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Have You Heard of Turmeric?

If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone! Little did I know, growing up in Peru, that I ate many Peruvian dishes that use turmeric, thanks to our African influence. In its powder form we call it “palillo.” I was over-the-moon ecstatic to find out that Klesick Farms offers fresh turmeric root! Although it’s not in the Klesick boxes this week, it is an amazing product you can add to your future orders. Let’s take a look at this popular ingredient in Indian, Asian and African cuisine. Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5,600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies!

Also known as curcuma, turmeric belongs to the ginger family. It gives curry its peppery taste and characteristic yellow color. Curcuma, which is responsible for turmeric’s yellow color, is also its most active medical component. Studies show that raw turmeric contains higher curcumin content in comparison to its counterpart turmeric powder.

According to studies, turmeric contains components that are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, making it useful for treating arthritis, inflammatory conditions and possibly cancer. As a strong antioxidant, turmeric is rich with a substance believed to protect body cells from damage caused by oxidation. In promising, but very early research results, curcuma has kept several kinds of cancers from growing or spreading.

Okay, so how you can use raw turmeric? I’ve included a recipe (below), but you can also use raw turmeric to:

* Make golden milk: Heat 2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk) with 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric and 3-4 black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste (if desired). Great before going to bed!

* Add to curries and rice

* Add to juices and smoothies

* Add to salads and stir fries, and so on…

One newsletter is not long enough to list the many benefits of turmeric. As per how to use it, the list is endless and just limited by your imagination!

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador
peruvianchick.com
instagram.com/peruvianchick
facebook.com/theperuvianchick

 

 

Recipe: Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

1 2½ to 3-inch piece ginger root

1 3-inch piece turmeric

1 small shallot, peeled

2 small potatoes, diced

2-3 medium cloves garlic

½ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (optional)

Juice of one large lemon

2 tablespoons water

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into approximately ½-inch strips

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

2 large carrots, shredded

3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 head of butter lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried

Directions:

1. Using the small holes of a grater, finely grate ginger, turmeric, garlic and shallot into a large glass mixing bowl. Add soy sauce, Sriracha, lemon juice, water and whisk to incorporate.

2. Add chicken strips and toss well to coat with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken is coated.

3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add potatoes until they are cooked half way though. Add chicken and sauté in a single layer; turning pieces with a spatula as they cook. Continue stirring until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a serving dish; cover to keep warm. To serve, place 4-5 chicken strips inside a lettuce leaf.

4. Top with approximately ½ tablespoon of shredded carrots and sprinkle with a pinch of cilantro.

 

Know Your Produce: Bartlett Pears

Did you know that Bartlett Pears contain probiotic benefits that support your gut health? New research has found that pears can balance beneficial gut bacteria.

Ripened pears can be used at once or put under refrigeration until you want to use them. Refrigeration will delay further ripening, but will not stop it altogether, giving you adequate time to include fresh pears in your menu planning.

A ripe pear is a sweet pear. A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.

Place under-ripe pears in a fruit bowl at room temperature near other ripening fruit, like bananas, which naturally give off ethylene and will help speed up the ripening process. And if you find yourself with a few too many overripe pears, blend them into smoothies, soups, sauces and purees!

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If only I had been paying attention…

This has been a remarkable farm season. The weather has been neither too harsh nor too kind. We have had to irrigate very little and the crops have grown well.

It has been a crazy three weeks. We just finished harvesting green, yellow and purple beans. Originally, I had planted two different plantings, with a fairly healthy gap between them. The cool weather in May/June essentially slowed one planting down and so the later planting caught right up. It is sort a like when the outgoing tide meets the incoming tide and everything rises at that moment!

Thanks for eating green beans. We picked over 2,000 lbs. and our customers ate most of them. I can say most of them because green beans are one of those crops that gets “grazed” on a regular basis. They might not be as sweet as raspberries, but when beans are on, they are the preferred snack at Klesick Farms!

This week is a little quieter from our farm. Italian prunes and chard in most boxes; walnuts, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers in smaller quantities. Then there are the cucumbers. This year we planted a new variety called Silver Slicers. They are a white-skinned cucumber and super delish! I planted about 100 seeds at two different times and, oh my word, those little cucurbits make cucumbers faster than rabbits make rabbits, if you get my drift. They are the most productive cucumber I have ever grown.

Ironically, I would have never grown these, if I had been paying attention. Early in the spring I was talking with Ada, my seed representative from High Mowing Organic seeds. We were talking back and forth about what varieties grew well in greenhouse environments and did well in last year’s seed trials. We decided on Manny, a beautiful smooth green-skinned cucumber. Ada also mentioned that Silver Slicers did really well in the trials, too. Because I am always willing to try a new variety, I ordered and split the plantings.

Well, since Ada and I were talking about cucumbers, it didn’t dawn on me that the Silver Slicers were not GREEEEN! Imagine my surprise when they starting “setting” fruit that was white! Talk about a mini heart attack! My mind raced through all the prep work, the fertilizer blend, weather patterns, and I asked myself, “What was wrong? How come they are not green? Is my soil deficient in nutrients?” Thankfully, a quick check-in with Ada calmed my mini crisis. She assured me that the Silver Slicer is a white-skinned cucumber.

I am now so thankful for that oversight. The world has plenty of green cucumbers, so I will make the Silver Slicer a staple for Klesick Farms and we can all enjoy them this year and next!

Thanks for eating locally grown food. You are making a difference one bite at a time for your health and the health of our community.

Farmer Tristan

 

 

Recipe: Mexican Style Grilled Corn

Ingredients:

3-5 ears of corn, husked 6 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste ½ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper Cotija or feta cheese

Directions:

Prepare a grill, with heat medium-high and rack about 4 inches from the fire. Put corn on grill and cook until kernels begin to char, about 5 minutes, then turn. Continue cooking and turning until all sides are slightly blackened.

Mix together mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lime juice or chili powder if you like. Serve corn with chili-lime mayo and sprinkle with cotija or feta cheese.

Recipe adapted from cooking.nytimes.com

 

Know Your Produce: Plums

Domestic plums are crimson to black-red with a yellow or reddish flesh; they are in season May through October. High in vitamin C, plums are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re sweet and delicious—which is why highly desirable things are called “plum.”

Store: If too firm to use, place in a closed paper bag at room temperature for one to two days. Once ripe, plums can be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to three days. Refrigerating plums before they’re ripe results in a mealy texture, so allow firm fruit to ripen at room temperature up to 2 days.

Prep: Remove the pit by slicing all the way around the fruit, starting at the stem end. Rotate each half and the pit should come free.

Use: Plums pair well with both sweet and savory foods and make an excellent accompaniment for cheese, chocolate, and dessert wines.

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Why???

I am not surprised that the Senate and House of Representatives cast their votes to send the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act to President Obama to sign, but I am saddened that President Obama signed it, and so willingly!

Essentially, for all of its purported good, it does nothing to protect the health of Americans and will not cause any meaningful information to be labeled on foods manufactured using GMOs. The DARK Act is wasted time and energy and is meaningless legislation that does nothing for America’s health or environmental crises. It does allow corporations an escape hatch when it comes to GMOs and more than a few elected officials to “pat” themselves on their backs. The biotech farms and grocery manufacturers of American lobbies are powerful—they wield heavy swords. The congressional and presidential backbone to stand up and protect the environment or our health doesn’t get any of them reelected.

Well, common sense tells me that something is amiss. What is amiss is that our food supply is over processed and laden with empty calories, and the DARK Act does nothing to help consumers (sometimes called constituents) get better information to make more informed healthy food choices. I understand the game. However, it would have been nice if Congress would have changed the rules and required real information through legislation, but they didn’t! Shocking (wink, wink)! It’s sad, but that’s okay, I can live with it. Congress can do all the grandstanding they want. Monsanto, the sugar lobby, and the GMA can spin and spin to their hearts’ content on how their products are safe. That is what they have always done. It is good for their profits, though not good for your health or the environment. The only things that have changed are: 1) the aforementioned companies and lobbies will no longer have to spend millions of dollars of their profits to fight labeling laws state by state and 2) the states, which is you and me, now have less control.

The fact that Congress even remotely toyed with passing a GMO labeling bill tells me that healthy-minded consumers have been putting the “hurt” on some multinational food and chemical companies. All we need to do is keep the pressure on their profit streams and continue to not support their products with our dollars. So in essence, the game hasn’t changed and the players are still the same. It is still us against them.

As for the Klesick family? We are going to continue to support companies that are committed to organic and GMO-free principles. I am not confused or deceived by their advertising or the new DARK Act passed by Congress.

Let’s continue to work together by saying “Yes” to better food companies and we will continue to change our food system for everyone just by eating. The last time I checked, you are free to eat whatever you want, so let’s exercise that freedom one bite at a time.

We are changing the food system!

Farmer Tristan

 

 

Recipe: Roasted Beets and Carrots with Rosemary Butter

Ingredients:

1 bunch beets, greens removed, peeled and cubed

1 bunch carrots, greens removed, peeled and cubed

3 tablespoons butter or ghee

3 garlic cloves, mashed

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place the beets in a large mixing bowl, and the carrots in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. (Mixing the roots separately keeps the carrots from turning pink from beet juice.)

3. Place the butter or ghee in a microwave-safe coffee mug and add the garlic. Microwave until the butter is melted. Stir in the dried rosemary.

4. Pour half of the melted butter mixture over the beets, and pour half over the carrots. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss each of the root vegetables to coat them with the butter mixture.

5. Dump the beets into the baking dish with the carrots.

6. Roast for 55 minutes, stirring halfway through.

7. Serve.

Recipe adapted from paleomg.com

 

 

Know Your Produce: Starkrimson Pears

Starkrimson pears are a summer pear variety that is excellent for fresh eating and salads or paired with a strong cheese like blue cheese or goat cheese. The striking crimson color of Starkrimson pears makes it a great choice for coloring up a green salad.

Unlike most other fruits, pears ripen from the inside out, so by the time they are soft on the outside the inside flesh may be overripe and mealy. Leave unripe pears at room temperature in order to induce ripening. To speed up the ripening process, place pears in a brown paper bag. This traps ethylene (a naturally occurring gas) which pears produce as they ripen. To determine if a pear is ripe, check the neck of the pear daily. Apply gentle pressure with your thumb to the stem end of the fruit. Once it gives slightly to pressure it is ripe and ready to enjoy.

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Miss Moo, the Family Milk Cow

There was a time when the Klesick family had a milk cow, and not any cow, but a Jersey milk cow. Her name was Miss Moo. Jersey milk cows are smaller than Holsteins and their milk is slightly higher in butterfat, which makes it, dare I say, more flavorful. The milk wasn’t free though, for she had to be cleaned and brushed, and provided clean bedding and fresh hay, but in exchange she gave us rich nutritious milk twice a day, EVERY DAY! Hmm…thinking back to those days, I am not sure who the owner was, Miss Moo or me.

Oh Miss Moo—she was quite the character and loved to have her ears scratched. One of the kiddos referred to her as a real “lubber dubber.” Even though Miss Moo was a brown cow, she produced copious amounts of white milk. This totally shattered our young’uns’ hopes for chocolate milk, but they soon got over it, especially when we would make ice cream, yogurt, or cheese.

With non-homogenized milk, the cream really does rise to the top. This is often called a “cream plug.” The cream can be loosened and shaken back into the milk, but we would skim the cream plug off for a few days and then make butter from it. Every so often we would set out to make a little whipped cream, get a little over zealous, and, voila, we’d end up with butter instead :)! You can’t over shake the cream, unless you want some butter, that is.

A real family favorite was making “squeaky” cheese from our milk. We would heat up the whole milk, add a little lemon juice to help the milk curdle and form curds, drain off the whey, and salt the curds and enjoy. It is called squeaky cheese because, well, it sort of “squeaks” when you rub it between your fingers or bite it. I’ve included the recipe (below).

I often look back on those days with Miss Moo and fresh Jersey milk with fondness. Recently, Larry, from Twin Brook Creamery, asked if I would be willing to carry his milk. I paused and thought long and hard. I love that Twin Brook is pretty much a grass-based dairy, l love that the milk is ultra-fresh, I love that the milk is from Jerseys, I love that it is milk from one local herd and not a thousand herds, and I love that it is not homogenized. Although I am not a milkman, at the heart of Klesick Farms is good food, and the more local the better. So, after some serious thought, we added local milk delivery from a local dairy to our offerings.

Now, once again, I am making cheese and yogurt, but this time Larry gets to milk the cows. That is a fair trade in my book. Enjoy!

Farmer Tristan

 

 

Recipe: Squeaky Cheese

Ingredients:

2 quarts of milk

1/4 cup vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice

Butter muslin

Directions:

1. Heat the milk to 185 degrees F, then remove from heat.

2. Add the vinegar slowly while stirring, until curd forms. The milk will curdle almost immediately once the vinegar is added.

3. Once the milk has finished curdling, either skim the curds from the pot or strain them through a colander.

4. Tie the cords of the butter muslin together and hang the cheese where it can drain for several hours.

5. After draining you can either use it as is or go on to make queso blanco.

 

Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes for the BBQ

Ingredients:

4 red potatoes, thinly sliced 1 large onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1/4 cup butter, cubed Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat grill for medium heat.

2. Layer sliced potatoes on aluminum foil with the onion, garlic, basil, and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Fold foil around the potatoes to make a packet.

3. Place potato packet on heated grill over indirect heat, and cook for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Turn over packet halfway through cooking.

-adapted from allrecipes.com

 

Know Your Produce: Potatoes

Add a little whole milk to our freshly dug potatoes and turn them into mashed potatoes for dinner this week and you will be in for a special treat.

This week we are digging extremely fresh potatoes from the farm. You will notice that the skins are not set on the potatoes and will easily rub off. Don’t be alarmed because this is normal for freshly dug spuds. The freshness also means that they won’t keep as long either.

I will often boil the spuds one day and make hash browns the next or a potato salad. My favorite way to eat them is cubed. For this, placed the cubed potatoes in an 9” x 12” baking pan with salt, pepper, parsley, and olive oil. Mix them up and bake at 425 degrees F. They rarely make it to the table in the Klesick household!

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Now Delivering: Farm-fresh Milk from Twin Brook Creamery

In case you missed it…here are the need-to-know details on fresh, local, all-natural dairy, delivered to you.

We’re now offering local milk products from Twin Brook Creamery in Lynden, Washington. You can now add whole, 2%, and 1% milk, half and half, and whipping cream to a regular delivery!

Shop the local dairy section here.

Order Deadlines:

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday customers: Orders are due by 8:00 a.m. the Friday before your delivery day.

Friday and Saturday customers: Orders are due by 8:00 a.m. the Wednesday before your delivery day.

Not sure what your delivery day is? See our delivery areas guide here.

Free delivery with a box of good order, or if you’re not getting a box of produce each week, our minimum order for free delivery is just $20. Consider adding your milk order on a weekly or bi-weekly rotation and you’ll never have to remember the milk again!

What you need to know:

Twin Brook Creamery products are:
  • All natural and GMO-free.
  • Local.
  • Non-homogenized.
  • No synthetic hormones used (such as RBST).
  • No commercial fertilizer or pesticides used on our grass fields or pastures.
  • Kosher certified.

Although Twin Brook Creamery is not certified organic, they produce a high quality natural product that is free from synthetic hormones (such as RBST) that artificially stimulate growth or milk production. Because they strive not to feed any GMO feeds to their cows, their grass fields and pastures are free from commercial fertilizers or pesticides, and any concentrate supplements they have to buy for their animals’ health, so as to give them a balanced diet, are non-GMO whenever possible (e.g., they use barley instead of corn as an energy source). Twin Brook Creamery strives to be the best possible stewards of the land, providing wildlife habitat and using the best management practices that are available.

Note: Leave your clean empty glass bottle(s) out on your next delivery day to avoid a $2 bottle fee.

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Savoring Summer

I am not going to be one of those people that starts lamenting the end of summer at the beginning of August, but I won’t lie – I’m feeling the end ticking nearer and nearer. Okay, so maybe I am one of those people, but rather than hosting a pity party and shedding tears that there weren’t enough tomatoes, days with sand in our toes, and sun on our faces, I’m going to do my best to soak up each day.

It’s probably no surprise that one of my favorite ways to savor the season is to eat of its bounty. So from here until the end of September, you will find me eating pounds and pounds of tomatoes, serving up slices of melon with a whisper of vanilla salt (just tried it last night for the first time and I’m never going back), picking blackberries off the wild vines, eating fresh peaches and letting their sweet juice drip down my arms and face.

We’ve had a pretty incredible summer this year and perhaps that’s why I’m already feeling a bit of sadness to see the days slip away so quickly, but what I’ve learned with seasons – any season in life – is that if you spend your time willing it to not pass, it won’t listen to you. I’d rather spend these days tucking away flavors and memories to recall when another season is upon us.

This recipe mingles all of my favorite flavors of summer into one bowl. It’s where sweet and savory collide into a flavorful salad filled with vinegar-spiked bread and a showering of fresh herbs. We really believe in the adage “What grows together, goes together” here, when peaches and tomatoes become fast friends. And it’s not just with this recipe—the next time you make the classic Caprese salad, try slipping in a few peach or nectarine slices there as well.

I hope that we all find the time to savor all that this season blesses us with. And may there be an endless supply of tomatoes and peaches until squash hits the basket.

Ashley Rodriguez

NotWithoutSalt.com

Award-winning food blogger

Author of Date Night In

 

 

Featured Recipe: Roasted Tomato and Peach Panzanella

SERVES 4

Ingredients:

1 pint / 280 g cherry tomatoes, divided

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

1⁄4 cup / 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 cups / 85 g 1⁄2-inch bread cubes from a rustic loaf

2 garlic cloves, minced, divided

1 peach, diced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup chopped assorted herbs (I used basil, dill, mint, and tarragon)

1 cup baby arugula

1⁄3 cup / 60 g goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place half the pint of cherry tomatoes on the prepared sheet and toss with a generous pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes, gently stirring halfway through the cooking process. Cut the remaining cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.

3. Place the cubes of bread on a second parchment-lined baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 1 minced garlic clove. Toast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and completely crisp, stirring after 10 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.

4. In a large bowl, combine the roasted tomatoes, remaining minced garlic clove, diced peach, vinegar, oregano, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Gently toss to combine and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Finish the panzanella by adding the crisped and cooled bread cubes to the bowl, along with the herbs, unroasted tomatoes, and arugula. Toss well and let sit for 10 minutes so that the juices start to soften the bread, still leaving a crunch. If you prefer the bread a bit softer, you can let it sit for longer.

6. Finish with crumbled goat cheese and serve.

 

Know Your Produce: Summer Stonefruit Care

Stonefruit’s (peaches, nectarines, pluots, etc.) biggest enemy while ripening is moisture, coupled with lack of airflow. Set ripening stonefruit on a cloth or paper-covered counter top or in a place where it gets plenty of airflow. Try setting them stem side down to ripen, which lessens the chance of them rolling and bruising.

To test for ripeness, gently press around stem – when flesh gives slightly to pressure fruit is ripe. Never squeeze the sides of the fruit, as even a small bruise will be cause enough to turn into a rot/bruised spot on your fruit as it is still ripening. Stonefruit ripens from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is most likely overripe.

Once your stonefruit is ripe, it deteriorates very quickly. Within a day of being fully ripe, if left out of refrigeration, you can have overripe/spoiled fruit and some very attracted fruit flies. Check daily and place in refrigerator as soon as you notice the stem area has begun to soften. Once refrigerated, plan to use within a day or two.