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New to Juicing? – 5 things you need to know

stockvault-lemon-juice130752Juicing seems to be the latest trend going around but really it has been popular in the health and fitness circles for decades. Here's 5 things you need to know:

1. There’s room for debate.

Fans of green juicing, or juicing raw vegetables, say that you can drink more vegetables than you can eat, and that juicing allows your body to more easily absorb the vitamins and antioxidants extracted from fresh produce. Juicing has been credited with alleviating everything from skin diseases and immune disorders to cancer and high blood pressure.

But skeptics claim that the detox and cleansing benefits attributed to juicing may be more psychological than physical. There’s also a lack of scientific evidence that proves that juicing your vegetables is significantly healthier than just eating them. If you’re not eating enough vegetables, drinking them might be one way to up your intake. The bottom line is, juicing certainly can’t hurt.

2. Your digestive system will thank you.

Juicing proponents believe that your digestive system can function more efficiently when drinking raw vegetables. Although you lose the benefits of consuming fiber when drinking your produce, it takes less energy to digest food in liquid form. Heating and cooking vegetables also reduces or destroys some of their enzyme content, which some say can impede digestion. With juicing, it’s believed that these food enzymes are not only preserved, but your digestive system also gets a “rest.”

If you juice for enzymes, you might also believe that the right food combinations can help with digestion. Food combiners believe that eating a protein like meat or cheese, which requires one type of enzyme to be digested, with a carbohydrate, which requires another kind of digestive enzyme, can result in bloating and indigestion. When you juice, you only eat one type of food at a time, so digestion is speedier.

3. Moderation is key.

Despite what some raw foodists and “juicearians” might say, it’s not best to live on juice alone. A juice fast, in which one consumes only juice and no solid food for a day or more, can have healthy benefits, but it’s not entirely necessary. Drinking green juice can still have healing effects when combined with a regular, healthy diet.

For best results, drink green juice on an empty stomach, and make sure it’s as fresh as possible. More extreme measures, like the lemonade-and maple syrup-only Master Cleanse, or juice fasting as a quick-and-easy weight loss method, are not recommended.

4. Not all juices are created equal.

You can get your green juice at a juice bar, health food store or through a delivery service, but be wary of bottled and pasteurized juices. And read the labels carefully: Too much fruit or fruit concentrate can increase the sugar level, and heating and processing can lessen nutritional value.

Buying a home juicer and doing it yourself can pay off in the long run, although the juicer you buy might also make a difference. Centrifugal juicers, which grind and strain produce at high speeds, are the most affordable machines, but also less efficient – some say the high speed generates heat, and decreases the amount of enzymes in the resulting juice. Masticating juicers “chew” produce and can make more juice out of the same amount of vegetables, while triturating juicers, the most expensive and efficient option, “press” produce and retain more nutrients.

While juicers extract only juice from produce and remove the fiber, blenders retain all of the content by simply mashing everything together. Fiber aside, the blender versus juicer debate might come down to a matter of taste: drinking celery juice mixed with carrot juice will probably taste better than drinking a celery and carrot smoothie.

5. The possibilities are endless.

If you make your own juice, experiment with combining different kinds of fruits and vegetables for taste and nutrition. Popular combinations include mixing leafy vegetables like spinach or kale with celery or cucumber, and adding beet, carrot or apple for sweetness.

Adapted from: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/juicing/10814/

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I am your ingredients farmer

20110204-FAT SICK and NEARLY DEAD

After watching the DVD Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, I went to the “Extras” section and watched a few of the deleted scenes. There were some great farm interviews that didn’t make the cut and also a section on “How to Shop” from Harvard Nutritionist, Stacy Kennedy. 

One of the most memorable or significant messages she was driving home was to buy ingredients when you shop, not food. Now, most everything at the grocery store is technically food. However, what Stacy would call food is that which comes in a box or jar, whereas ingredients would be those things which are unprocessed or unpackaged. So, her emphasis was to just buy ingredients. For the last 15 years, we, at Klesick Family Farm, have been supplying families with ingredients—ultra fresh and organically grown ingredients. 

Another observation was that our shopping should not be in the middle of the grocery store. That makes sense. After all, that is where all the sugary drinks, the sugary cereals and the processed other foods are merchandised. Most ingredients are located on the perimeter where you find the produce, meat, and deli departments. 

One additional suggestion I would have would be to bring a shopping list to the grocery store and stick to it. Those end cap displays are there for a reason—because the stuff being merchandised there sells really well. But, if those items are not on your list, keep moving. Shopping at the grocery store can be like going to war with yourself. Most of the products being offered are not healthy or processed and it can take an incredible amount of will power to come through the checkout without extra stuff. Of course, if you shop at one of the natural food stores, the potential for damage is less, but those places sell a lot food too.

Ironically, because you receive a “box of good” you actually save money on your food bill, because you don’t have to fight with your will power at the grocery store as often. You are also getting a lot of great ingredients to keep you and your family healthy, conveniently delivered right to your door.

As a company, 95% of our sales are ingredients and all of those ingredients come from farms committed to raising food that respects the earth, the farm workers and the consumer. Which means every time you get your “box of good” two messages are sent: one to your body that you care about it and the other to the good food community saying, “Keep it up!”

Let’s keep working together to improve your health and the health of the world–one bite at a time.

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Juice Revolution!

A simple 3-day juice cleanse – a time to detox and reboot your body!

While we don’t recommend replacing your meals long-term with juices, a short stint of juicing can really make for a fresh start or a reboot when you’re feeling sluggish or bloated. Post-cleanse, we like to supplement a healthy diet with fresh juice, simply because it’s so refreshing! When you are done with the 3-day Juice Revolution cleanse, you’ll want to go directly to eating clean, fresh, whole foods for the next couple of days. Plan to follow up your cleanse with plenty of rejuvenating soups, salads, and fresh fruit (smoothies are great for this part). A juice cleanse can be a fantastic way to kick food cravings. 

You will need:

• A juicer

• Lots of organic fruits & veggies

• A positive  attitude

Get Started:

• Order your Juice Cleanse Box and included recipe plan here!

Reboot your health with this incredibly beneficial juice cleanse!

1. Feel better: Fresh juice is brimming with live enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamins! This is the stuff that nourishes your body, encourages cell renewal, and promotes energy and vitality. During fasting, the body burns up and excretes huge amounts of accumulated wastes and toxins. Once these have been disposed of, you will feel refreshed and renewed.

2. Get more vitamins: Juicing unleashes the vitamins present in whole, raw fruits and vegetables. A high-speed juicer breaks down the cell membrane walls of the plants, allowing your body to quickly absorb more vitamins and nutrients. Juicing gives you a quick hit of vitamins from the best source on earth: plants.

3. Get more veggies: You and every health expert in the world agree that you need your veggies. But, do you really eat enough? And, what about the really healthy stuff like dark leafy greens or beets? Juicing is an easy (and tasty) way to incorporate a variety of low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetables into your daily routine.

4. Look better: Your skin will look and feel hydrated and you will likely even lose a few  pounds.

* A juice cleanse is not for everyone. Consult your doctor to be sure a juice cleanse is right for you.*

Check out what’s in our Juice Cleanse box here.

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Sweet Apple Walnut Kale

Using this braising method a variety of tastes can be created by simply changing the braising liquid. Here the hearty taste of kale is nicely balanced with sweet flavors and the toasted walnuts give texture to the cooked greens.

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch kale
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
1/2 apple, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon tamari
2 teaspoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar

PREPARATION

Pull away the kale leaves from the stems before washing. Wash greens carefully. An easy way is to fill your sink with cold water and submerge the greens. If the water has sediment, drain the sink and repeat. Tear leaves into bite size pieces.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add apples and walnuts and sauté for a few minutes. Sprinkle unrefined cane sugar over the apples and walnuts and stir so that it evenly coats. When apples are softened, add kale leaves and sauté over medium heat until leaves begin to turn brilliant green.

Combine juice and tamari. Pour into pan. Cover tightly. Cook until leaves are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste to check for doneness; greens should be tasty, not bitter; still green, not grey. Dress with vinegar before serving.

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes    Makes 4 servings

Thank you Leisha for sharing this great recipe with us! This recipe is from "Feeding The Whole Family" by Cynthia Lair who teaches the whole foods cooking program at Bastyr.  

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Come on out and Join Us!

Spend an enjoyable and opportune evening connecting with those who grow, produce, and source the food you eat—from our farms to your table. Meet some of the stewards of our land, whose hands work the soil with care to provide our communities and future generations with wholesome food. Get to know some of our vendors, who take this wholesome food and masterfully craft it into healthy products for our families. Visit with the Klesick Family Farm team and discover the fun group of people behind your box of good. You will come away connected—it will no longer be just food, but you will remember the smiles and warm handshakes of those who share your care for our land and our food.

Event Schedule ~ “An Evening with Your Farmers”

6:45 Doors Open
Organic Hors d’oeuvres:  Sliced Seasonal Fruit and Berries, Apple Blossom Honey and Raspberry Whipped Yogurt Mousse, Bruschetta and Flat Bread Station, Served with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a Variety of Toasted Flat Breads, Specialty toppings include: Roasted Pepper Hummus, Roasted Garlic and Tomato, Boursin Cheese, Olive Tapenade
Selection of Organic Wine, Beer and Ciders 
Visit with Your Growers
Photo Slide Show
 
7:15 Welcome ~ Tristan Klesick
Farmer Introductions
The KFF Team: The people behind your box of good 
Door Prizes
 
7:45 Guest Speaker ~ Jon Scholl, President, American Farmland Trust
The American Farm Bill and Conservation
Assortment of Mini Desserts from Essential Baking Company
 
8:15 Ken Akopiantz, Horse Drawn Produce Lopez Island
GMO Free San Juans, A Victory for Farmers
 
8:25 pm Assorted Mini Dessert Samplers – Essential Bakery
More Farmer Introductions
Door prizes
Farmer Connections
 
9:30 Farewell
 
Further Event Details:
Saturday, February 2nd 
7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
 
Comcast Arena at Everett
in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center, Ballroom 1
2000 Hewitt Ave, 
Everett, WA 98201
 
Adults only; Business/informal attire; $30 per person; Place your reservation online, under the Non-Food category on our Products page, or by giving our office a call.
 
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This Year, Chestnuts

Joelle’s family has had stately old chestnut trees as a part of their landscape for years. When we moved to our current farm in 2003, we planted a few offshoots from these trees. Our farm also has three magnificent old walnut trees. Trees like these are planted for the next generations. Based on photos of our farm, our walnut trees were planted in the 1940s. It must have been a trend because many of the farms near us have similar-sized English walnuts trees.
 
When Joelle and I attended the Great Lakes Ag Expo last December, we happened upon an MSU chestnut bulletin expounding the benefits for farmers to plant chestnuts. And since we already had the chestnut connect  ion with Joelle’s family, we decided to add chestnuts. Now, next to our apples, plums, and pears, there are 16 Basalta #3 and 3 Marival chestnut trees. Hopefully, we will see our first chestnuts in 2015, with strong production in 2017. But unlike the chestnut trees of old, these will be maintained to a height of 20 feet, instead of 60 or 70 feet. 
 
Planting trees is exciting. The very act of planting an orchard is a statement of optimism for today and the future. While I was planting the trees with Nathan (Nathan helps out on our farm and other farms, and is the son of Mike who works in our office), we started talking about how the farm has changed over the last 10 years. I commented, “Maybe this will be my last major change or addition for a few years.” Nathan, with a Cheshire cat grin, wilily retorted, “I haven’t seen it yet.”
 
Alas, I must concede he is right. I am such a dreamer and I love to grow food. You see, the winter time is a dangerous time for farmers because now we have time to dream, and the dreaming turns to planning, and planning becomes chestnuts or greenhouse tomatoes or late summer strawberries.
 
Regardless of my dreaming, there is a real need for healthy farm-fresh food choices and that need is greater than ever today.
 
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Ode to Greek Yogurt!

Now that the holidays are over—although the tree is still up, empty boxes scatter the floor and I still pine for eggnog—I suppose it's time to start thinking about resuming the healthier eating habits that I once upheld. I do hate to be so cliché as to talk about healthful things at the start of a new year, so let's not. Let's talk about something truly delicious that is always in my fridge and if it just so happens to be healthy, well then, that's pure coincidence.
 
I'm referring to Greek yogurt. If you are unfamiliar with it then I'm so happy to be able to introduce the two of you today. I mean, it's yogurt and I realize that it's hard to get excited about yogurt, but Greek yogurt is something special. It's perfectly tangy and thick, and creamy enough to think it is indulgent. Strained to remove much of the whey, lactose and sugar, Greek yogurt contains about half the amount of sugar as regular yogurt while packing in much more protein. Its recent popularity has made it widely available in practically any grocery store, but if for some reason you can't find it, you can buy regular plain yogurt and strain it overnight in a couple of layers of cheesecloth to replicate the texture of Greek yogurt.
 
In our house, Greek yogurt can be as simple as honey drizzled over with a handful of nuts for breakfast. I use it regularly as a base for creamy dressings, such as Caesar and Ranch. It has replaced sour cream, as it cozies up next to rice and beans, and sits atop soup and chili. It slips into sauces, smoothies and even replaces ice cream alongside some roasted fruit. It's such a staple in our house that I'm almost ashamed I haven't mentioned it before. 
 
Just to reiterate this yogurt’s versatility (and I assure you I'm not a spokesperson although it may appear that way), I wanted to share with you a couple of our favorite uses that we find ourselves repeating again and again. The first is a completely oil and egg-free Caesar dressing recipe. It's bright, tangy and creamy. You can be sure that if I make something this healthful it is first and foremost delicious. Even my husband, who often cringes at green leafy vegetables, will eat kale by the bowlful if it's coated with this dressing. Topped with grilled chicken, it is one of our favorite healthy meals.
 
The second recipe makes for an indulgent breakfast or a satisfying a nutritious dessert. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it comes from one of my favorite chefs, Nigel Slater. Essentially, we are replacing the custard in crème brulee (gasp!) with yogurt. Tucked at the bottom of the dish are some fresh berries or other fruit, honey is drizzled throughout, then a thin coat of sugar sits atop the yogurt. With either a torch (if you so happen to have one in your kitchen as I do) or the broiler, the sugar submits to the heat and returns its force with a deep and crunchy caramel top. 
 
If I was the Greek yogurt spokesperson, I think my job would be done. But instead, I'm just crazy for it and couldn't help but share one of my family’s favorite ingredients with you all. 
 
Here's to a blessed, healthful and delicious 2013!
 
by Ashley Rodriguez
food blogger
 
Photo credit: Notwithoutsalt.com
 
A LIGHTER CAESAR
This is a very forgiving recipe. Taste and adjust as you please—I promise, I won’t be offended. Just remember that you want the dressing to taste strong, as the greens will tame its flavor. Top with slow-roasted tomatoes, shavings of Parmesan, roasted chicken, or steak for a complete and healthful lunch or dinner.
 
Ingredients 
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons Dijon
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
2 Tbl finely grated parmesan
 
Directions
In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Carefully combine with fresh, chopped greens (kale or romaine are our favorites). Serve with shavings of Parmesan.
Keeps in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for one week.
 
NIGEL’S YOGURT BRULEE
Nigel says to use a small ramekin or a shallow dish that may be the perfect home for a quiche on another morning. In the bottom of your dish, place a handful of berries. I happened to have raspberries, Nigel had blackberries. In an act of defiance, I covered my berries with a few passes of honey. 
 
On top of the berries there is yogurt. Level the top with a fine coat of sugar. Torch or broil to get a caramel crisp cap. From my formal brulee training, we would coat the custard with three fine layers of sugar, torching in between each passing. The result was a deeply caramelized, sturdy and dense sweet layer that shattered with a mighty plunge of the spoon. So that’s what I did.
 
If you are using the broiler, stick the dish of sugared yogurt directly under the preheated broiler for about 2-3 minutes or until the sugar caramelizes into a golden crust.
 
Top your breakfast brulee with more fresh berries. Now of course, this could also double as an elegant dessert. Simple, subtly sweet, yet fancy and sophisticated as things are when they have a French name associated with them.
 
 
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It's Meatless Monday! Roast Vegetables

If you are looking to save time, and eat healthier, one of the best tips we can offer is to roast a large amount of vegetables at once. You'll have the basis of several good meals, such as:

 

• Breakfast: Add them to your scrambled eggs or omelettes.
 
• Green salad: Toss roasted vegetables with fresh greens, a handful of dried fruit and nuts, and your favorite dressing. 
 
• Grain salad: Combine roasted vegetables with cooked and cooled whole grains such as spelt, farro, or quinoa, a dash of oil and vinegar, and some chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or scallions.
 
• Soup: Make a simple pureed soup with roasted vegetables and water, stock, cream, or yogurt. Take a look at this post for some favorite combinations.
 
• Pita: Fill a pita bread with lettuce or arugula, roasted vegetables, and feta. If you like, add a spread such as hummus or greek yogurt.
 
• Pasta Primavera: Toss the pasta* with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately. *Use rice noodle for a GF option.

ROASTING VEGETABLES

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Roast up several pans of vegetables – asparagus, peppers, root vegetables, squash. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.
 
Refrigerate the roasted veg in airtight containers and use them throughout the week.
 
Modified from: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-ways-to-eat-roasted-vegetables-for-lunch-167393
 
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Instead of resolutions, let’s set goals.

Every year we make many resolutions saying that my next year targets will be this and that. I will do so and so… But only a few of us really follow those resolutions. This year, instead of focusing on all the things you dislike about yourself and turning those into a list of resolutions, why not focus on your positive qualities and set realistic goals to go along with those? Many of you have already joined the organic movement but what else can we do to improve our health, energy and life? We came accross the Method 30-Day Challenge and we love it! You can sign up for free and track your goals towards a healthier lifestyle!

**According to the Method 30-Day Challenge, these six things will change your life:
 
1. Be more active:
According to the American Heart Association, being more active lowers blood pressure, lessens stress and anxiety, helps boost your immune system and even sharpens your mind. Seriously. It makes you smarter.   
 
2. Eat less refined sugar
What can we even say about sugar that you don’t already know? Pastries, right? But refined sugars elevate triglycerides, lower good cholesterol and create blood glucose spikes that lead to energy crashes.   
 
3. Consume less caffeine
Caffeine is so awesome, people are always trying to ban it (see: 17th century Ethiopia; modern-day Four Loko). It's an antioxidant and may reduce cancer risk, but it also disrupts metabolism, messes with sleep patterns and tells your body to store fat.   
 
4. Eat fewer animals*
Meat, cheese and eggs are delicious — just … delicious — but doctors and nutritionists at places like the National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic say cutting down on eating animals leads to a longer life. And although cutting meat, eggs and dairy completely is ideal, cutting back is great too. 
*including eggs, milk and all other dairy  
 
5. Cut the gluten*
Gluten is what helps most breads and baked goods stick together and taste delicious, and for that we're eternally grateful! But gluten can also cause bone and joint pain, digestive problems, autoimmune disorders, headaches and lethargy. Nix it and see how good you feel! 
*Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats.
 
6. Drinking less alcohol:
In moderation, the occassional glass of wine can stave off heart disease. But alcohol is also a toxin that’s hard on your liver, suppresses fat oxidation, impedes weight loss. Taking a 30-day break will jump-start all that exercising you’re about to do.   
 
With the 30-day Method Challenge, you will find all the tools, resources and inspiration you need to change the way you live in one month, and the support you need to keep the change up. 
 
To sign up and for more information please visit: http://challenge.methodjuicecafe.com/ or find them of facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Method30DayChallenge?fref=ts
 
**Source: 30-day Method Challenge