For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce! Segment 4: Beet Greens!

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce!
Kayla Parker, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

For the Love of Beet Greens!

beet greens
This week when I arrived at the Portsmouth Farmer’s Market, I was greeted by Sarah, my supervisor, and two huge bags of beet greens. When I asked her what was going on, Sarah informed me that her and one of the farmers had done some serious gleaning of their own. She showed me a picture of a pickup truck filled with beet greens and as my eyes grew wide she informed me that wasn’t even all of it. In fact, they had gleaned over 1,000 pounds of these leafy greens!  There was just one problem, when they went to deliver them to the local food pantries, some of them wondered how beet greens could be prepared. I knew that figuring out the answer to that question was going to be my next mission.

Why You Should Love Beet Greens
Beet greens are not typically sold by themselves, they usually just tag along with their root, the part of this vegetable that most people are familiar with consuming. It’s sad to say, but a lot of people just chop off these greens and throw them away, After reading this, I hope you will think twice about that the next time, because they are a delicious nutrient dense food that can also be used in tasty dishes along with the beets, or alone.

When you think about leafy greens, you probably don’t think about them as being a good source of protein, but they are, just ask Popeye! Beet greens are no exception to this, containing 4 grams of protein per one cup cooked, you might just start turning into a muscle bound sailor yourself. All joking aside, beet greens are also very low in calories, at just 39 per cup cooked, and contain a whole lot of vitamins and minerals. They are highest in Vitamins K, A, C,  and Riboflavin. Although Riboflavin is not a source of energy by itself, it is a B vitamin which helps the body convert the food that you eat into useful energy. Some people who complain of symptoms of chronic fatigue may actually be deficient in one or more B vitamins such as this one. As for minerals, beet greens are a very good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper. Copper is a mineral that receives little credit, but it is important in the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize iron. As expected, beet greens are also a very good source of dietary fiber.
Nutrient profile from

How You Should Love Beet Greens
Because of the overabundance of beet greens this week, I decided to take a large bag of them home myself. I knew that I was not going to be able to eat them all before they went bad, I decided to put aside enough for my featured recipe and  blanch and freeze the rest so I could use them in later recipes.

Local Beet Green Salad With Beets and Feta
Serves 4

beet greens and feta

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 medium-large beets (about 3 inches in diameter) with greens
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
¾ cup walnut pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing generously with salt and pepper.

Cut green tops off beets; reserve tops. Wrap each beet individually in foil and place directly on rack in oven.

While beets are baking, cut stems off beet greens and discard stems. Wash greens. Transfer greens, with some water still clinging to leaves, to large pot. Stir over high heat until just wilted but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Transfer greens to cold water bath to cool. Squeeze out excess moisture, then chop coarsely.

Remove beets from oven after about one hour, or when tender when pierced with a fork. Peel beets while warm. Cut beets in half and slice thinly. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in ½ amount of dressing.

Transfer greens to medium bowl. Toss almonds and enough dressing to coat.

Arrange beets in center of platter. Surround with greens; sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.
Recipe modified from

How to Blanch and Freeze the Rest

Place a large pot of water on stove on high heat. While waiting for water to boil, prepare beet greens by cutting off stems. Prepare a bowl of cold water with ice.

When water comes to a boil, submerge beet greens and cover. Let boil for only two minutes.

When time is up, remove greens from water using a slotted or pasta spoon and immediately transfer to bowl of water and ice to stop the cooking process. Leave in cold water for two minutes, then squeeze out excess water and place on a clean towel.

Continue this process until you have blanched all the greens. Note: the boiling water may be used up to five times, after which a new pot of water should be replaced. Also, you may need to continue adding ice to the cold water bowl as water will heat up after every batch.

After excess water has been squeezed from beet greens, place them in airtight zip-loc bags and freeze for later use.
Recipe modified from


Some other links to great beet green recipes to try:

Simple side dish

Toss with pasta

Beet and beet green quiche


Posted in author: Sarah, recipes | Leave a comment

Volunteering with Seacoast Eat Local

Here at Seacoast Eat Local, it is our mission to connect people with sources of locally grown foods and promote eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers.

Seacoast Eat Local is a volunteer-based non-profit organization, and our work is made possible by passionate volunteers from the Seacoast and beyond. It is through the continued support of so many that we are able to maintain and grow our programs, connecting consumers with farmers and making local food an available aspect of life for everyone in the Seacoast!

Volunteers helping set up before markets begin are appreciated by all!

Volunteers helping set up before markets begin are appreciated by all!













Volunteering with Seacoast Eat Local can take on many forms. We need your support across all of our programs. This can include

  • staffing info tables at community events,
  • helping farmers unload at our winter markets,
  • assisting in data collection for Seacoast Harvest,
  • working with our SNAP/EBT & Debit program at farmers’ markets,
  • gleaning local food for donation from markets and area farms,
  • and creating interest around a variety of local food events
Jess and Carina are helping glean produce for donation from the Portsmouth Farmers' Market.

Jess and Carina are helping glean produce for donation from the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market.


If you’d like to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can support the local agricultural community check out our Volunteer page. You can sign up for our volunteer email newsletter there and read about the different types of support we need to keep growing. The Winter Farmers’ Markets are just around the corner, our first in the series starts November 22. These community events can always use additional support to help them run smoothly and successfully. Click over to our Winter Farmers’ Market page to save the dates and learn more about the market.

There are a number of ways you can support the local food movement …

Join our stellar crew of volunteers. We need help getting the word out, running market activities, setting up during the winter markets or even just hanging posters around your town. Email for more info.
Volunteers are needed to help at the SNAP/EBT booth to help answer customer’s questions, assist the program coordinator with EBT and debit transactions, and to provide new EBT shoppers with information and a farmers’ market tour. Email for more info.


Jean Pauly working with the Rollinsford PD to collect food donations for their holiday food baskets. Through generous support from farmers and market shoppers, SEL was able to donate over 2,000 pounds of local food to area pantries during last year's winter markets season

Jean Pauly working with the Rollinsford PD to collect food donations for their holiday food baskets. Through generous support from farmers and market shoppers, SEL was able to donate over 2,000 pounds of local food to area pantries during last year’s winter market season

Another option is to support local food and agriculture with a donation to Seacoast Eat Local. Donate online or mail a donation made out to Seacoast Eat Local to 67 Airport Road, Newington, NH. Donations are tax deductible.

Help us spread the word! You can forward this blog, follow our blog, post a message online, text or invite a friend to go to your local farmers’ market. Farmers love your support!

Posted in help wanted, Uncategorized, volunteering | Leave a comment

Eat it Up: Food Talks with Mark Segal, October 27

26C4C95DE-FD95-0292-3993C787F55E564C.jpg.pagespeed.ce.qwcUxJsXtNEat It Up: Food Talks! will be taking stage for its monthly talk, now the fourth in its ongoing Chef Series at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre, with Mark Segal of Tinios Hospitality group presenting on Monday, October 27th:

Eat it Up: Food Talks with Mark Segal
Seacoast Repertory, Bow St, Portsmouth, NH
Monday, October 27, 2014
7:30 pm

The goal of the series is to provide the Seacoast community with a view into local and national food culture with a focus on sustainability, artistry, and innovation. Eat It Up aims to provide a space for food enthusiasts and professionals to have a dialogue with some of the drivers of our local food culture.

Mark Segal has a long history on the Seacoast, having most recently worked as Chef at the 100 Club and Demeter’s Steak House before joining Tinios Pro Hospitality Group this summer. During his long career he has worked in kitchens with many of the more prominent chefs on the Seacoast.

Eat It Up: Food Talks is co-produced by Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet, Brian Kelly and Kathleen Cavalaro of eight/one productions, and Knate Higgins of the Seacoast Repertory Theatre. They have two more talks scheduled, the next being with Gregg Sessler of Cava in November.

Seacoast Repertory Theater and Eat It Up donate a portion of all ticket sales to The Chefs Collaborative’s Culinary Sponsorship Program, a non-profit network of chefs dedicated to changing the sustainable food landscape using the power of connections, education and responsible buying decisions.

There will be a reception at 6:30pm for VIP ticketholders which include an exclusive meet and greet and hors d’oeuvres created by Segal with ingredients provided by Dole & Bailey, and a beer pairing generously donated by Smuttynose Brewery. VIP tickets are $40 and also include priority seating. General Admission tickets are $12 and include the Smuttynose pairing as well.

All Industry Workers who provide proof of employment in the industry or an “industry ticket” will be allowed to name their price for tickets. Industry tickets are available day of show only and are subject to availability. VIP Tickets are limited to 60, seating is limited and due to high demand, advance purchase is recommended.

Tickets may be purchased online at, in person at 125 Bow Street Portsmouth, NH 03801, or over the phone at 603.433.4472.

Eat It Up: Food Talks! is an ongoing series of talks at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre featuring chefs, farmers, sommeliers, cooks, foragers, brewers and more from the Seacoast and beyond.

For more information:

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Pollinator Health and Safety Conference, November 20

Bee-2-250x183The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are co-sponsoring the Pollinator Health and Safety Conference on Thursday, November 20th, to bring together farmers, beekeepers, entomologists, policy-makers and others interested in protecting pollinators. Register before October 31 and save $25:

Pollinator Health and Safety Conference
Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, 200 Sable Oaks Drive, South Portland, ME
Thursday, November 20, 2014
8am – 4:30pm

State and national experts on pollinators, bee-keeping, and pesticides will share the latest scientific research on factors affecting pollinator health and best practices for their protection.

Tentative Schedule:
– Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In the US, John Skinner, Professor and Apiculture Specialist, University of Tennessee
– Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In Maine Agriculture, Tony Jadczak, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry.
– Status of Native ME Pollinators, Frank Drummond, UMaine School of Biology and Ecology
– Pesticide Risks, Nancy Ostiguy, Penn State University, Department of Entomology
– Use Patterns for Neonicotinoids and Other Pesticides in Maine, Henry Jennings, Director Maine Board of Pesticides Control
– Best Management Practices For Pollinator Safety, David Epstein, USDA Office of Pest Management Policy

Register by October 31, 2014: $50/person. All registrations after October 31, 2014: $75/person. Deadline to register: November 14, 2014. Register online >

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Meghan Dill, or 207.581.3878.

For more information:

Posted in animal husbandry, learning, workshops for farmers | Leave a comment

Annual Pumpkin Smash at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market October 25th


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce! (Segment 3: Butternut Squash)

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce!
Kayla Parker, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

For the Love of Butternut Squash!
While the leaves on the trees are changing, so is the variety of squash at our farmer’s markets. Found in a vast array of colors, winter squash is harvested in its fully matured state, with a hard rind that must be removed, and large seeds that are perfect for roasting. For me the butternut squash is particularly nostalgic, reminding me of coming in from a cool fall day of jumping in piles of leaves to the aromas of this sweet squash baking in the oven.


Why You Should Love the Butternut Squash

With a sweeter taste than some of the other squash varieties, comes a slightly higher sugar content and more calories per serving with 82 calories per one cup cubed. However, with its high vitamin A content at 457% DV it’s totally worth the splurge! Vitamin A is essential to healthy vision, and also aids in cell differentiation during cell reproduction. Butternut squash is also a good source of vitamins C and E, along with essential B vitamins: thiamin, niacin, and B6. It is also a great source of potassium and manganese. Manganese is essential for healthy bone structure, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and aids in the metabolism of protein and fats.

Nutrient profile and facts from

How to Love the Butternut Squash
Butternut squash can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from baked to mashed, to pureed into soups and bisques. It is one of my favorites, and I love it in all of these forms, but this week I wanted to find a recipe that was unique and that I have never tried before.

Butternut Squash Muffins


Ingredients: Makes 12 small muffins
1/2 pound peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted

*I used gluten free flour with xanthum gum added and it worked just as well

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan.

In a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, boil squash 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and puree in a food processor. Add butter, egg, and milk and process for an additional 30 seconds.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, white sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.Fold squash mixture into dry mixture just until moist.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 1/2 full. Bake 18-20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.

Recipe modified form

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Preserving the Harvest: Canning Cranberry Apple Jam

thumbnailPreserving the Harvest: Cranberry Apple Jam
UMaine Cooperative Extension
Kittery Adult Education Program, Williams Avenue, Kittery, ME
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
5:30-8:30 pm

This flavorful fall jam is great for holiday meals and gifts. Come learn safe way to preserve fall fruits with University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff and Master Food Preserver volunteers. We will learn how to safely preserve fruit using the hot water bath method. Participants will receive recipes and a jar of jam. Please bring a pot holder with you to class.

For more information:

Posted in learning, putting food by | Leave a comment

North Country Fruit & Vegetable Seminar and Trade Show

tomatoesWinter is just around the corner and so is the North Country Fruit and Vegetable Seminar and Trade show!

Registration is due in by this Tuesday, October 21.

This year’s event will be held on October 30th at the Mountain View Grand Resort. The daylong event will feature the always popular entomologist Alan Eaton who will focus on updates on North Country squash & sweet corn insect monitoring, and Spotted Wing Drosophila. This will be a great chance to get your insect questions answered.

Sustainable Horticulture Specialist Becky Sideman will be joining us again to share her results from a trial on overwintering onions, and a disease resistant variety trial on tomatoes.onion
New this year, Iago Hale, Assistant Professor of specialty crop improvement will be discussing his findings from hardy kiwi research. These kiwis aren’t what you find in the supermarket, but a favorite of gardening pioneers. We’ll also be facilitating a farmer to farmer exchange on growing crops for seed production.”
Lunch will be prepared by the Mountain View Grand and will feature a seasonal, local fare. Guests are encouraged to attend early and visit the trade show where a variety of agriculture vendors will be on hand.



To register visit:

See more here.

Posted in farms, grow your own, winter growing | Leave a comment

Seacoast Food Swap, October 19

logoJoin the October Food Swap on Sunday, October 19th at Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter, NH, to swap homegrown, handmade, or foraged edible delights with like-minded food lovers from the NH Seacoast region:

October Food Swap
Seacoast Food Swap
Blue Moon Evolution, Clifford Street, Exeter, NH
Sunday, October 19, 2014
2–4 pm

What: A food swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part fun-loving open house where your homemade creations (breads, preserves, special concoctions, canned goods, etc.) become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants. Bring an assortment of your homemade edible specialties (and even a few non-edibles, such as: lip balm, soaps, etc.) to exchange for other handcrafted delights. We will provide swapping cards, name tags, and organization for the event. You will be given the opportunity to offer trades in a silent-auction type format, and you will be free to choose which trades to accept for your products.

Who: We welcome everyone, as long as you bring something you made, grew, or foraged yourself. You must pre-register at the Eventbrite link to attend. Also, remember that there is a limited number of tickets, so if for some reason you cannot make it, let us know and we can adjust the guest list accordingly. If you plan to bring a family member or friend who will be participating, we ask that they register separately. Non-swapping guests are welcome to come and observe, but please be considerate of our space limitations.

Cost: To help cover supplies, tables, venue costs, etc., we are accepting donations at the event.

On the day of the swap, please bring your crafted goods and arrive promptly at the start time. The first half-hour of the event is dedicated to swapper sign-in and set-up, and we’ll begin swapping once everyone’s settled in. If you have any questions whatsoever, please send a private message or an email to

For more information:

Posted in events, putting food by | Leave a comment

Eat Fresher Fish, Support Seacoast Fishermen — Join NH Community Seafood


From NH Community Seafood:

Greetings Fresh and Local Fish Lovers! We are excited to announce that our third and final CSF session this year will start next week (Oct 13) and run through the first week of December (Dec 5). IF you sign up before this Monday, you will still be able to enroll for the full third season. If you miss Monday’s deadline, don’t worry because we will still offer pro-rated enrollment for the first two weeks.

This season will bring to an end a very exciting and positive second year of operations. We’ve seen membership more than double; we now have 15 drop off locations throughout the state, and we’ve enrolled 10 high end restaurants in our RSF program. This is all thanks to you, and thanks to your interest and support in our unique organization.

We continue to face very difficult fisheries management challenges, which continue to threaten the existence of small scale fishing and “day boat” fishing practices that yield the unique “day boat” fish that we all love so much. New Hampshire has one of the last remaining day boat fisheries in New England, and we think our best chance of survival is to get our fish to you and entice you through your taste buds to be a champion for fresh and local seafood.

This season, we expect the return of Yellow Tail Flounder along with White hake, Atlantic Pollock, Gulf of Maine cod, Acadian redfish, Dayboat Cape Shark, Monkfish Tail, and the possibility of local Steelhead Trout (pending supply).

So join us, sign up online at:

Posted in CSAs/CSFs, sources of local food | Leave a comment
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