Tag Archives: dessert

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.

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Reports from Local-Food Celebrations this past Weekend

17 Sep

Nancy, our Finance and HR Manager, had a great time working at the NOFA-NY table at last weekend’s Greentopia EcoFest here in Rochester.  Here’s her summary:

We had a great day speaking to many Greentopia folks – and many people were interested in our support of organic farmers.  We handed out many of our fall newsletters and discussed the Locavore challenge to promote the purchase of locally grown food – yet another way to support New York state farmers and producers!

Speaking of Locavore- –the “food court” for Greentopia was filled with LOCAL foodies.  All of the food provided through these vendors met the Locavore Challenge – plus had to provide biodegradeable packaging to help lower the trash footprint left by the event.  Greentopia EcoFest integrated many industries focused on sustainable practices, so it went beyond food.  Information ranged from utilizing recycled or upcycled materials, alternative energy vehicles, methods for heating and cooling, as well as overall focus on biodegradable or no-waste generating products.

Megan, who came to EcoFest with Nancy, took a break in the middle of the food court to hula hoop. Looks like that potato farmer was entertained.

Rachel was able to be a guest at a farmer-forward event in Branchport, NY.  Stacey and John Grabski have been hosting their “Big Cook” event for 14 years now, and in the past few years they’ve held a dessert contest that benefits NOFA-NY.  Entrants paid a small amount and had their desserts judged (this year Rachel was one of four expert judges, and she used her vote to sway towards Locavore or seasonal-inspired entries).  Winners received a NOFA-NY Locavore goodie bag (thanks to many of our sponsors who donated their products), but NOFA-NY really won this one, receiving a generous donation from all the entrants plus the chance to expose even more people to their work and the Locavore lifestyle.  Aside from dessert, there was a very long buffet line that featured so many different local meats (including bison), corn and potatoes.  Wine and beer from the region were also served, and clearly this was the place to be if you were at all connected to farming at the northern end of Keuka lake.  The event also supports the local FFA with an auction–it got pretty rowdy.  It’s truly amazing how a single family with a great idea can effect change in their local farming scene.

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