! Segment 5: Pumpkins!

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce!
Kayla Parker, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

pumpkins

For the Love of Pumpkins!
With halloween coming up at the end of the month, there are pumpkins everywhere! Did you know that there was a difference between the type that you carve and the ones you can eat? I sure didn’t! Sarah from Seacoast Eat Local gave me this great, simple recipe idea, but as I set out into the market to do my shopping, she told me to make sure that I asked the farmers which one I could use to make a soup. I spotted a plethora of beautiful pumpkins over at the Riverside Farm’s tent and headed over. I told the farmer what I was looking for, and she helped me pick out a sugar pumpkin that would work for my recipe of the week.

Why You Should Love Pumpkins
Pumpkins are a delicious type of winter squash that is extremely versatile in cooking. They can be eaten sweet, as in a pie or mashed with cinnamon, or they can be made into a savory soup, like the recipe I have added below. Pumpkins are a nutrient dense vegetable, at only 30 Calories per one cup cubed, They are a good source of B vitamins, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus. They are also a very good source of vitamins A, C, E Potassium, Copper, and Manganese. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells in the body from oxidative damage by free radicals.
Nutrient profile from nutritiondata.self.com

 

How To Love a Pumpkin

soup in a pumpkin

 

Local “Soup in a Pumpkin”

Ingredients:
1 sugar pumpkin
1 qt chicken or vegetable broth
1 Leek
3-5 Cloves of garlic
Rosemary
Sage
Parsley
Salt to taste

Move wire rack in oven down far enough that the whole pumpkin will fit in. Preheat oven to 400 F

Cut off top of pumpkin and scoop out insides. (Don’t throw out the seeds, these are great for drying and roasting for a snack later!) If the stem of the pumpkin is long, cut it so that it’s no more than a ½ an inch tall to prevent it from burning. Place pumpkin on a baking pan or sheet.

Thinly slice the leek and garlic and place in bottom of the pumpkin. Add chopped rosemary, sage, and parsley

Fill pumpkin with 1 qt chicken or vegetable broth and place pumpkin top back on

Cook pumpkin for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until pumpkin feels soft. This will ultimately depend on the size of the pumpkin that you used**

Remove pumpkin from oven, scrape insides into broth, add salt to taste, and serve hot

For an alternative way to serve this delicious soup, puree the pumpkin with some of the broth. This modification was my personal favorite!

** The recipe I used said 2 hours, but I checked on mine after about one hour and 20 minutes, and as you can see, there was some browning and 1 hour would have been sufficient.
Recipe modified from Purewow.com

finished soup

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce! Segment 4: Beet Greens!

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce!
Kayla Parker, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

For the Love of Beet Greens!

beet greens
This week when I arrived at the Portsmouth Farmer’s Market, I was greeted by Sarah, my supervisor, and two huge bags of beet greens. When I asked her what was going on, Sarah informed me that her and one of the farmers had done some serious gleaning of their own. She showed me a picture of a pickup truck filled with beet greens and as my eyes grew wide she informed me that wasn’t even all of it. In fact, they had gleaned over 1,000 pounds of these leafy greens!  There was just one problem, when they went to deliver them to the local food pantries, some of them wondered how beet greens could be prepared. I knew that figuring out the answer to that question was going to be my next mission.

Why You Should Love Beet Greens
Beet greens are not typically sold by themselves, they usually just tag along with their root, the part of this vegetable that most people are familiar with consuming. It’s sad to say, but a lot of people just chop off these greens and throw them away, After reading this, I hope you will think twice about that the next time, because they are a delicious nutrient dense food that can also be used in tasty dishes along with the beets, or alone.

When you think about leafy greens, you probably don’t think about them as being a good source of protein, but they are, just ask Popeye! Beet greens are no exception to this, containing 4 grams of protein per one cup cooked, you might just start turning into a muscle bound sailor yourself. All joking aside, beet greens are also very low in calories, at just 39 per cup cooked, and contain a whole lot of vitamins and minerals. They are highest in Vitamins K, A, C,  and Riboflavin. Although Riboflavin is not a source of energy by itself, it is a B vitamin which helps the body convert the food that you eat into useful energy. Some people who complain of symptoms of chronic fatigue may actually be deficient in one or more B vitamins such as this one. As for minerals, beet greens are a very good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper. Copper is a mineral that receives little credit, but it is important in the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize iron. As expected, beet greens are also a very good source of dietary fiber.
Nutrient profile from Nutritiondata.self.com

How You Should Love Beet Greens
Because of the overabundance of beet greens this week, I decided to take a large bag of them home myself. I knew that I was not going to be able to eat them all before they went bad, I decided to put aside enough for my featured recipe and  blanch and freeze the rest so I could use them in later recipes.

Local Beet Green Salad With Beets and Feta
Serves 4

beet greens and feta

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 medium-large beets (about 3 inches in diameter) with greens
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
¾ cup walnut pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing generously with salt and pepper.

Cut green tops off beets; reserve tops. Wrap each beet individually in foil and place directly on rack in oven.

While beets are baking, cut stems off beet greens and discard stems. Wash greens. Transfer greens, with some water still clinging to leaves, to large pot. Stir over high heat until just wilted but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Transfer greens to cold water bath to cool. Squeeze out excess moisture, then chop coarsely.

Remove beets from oven after about one hour, or when tender when pierced with a fork. Peel beets while warm. Cut beets in half and slice thinly. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in ½ amount of dressing.

Transfer greens to medium bowl. Toss almonds and enough dressing to coat.

Arrange beets in center of platter. Surround with greens; sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.
Recipe modified from epicurious.com

How to Blanch and Freeze the Rest

Place a large pot of water on stove on high heat. While waiting for water to boil, prepare beet greens by cutting off stems. Prepare a bowl of cold water with ice.

When water comes to a boil, submerge beet greens and cover. Let boil for only two minutes.

When time is up, remove greens from water using a slotted or pasta spoon and immediately transfer to bowl of water and ice to stop the cooking process. Leave in cold water for two minutes, then squeeze out excess water and place on a clean towel.

Continue this process until you have blanched all the greens. Note: the boiling water may be used up to five times, after which a new pot of water should be replaced. Also, you may need to continue adding ice to the cold water bowl as water will heat up after every batch.

After excess water has been squeezed from beet greens, place them in airtight zip-loc bags and freeze for later use.
Recipe modified from epicurious.com

 

Some other links to great beet green recipes to try:

Simple side dish

Toss with pasta

Beet and beet green quiche