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Eat Better and You Will Feel Better

Anybody else ready to move on from the Sugar Manufacturer’s lovefest, AKA Halloween, and start focusing on eating better? I for one am no fan of what the Sugar Manufacturers are doing to America’s population. Let’s be honest, no one really considers Halloween to be a healthy event.

Thankfully, we don’t have to eat that way. We might choose to eat that way, but nobody is forcing us. It is by choice. One of my goals for the next 2 months of holidays is to create some non-negotiable rules.

I am choosing natural sugars and mostly whole fruit. You won’t find real honey or maple syrup in a candy bar. That nonnegotiable alone will limit the majority of your sugars. I am mostly not eating processed foods that have sugar in them.

Eating 3 meals a day is my next non-negotiable and only filling my plate once (important especially on Thanksgiving). I am going to fill my plate with organic vegetables, salad items, and meats. I am not going to be snacking, but will let my digestive system rest between meals.

And lastly, I am going to (loosely) preplan my meals for the next day. I am going to have a plan for my food based on what is in my refrigerator and the pantry. Nothing derails eating well more than letting the moment dictate your meal options. Ever try to find something healthy to eat at a convenience store???

Healthy eating made simple is my goal, and given what seems to be the normal hectic unsustainable pace of life, having a few non-negotiables will help. It certainly helps that I usually have more energy, feel better and my blood pressure stays in the normal range when I follow these “non-negotiables”–and these are just a few of the “incidental” blessings from eating well.

Next Week 

Next week we will be gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday and publishing our menu for the Thanksgiving Holiday Box. It will have all the ingredients for a great meal and you will be able to order a box, shop for individual items or a combination of both.

And, as you already experience every week, we will hand select the freshest ingredients (many from local farms) and save you the hassle of shopping at the store, especially during a holiday week. Doesn’t that sound nice? No parking hassles, no long lines and no time spent looking through the already picked over produce.

The Klesick Farm team is excited to be your partner in good health by delivering high quality produce at fair prices and saving you precious time that you can use for whatever you want!

 

 

Tristan Klesick

Farmer/Health Advocate

 

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 10/22/17)

Spitzenburg Apples:

To store, keep apples as cold as possible in the refrigerator. To clean, gently rub the apple as you run warm water over it. Peel and cut your apple into slices or cubes. To prevent apples from browning for a longer time, brush with a lemon juice-water solution (1 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice). This dessert apple is great for cider, apple pies or eating out of hand. It is also rumored to have been a favorite of President Thomas Jefferson!

Carnival Squash:

Try roasting your halved carnival squash seasoned with a little butter and drizzle of maple syrup. It tastes nutty and sweeter than butternut squash but not as dry in texture as kabocha squash. Carnival squash is at its best when roasted which really brings out its flavor, but it can also be steamed or puréed. Roast and eat the seeds just like with other winter squashes. Its small, compact size makes it easy to cut through and is great for serving one or two people. Carnivals are also great to throw into stews, curries, soups, or even veggie chilis. Use them in any recipe calling for butternut or acorn squash.

 

Recipe: Carnival Squash with Apples and Thyme

Ingredients:

 

2 carnival or acorn squash

2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 Spitzenburg apples (Note: if subbing a larger tart apple, like Granny Smith, use 2 apples)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut sugar

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375°. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on a cookie sheet and brush with a little of the butter and season with a little salt. Place a thyme sprig in each half and bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the apples, the remaining melted butter, the sugar and the cinnamon.
  3. Remove the squash from the oven. Fill each squash with the apple mixture. Put them back in the oven for 15-20 minutes more, or until the squash and the apples are soft and caramelized.
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From Wet Dust to Wet Flooding

In August of 2003, Joelle and I purchased our current farm. That seems like a lifetime ago! The 1892 old farmhouse was in pretty bad shape and the bank wouldn’t let us move into until we remodeled it. Having sold our home in Machias, we were stuck in that awkward state of nowhere to live. In hindsight, the bank was right. The old farm had “good bones”, but was in serious disrepair.

It was hard, but rewarding. We were finally on our own farm and everyone was pitching in, both family and friends. So much work but we found amazing treasures too. Treasures that you would never find unless you rolled up your sleeves and got to work! There was so much lathe and plaster and wall paper and more wall paper. The whole place needed to be rewired and replumbed and insulated. I remember when we were started to “attack” the lowered ceiling that was made up of acoustic tiles. As soon as we pulled out those tiles, everything stopped. We were in awe. Untouched and as beautiful as the day they were first installed 10’ up in the air was a 20’ long cedar 1” x 4” tongue and grooved bead board.

We were stuck. We knew it had to come down in order for us to do the wiring and plumbing, but we also knew that you just can’t buy that stuff anymore. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. We just stopped working in that room for a whole month! There was no way to patch it up and do all the upgrades. It had to come down, but yet it was a part of this home, its history, its craftsmanship. Eventually a plan came together. We removed the ceiling and broke boards, but we were able to save lots of good useable pieces. We repainted that beautiful rich dark green cedar bead board the same color and used it as wainscoting.

Why all this reminiscing? Well, October of 2003 was also the first year we were introduced to the Stillaguamish River and from that day on, we understood who the valley really belongs to. And this week we have our first flood watch for the season. Hopefully a nonevent, but in 2003 it was supposed to be a nonevent too but turned out to be the largest flood on record. Thankfully, technology has gotten better, and the forecasts tend to be more accurate, but that first flood, oh my! 

This month we have also been talking about Cancer and asking people to share their stories. In some ways our old farmhouse and the valley we live in serves as reminder of how precious and how fragile life is. That old farmhouse was in need of some love and care and it couldn’t do it on its own. People battling Cancer or any major disease also need love and care. They need a team filled with hope to “carry” them at times and help them win this very real fight.

At Klesick Farms we are privileged to be a part of your team. We believe in you and we want you to be healed. If you would like to share your story or the story of someone you know battling cancer, please click the link and submit a prayer request. It can be anonymous or not. We pray on Thursdays for the prayer requests we receive.

 

Your Health Advocate and Farmer,

 

Tristan

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 10/15/17)

Asian Pears:

Crunchy, juicy, and sweet. Try adding pears to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s salad. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about an eighth cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts).

Parsnips:

Parsnips have an almost peppery sweet flavor to them that comes out nicely when roasted. They make a great addition/alternative to the more traditional baked or sautéed root vegetable.

Try these diced into bite size chunks or julienned, drizzled with olive oil and tossed in a bowl with a little salt and cayenne (or other spices). Bake on bottom rack at 450° for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned and crispy.

 

 

Featured Recipe: Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips, and Broccoli

Prep time: 20, Cook time: 40, Ready in 60 minutes. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

 

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium carrots (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick circles

1 1/2 cups Broccoli cut into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces

4 cups potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices

3 medium parsnips (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices

1 cup sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

 

  1. Grease an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet pan with extra-virgin olive oil. Place vegetables in baking sheet and add the dried herbs, salt and pepper. Toss well, evenly coating all the vegetables with the seasonings and oil. Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry.

 

  1. Spread the vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

 

Recipe adapted from: giadzy.com

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The Path Less Travelled

I read an interesting article about Agriculture in Holland last week. The gist of it was how a little country like Holland can be the #2 exporter of food in the world. A country 1/270th the size of America. You can find the article here. 

It was a refreshing article. Also, all their food is NON-GMO! (Which is unlike a lot of the United States’ export crops.) Holland became an Agricultural power house because of vision and a desire to have food security. Their goal was to produce twice as much food on half the inputs (fertilizers, water, herbicides, etc.)

They did it! Unlike American agriculture’s goal to export more GMO’s. The American food system is broken. To prove my point, in 2012 ZERO states had average obesity rates above 35%. In 2016 there were 5 states above 35%. Also interesting is that in 2012, 10 states were below the 25% average, but now only 4 states remain below the 25% threshold.

Several factors account for the obesity numbers, but I would contend that we are not going to shed those pounds just by hitting the gyms. We need a food revolution to take back our health. We need a different goal.

Thankfully, American agriculture and its food manufacturing partners can’t tell us what to eat. That is on us. We still have choices. I will concede that the processed food manufacturers are experts at marketing and lobbying. Sadly, even the healthy options merely replace one form of sugar for another, which only improves the food in minor ways. This is because many of those same companies are owned by the General Mills or Pepsi’s of the world. And they expect us to believe that their company missions are to provide healthy sustainable products that improve your health. (sarcasm intended) Anybody out there switch to the “Organic” version of the American diet and basically see no appreciable results?

Merely switching to the Organic American diet will have little or no impact on our personal health or our Nation’s health. If we are going to see lasting meaningful health benefits from the food we eat, we need to switch: 1. how we eat and 2. what we eat. Saying yes to fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and quality proteins and grains is a great start.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Congress set an “Every American Healthy” Goal for our Country to reduce the National Obesity rate by 5% by year 2023? The by-products of this goal alone would save millions of dollars in health costs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. It would shift our food system from profits to health and from sugar and grains to vegetables and fruits and quality proteins. The environmental gains would be great because of the non-GMO and Organic farming practices implemented to produce better foods. A simple goal, but alas, it will never see the light of day because of the way our political campaigns are financed. But, as I mentioned earlier, they can’t tell us what to eat. And in the words of the poet Robert Frost, “I chose the path less travelled.” We can choose the path with little or no sugar, a path filled with hope and a better quality of life. And thankfully, we can make that choice every day. Every time you get a “Box of Good” delivered, you are on the path less travelled.

 

Eat heathy, Be healthy,

 

Tristan Klesick

Health Advocate and Farmer

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 10/8/17)

Jonagold Apples:

Fun fact: The name Jonagold combines the apples two parents: Jonathan and Golden Delicious. Both Jonagold and King David apples are fantastic baking apples, with that classic old-fashioned “apple flavor.” Apples are one of those quintessential healthy eating choices! You can dice them up and throw them into your hot cereal with some cinnamon for a fresh take on breakfast, toss them in smoothies, slice them atop green salads to sweeten them up and add texture, dip them in nut butter or yogurt for a snack, roast with savory fall veggies, bake with a topping of your favorite granola – so many ways to enjoy them! And perhaps the best part? Antioxidants and phytochemicals in apples have been linked to help prevent a number of chronic diseases, including: Alzheimer’s, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes and more. Store unwashed apples in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Be sure to store separately from strong-smelling veggies like onions or garlic, as apples will take on their strong flavors.

 

Green Cabbage:

Cabbage is a handy thing to have around. Don’t let it be that vegetable that sits in the bottom of your refrigerator drawer for months on end (Although it will keep nearly that long!). There are endless opportunities to use it up. I’m constantly pulling mine out and adding it to just about anything. I like to make cabbage shavings by first cutting the cabbage in half, then simply shaving off pieces from along the edges. Also, if you’re like me and rarely use a whole cabbage in one sitting, keep the cut edges from drying out by rinsing and storing in a sealed plastic bag.

 

Peru Purple Potatoes:

These little taters are the perfect size for making smashed potatoes. Google smashed potatoes or a basic recipe. Martha Stewart has a good one. Potatoes have gotten a lot of flak from the health community but when eaten in moderation (and without the host of other unhealthy ingredients they often come with), potatoes are actually good for you! They are rich in potassium and vitamin C. True, they are high in starch, but nothing that your body can’t easily process when eaten in healthy portion sizes along with a meal.

Braised Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions
Ready in 30 minutes. Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cabbage (chopped or shredded coarsely)
2 carrots, grated
2 onions, chopped
1/4 cup butter or ghee
1/2 cup parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth

Instructions:

  1. Add cabbage, carrots and parsley, to butter in a medium sauce pan, and mix until well coated with butter. 2. Stir in salt, pepper and broth.
    3. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp and still quite bright in color. 4. If too much liquid remains in skillet near the end of the cooking time, uncover and increase heat to high for a minute. 5. Stir often while liquid evaporates.

 

Recipe from: geniuskitchen.com

 

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Bald and Beautiful

The other day I was at a middle school soccer game and one of the players had obviously been through cancer treatment recently. She was thin as a rail and bald, but she was out there and she was competing–with not an ounce of backing down. She was a fighter – a cancer fighter. I could tell that our team was unsure how to play/engage that young lady on the field. I told my daughter that if she is on the field, she wants to play and, her parents, her doctors and coaches have given her the green light. Admire her for getting out on the field and show her respect by letting her compete, but now is not the time for charity or kid gloves.

Some of you might be thinking, “Hang on. She has had a huge battle with cancer and, and, and, ….” My daughter got to guard her a fair amount during that game. After a few minutes into the game, it was plain to see that this beautiful, bald cancer fighter wanted to play and didn’t want to be treated any differently than any other player.

Cancer fighters are tough people, but you know who else are tough people? The families, her friends, the care givers, the doctors and nurses. Cancer wreaks havoc on families and it takes a coordinated team effort to support the cancer fighter.

As a farmer, it brings me no greater joy than to come alongside a cancer fighter to grow and deliver to them organically grown fruits and vegetables. If you are battling Cancer, please let us know. We would consider it an honor to pray for you and put a Health Discount on your account. I also want to say that everyone on the Klesick team believes in you, believes that you are precious in the sight of God and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made to do good things both today and in the future. Keep fighting.

Here is the Klesick Farms Cancer Fighting Plan:

1. We believe in prayer. If you would like us to pray specifically for you or someone you know who is fighting Cancer (or anything else) email [email protected] He organizes our prayer time and customer interactions. All of us care, but Mike is gifted when it comes to caring. Or, you can use this link to submit a prayer request or share your story.

2. Everything we sell is a part of the solution. We don’t carry GMO products and 95% of what we provide is fruits and vegetables. Some customers have joined together to fund a Cancer Fighter’s account, so that they don’t have to shop or think about it. Home delivery is great way to come along side and add tangible help. Call us to set up an account for a friend, co-worker or family member. 360-652-4663

3. Lastly, we have a discount program for families fighting cancer or heart disease. If you are in the fight of your life, let us know so we can add the health discount to your account. If you would like to donate towards this, we will make sure your donation gets applied to a family fighting Cancer. We are here to help and be a part of the solution.

 

 

Tristan

Farmer/Health Advocate

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 10/1/2017)

Broccoli:

Baked broccoli is one of my favorite dinner sides. I like it best roasted to crispy perfection with a little garlic, salt and pepper. Try tossing chopped broccoli florets with olive oil, salt and seasonings of choice. Bake on a cookie sheet at 450 °F for about 20 minutes, until edges are crispy and the stems are tender. For extra flavor, drizzle with lemon juice or top with parmesan cheese. Broccoli is also great in salad, stir-fry, soup, or raw with your favorite veggie dip.

 

Celery:

Because of its boat-like shape, celery works great with a filling as a fun and healthy snack. You can get creative when it comes to what you to pair it with. Peanut butter is a common ingredient, but you can stuff your celery with things like cream cheese with chopped nuts and raisins, garlicky chicken spread, or a nut butter with seeds and honey. When making a celery themed salad, you can either go sweet (with thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon) or savory (adding it to your everyday green salad or making a chicken salad with it).

 

Delicata Squash:

There are many ways to cook and use this squash: they make a great side to almost any dish or can be added to pasta, soups, salad, sautéed, or stuffed. To bake, cut in half lengthwise, remove seed and cut halves crosswise into ½ inch wedges (or skip this step and leave in halves). Toss/slather in melted butter or coconut oil and about ½ tsp of salt. Spread out on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 425 °F for about 25-30 minutes, tossing once or twice, until browned.

 

 

Savory Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash

Easy to make and deliciously sweet and savory! Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

2 Delicata squash

1/2 C uncooked quinoa

1 C vegetable broth

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

6 oz. sliced button mushrooms (OR use broccoli florets or even chopped celery if your box doesn’t contain mushrooms)

1/2 C chopped onion

1 clove minced garlic

1/8 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp thyme

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF. Meanwhile, cut the Delicata in half and remove the seeds. The seeds can be discarded, but they can also be reserved for roasting, much like pumpkin seeds. Lightly brush olive oil over the insides and outsides of the squash bottoms and tops and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The squash are done when the inner flesh is tender.

2. Once squash are in the oven, make the quinoa. First rinse the quinoa well and then combine in a sauce pan with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered until all of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms (or broccoli florets) and onion in 1 teaspoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme to the pan and cook 1 more minute. Season with the salt and pepper. By now the quinoa should be done cooking. Measure 1 cup of cooked quinoa into the skillet with the mushrooms and onion. Stir to evenly combine.

4. Remove the cooked squash from the oven and spoon the quinoa pilaf evenly into each half. Consider garnishing with a little parsley for added color. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from: simpleseasonal.com

 

 

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Month of October is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness. In doing research for this article I came across this article from Everyday Health. Cancer is complicated and if you or a someone you know is battling cancer, any type of cancer, you are in a fight. I have copied and pasted the opening paragraph from the article below.

A cancer diagnosis can often be directly linked to your family medical history, your lifestyle choices, and your environment. You can’t control your family medical history, and only some aspects of your environment are up to you. But lifestyle choices like diet, weight, activity level, and smoking are yours to manage.

“Preventive measures are so heavily underutilized by people. And yet they work. Everything in moderation really works”, says Richard R. Barakat, MD, chief of the gynecology service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. (Emphasis mine)

Diseases like Cancer are heart-wrenching and emotionally, physically and financially devastating. I hate what it does to individuals and families. I know that hate is a strong word, but what Cancer does to an individual and their family is devastating.

At Klesick farms, we have a plan to come along side and help. Our Klesick Farms Cancer fighting plan is:

1.We believe in prayer. If you would like us to pray specifically for you or someone you know who is fighting Cancer (or anything else) Email [email protected] He organizes our prayer time and customer interactions. All of us care, but Mike is gifted when it comes to caring. Or you can use this link to submit a prayer request or share your story.

2. Everything we sell is a part of the solution. We don’t carry GMO products and 95% of what we provide is fruits and vegetables. Some customers have joined together to fund a Cancer Fighter’s account, so that they don’t have to shop or think about it. Home delivery is great way to come along side and add tangible help. Call us to set up an account for a friend, co-worker or family member. 360-652-4663

3. Lastly, we have discount program for families fighting cancer or heart disease. If you are in the fight of your life, let us know so we can add the health discount to your account. If you would like to donate towards this, we will make sure your donation gets applied to a family fighting Cancer. We are here to help and be a part of the solution.

 

 

Tristan

Farmer/Health Advocate

 

 

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