Simply Fresh by Julie Wern

IMG_0052.JPGWelcome Back veteren CSA members and hello new members.  I am so excited to be coming upon a new CSA season and can’t wait to bring you news, information and recipes related to the bounty coming out of the fields this summer.

For those of you who are new to the CSA and/or to Simply Fresh, let me tell you a little about my food blog. During the summer growing season I post once a week, typically highlighting a particular vegetable offered in that week’s CSA distribution. I include storage, nutrition, and preparation tips, as well as one or two recipes that include the featured item and/or other produce items offered in the share. I welcome your feedback, so please reply to the blogs with any questions or comments you might have. Alternatively, if you prefer not to comment on the blog, you can contact me directly at simplyfresh@holcombfarm.org.

I have been writing the blog for five years now so please keep in mind that there are many past editions of Simply Fresh and hundreds of recipes stored in the archives of the Holcomb website. If at any time, you have questions about a certain kind of vegetable or wish to locate a recipe using specific items, you can always do a search in past issues of Simply Fresh. Simply click on the search window in the green section at the bottom of the blog and type in your search term (e.g. carrots, potatoes). We are working on improving the search feature to more thoroughly access Simply Fresh articles and recipes. Please let me know if you have any trouble with the search feature.

For those of you who are veteran readers of Simply Fresh, you will recognize my tradition of starting out my blog season by encouraging a stocked and varied pantry. If there is one thing I have learned as a CSA member it is that having a well-stocked pantry is the key to successfully, efficiently, and exhaustively using up my weekly CSA bounty. Please read my pantry suggestions (click here) and begin to consider how you might want to stock up on your own supplies before the produce starts flooding in and summer activities move into full swing. You’ll be amazed to find how much more quickly and creatively you can use up your CSA share if you are well prepared in the rest of the kitchen.

I would also like to share with you an article that was posted on our Facebook page on preparing for the CSA season….lots of good advice here as well (click here)

Finally, I would like to try to revive our Pinterest board for this year.  This is a special board for posting favorite recipes that utilize the CSA produce. You can find this board at http://pinterest.com/holcombfarmcsa/. However, if you would like to be able to “pin” recipes to this board you will need to do the following:

  1. Open a free account with Pinterest (if you don’t already have one). Simply go to http://pinterest.com and click on join. It is easy!
  2. Follow Holcombfarmcsa blog by going to http://pinterest.com/holcombfarmcsa/ and clicking on “Follow”
  3. Send me your email address so that I can you add you as a contributor. This will allow you to “Pin” recipes on the Holcomb board. Note that the email address you send me needs to be the same email address you use in your Pinterest account. Please send to mailto:Simplyfresh@holcombfarm.org?subject=Holcomb Pinterest board

Happy Pinning!

Like you, I can’t wait for next week and our first share of local, organic spring produce. Hope to see you at the farm!

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Here is a fun recipe to wet your palate for many more to come.  It utilizes the deliciously sweet strawberries that are ripe now and ready for picking.  Our family has significantly cut down on our consumption of any kind of sugar/sweetener this year so this recipe is way to enjoy a sweet treat without the added sugar.  It is also dairy free and contains healthy coconut milk, which is high in medium-chain saturated fat, a fat that is increasingly understood to boost energy and brain function.

A note on whipping coconut milk.  Most commercial brands of coconut milk contain guar gum, which interferes with the whipping potential of the cream.  If you can find a coconut milk without guar gum, that will work the best.  I get mine at Asian grocery stores.  If you cannot find it without guar gum, just know that your cream may end up more like creme anglaise than whipped cream, which is still delicious!

Fresh Strawberries and Coconut “Whipped Cream”                  Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

– 1 quart fresh strawberries, rinsed and halved
– 1 13.5 ounce can whole fat coconut milk, chilled at least 12 hours in the coldest part of the fridge
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
– sweetner of choice, optional
METHOD:

It helps to chill the bowl before whipping the coconut cream. Carefully turn can of chilled coconut milk upside down (this will put the liquid on the top so you can pour it off). Open the can and pour off the watery milk, leaving the cold cream at the bottom of the can. Using a spoon, scoop cream into chilled bowl. Add vanilla extract and sweetener, if desired. Whip on high speed until mixture forms a cream.

Top berries with cream and enjoy!

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