Tag Archives: beets

Honey, you’re so versatile.

18 Sep

Here at NOFA-NY HQ, we’ve discovered the joys of maple and honey in more than traditional oatmeal-sweetening or cookie-enhancing applications.  Last year, Rachel posted a bit about the ways to convert recipes to use just these local sweeteners.  Today, in honor of Rosh Hashana (and all that honey you might have left over from celebrations) and our food of the day (along with maple syrup) being honey, we wanted to pass along our secrets for honey and maple syrup.

First off, use honey (and maple) as more than replacements for sugar–use them as a recipe “wow” factors.  It’s true, honey goes with vegetables.  Stephanie, our Admin Assistant, is known at staff potlucks for her eggplant fritters drizzled with honey.  Rachel, Beginning Farmer Program Coordinator, loves to add some honey into tomato sauces and soups.  The stronger the honey (go for buckwheat or a dark fall flower varietal, with their robust undertones).  Salad dressings and mustardy sandwich spreads are certainly enhanced by lighter honeys.  Honey and pungent herbs are also fantastic teamed up as a root vegetable glaze.  Try this: chop thick chunks of carrots and beets, then add them to enough simmering water to cover the bottom of a saucepan.  Steam/simmer the veggies until about halfway softened, then add in sprigs of thyme, rosemary or sage and a spoon or two of honey.  Stir to dissolve the honey and heat on low for a bit until the water and honey have created a glaze over the vegetables.  Remove the herbs before serving, and dish up hot, room temp or chilled!

Buckwheat, the nectar of which creates some really potent honey, thanks to bees.

Since we can’t totally leave out a maple syrup secret, we’ll remind you of the virtue of a maple-dairy-bitter/salty combination.  Here are two: a maple cafe au lait or salty maple morning cereal.  For the coffee, just add a teaspoon of good local 100% pure maple syrup into a 3/4-full cup of hot coffee, add warmed milk and stir up for a decadent treat.  If you think salted caramel is just fantastic, apply the sweet-salt principle with maple.  Drizzle some syrup over ice cream with a pinch of sea or flake salt.  OR do what Rachel does: add extra salt to your morning hot cereal and stir in some maple syrup and plain yogurt–homemade if you’re into that sort of thing.  For anyone who exercises regularly and doesn’t get enough salt, this is a great way to help with that electrolyte balance.  The salty-sweet creamy porridge seems like dessert, though it’s actually a high-fiber, whole-grain and highly filling breakfast.  The thing to remember with maple syrup is that a little goes a long way–so you may end up consuming fewer grams of sugar for a bigger flavor/sweet payout.

Maple sugaring taps. It’s a long journey from tree to coffee, but there just is no shortcut or substitute for the amber-colored perfection.

Advertisements

Loca Mom Goes Locavore

22 Sep

My name is Kristina and I work in the NOFA-NY office supporting CSA education and outreach and helping to develop our programming in food access – making the organic products of our member producers more accessible to all.  It’s exciting, and challenging, work.

I am also the mother of a 1 year old.  I can definitely say that too, is exciting and challenging work!  Baby N.  took her own sweet time deciding to eat and is just at the beginning of her career as an consumer of solid foods but, she’s on her way.  She enjoys raw beans, tomatoes, and carrots from the garden.  As we have been introducing more solids into N’s diet  I, like many nutrition conscious, organic gardening, hyper-busy, and foodie parents –  decided  I wanted to make my own babyfood.  The Locavore Challenge seemed like the perfect time to work with what’s in the backyard: organic produce at the peak of freshness.    I developed a couple of recipes that Baby seems to love, and I will copy them below.

In the interest of truthfulness, however, I should preface the recipes with a disclaimer.  Even though I, myself, signed up for the month-long locavore challenge — I find myself, all too often, eating Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Saltines that I’ve picked up off the floor or mashed into her carseat.  A substantial amount of my food intake is her drops, cast-offs, and rejects.  I have increased my own intake of rice cereal, prunes and oatmeal, and the aforementioned Goldfish, substantially.  Consequently, there is another advantage to preparing food for her from local, organic produce:  my own diet will improve as well!

Here are the recipes:

Golden Garlicky Mashed Potatoes;

2 Yukon Gold Potatoes (Peacework farm / GVOCSA)
½ clove crushed Garlic (backyard garden or Peacework farm / GVOCSA).
2 Tbs Plain whole milk yogurt (I make my own)
Tofu, cubed (Soyboy , Rochster)
Handful Spinach (backyard garden)
Organic Flax Seed Oil (NOT LOCAL)
Red Star Nutritional Yeast Flakes (Oakland, CA – NOT LOCAL!)

Cut the potato into ¼ inch cubes.  Boil or steam the potato until very soft.  Just before the potato is done, throw in the spinach so it cooks until soft (mashable).

Strain potato-spinach mixture and put into metal bowl.  Mash with a potato masher or big fork.

Add tofu and continue to mash

Stir in yogurt, flax seed oil, garlic, and nutritional yeast.  The color of the mixture should be warm golden yellow (with green threads).  Use your own sense of your baby to adjust the texture (more or less chunks).  I add a “little” salt to taste.

Baby N loves this dish.  At first she spit all the skins out.  As she’s been learning to eat – she eats the skins of the potato, too!  It’s really tasty – I certainly don’t mind cleaning the bowl with my fingers!

Blended Beets with Yogurt and Dill (easy to make messy to eat!)

This is simple:  steam or boil the beets until very soft.  Mash with yogurt 2 small or one large beet – cubed (backyard garden)
dill weed (backyard garden)
Yogurt (make my own or 7 Stars)
and dill to taste.  You can add cottage cheese if you can find it locally.

Serve.  Watch out, the beet color gets everywhere! (See photo left.)

All done!

Locavore Challenge Month is almost done.  I’m hoping that these and other experiments in home-made local food will continue.  Though I trust they will be supplemented by a steady stream of Goldfish and Saltines.

%d bloggers like this: