Cape Gooseberries, Two Ways!

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If you got cape gooseberries in your bag this week and weren’t sure what to do with them, I’ve got you covered!

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These pretty little gems look like yellow-orange cherries, and they have a similar texture, but with lots of tiny seeds inside. Go ahead and eat the seeds though! Their oils are the source of lots of antioxidants, and the berries as a whole are a good source of vitamins A and C.

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If you’re thinking, “that’s nice, but what do I do with them,” again, I have you covered! I actually have you covered twice because I have two ways to use them, both sweet and savory. They actually lend well to both uses, as the flavor is slightly tart but not overwhelmingly so.

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The first use was in a salad with this week’s sweet and spicy greens mix! I used that as my base, then added the gooseberries, some cashews, a sprinkle of feta, some avocado, and a little lemon juice, and it was mmm mmm good. The combination of lemon with the greens helps your body absorb the iron in the greens better, and it’s also pretty tasty, so dig in!

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The second was in a crumble.  Three cheers for dessert!

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I took my favorite blueberry crumble recipe, and instead of blueberries, I halved the gooseberries and let them macerate in some sugar for a few minutes.

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Then I mixed up my crumble topping (2 Tbsp flour, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp oats, 1.5Tbsp butter), and put it on top, then baked in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. That topping made enough for two individual gooseberry crumbles, and they were deeeeelicious.

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Comment below and let us know how you like to use gooseberries!

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All About…Tangelos!

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So…did anyone else think a tangelo was a musical instrument when they first heard of it?  No?  Just me?  Well, fruit lovers rejoice, because it is not, in fact, an instrument, but instead is a juicy orangey piece of fruit!  It’s actually a hybrid fruit, a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo (similar to grapefruit), hence the name.  Is your mind blown yet?  Mine sort of was!

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These juicy citrus hybrids are a great nutritional choice, in addition to being a tasty one, with one tangelo giving you 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C and 80% of folate, all for only about 70 calories. Sweet!  (Literally.)

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You can slice them up and eat them like an orange, or you can segment them and put them in a salad, or you can just enjoy them as they are.  They aren’t terribly difficult to peel, and they are a great snack to throw in your bag before you leave your house for the day.
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If eating them raw isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the flavor by baking with them.  Muffins, scones, cakes…the flavor would be lovely!  Or, you can add them to a smoothie for a little citrus kick, or preserve the flavor by canning some jam or marmalade.
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They are so easy to grab and go!  I love having a snack that is healthy and requires zero at-home prep!
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Have you enjoyed your tangelos this season?

How to Revive Wilted Lettuces and Greens

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I am guessing I’m not alone in this, so tell me if it sounds familiar: you order greens from HH because you have a solid week of healthy meals planned, and you’re feeling good.  You order your produce from HH, and then wait excitedly for your delivery day.  Delivery day comes, and you put everything in the fridge.  Somehow, life happens, and when you get to the greens, with visions of yummy salads dancing through your head, your greens are…less than appetizing, shall we say?

This happens to me more than I’d like to admit!  The greens dry out a bit in the fridge, then they are limp and sad looking when you get to them.  No mold, nothing scary growing on there.  Just limp!
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BUT wait!  Don’t throw them out!  You can absolutely revive them with a little TLC and some ice water, and here is how that might go:
So I had some kale and fresh arugula in my fridge.  I planned on making an arugula grapefruit salad with goat cheese and pistachios.  I was pumped.  I picked up the arugula bunch, and it promptly fell to the side limply when I did.  Sadness.  Start by cutting off the ends of the dried out/limp greens.
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Then fill a big bowl or pan with water and some ice.
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Toss your greens in there, and swish them around, making sure the bottoms, where you cut, are underwater.
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Let them hang out for a good 15-20 minutes.
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Fish the leaves out of the ice bath, and let them drip onto a paper towel.  VOILA!  Crisp, fresh, crunchy arugula leaves, perfect for my grapefruit salad!
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Hometown Harvest’s Spring Celebration Green Smoothie

Bag items: bananas, strawberries, Greek yogurt, kale, nut butter
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Well, after a long winter, I personally am thrilled that it is FINALLY Spring!  I think my favorite produce has to be strawberries.  I buy them in bulk from HH, eat most of them, freeze some of them, and then I make smoothies year-round with them.  Well, strawberry season is almost here, and along with it, the rest of Spring’s yummy produce, like asparagus and rhubarb!  I’m so excited!

So let’s start the season with a fresh and yummy smoothie.  This one has everything you need available to toss in your shopping bag and make your life easier.  I like making these in bulk, separating them into drinkable containers, then I have breakfast every morning when I rush out the door.  Healthy and easy!

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Now smoothies with kale have become quite popular, and for good reason: you get all of the vitamins and nutrients of the dark leafy greens, especially vitamin K, but it’s largely undetectable to those who might otherwise not love the taste of kale!  I have a good layering technique for all of you smoothie lovers out there-keep reading!

Start by adding milk to your blender, then the nut butter, yogurt, and strawberries:

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Then add the kale:

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Then add the banana on top.  I like using the banana to weigh down the other ingredients so they don’t get stuck in the blender:

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Blend it up:

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Pour and enjoy!

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Hometown Harvest’s Spring Celebration Green Smoothie

Ingredients

3/4 c. milk (any kind is fine)
1/2 c. strawberries, hulled
1 Tbsp. nut butter
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 c. kale leaves, loosely packed
1 banana

Instructions:

  • Add the milk, yogurt, strawberries, and nut butter to the blender.
  • Add the kale leaves, then place the banana on top to weigh down the kale.
  • Blend and enjoy!

Kale-Walnut Pesto

Bag items: lactinato kale, meyer lemons, garlic, olive oil

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Mmmmmm, kale!  What??  That’s not a common sentiment in your house?  Well, it’s typically not that popular in mine either, to be honest.  BUT this pesto is a pretty yummy way to get in lots of vitamins and nutrients, and it doesn’t taste very kale-y.  More like a mix of garlicky greens with a touch of lemon.  It’s also super versatile, and you can put it over roasted veggies, pasta, or make your own dip for raw veggies by combining it with some Greek yogurt for a flavorful twist on dip!

While I used lactinato, or “dinosaur” kale int his recipe, you could easily use another kind.  I think the lactinato kale has one of my favorite textures though.  It just looks so pretty!

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To start, you need to blanch your kale to take off some of the bitter flavor.  To do this, bring a big pot of water to a boil, let the cleaned kale bathe in there for about 3-5 minutes, then quickly transfer it to an ice bath.  After just that one step, you’re almost done with this!  So fast and easy, perfect for a weeknight meal.

While the kale is blanching, you are going to make your own garlic-infused oil.  Whoa!  Yep, it’s also an easy one and takes just a few minutes.  Start by putting 1/2 c. olive oil in a small saucepan, and let it heat until it is shimmering, then add the garlic cloves.  Watch them carefully, as those little buggers like to burn easily.  Basically, you are achieving a roasted flavor on the garlic as well as infusing the oil with the garlic flavor.  Win-win!

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Then you literally just have to toss the rest of the ingredients in the food processor, and then blend away!

Start by adding everything except the oil:

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Glamor shot:

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Food process away!  It will look like this:

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Then slowly drizzle the garlic oil into the mixture to combine:

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And voila!  Pesto!

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Kale-Walnut Pesto

Ingredients

2 bunches lactinato kale
5 large garlic cloves
½ c olive oil
1 meyer lemon, zested then juiced
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1/3 c. walnuts
¾ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Start by cleaning your kale, removing the leaves from the stems.  Discard the stems (or save for soup stock).  Then bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the leaves for 3-5 minutes, until they darken in color.  They will retain much of their texture, so don’t be alarmed if they don’t wilt like spinach leaves do.  Then transfer quickly to an ice bath to let them cool.
  • Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan with olive oil to medium heat.  Add the whole garlic cloves and watch carefully!  They will likely take just a few minutes, depending on their size.  When they are deep brown, remove from the oil, then set the oil aside to cool.
  • Add the cooled kale and all of the other ingredients except for the oil to a food processor.  Process until you like the texture for your pesto.
  • Add the cooled oil to the food processor while it’s running, until you have the right consistency for pesto.  Some people like it more oily and smooth than others, so just do what you like best.  The amount of oil in this recipe will make it turn out on the less oily side.
  • Serve over pasta, mixed into Greek yogurt or sour cream, or on a sandwich.  Enjoy!

Sweet & Satisfying Raw Caramel Apple Dip

Rachel Druckenmiller, health coach and local blogger

Rachel Druckenmiller, health coach and author of Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen

We’re pleased to share a cross-post from customer, blogger, and health coach Rachel Druckenmiller’s blog, Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen. As a wellness consultant and certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Rachel uses Hometown Harvest bag ingredients to craft tasty, interesting recipes that are healing and nutritious. Enjoy!

Ever since I was little, I have LOVED caramel…and chocolate…especially when they’re together. YUM.

Whether they’re from WockenfussRheb’s or Krause’s, homemade dark chocolate caramels have always been my favorite indulgence. There’s just something so amazing about the combination of bittersweet dark chocolate and creamy, buttery caramel!

One of the unfortunate side effects of the typical deprivation and dieting mentality is that we feel like we have to “give up” anything that tastes sweet, savory, or satisfying. At some point, we decided that “healthy” food just doesn’t taste good and that we have to settle for less flavor if something is deemed healthy.

I refuse to give up flavor or sweets! When I cook and bake, I make sure that any recipes I prepare are delicious AND nourishing, even the sweet ones!

I came across this recipe while I was on one of my favorite blogs, Nourishing Meals, and I just HAD to make it (and share it with all of you!).

Make it for yourself, your friends and family or bring it to a potluck. Don’t tell anyone it’s healthy either…they will never guess!

Dip your favorite fruit in it (we used some crispy, sweet organic Fuji apples), and enjoy!

Raw Caramel Apple Dip

Caramel apple dip with yummy organic fuji apples!
Caramel apple dip with yummy organic fuji apples!
Ingredients
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 8 to 10 dates)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

soaking water from dates, as needed

Here’s the full recipe from Nourishing Meals!

Just a few simple ingredients go into this tasty dip!
Just a few simple ingredients go into this tasty dip.
Soaked cashews serve as the creamy base. You would never guess it's dairy-free!
Soaked cashews serve as the creamy base. You would never guess it’s dairy-free!
Medjool dates. These are used to naturally sweeten foods and act like caramel in most of my sweet recipes!
Medjool dates. These are used to naturally sweeten foods and act like caramel in most of my sweet recipes!