Brooke’s Post: Tuna Salad Without The Tuna: A Vegetarians Dream

fullsizerender-4For the past 15 years I have practiced vegetarianism. Being a 5 year old and finding out that meat was an animal, broke my aspiring Veterinarian heart. Ever since, I have cut meat out of my life completely. I do still eat eggs and dairy, therefore being considered a lacto-ovo vegetarian.

At this point in my life I continue to practice vegetarianism not so much for the mercy of animals but for health reasons and the nutrition behind the lifestyle. I can honestly say that I do not miss meat or fish in the slightest, except for tuna. I can still smell the homemade tuna my grandma would prepare me as a young child. It wasn’t until age 7 that I figured out tuna was fish, which left my 7 year old self-feeling very guilty and upset that all these years I had been eating fish and no one informed me. My family thought this little proclamation of vegetarianism was just a stage in my life. Tricking me into still eating meat would be easy since I could not read labels or packages yet. My parents would tell me the meat they served was soy, and that tuna was just tuna not fish. As I started to be able to read packages and ingredient lists, I remember checking every single “soy” meat package my mom would buy. So some could say that my vegetarianism started at age 7 not 5. I haven’t eaten tuna since then, and have always missed this specific salad, until my mom introduced to me Chickpea Tuna Salad, without the tuna.

So here is an amazing vegetarian friendly substitute that has me not missing real tuna one bit, Chickpea Tuna Salad.  This salad contains all the same ingredients as tuna salad, minus the tuna. Chickpeas are a nutrient dense food falling in the legume family along with being a complex carbohydrate. Chickpeas contain 268 calories per cup, along with 12.5 grams of dietary fiber, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 14.5 grams of protein and 4.2 grams of fat. Chickpeas are high in vitamins and minerals, some being manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Chickpeas have come to be one of my personal favorites, establishing from this salad along with hummus. Chickpeas not only taste amazing but also have amazing effects on the human body. Chickpeas are proven to control blood sugar levels, enhance satiety and promote weight loss, and protect against heart disease.

This salad is great on pitas, crackers, in lettuce wraps or even just spooning it out of the bowl, it will not disappoint.

 

Ingredients

  • One can chickpeas
  •  One tablespoon dill relish
  • Diced onion and celery
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard

Directions

  1. Rinse and Drain one can of chickpeas
  2. Mash chickpeas in a medium size bowl
  3. Add one Tbsp of dill relish
  4. Add dice onion and celery, quantity depending on preference
  5. Add mayonnaise and mustard until salad has a moist consistency
  6. Add salt and pepper
  7. Store in fridge
  8. Enjoy!
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Kathleen’s Post: Talking Sustainability with Chef Matt Louis

matt-louisI met with Chef Matt Louis at a coffee shop in Portsmouth on a drizzly Monday evening. For those who may not know, Chef Matt Louis is the Chef and owner of two beautifully crafted restaurants in Portsmouth, NH: Moxy and Franklin Oyster House. Since we both work in the restaurant industry I knew his name and about his restaurants but otherwise I had only met Chef Louis in passing before this meeting. It wasn’t hard to start up a conversation, Matt comes with a warm personality, a great smile and tremendous amounts of knowledge and I came with plenty of questions.

I started off by asking him how he would introduce himself to a total stranger, because in a sense, that’s basically what I was at this point.

Well, I live in Portsmouth but I grew up in Raymond, New Hampshire. I traveled, worked and lived all around the U.S. and came back to Portsmouth because it is the hub of a lot of art and culture. Food fits right into that. You don’t find that dynamic in every community,” he tells me.

I am always curious to know which chefs attended cooking school and which chefs fell into the business in other ways, so I asked if he went to culinary school and if so, was he taught to incorporate local and sustainable ingredients? If not, how did it become an interest?

I went to the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Honestly, I really wasn’t taught about those practices in school. When I was in school the sustainable movement was just starting and wasn’t mainstream yet. School was more about learning the skills, techniques and classics. Now it’s like if you aren’t practicing sustainable methods you’re behind. But it isn’t something that should be marketed, it should just be done. Your average customer wants to know where the food is coming from and we should encourage that. Now the CIA program incorporates these practices in their curriculum.

I first started to get exposed after I graduated and started working for Thomas Keller at French Laundry in California. The menu was written every day and there is just one menu; it was about what was available. It was the first place where I took the food stuff out of the ground and brought it into a kitchen. It was way above me there but that’s where I was first introduced. And it seems so simple now but sometimes we lose that at a young age or we just never got it because of the new age. But us tending that farm was a big part of the job. We would get out there and get dirty.”

So, how did incorporating local and sustainable practices come to be a part of your business structure?

Seacoast Eat Local was a big part of it actually. When I moved back to the area from New York City, I was the chef at the Wentworth Hotel for a number of years and when it came time to open my own place and it came to the concept behind my business, I realized I didn’t have any relationships with any of the farmers. I reached out to a chef friend in the area, Evan Hennessey, Chef and owner of Stages at One Washington in Dover, and I asked him to introduce me to the community of farmers. The first thing he did was bring me to the Winter Farmer’s Market in Rollinsford, about six years ago, and that was my first introduction to all of it. I was completely blown away. I can’t believe that all of this stuff was available and growing here and I had no idea. So I quickly went around and said hello to everybody and got contacts and went home and started reaching out.

My friend then introduced me to Debra Kam, one of the founding board members of Seacoast Eat Local, and just a wealth of knowledge. We started talking and she set me up with a few things. It started small with just a couple connections and then over time, like anything, it just kind of evolved. Now we have a very extensive network of twenty to thirty farmers in the area. When people ask me ‘how can I do that’, I tell them to say hello, buy the product and invest in the people and their product and it keeps going from there.

At Franklin we work with about eight oyster farms working to rebuild oyster communities and we have our own farm in Great Bay which came from relationship building. It has been so interesting to learn about how the oysters are responsible for so much of the quality of our waters and coast. Its learning this whole other literature.”

What are some facts that consumers should know about oysters and why you chose to serve them?

Oysters are filters. They sit there and filter and actually clean the water. Water quality depends on oysters to clean the water and without them the entire ecosystem is at risk. For us, they are the ultimate food stuff of straight nutrients, vitamins, minerals and protein. It is incredible to learn the history of how far back oysters go. They were what was available right there at the water’s edge and ready to be consumed. The first thanksgiving was huge in terms of shellfish. And then pollution came around and demolished so much of our coasts. Luckily we have many organizations who are now trying to put it all back together.”

What are some specific ways your restaurants are sustainable, eco-friendly, and locally sourced?

It is a huge part of what we do and originally driven by the concept of what the restaurant was going to be. I know New England food; it is what I grew up with so why not cook with the food from where we are from? I have three categories that I use to run my kitchen. History, Cultural and Food Stuff. Nothing goes on the menu if it doesn’t fit in one of those categories. If we can’t answer ‘the why’ then we have to give it to someone else.

I think the word ‘local’ is a peculiar word. Is it a certain mileage, are there boundaries? Who’s to say that something from a great farm in New York isn’t a great product here? I like to refer to it as intelligent sourcing. The Native Americans didn’t care about state boundaries, they simply ate the food they could get. If it doesn’t grow natural to the area, I draw the line and we don’t use it.

The biggest part of sustainability is making sure the business is sustainable. If the business isn’t sustainable then there is no place to practice all of these good things. That can be a tough balance. If you are smart about it then it can be done.”

What are practices that you see chefs do that are not sustainably practical but can easily be changed?

There is a lot of unsustainability going on. When you haven’t been exposed it can be seen as intimidating and overwhelming, at least that’s what I would like to think and that it’s not that people are just lazy. But let’s focus on the good and recognize that there are a lot of people who want to do this but are overwhelmed. What could be done is if everyone could do at least one thing, like buy from one farm, just introduce yourself and build that relationship, and then it will become less of a task. And who knows what will grow a few years from now, but it has to start somewhere.

Something that can be done is truth in menus. Don’t just use buzz words like organic, local, or free-range just to get people to come to your restaurant. These are really important words. They mean something and they should be thought about more carefully before being thrown on a menu. It is easy to source these things but it does take time.”

For restaurants that pump out large amounts of food, is buying locally worth it? Do you think that local growers can provide enough?

I think they can and that there needs to be a balance, but it is possible. When Pigs Fly Pizzeria is an example. They set the term of how to do it on a bigger scale as a busy restaurant. You can still be engaged and do your part. When there is a conscious effort to do that, you’re adding to the conversation instead of pretending that is simply doesn’t apply to you.”

As someone who is engaged in this community’s food movement, what are some things that you would like to see more of?

More of the way that it is going. I would like to see more and more restaurants engage in buying intelligently from people in our communities and neighborhoods. These people are our neighbors and we should continue to grow. The more the diner becomes intelligent about it, the more we have to continue to practice these things. As a community who has so many options here, and we know that some communities don’t, its absurd to me that some practices aren’t being done. But as long as everyone is staying aware then this momentum is going to continue moving forward.”

What are some practices that you use in your kitchen that people can practice in their homes?

“In terms of composting, Mr. Fox does residential compost pickup that seems relatively easy to sign up for. In terms of sourcing and buying product, I put many of the farms names on the wall of my restaurant so people will realize ‘hey I can buy from there, too”. It can start at the farmer’s markets and most farmers are even okay with people stopping by the farms themselves.

A product that is very underutilized is goat. It is extremely sustainable and affordable and it is something you can use all of. It is the fraction of the price compared to beef or lamb.

I think it would be really fun for people at home to sign up for a CSA to learn along the way of what is available. You are going to get things that you know and want but you are also going to get things that you aren’t familiar with and that forces you to figure out what to do with it.”

Before parting ways to head to our chosen dinner destinations, myself to the Black Trumpet for their new Social Hour special and Matt to Louie’s for some delicious Italian cuisine, I extended my hand for a handshake which Matt took but then pulled me into a hug. I left feeling like there is still so much to be done but recognized how much is already being done thanks to people like Chef Matt Louis. I left feeling full. (See what I did there?!)

Thank you Matt Louis for taking the time for this interview. Thank you to all of our chefs, consumers and producers who have taken the time to play their part in sourcing intelligently, striving to be sustainable, and spreading the wealth of fresh, wholesome and natural foods.

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(Untitled)

sprouts-picAs I was walking around the Portsmouth market this past Saturday I became excited at the sight of brussels sprout stalks. Thanks to Zach’s Farm, I got to enjoy them a little early, as they are normally harvested in October. I admit it’s an odd vegetable to be obsessed with, but since I’ve had the Green Elephant’s brussels sprout appetizer I have been trying to cook the unpopular veg as tasty as they do.

Unfortunately, a survey conducted in 2008 revealed that brussels sprouts are the most-hated vegetable in America. So I wouldn’t blame you if you’re wondering why you should give brussels sprouts a spot on your plate. I’ll admit I wasn’t always a fan, but perhaps when you consider the nutritional content you’ll be more intrigued. Brussels sprouts are a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and other green leaf vegetables.  These vegetables have many rich nutrients including vitamin C, plant protein, and soluble fiber. According to the Maryland Medical Center, the average diet contains far less than the 25 to 30 grams of fiber needed for good health. Fiber is important because it keeps your digestive system working normally and encourages regular bowel movements. In just one cup of brussels sprouts there are 4 grams of fiber—make it two cups and you’ve got 8 grams!

For my most recent batch I roasted the sprouts in a balsamic and maple reduction. First I washed them, making sure to rinse off any excess dirt. I then sliced the sprouts into two halves in order to cook both sides, and placed them on a baking sheet. For the reduction I used about ½ cup balsamic vinegar and 1-tablespoon maple syrup. When the mixture came to a boil I began to constantly whisk it. This is important in order to not burn the reduction. As it became more condensed I turned the burner off and let it sit for a few minutes. I then drizzled the sauce over the sprouts, deliberately covering each piece. I placed them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Whether you are a supporter or a critic, I urge you to give sprouts some love this fall (and try out my recipe)!

Some helpful links:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-eating-brussels-sprouts-4461.html

http://www.foodrepublic.com/2013/02/19/11-things-you-probably-did-not-know-about-brussels-sprouts/#!slide=4

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Amber’s Post: Fall in Love with your Next Salad!

kalebeetsFor me salads are a relatively quick and easy go-to dish. While I am at school and fortunate to have a salad bar with plenty of options, my bowl doesn’t always match up to Flatbread’s organic salad, or York 54’s baby kale and beets salad. So this past Saturday I picked up a few ingredients to create my own plate, full of some necessary nutrients and the added deliciousness I believe every salad needs.

To start out I added a bag of mixed greens with a head of kale. The nutritional benefits of adding just one cup of kale is worth it if you’re looking to incorporate more vitamin A, omega fatty acids, or amino acids into your meals. With many advantages, vitamin A supports your immune system, while vitamin C helps repair any cuts or broken bones. Both omega-6 and omega-3 acids are “essential” fats which our bodies can’t produce, so we must get them through food. They play an important role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Lastly, amino acids are the building blocks for protein, which are important for many bodily functions, such as giving our cells their structure. Each nutrient has multiple purposes, if you’re interested in learning more I’ve attached a few links at the bottom of this post!

The other ingredients in my salad were less dominating on the plate, but I believe they complimented each other well. The beets I bought from the market added an earthiness, as well as a good amount of folate, which is an essential vitamin especially important for women while they are pregnant in order to prevent neural tube defects. I roasted the beets at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes wrapped in foil, and then peeled and sliced them. Next I chopped up a macintosh apple which added a pleasant crispiness as well as a healthy amount of dietary fiber. For the top I searched my cabinets and found some cashews to incorporate for crunch and protein, and dried apricots for a sweet texture. To finish I whisked up a dressing made out of balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, and maple syrup. If you are looking for a yummy salad to make this fall I definitely suggest picking up some local ingredients at the next market– you won’t be disappointed!

Maple balsamic dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vingar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Helpful links:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002404.htm

https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/food-composition/macronutrients/protein-and-amino-acids

https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/food-composition/macronutrients/fiber

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Brooke’s Post: Got Zoodles? Low Carb Substitutes For All Your Favorite Dishes

This past weekend I attended my first Farmers Market in Exeter. As soon as I arrived to the market I started walking around fullsizerender-3talking to some of the farmers and getting familiar with the different stands. I would be lying if I told you my mouth wasn’t watering a little bit while the aromas of fresh pesto, summer squash, maple ice cream, and ripe tomatoes captivated me. Earlier in the day I had a sudden craving for pasta so I knew while making my rounds to keep an eye out for some fresh zucchini and spaghetti squash.

If you asked me the last time I had pasta, I don’t think I could tell you.  But if you ask me the last time I had zoodles, I’d tell you last night, and the night before. For those who are unaware, zoodles are noodles made from shredded zucchini. In order to shred the zucchini you will need to pick up a Veggetti Spiral for $10.00 at your local Bed Bath and Beyond or Natural Foods Market. When I am craving pasta I’ll whip out my Veggetti and spiral some zucchini or prepare some spaghetti squash.

To prepare your spaghetti squash you can slice one squash in half, season with olive oil and pepper on both sides; bake it at 450 degrees for about 35 minutes. Take a fork to it and scrape out the spaghetti. I will spoon some marinara or pesto sauce right on top and cook it in the microwave or sauté it on the stovetop.  Personally I think this recipe tastes better than regular pasta since it has much more flavor.

If pasta isn’t the only carb you crave, don’t worry there are other substitutes. Some other great low carb substitutes are:

  • Lettuce stalks in place of taco shells, making a tasty low calorie taco for your Mexican dinner. When replacing my taco shell I never feel as bad eating that extra taco I’m craving.
  • Replacing your hamburger bun for a Portobello mushroom slice or slice of bread for a slice of eggplant are great ways to fit in that serving of veggies. Baking slices of mushrooms or eggplant will help make them firm enough to support your food.
  • For those French fries enthusiast, like me, start making some sliced carrot, avocado, turnip or squash fries. I myself love French fries and every once in a while I need to indulge but to get my weekly fix I will slice up one of the veggies I mentioned and roll it in olive oil and parmesan cheese then bake it until roasted golden brown.
  • For all my pancake lovers out there I have the perfect alternative recipe for you. One banana and 2 eggs mixed in a bowl, creates a delicious protein pancake batter. Sometimes I will add chocolate protein powder or PB2 Power (Peanut butter powder). It tastes just like a fluffy banana pancake.
  •  If you’re someone who lives on mac n cheese, try cauliflower cheese. Cut up small pieces of cauliflower and pour on your favorite cheese sauce.  Put your dish into a baking pan; bake until you see golden brown cauliflower and oozing cheese.

All of these recipes are easy and healthy. Substituting your carb loaded favorite foods for low carb vegetables will save you calories and add nutrients to your meals, and you wont feel guilty about having seconds at every meal.

 

For more information on these recipes please visit http://greatist.com/health/lower-carb-alternatives

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Success and Struggle: A Farm Profile

Farming is hard. Small family farms struggle. Debt is strangling. Markets are on the decline.

We hear it a lot. These things are all true, and make no mistake- small farms in our region are feeling the pinch, especially in this summer of drought and baking sun. But, there is a more nuanced story to tell – and here is one of those stories, featuring growth, investment, and yes- a good portion of the struggle and risk we hear so much about.


img_6156Phil and Becky Brand started Brandmoore Farm, a certified organic operation, on a parcel of conserved land in Rollinsford in 2012. There was a home, several barns and buildings, some equipment, and land for farming and grazing. The space had a history of agricultural use, most recently by Brookford Farm who called Rollinsford home before expanding to a new property in Canterbury, NH.

In the very beginning, the young couple milked only 4 cows by hand. They had a vision, Becky remembers, of being “a place where people can come, where they can find diversified products, connect to community, and support multiple businesses.”

Five years on, that vision has largely come to fruition and continues to grow. Along with the growth of the farm, their family has also grown! Becky and Phil welcomed their first child, a son, last winter.

Brandmoore Farm offers a CSA; attends summer (Exeter) and winter (Exeter and Rollinsford) farmers’ markets; manages an on-site farm store; and produces a wide variety of organic products from flowers to pork, beef, the spectrum of vegetables and the dairy products like yogurt and raw milk that they are known for. In keeping with that original vision of diversity and partnership, Brandmoore Farm has teamed up with Embers Bakery to offer a bread add-on to their CSA and is also a pickup location for New Hampshire Community Seafood’s fish share program.

With growth, though, comes significant investment and loans to finance the costs of equipment and infrastructure. While the farm is on track to pay off its initial loan for start-up costs next year, there have been many changes, upgrades and investments in their 5 years of business.

img_6157More cows (now up to 53 total animals) means more production, but also greater need for bulk tank space, pasteurization capacity and large equipment to support hay harvesting. Since starting operation, Brandmoore Farm has invested in a hay tedder, large tractor, increases in their herd size, a bulk tank and a vat pasteurizer.

Becky Brand describes these investments as part of their business philosophy, “Staying here and remaining in operation means continuing to invest and grow. Otherwise, any capital you have or loan you take goes towards repairs on outdated equipment that can’t grow with you.”

While the overall picture of growth and continued investment is certainly one to celebrate (to Phil and Becky’s credit), there are always unforeseen factors causing negative impacts on their, and often on other, farms. Two summers of drought have taken their toll on many vegetable crops across the seacoast. In addition to impacting market vegetables, drought reduces hay yields – meaning less available feed for their certified organic dairy animals. Organic certified hay is not only costly, but often difficult to find. Less volume or lower quality hay impacted by drought also has the potential of decreasing milk production at the time of year when production levels are already lower, but the farm sees the most foot traffic.

Beyond weather, human factors also have the potential to negatively impact farms, including Brandmoore. Generally, farmers’ market attendance and sales have been down for markets and producers across the region. There’s ongoing talk of the farmers’ market ‘bubble’ having burst.

So, in the midst of adverse climate factors and market variability, what’s a farm to do?

In part, keep investing in and committing to the community that has helped them grow thus far.

Brandmoore Farm’s  latest investment over this past winter was a new, larger vat pasteurizer as well as renovations to their barn that img_6155will allow for cheese production and storage. “It was a natural next step,” Becky explains, “We were ready for something new and customers have always asked us about cheese. This step will allow us to add new products and make the best, most efficient use of our resources.”

What then, can the average consumer do to support Brandmoore and other family farms like it scattered across the Seacoast?

In this specific instance:

  • Brandmoore Farm offers credit options for their farm store for those who don’t feel able to commit to a full CSA. Purchase credit in the amount that feels right for you.
  • Consider their CSA program (and the add-ons) for next year. Sign up in February during Seacoast Eat Local CSA Days!
  • Stop by the farm store for a range of available, certified organic, meat, vegetable and dairy products
  • Contribute to Brandmoore Farm’s kickstarter campaign, geared towards helping them pay down some of the debt incurred for their new cheesemaking room and vat pasteurizer. Show them some cheese, so they can make some for you! Support them today!

In general:

  • Purchase a CSA or Farm Store Credit: CSAs help farmers plan and invest in their future crop just at the time when they need it most but have the least amount of expendable income. CSAs come in many shapes and sizes. To learn more, visit our informational page: http://seacoasteatlocal.org/find-local-food/csas/
  • Shop the market: Farmers need you out there, every week, supporting what they do and helping to make sure that they can sell everything they grow. Every little bit helps.

 

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Kathleen’s Post: Returning to SEL!

Hey everyone!

fullsizerender-2For those of you I haven’t yet met, my name is Kathleen and I am returning for my second semester as an intern for the wonderful Seacoast Eat Local. During the spring semester of 2016, I focused on working at the Winter Farmer’s Market, writing recipes using all local ingredients while staying within a given budget and researching business ideas for the Mobile Farmer’s Market.

Over the summer I worked full time at the Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, NH, where the Chef, Evan Mallett, strives to pull as much local and sustainable product in as possible. I also tended my own garden, consisting of mainly heirloom tomato plants that my dog, Miss Charley, loved to snack on.

This is my final semester at UNH as I wrap up my degree in Nutrition and Wellness and oh how the time has flown by! Working with SEL last semester really provided a deeper insight of community nutrition outside of the classroom and I am so thankful to be welcomed back and excited to dive into new projects.

I hope to see you all at the Winter Markets!

Cheers,

Kathleen Fitzgerald

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Amber’s Post: A Bit about Me!

Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to welcome Amber onto our intern team this semester. Her food-enthusiasm is evident and we have enjoyed getting to know her so far! Make sure you say hello to her at the Portsmouth market on Saturday mornings!

Hi!

img_1614-1My name is Amber Freeman, I’m a junior at UNH studying Nutrition. Food is a huge part of my life. Whether I am reading for class, cooking with friends, day dreaming about my next meal, or grocery shopping, I’m always happy to talk about food. Some of my most memorable moments with friends are the nights we cook and share our favorite meals, or the late afternoons we spend at the Green Elephant in Portsmouth, eating their delicious brussel sprouts and pad thai.

My childhood definitely played a role in my love for food. Growing up on the seacoast in York, Maine, my parents raised my two older brothers and I as pescatarians (so we ate fish and dairy but eliminated meat from our diet). My mom taught me how to cook, and continues to pass down her strawberry jam and pickling skills. Although our diet was relatively healthy, being full of fruits and vegetables, I was impacted by a few health aliments. I decided to see if eliminating dairy from my diet would help. When the symptoms cleared up I was surprised, but also happy and curious as to why my health improved. A freshmen in college at the time, I was intrigued by nutrition and decided to declare my major. There are so many paths the field can take me after graduation; whether I work for a program like Women, Children, Infants (WIC), become a registered dietitian (RD), explore holistic nutrition, or own my own farm to fork restaurant, I am looking forward to the future.

Before I graduate I would like to gain more experience working outside the classroom. This semester I’ll be interning for Seacoast Eat Local (SEL). I find their mission important because they connect market goers with local food, while at the same time supporting the community of farmers who sell their goods at the markets. I cannot wait to spend my Saturday mornings in Portsmouth, where there is fresh and local food at hands reach, and lovely people who choose to spend their morning at the vibrant market! This blog is a place I’ll post about my time at the markets— I hope to share my purchases, nutritional information about the items, as well as easy and affordable recipes to incorporate into a busy schedule.

Have a sunny weekend, and hope to see you at the market!

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Brooke’s Post: The Super Food That You Always Overlooked But Does So Much

fullsizerender-1I know not everyone believes in super foods, but I am certainly a believer. If there is a food out there that provides you with exceptional health benefiting factors beyond its normal nutrients, then why not believe in super foods? Some may have never even heard of the super food flaxseed, so let me be the first to introduce you to it. Flaxseed is a powerful little seed that holds within it evidenced-based powers to decrease breast, colon and prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, control diabetes, aid weight loss, and balance hormones such as estrogen and progesterone while decreasing cramps. This seed does it all. Would you consider it a super food now too?

Flaxseed is one of the foods richest in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 FA are essential to the body, meaning the body cannot produce them on its own, requiring you to consume it within your diet. This is important for maintaining normal blood cholesterol along with preventing cancer cells from spreading. Flaxseed is also abundant in fiber. Containing both soluble and insoluble fiber, this benefits in lowering cholesterol and glucose levels while allowing your digestive tract to move quickly and smoothly.

My tip to you is to buy flaxseed meal that has been ground at local grocery store. My favorite flaxseed, as pictured, is from Trader Joes, in a meal form. If you were to buy the whole seed you would then have to chew it very thoroughly to break it apart to release the nutrients. Many just swallow the seeds whole traveling through the digestive system without being broken down. The serving size is 1 tablespoon, which is also the daily recommendation. You may ask, “well, how do you eat Flaxseed?” Flaxseed can be incorporated into your favorite smoothies, cereals, oatmeal’s, yogurts, I will even put them into my pancake or cookie batter. As pictured I made peanut butter crackers and celery and sprinkled some flaxseed on top. Buying flaxseed meal is my “go-to” because it is so fine that you cannot taste it when paired with other foods. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking a spoonful straight to the mouth because it will be hard to swallow since the meal is very dry.

 

 

To learn more about flaxseed and the benefits you can visit Medical News Today at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263405.php

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Brooke’s Post: An Introduction!

Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to have Brooke with SEL this semester as our new Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum Student. We have received and benefited from many of these wonderful UNH students in the past and look forward to working with Brooke. Make sure you say hi to her at markets!
IMG_4286Hi Everyone! My name is Brooke Kealey.
I am a junior at the University of New Hampshire majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. Ever since I was in high school, I have always had a passion for food, nutrition and health. I focus on clean eating within a budget, along with a balanced lifestyle including mental and physical health. Along with my passion for health, I have always loved to volunteer in my free time. As long as I could remember I have volunteered with my parents at food pantries, food trucks, and soup kitchens. Before I was even thinking about college and what I wanted to do with my career, I loved talking to the customers about the food, meals to make at home and healthy alternatives, it came naturally to me. Later on in my life when I had to start thinking about my passions I figured nutrition and health would be the best pathway for me to take since I enjoyed it so much, and was good at it too. Ever since coming to UNH, I have learned the skills to counsel people in need of nutritional guidance as well as taking it a step further to better their attitude towards a healthy diet.
Seacoast Eat Local is a great organization that provides farm to table options for people who otherwise would not be able to afford fresh produce at the grocery stores. A huge factor in our society of the obesity epidemic is due to economic constraints. Theses farmers markets make it possible for all people to eat a balanced, fresh diet at home without emptying their pockets.
I decided to intern at Seacoast Eat Local because I thought the movement of their work was inspiring and truly selfless. This internship ties together my passion of nutrition and love of giving back to others. Throughout this experience I hope to help many individuals and families with balanced meal ideas, nutritional knowledge and recipe ideas.
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