Melissa’s Post: UNH Students Craft a “Strawberry Frappe” IPA

With the great warm weather we’ve been having, I think a lot of our brains are already springing towards SUMMER!  For this reason, I thought it would be fun to talk about UNH’s new, summery brewery creation!

This past March, UNH students in the university’s Brewing Science Laboratory program put together a new strawberry frappe IPA using strawberries grown as part of the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station’s organic strawberry breeding program and strawberry season extension research. “Strawberry Milkman” is the third brew that was created thanks to the partnership between the researchers and students at the UNH Brewing Science Lab and the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station. The new brew also includes strawberries from the TunnelBerries project, a prospective research project that aims to benefit both growers and consumers alike. New Hampshire’s strawberry season traditionally lasts only four to six weeks, during which experiment station researchers harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels for 19 consecutive weeks from mid-July through the week of Thanksgiving. They found that the low tunnels significantly increased the yield of sellable fruit, from an average of about 70% to 83%, a helpful finding for agricultural research.

Strawberry Milkman was developed by undergraduate student Tim Fischer, who says that it contains no bittering hops, but rather New Zealand aroma whirlpool and dry hops, creating more sweetness. “These sweet, cloudy IPAs are quite popular. It is made with a lot of wheat to maximize the protein content of the beer and keep it cloudy. Lactose is added as a sweetness,” states Cheryl Parker, who manages the UNH Brewing Science Lab.

Strawberry Milkman is expected to be available soon locally on-tap at Hop + Grind in Durham. You can also stay current with the newest UNH brews and releases by following the UNH Brewing Science Laboratory on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNHbrewlab.

Beer-lovers rejoice for all of the interesting, fun new brews UNH students are introducing to the area using locally-grown ingredients, and get out one of these gorgeous days to enjoy an ice-cold Strawberry Milkman!

Erika’s Post: Maple Syrup and Maple Roasted Parsnips

One thing that allows me to get through that last push of winter is the anticipation for maple syrup. Ah, the sugar shacks with the pancakes and the maple bacon, the maple glazed root vegetables, maple candies and more!
Making maple syrup is somewhat of a science and one of the most important factors for getting sap for maple syrup is temperature. Tapping trees for maple syrup usually begins in the middle of February until April when the first buds of leaves begin and when temperatures are in the 30s to 40s and when the night air still dips below freezing. They then boil down the sap to a certain consistency or down to candy over a period of time. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup!
There are differing grades for maple syrup and this is dependent on the timing of when the tree is tapped. The grading system has been updated since 2015 to better match the Canadian system where now there is no Grade B. Grade A – golden delicate taste maple syrup is light with a delicate flavor and is usually made from tappings earlier in the season when the sugar content is highest and the cooler air keeps the sap cool. The others are Grade A – rich amber taste, Grade A – dark robust taste, and Grade A – very dark strong taste. The darker it is the later and the season the sap and the more rich and nutty the flavor which is better for cooking.
Check out these farm stands at the next farmers market for your maple syrup fix or check out your local sugar shack!

Try this recipe or other in season produce with maple syrup!

Maple Roasted Parsnips
Ingredients:
Sea salt
2 pounds parsnips
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 2 tsp thyme, drizzle of bacon fat

Instructions:
Preheat to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop parsnips in boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Arrange parsnips on baking sheet and drizzle with oil and maple syrup. Roast parsnips until tender, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired and serve immediately.

Winter Vegetable Highlight and Recipe—Cabbage

Cabbage is one of the most widely available and inexpensive vegetables on the planet. It comes in many varieties and can be grown at different times in the season, which is key to popularity up here in New England, where the weather is so very unpredictable. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but cabbage is very versatile to cook with; it can be eaten raw or cooked, stuffed, baked, sautéed, chopped up into coleslaw, or stirred into hearty soups and stews. It really is only limited by your imagination, as it works well with almost any other ingredient.

Cabbage is also rich in Vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and potassium, and can last about a week in the refrigerator by itself. When you’re buying cabbage, you want to look for fresh, crisp-looking leaves, with heads that seem heavy for their size.

A friend of mine recently told me she hates cabbage and can’t seem to find any good way to prepare it, so I thought I would also add a great recipe to either warm you up to cabbage with, or maybe shake up your normal cabbage-preparing routine. Enjoy!

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples        Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red cabbage, cored, quartered, and shredded
  • 4 firm cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine

Instructions:

  1. Combine the cabbage and apples in a large bowl. Add the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Toss well.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and saute until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and apples, stir well, and add the wine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently under the cabbage is tender, about 40 minutes. Add a little water as needed to maintain a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve hot.

Source: The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook

Aimee’s Post: My First Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Market

This past weekend, I attended my first farmers market as a Seacoast Eat Local Intern, and I had so much fun! One component at the market that I loved was the smell of the broth from one of the vendors. The next day I went home and found an incredible soup recipe, and I thought what better thing to write about than how to make homemade soup, particularly in this cold weather. I also am currently fighting an illness, so luckily I had leftovers of this, and I hope it brings comfort to any of you battling illness right now. This is a recipe I found from Taste of Home, and it turned out absolutely delicious for me! Also, I would recommend visiting your next farmers market to pick up some of the ingredients for this soup!

Ingredients:  

  • 2-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups uncooked egg noodles (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

1)    Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches, skin side down; cook until dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; remove and discard skin. Discard drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons.

2)    Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Add celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 25-30 minutes.

3)    Transfer chicken to a plate. Remove soup from heat. Add noodles; let stand, covered, until noodles are tender, 20-22 minutes.

4)    Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones.

5)    Shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to stockpot. Stir in parsley and lemon juice.

6)    Adjust seasoning with salt and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove bay leaves.

(Ultimate Chicken Soup, Taste of Home.)

Melissa’s Post: Slow Roasted Shallots

I had a wonderful first experience at the winter market this past Saturday at the Exeter High School, and it was so lovely to meet with many of you that stopped by the SEL table throughout the day.

One of the very first things I noticed about the environment of the market was the wonderful smell of onions and garlic! It got me thinking about some good recipes to really highlight some of our winter vegetables. I overheard some customers at market saying that they were running out of ideas to work with cold-season gems, so I wanted to share a roasted shallots recipe with you all. This recipe is for a side dish that pairs best with game birds, steak, chicken, and turkey. I can almost smell that deliciousness from here! Enjoy!

Slow Roasted Shallots      Serves: 4

Ingredients:

·      12 shallots, peeled

·      4 cloves garlic, peeled

·      1 cup olive oil

·      4 springs thyme

·      1 tablespoon Kosher salt

·      1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 250°F

2.     Combine all ingredients into a shallow baking dish, toss to mix well.

3.     Roast, stirring occasionally, for about 1 ½ hours, or until shallots are soft, carnalized, and a deep golden brown.

4.     Discard thyme and rosemary springs and serve.

Source: The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook, Sally Ann Berk

Aimee’s Post: Harvest of the Month

Today, for my blog, I thought I would talk about a wonderful program known as “Harvest of the Month.” The goals of this program are very simple- seasonal eating, healthy diets, and supporting the local economy. The harvest for the month of February is cabbage. Despite the fact that it does not sound all that exciting, cabbage packs a wide variety of nutrients- particularly vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate! Therefore, it might be worth trying this month! A simple cabbage recipe, that is one of my personal favorites, is braised cabbage. The recipe below yields four servings, and requires the following:

Braised Cabbage  

  • 1lb cabbage (1 head)
  • 3/4 stick of butter (6 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste, any herb or spice, or even bacon!

Directions:

  1. Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch-wide ribbons and place into a wide pan with the water.
  2. Cook, covered, over medium heat until the cabbage is tender, approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the cabbage and toss with butter, salt, and pepper.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, check out how beautiful this vegetable is!

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful vegetable! 

Aimee’s Post: Joining the SEL Intern Team!

Hey everyone! My name is Aimee, I am excited to be one of Seacoast Eat Local’s new interns! This is my first time working with Seacoast Eat Local, and I am looking forward to working with a wonderful organization that puts a strong emphasis on healthy and locally sourced foods.

A little bit about my background, I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire of the Nutrition and Dietetics program. I have a dual major in Ecogastronomy, in which I study sustainable food systems and how they impact various aspects of life- including nutritionally and economically. As you can see, I devote my studies to food and sustainability.

My interest in Seacoast Eat Local stems from my desire to work in the field of community nutrition and public health. I have done some work at a local food pantry that puts an emphasis on locally grown food, and I thoroughly enjoyed this work. Through my work at this food pantry, called the Waysmeet Center, I discovered where my strongest interests regarding nutrition were and have been working to expand my experiences in it.

Before college, I grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. I often went to farms to find different vegetables with my parents and friends, and those trips were always enjoyable. I remember being interested by all the types of foods at farms and farmers markets that could not be found in our regular grocery stores (typically Hannafords or Market Basket) and I am excited to work at the farmers markets with Seacoast Eat Local and spread my excitement about food!

If anyone has anything they would like to see on this blog, do not hesitate to reach out! I hope to see you at the markets soon!

Also, this is a picture of me at one of my favorite farms! Parlee Farms, in Tyngsboro, MA, has a pick your own flowers and blueberries in the summer time! I am in their beautiful flower field, and fun fact- it was pouring in this picture!

Melissa’s Post: Back at SEL!

Hello there! My name is Melissa, and I am one of the Seacoast Eat Local interns this year. This is my second time around with SEL, having interned over this past summer at the farmer’s markets, and I’m very excited to be working in a great environment and be totally surrounded by wholesome, locally grown foods again!

I am a senior at UNH in my last semester of the Nutrition and Dietetics program, as well as a dual major in EcoGastronomy, which is the study of sustainable food systems and its impact it has socially, economically, and nutritionally. I can’t wait to graduate, and while I haven’t sorted out my exact dream job, I feel a strong pull towards community nutrition and sustainable local foods—so you could say this job is a great fit for me!

One of my favorite parts about the markets would have to be watching the young kids get all excited about being able to pick out the fruits and veggies they want at the market, and seeing them have the same excitement about picking fresh carrots as I’ve heard some little kids get excited about candy. It warms my heart as a future nutrition professional, and makes me think about how I was raised around food. I didn’t have parents who were really into it and brought me every week to help them pick out our groceries like I see many children with their parents, but instead grew up the rather “conventional way”. I grew up in Hooksett, NH, a nice town in the middle of Concord and Manchester, but spent most of my time in either Hooksett or Manchester. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Manchester market almost every weekend of the summer when I was about 11 or 12, and though the market is pretty small there, I loved everything the market had to offer, and wished I could have spent more time there. But my parents just weren’t into it, and I was pretty much only allowed to go there to grab a little snack after they picked me up from the nearby summer camp. Looking back on an adult and experiencing the market every week now, I’m so happy for all of the little kids I see running by with our wooden tokens, racing to find a bundle of carrots or rhubarb, sort of wishing I had the same up-bringing, but knowing that it only enriches the advice I will give to parents as a future dietitian, because I believe that once the children think it’s fun and are on-board with healthy eating choices, the rest of the family just sort of follows suit, and it leads to better chances of a healthy lifestyle sticking in a family over a longer period of time.

I’m looking forward to this spring with SEL to experience a spring harvest for the first time, and I’ll be sure to provide some fun, interesting blog posts in the future for recipes and nutritional information, so if you have a request in mind, don’t be a stranger! Come visit me at the Rollinsford markets, I would love to meet you and chat!

Kaidy’s Post: Pear Apple Crisp

Pears are a member of the Rosaceae plant family, along with apples, peaches, plums, cherries and an abundance of other fruits. There are many different varieties of pears, however the most commonly grown in the United States include Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc and Asian pears. Pears are in season in the seacoast area through October, however they are still available at the farmer’s markets and can be used if you have some leftover from this year’s harvest!

One pear has approximately 100 calories, 28 carbohydrates, and 5.5 grams of fiber. A pear also contains 12% vitamin C, 10% vitamin K, 7% copper and 6% potassium of the daily recommended values. Due to their high vitamin C content, pears help support a healthy immune system and help to prevent free radical damage. Pears also contain a large amount of soluble fiber, which helps to maintain blood glucose levels after eating a meal and has also been shown to decrease blood cholesterol levels.

Ever since I was little I always loved eating pears. I would always have them when I went over to my grandma’s house. She would leave them on the counter, by the window and let them ripen until they were soft and juicy and delicious. They are the perfect snack to hold you over in between meals or even for a little after dinner dessert. Below I have shared one of my favorite ways to incorporate pears into a healthier dessert dish.

Apple Pear Crisp

Apple Pear Filling

3 pears, peeled and sliced
4 apples, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Crisp Topping

1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  To a large bowl add, sliced pears, sliced apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw honey, salt, and lemon juice. Gently toss to coat all the fruit with the spices.
3.  Pour fruit mixture into 13×9″ baking dish.
4.  In medium bowl, add regular oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter.
5.  Using your hands combine the butter into the dry ingredients until everything is combined and crumbly.
6.  Sprinkle Crisp topping on top of the fruit mixture.
7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is browned.
8.  Remove from oven and serve! (optional: top with vanilla ice cream)

Kaidy’s Post: Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts!

Brussels Sprouts are part of the Brassicaceae family along with kale, cauliflower, broccoli and mustard greens. They are also referred to as a cruciferous vegetable.  This vegetable resembles mini cabbages and are usually loved or hated for their bitter taste. Brussel sprouts are in season in the seacoast area from the beginning of October through the end of December.

Brussel sprouts contain 28 calories and 2 grams of fiber per half cup serving. They also contain 137% vitamin K, 81% vitamin C, 12% vitamin A, 12% folate and 9% manganese of the daily recommended values. Brussel sprouts are also extremely high in antioxidants, especially the antioxidant kaemperfol, which has been shown to reduce cancer cell growth, ease inflammation and be beneficial for heart health. They are also high in fiber which promotes a healthy digestive track and regularity.

There are many ways to eat brussels sprouts from boiling, sautéing, steaming and my personal favorite: roasting. If you aren’t a fan of these bitter sprouts, roasting caramelizes the outside making their taste not as harsh. Adding seasonings like garlic, salt, olive oil and even a little parmesan cheese can also neutralize the taste of this cruciferous vegetable.  Below is one of my favorite recipes for roasted brussels sprouts!

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups quartered Brussels sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  •  ¼ cup reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  •  ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 8 dried Chinese red chilis
  • ½-¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons peanuts
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast until tender and slightly crisp, about 25 minutes.
  4. While the sprouts are cooking, whisk together the scallions, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, water and corn starch in a small bowl.
  5. Right before the sprouts are done cooking, heat a wok (or fry pan) over medium-high heat.
  6. Add in the chilis, ½ teaspoon red pepper and black pepper and cook until slightly toasted, stirring often.
  7.  Add in the peanuts and cook another minute until toasted.
  8.  Reduce heat to medium and add in the garlic and ginger and cook another minute.
  9. Add in the corn starch mixture.
  10.  Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add in the cooked Brussels sprouts and toss until hot and coated with the sauce.