Strawberry Basil Popsicles

The last couple days have been very warm here on the Seacoast, so I thought I would switch it up a bit and throw together a refreshing popsicle recipe. These are so easy to make and if you don’t have popsicle molds, you can use ice trays to create little treats. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy these strawberry basil popsicles, because strawberries are in season and can be purchased at your local farmers market and from your local farmers. I can’t wait to try this recipe with watermelon or blueberries when they come in season! If you want something a little lighter and less creamy you can substitute coconut water with coconut milk and these popsicles would still be a tasty treat.

Creates: 6 popsicles

You will need:

  • Blender
  • Knife
  • Popsicle molds or Ice trays
  • Measuring cup
  • Teaspoon and tablespoon

Recipe

  • 20 Strawberries for blending, and a couple extra for garnish and design
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Directions

  1. Chop the greens off the strawberries if you prefer.
  2. Add all ingredients except extra strawberries to the blender, and blend well.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds or ice cube trays.
  4. Garnish or add design to the popsicles by cutting strawberries thin and pushing against the mold.
  5. Freeze until frozen.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Have you ever made popsicles? What is your favorite recipe?

Spices and Herbs Featuring: Stock+Spice and Heron Pond Farm

With Summer upon us, produce is plentiful and fresh herbs can be found almost everywhere. If you don’t have a small pot of your own growing in your backyard or on a windowsill, don’t worry, the farmers markets on the Seacoast have you covered. From basil to lavender and everything in between, these wonderful additions to summer dishes can be found at the markets. What you may not have known is that spices can also be found at some markets and locally too! 

Sometimes for the at home novice chef it can be confusing when to add fresh herbs or spices to a dish. Herbs are the leaves of a plant and spices are roots, barks, and seeds. An example of this is cilantro is an herb and coriander (the seeds) are a spice. Dried herbs and spices are added during cooking so that the flavor can infuse into what you are preparing, and fresh herbs are added at the end of cooking (with a few exceptions like rosemary). When substituting either in a recipe remember to use less of a dry herb or spice then a fresh herb or spice and vice versa.

Heron Pond Farm has a wonderful selection of potted fresh herbs and recently has been bringing other goodies to markets including but not limited to tomatoes, greens, and strawberries. They are located in South Hampton, New Hampshire, have a farm stand, and can be found at the Exeter, Portsmouth, and Newburyport farmers markets this summer. They farm in all four seasons and grow over 250 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. 

Stock+Spice is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire next to the Black Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, and can be found at some farmers markets including Exeter, New Hampshire through out the summer. The company was created by Chef Evan Mallett and Denise Mallett, the owners of the Black Trumpet Restaurant & Bar in Portsmouth, and is owned by Paula Sullivan, a long-time employee of the restaurant. Both spices and bone broths are sold, and there is also a great variety of Black Trumpet spice blends that all sound delicious.  Stock+Spice offers demonstration cooking classes and recipes using their products, more information can be found on their website

What are your favorite herbs and spices? Let us know in the comments.

Summer Cool Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are finally at market, and let’s just say I’m excited! This recipe is so easy to throw together on a busy day, and is super refreshing when the weather is getting warmer. It can be modified to meet your taste and desires so feel free to change it up how you see fit.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients

Tahini Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Cucumber Salad

  • 2 medium/large cucumbers
  • ½ medium red onion
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Mint for garnish
  • Hemp seeds to top

 

Directions

  1. In a bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Run a fork down the length of the cucumber with medium pressure until you reach the base and repeat around the entire cucumber.
  3. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife slice the cucumber into thin slices ( I used the 3/16” setting on the mandolin).
  4. Repeat step 3 for ½ medium red onion and chop slices in half.
  5. Add olives and mint.
  6. Garnish with mint and top with hemp seeds.
  7. You can also add feta cheese if you desire.

 

Storage: This can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days, to refresh squeeze a little lemon juice over the top and mix well.

Spotlight: Cucumbers are in season May through August.

Do you have a favorite cucumber salad or summer recipe? Please share in the comments.

Photo taken at Portsmouth Farmers Market of Riverside Farm’s cucumbers.

Volunteer Gleaners needed for summertime farmers’ markets!

lettuceHappy June! Gleaning has begun at the summertime farmers’ markets and Seacoast Eat Local is looking for volunteers to help collect fresh produce from our generous farmers at the end of the market day.

We are looking for volunteers to commit to a month (or longer, up to the entire season) of gleaning at a particular farmers’ market. This entails coming to market (and it can be a market you already attend so you can do your shopping and volunteer all in one trip), walking around the market near closing time and asking vendors for donations (they are expecting this). We then inventory what is collected for donation, and deliver it to a food pantry (we can suggest one or you can choose!).

Please email Shelly if you have any questions, or to signup for any of the following markets:

Durham: 5:30pm Mondays, June-September
Dover: 5:30pm Wednesdays, June-September
Rochester: 5:30pm Tuesdays, June-September
Somersworth: 5:30pm Mondays, June-September
Exeter: 5:30pm Thursdays, June-October
Portsmouth: 12:30pm Saturdays, June-October
Kittery: 1:30pm Sundays, June-September

The time listed is the approximate time you would need to be at market by to glean before closing. This is a great learning experience for children as well, so feel free to bring yours along!

Thanks for ALL your help and we look forward to seeing you at markets!

Shelly
[email protected]

Jill Hall and Shelly Smith

Top 10 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers’ Market

By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

Tomatoes by Caitlin Porter

 

1. Fresh produce that is in season

Produce that is in season has better flavor, as well as more nutrition. Farmers’ markets carry a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak ripeness.

2. Varieties not at the grocery store

Certain types of fruits and vegetables that you see at that farmers’ market aren’t always on the grocery store shelves. Expand your horizons!

3. Farmers have great tips on how to prepare

Farmers’ often have great recipes and ideas on how to prepare vegetables that may seem unfamiliar.

Turnips, photo by Caitlin Porter

4. Use your SNAP benefits!

With the acceptance of EBT cards, now everyone can appreciate what the market has to offer. With our Market Match program, as well as Close the Gap starting this week on the 24th, we help make the market cost effective.

 

5. Fresh produce is high in antioxidants

Antioxidants are your body’s defense against cancer and damage. Local fruits and vegetables have higher levels since they are much more fresh.

 

6. High variety of fruits and vegetables

Different colors and types of produce means a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy diet.

Wake Robin Farm vegetables, photo by Caitlin Porter

7. Fun family activity

People of all ages love to stroll around the farmers’ market. It is a great way to get outside and spend some time with the family.

 

8. Eco-friendly

Local food means less shipping and packaging waste, using commercial rubbish removal service will help protect our environment.

 

9. Support local farmers

Local farmers often only receive a very small percentage of the cost as profit. By shopping directly from the farmers you improve the profit to keep local farms alive.

 

 10Better animal treatment

Meat, eggs, and milk at the market come from farms where the animals are allowed to roam freely, fed the highest quality diet, and given a much better life than the companies that mass produce these products

cow

 

Sources:

Cuesa’s 10 reasons to support farmers markets
Nutrition.gov farmers markets
USDA farmers markets
Mother Earth Living top 1o

SNAP comes to the Durham Farmers’ Market!

by Dyanna Smith, Seacoast Growers Association (SGA)

Happy Shoppers at the Durham Farmers' Market at the Churchill Rink lot in Jackson Landing
Happy Shoppers at the Durham Farmers’ Market at the Churchill Rink lot in Jackson Landing

Get ready for the freshest local produce, prepared foods and beautiful handmade goods to return in June with the start of the Seacoast Growers Association’s Durham and Dover Farmers’ Markets.

Monday, June 1, the Durham Farmers’ Market opens in its location at Jackson Landing across from Churchill Rink. The market will run every Monday, rain or shine, from 2:15-6pm until October 5.

Wednesday, June 3, the Dover Farmers’ Market starts up again in the Chamber of Commerce lot at the corner of Central Avenue and 6th Street. The Dover Farmers’ Market will be open every Wednesday from 2:15-6pm until October 7.

This season, Seacoast Eat Local adds SNAP/EBT services to the Seacoast Growers’ Association’s Durham Farmers’ Market. The program, enables low income customers to use their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits to buy locally grown foods directly from the farmers and food producers at the farmers markets.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Seacoast Growers Association to bring our SNAP/EBT farmers market program to the Durham market this summer,” Sara Zoe Patterson, Board Chair for Seacoast Eat Local, explains. “Our community’s health is improved when customers buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and it benefits the economic viability of local farms.”

Farm fresh asparagus is in season now at the Seacoast Growers Association markets
Farm fresh asparagus is in season now at the Seacoast Growers Association markets

Market customers can also take advantage of the debit service, which acts like an onsite ATM, adding another layer of convenience to the farmers’ market experience.

Find out what’s in season, who will be at market, and what products are available by visiting the SGA website at www.seacoastgrowers.org. Interactive market maps and a product search feature help plan ahead for weekly shopping. To find out about musical guests and special events, check out the home page calendar or sign up to receive the weekly farmers’ market email newsletter.

The Seacoast Growers Association manages four area outdoor farmers’ markets in Portsmouth, Exeter, Durham and Dover. All markets welcome SNAP/EBT customers.

Maine Scale Sealing (Certification) with State Inspector, April 28

Scale Sealing (Certification) with State Inspector
Location: McDougal Orchards, 201 Hanson Ridge Rd., Springvale, ME 04083
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Time: 8 am – 11 am (possibly to noon, if needed)

Michael Caldero of the Maine State office of Weights and Measures will certify the accuracy of your scales at this event. Please RSVP to McDougal Orchards, 324-5054, or [email protected], to indicate when you can arrive with your scale(s.) Be sure to have your scale calibrated ahead of time; the inspector certifies the accuracy of the scale, but doesn’t do calibrations.

March is National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month®!
Written by Emily Whitmore, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

National Nutrition Month® is a national campaign that aims to educate and provide awareness to the public on the importance of nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. It was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which is the leading organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy was founded by a group of women during World War I as a way to keep track of government food. Today, the organization has expanded to 75,000 members ranging from a variety of professionals including Registered Dietitians, Nutritionists and even students, all dedicated to promoting good health throughout our country.

The academy named “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” as the overlying theme of 2015’s National Nutrition Month®. This returns to the concept of combining physical activity and making informed, lower calorie food choices to reduce the risk of chronic disease, maintain a healthy body weight and promote overall health.

Two food groups that are nutrient dense and support Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle are fruits and vegetables. The farmers’ market has some fruit and a HUGE variety of vegetables available ranging from greens, carrots, potatoes, kohlrabi, beets, apples and much more!

 veggis

If you’re trying to determine what types of nutrients are contained in each fruit or vegetable, a helpful hint is in the color! Those that are alike in color often contain similar nutrient profiles. Here are some of the nutrients that may be found in each:

Pink/Red (beets, radishes, red bell peppers, tomatoes, apples)

  • Beta-carotene
  • Phytochemicals
  • Lycopene
  • Anthocyanin

Orange (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash)

  • Beta carotene
  • Vitamin C

Yellow (yellow bell peppers, squash)

  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin A

Green (kale, spinach, micro-greens)

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins A, C, K
  • Folate

Purple (eggplant, purple cabbage, purple carrots)

  • Flavanoids

White (cauliflower, potatoes, onions)

  • Lignans

 

Another goal of Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle is to increase the consumption of whole grains versus refined grains. The market provides whole grain options such as bread and pastas from The Canterbury Bread Shop and Valicenti Pasta!

Fresh pastas made with whole grains
Fresh pastas made with whole grains

Other whole grains you may find include locally grown wheat berries and Brookford Farm whole-wheat flour. All whole grain options are high in fiber and may help reduce risk of heart disease.

 

Whole grains are part of healthy well-rounded diet
Whole grains are part of healthy well-rounded diet

Healthy protein sources are also an important component of eating a healthy balanced diet. There are a huge variety of lean proteins available at the winter market such as grass-fed or pastured meats including beef, bison, lamb and chicken. Beans, lentils, cheese and eggs are also excellent protein sources that can be found at the market.

So jump into National Nutrition Month® by stocking up on your favorite fruit, vegetables, whole grains and protein from the next Seacoast Eat Local Winter Market!

For more information or interactive games and quizzes, check out the official website for National Nutrition Month® at www.nationalnutritionmonth.org

 

Photo Credits:
https://www.healthtap.com/topics/vegetables-fruits-cure-lupus-broccoli
http://gimmiespaghetti.com
http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-quinoa/

Sources:
http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/colors-vegetables-nutrients-2311.html
http://www.eatright.org
http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us

Grass-fed Meats Offered at the Winter Farmers’ Markets

Written by Emily Whitmore
Seacoast Eat Local Intern                           

 Untitled

The Seacoast Eat Local farmers’ markets are loaded with many varieties of high quality protein, including grass-fed meats. Protein is an essential part of our diet and is a vital nutrient used to build and repair tissues in the body. When we think of protein, a few sources that typically come to mind include beef, pork, fish and poultry. There are many different management methods when it comes to raising livestock, and today we will discuss the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed meats.

Grass-fed meats, whether beef, bison, or elk are jam packed with flavor. But the difference between grass-fed and corn-fed meats go well beyond taste profiles. Since childhood we’ve been taught that eating lots of greens can be very beneficial for our health, and this holds true for livestock as well! Cows are ruminants and herbivores, who thrive on high quality pasture and hay. One hundred percent grass-fed meats come from livestock that consumed only grass from beginning to end, with no corn or grain supplement at any point during their growth.

http://www.crossfittsac.com/archives/1734 and
http://www.crossfittsac.com/archives/1734 and

This grass-only diet is reflected in the meat which is considered lean, and is lower in total fat and calories. Saturated fats are of particular concern when consuming meats because they can raise cholesterol levels which can increase risk of heart disease. However, grassfed meats are lower in these saturated fats when compared to grain-fed livestock. Grassfed meats have also been shown to contain a higher content of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a fatty acid that has been shown to have cancer prevention benefits. Grass-fed meats are also higher in omega-3s, which are fatty acids that decrease triglyceride levels in the blood and have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Another health benefit includes higher amounts of essential vitamins A and E. These vitamins are necessary in vision health, growth and development, and heart and brain disease prevention. Despite the health benefits, making sure to stick to healthy serving sizes of protein is essential for good health. The recommended portion sizes for lean meat, poultry and fish according to the American Heart Association is 3 oz.

http://rampages.us/evonut/2014/10/12/grass-fed-beef-from-a-small-local-farm/
http://rampages.us/evonut/2014/10/12/grass-fed-beef-from-a-small-local-farm/

 

Not only does grassfed meat prove to be beneficial for eaters, but in general the livestock benefit as well. By definition, grass-fed livestock have to have access to pasture and open spaces, meaning that they are not confined to small, overcrowded feedlots. As a result they can experience less stress, which can lead to reduced amounts of disease.

Now that you’re an expert on grassfed meats, pick some up for yourself from the Bison Project, New Roots Farm or Velvet Pastures Elk Ranch at this week’s Pick Your Protein Market! And even if meat isn’t your thing, don’t panic! The market also has plenty vegetarian sources of protein available such as eggs, beans and lentils. Come support our farmers and snag some beans or soybeans from Baer’s Best Farm and some free-range eggs from White Cedar or White Gate Farms!

 

Sources:

http://www.mercola.com/beef/cla.html

http://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/grass-fed-natural-beef.asp

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/Replenish/WhatisaServing/What-is-a-Serving_UCM_301838_Article.jsp

http://www.sustainabletable.org/260/animal-feed

Help share the harvest!

veggies

This holiday season, make a donation to help seacoast farmers share the harvest with neighbors in need! Join our Locally Drive Food Drive!

Participating Seacoast Farms have pledged to match produce in-kind for all all funds raised.

This means that every dollar raised goes directly to a local farmer, who in-turn will donate TWICE that value in fresh, healthy produce to a local food pantry.

Seacoast Eat Local will collect the produce at the Winter Farmers’ Markets in Rollinsford and Exeter.

Many participating farms are already donating high quality produce to local food pantries and soup kitchens. This fundraiser provides a direct way of giving something back to the farms for the good hard work that is already happening…and providing incentive for EVEN MORE fresh, healthy food going to people in need.

Donate online or directly at the market. Our next markets in Rollinsford are on Saturday Dec. 6th and 20th. The next Exeter market is Saturday Dec. 13. Visit our Winter Market site for details. Be sure to stop by the Seacoast Eat Local Market Information Table to find out more.