There are over 20,000 varieties of apples across the world, but only about 200 varieties are grown in the U.S. and fewer than 100 are found in stores. Apples are typically harvested during the late summer and early months in New York, but the last a long time in cold storage so we often have local apples all winter and even into spring. New York is the second largest apple producing state (after Washington) in the U.S. At this time of year fresh, local apples are so abundant it would be a shame to get them from anywhere else.
Storage and Preperation
Apples can be stored both a room temperature or in the fridge, depending on how fresh they are and how long you want them to last. If storing at room tempera- ture, make sure that they are in a cool area and away from direct sunlight. If storing in the fridge, be sure to keep in the fruit side of your crisp and they will last for several weeks or even months.
Add apple slices to banana and yogurt for a refreshing smoothie. If you have apples that are too mushy to eat, cut them into slices and freeze for use in a smoothie. Add diced apples to root vegetables like beets, sweet potato and carrots and roast in a 425 oven until tender. Have apple slices with almond or peanut butter for quick, filling snack. Also try apple slices with goat, cheddar and mozzarella cheese and nuts.
Apples are a good source of both fiber and vitamin C. But be sure to eat the peel since that’s where most of the fiber and anti- oxidants are found. Apples con- tain natural pectin that helps stim- ulate healthy digestion. The also contain vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate and potassium in smaller amounts. They make a great healthy portable snack.
For a while now I have been saying that celery was one of the most underated veggies in the box. Apparently pop culture is starting to catch up with my wisdom. I found a NY Times article from this summer that was reporting on an apparent celery craze that has drove up the price of celery (especially organic). It all make sense now! As an avid celery eater for many years, I was wondering why a bunch of organic celery was topping out over $4. That's one of the many reason why I'm so excited to see celery at FreshFix. In the past local celery has never really inspired me to do anything other than throw it in a broth, but the organic celery from Thorpe's family farm is sweet and delicious.
Fun ways to use celery
Add it to your salad. Pretty much any salad I make that has celery gets rave reviews. I especially like to add it to greek salads or make a salad with tuna (canned in oil), roasted red peppers, celery, kalamata olives and any of ther salad ingredients in my produce drawer.
Let celery take center stage. One of the best salads I ever had didn't have any lettuce and was mostly celery. Unforunately I don't have the recipe, but this celery salad recipe sounded good as well.
Drink it. Juicing is so hot right now, but I have also been in to celery-based shrubs with a kick. In drink terms, a shrub is a concentrated syrup that combines fruit, sugar, and vinegar. Try this celery chrub recipe and add your favorite liquor.
Braise it. Braising is a cooking technique wherein an ingredient is first browned in fat, then simmered in liquid on low heat. The prolonged cooking time in liquid allows the food to become succulent and adds depth of flavor. Try this braised celery recipe.
Soup it up. Pureed soups are so easy to make and also look fancy. Try this celery soup recipe then grab a baguette and add a simple salad and you are good to go.
Go traditional. I can go weeks eating celery every day for lunch (along with other cut veggies). I just switch up my hummus or dip and its the easiest lunch ever. Not a hummus fan? I didn't want to mention celery with cream cheese, but oops, I just did!
We are so excited to finally have collard greens in our boxes again. Having lived in North Carolina for nearly a decade we became accustomed to their omnipresence in local markets, but few farmers in this area grow them. When we had the chance to choose the greens for our winter boxes, these versatile greens were first on our list. We introduced our Buffalo family to collard greens a few years back and now they ask us to make them– they have even become a staple in our Thanksgiving dinner.
Selection and Storage
Collards can be prepared the same way you prepare other greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens or mustard greens.
To start, cut the collards into thin strips, removing the thick middle stalk.
Collard Green Recipes
Collard Green Casserole
I like to make a version of this with chicken and use lots of lemon instead of sour cream
Like most greens, collards can also be eaten raw
Stuffed Collard Greens
Similar to stuffed cabbage leaves, but with a twist
This week the Farm and FamilyFix recieved a pie pumpkin. If you don’t have a pie pumpkin, you can follow the same preparation and recipes with a butternut or honeynut squash. We will show you how to prepare a sugar (or pie) pumpkin so that you can use it in various recipes. It’s much easier and faster than you might think and the flavor of a fresh roasted pumpkin is quite different from the canned variety; it’s a bit earthier and nuttier. For fun, you might want to try a side-by-side taste comparison of canned pumpkin versus freshly roasted pumpkin. You might find It’s worth the extra work now and then. As a rule of thumb, 1 small pumpkin should make enough puree to equal one 15-oz. can.
How to Cook a Pie Pumpkin
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Use a sharp knife to slice the stem off before slicing in half so you don’t have to slice through the stem. Then slice the pumpkin in half.
4. With a sharp-edged spoon (such as a metal tablespoon with a sharp edge or a metal ice cream scoop), scoop out the seeds & guts. Make sure you clean & save the seeds for roasting.
5. Brush inside the pumpkin with oil and place face down on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6. Roast at 350F for about 45-50 minutes. The exact time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin(s) and you may need more time. The skin will be slightly darker and wrinkled and you should be able to poke a fork quite easily through.
7. Let the pumpkin cool for 10 minutes before handling. Use a large spoon to peel away the very thin skin. It comes off almost effortlessly. At this point, you can use the flesh in all kinds of dishes – soups, casseroles, risotto, pies, etc.
8. If making a puree: Place the pumpkin flesh into the blender and blend until smooth. Drain the pureed pumpkin in a cheesecloth to remove excess water or you can use it as is.