There is nothing that says "summer" quite like a fresh ear of corn straight from the grill. My mouth is watering at the thought! This week, all FreshFix boxes include corn, lucky us!
The corn we know and love is considered sweet corn, a variety of regular field corn. Corn produces sugar in its kernels which is converted to starch if left to mature. Sweet corn is picked before the corn has reached full maturation so it is sweet rather than tough and starchy. For these reasons, sweet corn must be eaten quickly or preserved. Freezing and canning are two common preservation methods. However, we will bet that your corn won't last longer than a week, especially with all of the yummy recipes to experiment with at the bottom of this post.
To have enough corn for all the boxes, we purchased from three farms: Zittel's Farm in Eden, NY, Agle's Farm in Eden, NY, and Schiedel's Farm in Ripley, NY.
Zittel's Farm produces a variety of vegetables on 300 acres of land. They have a greenhouse and even offer a fall educational field trip in October. "Our farm uses the most innovative cultural practices including trickle irrigation, plastic mulches and integrated pest management to maximize quality and production and minimize pesticide usage and conserve water." Learn more about their farm on their website.
Pictures shown are Zittel's Farm, Agle's Farm Store, and Schiedel's Farm Stand.
It is best to leave corn in their husks in the refrigerator until use. The husks prevent the corn from drying out and the colder temperature keeps corn from molding. If you prefer to shuck your corn right away, place in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator. Try not to wash the corn before you use it. Corn molds at the tip first, so always double check for mold before preparing! Corn remains fresh for 1-3 days in the refrigerator. After 3 days, we suggest you cook the corn and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. To extend the life, you can freeze or can your corn.
There are so many fail-proof ways to prepare corn on the cob. And we are HUGE fans of all of them! It can be boiled in water for 5 minutes, grilled, or roasted. The trick is to keep the moisture in the kernels to have that oh-so-satisfying tender crunch as you bite into your first, and 42nd, bite. The recipes below will demonstrate all the ways mentioned above, and more!
Corn has a bad rap for being high in carbohydrates and not very nutritious. But tell the haters to step aside, because corn offers plenty of nutritional benefits to make it a healthy staple at your next barbecue or event! Corn is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins, and carotenoids, which are what give corn its vibrant yellow color. It also is a great source of fiber, packing in 3 grams per half cup. One medium ear of corn contains 88 calories and 6 grams of sugar. Some nutritional problems occur when the recipe includes a generous lather of butter prior to consumption. So, if you are careful with your toppings, you're in the clear with corn!
Southwestern Sauteed Corn - Taste of Home
Grilled Corn Salad with Lime, Red Chili and Cotja - Bobby Flay
Parmesan Corn on the Cob - Damn Delicious
Ultimate Healthy Cornbread - Amy's Healthy Baking
(add some fresh corn to the recipe above!)
Fail-Proof Roasted Corn on the Cob - The Chunky Chef
Perfectly Grilled Corn on the Cob - Bobby Flay
Fresh Corn Succotash - Mantitlement
Corn Quesadillas - Taste of Home
What are you cookin' up with your corn this week? Leave us a comment below!
Summer season is in full swing and we are living for it! We have gorgeous organic eggplant, the first of the season green peppers and, of course, green beans. Our standard FreshFix box has 2lb of green beans from Fenton's Farm in Batavia, NY. Our OrganicFix boxes have 1lb of organic green beans from Abers Acres in Kennedy, NY.
ABOUT THE FARMS
Fenton's Farm is about a 45-minute drive outside of the city of Buffalo, NY. They sell their fruit and vegetables through their Farm Store, their CSA, and at farmer's markets, They also offer U-Pick fruits and veggies and have blueberries in season soon! To learn more, visit their Facebook.
Abers Acres is in Kennedy, NY, a little over an hour outside of Buffalo. It is a family farm established in 1984 and has since grown to over 100 acres of prime agricultural land devoted to the production of U-Pick and ready-picked choice seasonal fruits and vegetables. They are certified organic and strive to be energy efficient as they can. They welcome those interested to visit and learn more about their practices at their farm. If the drive is daunting, check out their website to learn more!
Choose fresh, well colored beans that snap easily when bent. Green beans are happiest when stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, specifically in the crisper drawer. And, if they're happy, you'll be happy, too! Use within one week and wash them before serving or preparing.
Rinse beans well before using and snap off stems and ends. It can be faster using scissors or kitchen shears. Try your beans in a stir-fry or roast them if you like a little char. They are great steamed, too, but try to use only a little water to reduce the amount of nutrients lost in the water. Always cook beans until they are bright green - don't overcook! Green beans are great when flavored with lemon juice, garlic, pepper, herbs or reduced-sodium soy sauce.
Like any vegetable, green beans are very nutrient dense. They offer many vitamins and minerals compared to their low energy offering at 31 calories per cup. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, A, K, and folate. They are fat and cholesterol-free, so load 'em on to any dinner plate! They are also a great source of fiber, similar to all of our beloved veggies.
Garlic Lemon Green Beans - She Wears Many Hats
Blistered Green Beans with Garlic - Bon Appetit
Healthy Green Bean Cassorole - Gimme Some Oven
Baked Green Bean Fries - Food Network
Israeli Couscous with Green Beans and Pistachios - Martha Stewart
Balsamic Green Bean Salad - Taste of Home
How do you like your green beans? Let us know in the comments below! All these recipes and more can be found on our Pinterest page!
All boxes this week contained cauliflower, the versatile veggie sneaking its way into all sorts of dishes. Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which includes cabbage, kale and Brussel sprouts. The name "cauliflower" literally means cabbage flower. If the veggie is not harvested, it will keep growing and turn into edible yellow flowers
This week's cauliflower is from Fenton's Farm in Batavia, NY, about a 45-minute drive outside of the city of Buffalo, NY. They sell their fruit and vegetables through their Farm Store, their CSA, and at farmer's markets, They also offer U-Pick fruits and veggies and have blueberries in season soon! To learn more, visit their Facebook.
Cauliflower doesn't last for very long in the fridge; whether raw or cooked it can quickly start to get stinky. We recommend storing it for 2-4 days in a perforated plastic bag. Don’t store it in a sealed container - it needs to breathe! We do not recommend freezing it as the texture becomes rather watery. No bueno.
Cutting a cauliflower into florets can seem like a daunting task. But, have no fear! It is really quite easy. Don't worry about washing first, it's much easier if you wash the florets when they are smaller to get in all the nooks and crannies. First, remove any leaves from the head. Cut the head in half, and then into quarters. Once in quarters, identify the stem and simply cut the florets from the dense stem. The florets will naturally break apart and you can cut them smaller if preferred. If you prefer to watch a video, click here.
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which run the world, nutritionally. You will be hard pressed to find another group of veggies with as much vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber as these guys. For good health, it is recommended to eat cruciferous vegetables 2-3 times per week. Want to live forever*? Eat cruciferous vegetables everyday!
*results may vary
Herb-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Beans and Tomatoes - Epicurious
5-Ingredient Cauliflower Crust Pizza - Chocolate Covered Katie
Buffalo Cauliflower - Tasty
Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup - Cookie and Kate
Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese - Food Network
One-Pot Curried Cauliflower with Couscous and Chickpeas - Epicurious
Grilled Cauliflower Steak - Gimme Some Grilling
Do you have a favorite way to prepare cauliflower? Leave us a comment below to share with others! More cauliPOWER to you.
Feelin' Cool as a Cucumber
Cucumbers are the lowest-maintenance vegetable. They don't need a fancy recipe with 10+ ingredients to be enjoyed, nor do they need much attention. Below you will find storage, preparation tips with nutrition information and a featured recipe. Let's get cucumber-educated!
Cucumbers are best when kept in a dry, cool place. We recommend wrapping each cucumber in a paper towel and placing them all in a plastic bag or eco-friendly alternative before placing then in the refrigerator. The paper towels will absorb any excess moisture and the plastic bag prevents chilling injury which is when cucumbers get watery/mushy spots. This strategy will have your cucumbers look, and taste, fresh all week. Do not place cucumbers directly in the refrigerator because this temperature quickly leads to chilling injury. Cucumbers can be left on the counter if they will be consumed in 1-2 days. Cucumbers will taste fresh until they begin to look wrinkled, in which case you should eat ASAP.
Already sliced? Place sliced cucumbers in a container and add a wet paper towel overtop to increase water retention.
Source for recommendations here
Fortunately, cucumbers shine brightest when left raw. Just throw together a few ingredients and you have an incredible cucumber salad. We will be highlighting cucumber salad recipe below. If you are preparing a salad and wish to remove the seeds of the cucumber, simply slice in half the long way and run a spoon along the inside to remove seeds. If you are slicing into rounds to snack, seed removal is not necessary. Same goes for the skin! The skin adds a beautiful color and texture, so we recommend leaving it on. Not to mention a boost of nutrition.
Per half-cup, cucumbers only contain 8 calories but plenty of phytochemicals. Pytochemicals are the biologically "active" component in plants which are associated with anti-cancer benefits. Cucumbers are 95% water so they also offer hydration. We actually get a lot of our fluid need fulfilled from food, so cucumbers are a great option!
Creamy Cucumber Salad courtesy of Lemon Tree Dwelling
Serves: 8 | Prep time: 15 mintes | Total time: 15 minutes
CALORIES: 47 TOTAL FAT: 3 g SATURATED FAT: 1 g TRANS FAT: 0 g UNSATURATED FAT: 1 g CHOLESTEROL: 8 mg SODIUM: 151 mg CARBOHYDRATES: 6 g FIBER: 1 g SUGAR: 3 g PROTEIN: 1 g
Vertical Fresh Farms in Kenmore, NY
Microgreens are everywhere, and Kenmore, NY is no exception. Housed indoors on Kenmore Ave is Vertical Fresh Farms, an urban farm growing 20+ varieties of microgreens. The tiny, edible greens have made a big impact in restaurants, grocery stores, and Farmers Markets, and for Matt Latham, they are the center of his business.
Matt began Vertical Fresh Farms in 2010 with his Brother-in-Law, Jeremy. The two of them saw Urban Agriculture as a promising area of business to keep up with agricultural demand of city-dwellers. With their eagerness to feed the city, they turned to the books. “For me, I have no background in this. It was just reading and reading, online eBooks and tutorials, whether its plumbing or lighting.” Pretty soon they were up and running, mastering the art of hydroponic farming as they progressed.
So, what is hydroponic farming?
At Vertical Fresh, Matt and his crew place seeds on long sheets of felt to grow. The felt allows the roots to penetrate and access the water and liquid nutrients while offering structure to the rest of the plant. Matt had just watered the room before I arrived and he said the beds will stay wet for 30 hours.
Pictured above are pea microgreens (left) and sunflower (right). As microgreens are becoming more recognized and accessible, they are becoming more popular. Even kids are joining the bandwagon! "I sell these to families I know. One family told me 'I watch Jeopardy with my daughters and we eat sunflowers and peas instead of Doritos.'"
For most, swapping Doritos for microgreens may not be that easy. Matt mentioned that "the hardest part of this food is teaching people how to be healthy." However, as microgreens are sprouting up in more places, they definitely have the potential to improve people's health.