Being a member of a CSA is a FANTASTIC way to support local agriculture, receive a weekly share of freshly picked produce, and to understand and appreciate farming in your region. It also demands a tremendous amount of creativity to eat an immense amount of leafy greens between June and November. Luckily, this simple preparation for greens never gets old…Read More
I realize that many people love autumn, but I loathe and detest fall, or as I like to call it, the sad and depressing transition to winter. I hate to see the warm sunny days of summer slip away, but there is one thing I LOVE about fall: The arrival of winter squash! Starchy and sweet, winter squash is also full of fiber, vitamin C and beta carotene that our bodies turns to vitamin A--so important for the immune system!
Winter squash make lovely side dish for dinner, or a creamy seasonal soup, but one of my favorite ways to enjoy squash is at breakfast! I hope you'll give this simple preparation a try, where warm and cool, soft and crunchy, and savory and lightly sweet come together in a nutritious start to the day.
Breakfast Squash Bowl
- 1 small acorn squash
- 1 x 6oz container of your favorite plain yogurt (dairy, non-dairy, Greek or regular without any added sugar or artificial sweetener)
- A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
- A drizzle of natural peanut or almond butter (ingredients should be the nuts and salt and nothing more)
- Toppings: Raw nuts or seeds, or a sprinkle of a good quality granola like Michele's Granola, baked with ingredients that are recognizable as food (no soy protein isolate, palm oil or hydrogenated anything) and with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
Cut the squash in half and use a spoon to remove and discard the seeds and pulp. Put the squash halves face down on a plate and microwave.* Microwave the squash for 5 minutes, turn the plate and microwave for another couple minutes, checking for done-ness by testing to see if a sharp knife will go through the peel with no resistance. Cook for additional time in increments of 1-2 minutes until the squash is done.
Fill your squash halves with the yogurt, and top with the cinnamon, nut butter and other toppings. Makes 1 serving, possibly two if you have a large squash.
* Don't love the microwave? Roast your squash the evening before on a cookie sheet!
I love shopping at summer farmers’ markets in Maryland, and judging by the crazy crowds at the market, I’m in good company. There’s one farmers’ market find in particular that my clients have questions about, and that’s corn.
There’s a misconception that corn is full of sugar and contains no nutritional benefit. Let’s dig into the truth about this whole grain (yes, like oats and wheat, corn is a whole grain, not a vegetable):
A large ear of sweet corn has less than a third of the sugar of a medium-sized apple. Fresh, local, organic corn on the cob actually offers plenty of B vitamins, like folate for hearth health, and fiber. And like other whole grains, corn has a decent source of protein, about 4-5 grams in a large ear.
Highly processed corn syrup or corn oil? Not so much.
So stick to whole corn, consider it as the whole grain on your plate, and enjoy it this summer!
Looking for a simple and delicious way to use corn with in-season summer vegetables? Give this a whirl:
Quick Corn Salad
4 medium or 3 large ears of corn, grilled, roasted or fresh; cut off the cob
A small bunch of scallions, washed well, white and green parts chopped
1-2 bell peppers of your choice, chopped into ¼ inch dice
2 big handfuls of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or cut into smaller pieces
1 – 14-oz can of beans of your choice, drained and rinsed
A couple big handfuls of shredded or finely chopped cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup plain rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Optional: 1 Tablespoon of honey
If using the honey, whisk it into the vinegar to combine well. Combine the corn and other vegetables, and poor the vinegar (or vinegar-honey mixture) over salad. Allow it to sit in the fridge at least a couple hours for the flavors to meld, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Why, a friend once asked me, would you go to a farmers' market and buy dirty, sandy produce when you can just buy it from the store? A fair question from someone who's never visited a farmers' market!Read More