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Kaidy’s Post: Hacking Your Snacks

Snacking is one of my favorite parts of the day. Whether you need a mid-morning pick me up or some energy to beat off that 3:00pm drowsiness, a well-balanced snack will usually do the trick! When I choose a snack, I always try to incorporate either a fruit or vegetable, as well as a source of fat or protein. These macro- and micro- nutrients will help to keep you fuller for longer and give you the energy you need to help you make it to your next meal. I usually try to avoid snacks very high in sugar, because although they will give you that “sugar high” immediately after, your energy levels will drop quickly and you will be hungry again in a few hours.

As a freshmen in college, finding healthy snacks to eat was a struggle since I had limited resources to cook and limited space to store fruits and vegetables. When I went to my first farmers’ market I only wished that I had a kitchen available to me so that I could use all the fresh fruits and vegetables I saw at the farmers’ stands to create delicious meals. What I didn’t know then was that I could still buy fresh, local fruits and veggies and use them to make snacks in my dorm room, without even having to turn on a stove.

Listed below are some of my favorite healthy snacks that are super quick, simple and easy to make (and dorm-room friendly)!

Peanut Butter and Mashed Berry Sandwich

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 TBS peanut butter
  • Handful of raspberries (I got mine from Apple Crest Farm!)

Instructions:

Spread 2 TBS of peanut butter on one slice of bread. Mash raspberries in a bowl with a fork. Spread mashed raspberries on the other slice of bread. Place sandwich together and enjoy!

Hint: You can make an open-face sandwich, with only one slice of bread, to make this snack a little bit lighter!

 

Hummus Snack Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. pretzels (I used sprouted, whole wheat pretzels, but there are many options that could work)
  • Your choice of veggies (I used carrots and tomatoes from Riverside Farm!)
  • 2 TBS hummus

Instructions:

Add veggies and pretzels around the edge of a small bowl. Place a dollop of hummus at the center. Enjoy!

 

Tomatoes, Cracker and Cheese

Ingredients: 

  • Cherry  tomatoes
  • Crackers (I used Triscuits!)
  • Cheddar Cheese

Instructions

Thinly slice cheese. Slice tomatoes in half. Add a slice of cheese and two tomato halves to each cracker. Enjoy!

Sofia’s Post: Exploring Kohlrabi

 

Happy “almost” fall everyone!

I am sure some of you have spotted a knobby round veggie called kohlrabi at the fall or winter farmer’s market and thought, “That sounds AND looks strange.” I need to be honest and say that at first, I was a bit intimidated by this strange looking veggie. But there is nothing to fear! Kohlrabi is from the cabbage, brussels sprout and kale family- so I knew it had to be good! Kohlrabi has a taste between broccoli stem and cabbage, with a hint of spicy radish, but when cooked it gets sweeter. Don’t be confused if you see kohlrabi looking different every time you visit the market, they can be purple, green or white. Typically, kohlrabi is sold at the farmer’s market as only the bulbs, but if you happen to see any with the greens still attached, grab them! The leaves are loaded with iron and can be eaten in a salad or steamed. The kohlrabi is a great source of potassium, fiber and vitamin C &B6.

To cook kohlrabi, use a vegetable peeler to peel the tough skin and then slice into cubes, slices or sticks. Kohlrabi is super versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, depending on what you’re feeling that day! You could add uncooked thin slices of kohlrabi onto a salad, use the sticks for dipping sauces (check out the yogurt dip below), roast with butternut squash for a winter side dish, shave it into a slaw, or my favorite: fries! Kohlrabi is also eaten mashed as a potato substitute and is good pureed in soups as well. Try this spicy kohlrabi fry recipe as a snack or a side! 

Spicy Kohlrabi Fries

Ingredients: 

  • 2 kohlrabi roots (steams and leave removed)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Wash the kohlrabi and with a sharp knife, cut into thin strips.
  3. In a bowl, combine the kohlrabi, olive oil and spices. Mix well.
  4. Spread the kohlrabi on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes flipping once, until they are soft and dark on the outside.

Cool Yogurt Dip

  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of an herb (cilantro, parsley or mint)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • Salt & pepper

 

 

Source: https://www.health.com/food/what-is-kohlrabi    Recipe modified from Five and Spice: chili-dusted kohlrabi fries

Kaidy’s Post: Blueberries, a superfood?

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Blueberries are in season in New England from the beginning of July to mid-September. Many farms offer pick your own blueberry events starting towards then end of July and lasting through August. Apple Crest Farm in Hampton Falls, NH and Emery Farm in Durham, NH are some of my favorite local farms that offer blueberry picking! Although the blueberry season is on its way out, it is not too late to pick up your last pint or two! If you have already stocked up for the season and frozen blueberries for use all year, many recipes (including those below) are appropriate for frozen berries.

These delicious little blue morsels are packed full of nutrients and are low in calorie, making them the perfect snack. One cup of blueberries contains 4 grams of fiber, 24% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, 36% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K and 25% of the daily recommended value of manganese! Blueberries are packed with the antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives blueberries their characteristic blue color. Antioxidants are known to prevent free radical damage in the body from oxidative stress. In other words, they help to prevent signs of aging, heart disease and even cancer!

There are so many ways to incorporate blueberries into your diet from adding them to your yogurt bowl in the morning to making a delicious blueberry pie for dessert or just grabbing a handful on your way out the door for a snack! Below are some of my favorite blueberry-filled recipes!

Healthy Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup blueberries

Directions:

Mash bananas in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla until well combined, then mix in oats. Fold blueberries in carefully. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add a scoop of the pancake batter. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes until you see bubbles releasing from the top of the batter. Flip and cook on the other side, until golden brown. Garnish your pancakes with your favorite toppings. (I used more blueberries, Greek yogurt and pure maple syrup!)

Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • Handful of Strawberries
  • 1 cup milk or milk alternative

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add your favorite toppings! (I added more blueberries, granola, peanut butter and chocolate chips!)

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries#section5

Sofia’s Post: Wheat Berries as the True Whole Grain

When I saw wheat berries on a list of products to try at farmers markets, I thought, “What in the world are wheat berries!?” I have done some research on this mysterious grain to share with the S.E.L. community. Most people are familiar with wheat berries in their ground form a.k.a. whole wheat flour. Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels that contain all three parts of the grain including the germ, bran and endosperm. Cooked wheat berries are known as being a “superfood” and nutritional powerhouse because they are packed with fiber, protein, iron and B-Vitamins. There are several health benefits of eating wheat berries such as lowering cholesterol levels, regulating blood pressure levels, regulating metabolism and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. An extra bonus of wheat berries is that they are rich in lignins which are found in our hormone receptors and can help women experiencing menstrual symptoms by regulating mood swings and hot flashes. These thick, short grains are chewy and nutty and taste delicious with savory meats, vegetable dishes, soups, and sweeter breakfast dishes (check out the recipe below). Wheat berries are cooked like most other grains, a 2:1 ratio of water to grains. They generally cook in about 60 minutes and can be refrigerated for quick meals later in the week!

 

Wheat Berries Breakfast Parfait Recipe:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup uncooked wheat berries
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 apple (diced) or any other fruit!
  • 3/4 cup of yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.

Directions:

  1. Fill a pot with 1 cup wheat berries and 2 cups of water, get it to a boil then cover and simmer for about 40-60 minutes until the kernels are plump and splitting.
  2. Mix all ingredients and serve immediately.

Sources:

Kaidy’s Post: Introducing Myself as an SEL Intern!

Hello everyone! I am Kaidy, a senior nutrition and dietetics major at the University of New Hampshire. This fall semester I will be interning with Seacoast Eat Local at the Portsmouth Farmer’s Market every Saturday and later at the earlier winter farmers’ markets. As I will be graduating a semester early this December (yay!), I knew this would be my last chance to volunteer at the farmer’s market as an undergraduate. And, after going to my first market last Saturday I am definitely glad I did.

 I have always been interested in eating healthy, whole foods since I grew up running cross country and competing in gymnastics. I knew that fueling my body with nutritious foods would help me perform better in my sports. When I decided to go to school to study nutrition, my interest expanded into eating not only healthily, but more sustainably and locally as well. With UNH being one of the leading schools in sustainability, I learned a lot about how our food choices can affect the environment. I also learned just how much we, as consumers, affect what kinds of foods are supplied in grocery stores and restaurants. Since then, I have made an effort to buy more foods from local farms and businesses.

Farmer’s markets have always intrigued me with all the colorful fruits and vegetables on display, but growing up in a small town in Rhode Island, I never got to experience one for myself before coming to college. When I attended my first farmer’s market my freshman year in Portsmouth, I was not disappointed. I only wished I had a full kitchen of my own to try creating delicious recipes with all the foods I saw, rather just my sad, little mini fridge and microwave in my dorm room. From then on I knew I wanted to volunteer at a farmer’s market at some point in my academic career, so that I could start to understand what goes on behind the scenes to make the market run smoothly.

Seacoast Eat Local’s mission of providing access to local and sustainable foods to all people is one that I fully support and am excited to take part in. I am looking forward to all the wonderful conversations about nutrition, food and farming we will have and I hope to see you around the market!

Welcome Sofia, new SEL Intern!

Hello!

My name is Sofia Rodriguez and this semester I am working with Seacoast Eat Local as the media and marketing intern. I am in my last semester at UNH studying Environmental Conservation and Sustainability.

Some of you may be thinking, “why is an environmental sustainability student interested in local food?” I have recently discovered that food is one of the main intersections of the 3 pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. Getting your foods (and other items) locally sourced helps to reduce the customer’s carbon footprint by shortening the transportation route from the farmer/producer to your dining table.  When shopping at the grocery store, it is likely that your produce came from another part of the world! Foods at farmers markets tend to have less packaging, resulting in fewer plastics ending up where they shouldn’t be.

In 2017, I studied abroad in New Zealand at a wonderful environmental program called Ecoquest Education Foundation. On our little campus, we ate produce that was grown in our backyard (so much kale!) and put the compost back into the soil. How much more local can you get than your own backyard?!

In the past few years, I have developed an interest in cooking and food waste. Not having a UNH meal plan anymore means that I needed to learn how to cook healthy meals for myself.  I am constantly on Pinterest trying to find the easiest and healthiest recipes to make from foods I picked up from the farmers market. This week I am making maple roasted delicate squash and falafel filled pita pockets (yum!) using ingredients from the Portsmouth Market. I have done research on food waste and the effects it has on our environment. When food is wasted, so is the labor and resources that went into making that food product. I try to compost all my produce scraps and bring it to my local community garden every weekend! I am looking forward to working with SEL, making new recipes and making an impact on my local community.

 

Melissa’s Post: Eating Locally, Where I am From!

While I spent my summer working to promote and support local agriculture and food accessibility in the Seacoast area, for my last blog post I wanted to write a little about my first time going to my favorite local farm stand in Hooksett, where I am from and live when I’m not studying at UNH. I think it’s important to recognize as well as support local agriculture all across our state, so if you’re passing through the Concord/Hookett area sometime, check it out!

Last summer, I finally stopped into a tiny farm stand on the side of 3A in Hooksett, called Johnson Golden Harvest. The farm stand looks like a “tiny house” you might see on House Hunters, with lots of signs sticking out of the ground advertising for raw milk and “fresh produce picked today”. This farm stand had been sitting in this same spot for about 8 years now, and I had never really thought to stop by and check it out until that day.

My boyfriend and I stepped in and immediately saw bins filled with zucchini and spaghetti squash, apples, and onions, a table and shelf filled with little dessert bread loafs and pies. We turned to greet the cashier, and I immediately started chatting him up, telling him how I was a student at UNH studying EcoGastronomy, and I was so happy about the business and its cause. We came to find out he was the owner, and his name was Brian. Though he doesn’t have his own farm that he sells product from, he buys from local business and farms usually up to about about 20 miles away and sells a few products from each of them. He opened up right away and started telling me all about where the meats and produce in the refrigerator behind me came from; the meats and the raw milk came from a farm in Barnstead, where he also gets his Thanksgiving turkeys and his Easter hams, and how the spinach and arugula in the plastic bags were picked fresh that morning from a farm in Derry. He gestured around the entire store and told us that everything in there was sourced locally, and could name where it came from and what other items he got from them during every season, but made sure to point out that the little strawberry boxes he keeps stocked sometimes were sourced from an organic farm in California outside of strawberry season. He went through nearly every item in the shop, telling us where he gets it from, and that he got his food in nearly every day at varying times of the day, depending on when it was picked or packaged from the farms.

I asked Brian about himself, and what sourcing locally means to him; “About a 20-mile radius, usually”, he told me. “And that’s really large if you think about it.” I was really happy to hear that, and I asked him what made him want to open this farm stand, if he grows at home; “Nope. I have absolutely no desire to grow my own food,” he said bluntly, shaking his head. It surprised me a bit, so I asked him what made him want to do this in the first place; “I grew up doing it. My wife and I worked in corporate America for a long time, and we just decided that we didn’t want to do that anymore, and about 9 years ago, we thought of this place, and we’ve done really well so far.” I told him how great it was to hear from someone who was so passionate and knowledgeable, because that’s one of the major joys out of shopping and eating locally, and he agreed. I came out of there feeling so excited and like I had really learned something about the little business, and more importantly, that I had learned something about a member of my own community and was helping to support him and his cause. It felt awesome, and I couldn’t wait to go back for strawberry and peach season, which he raved about. We ended up leaving with a quart of raw milk and a box of the literal best strawberries we had ever tasted, and knowing that we would be coming back there a lot!

Today, my amazing summer with Seacoast Eat Local is finally drawing to an end, so I want to thank those that I have worked with and seen at market for bringing me an amazing opportunity. I am grateful that I could combine my passions for nutrition and local food through my work with SEL, and so happy to be surrounded such a beautiful, kind farming community. Thank you to you all for reading my blogs this summer, and thank you SO MUCH for supporting local agriculture and taking a huge step towards a more sustainable food system and a happier seacoast community!

Jessica’s Post: Summer Squash Chips

I have always loved to snack throughout the day to hold me over between meals and my guilty pleasure has always been something crunchy and salty, aka potato chips. To try and curb my love to munch on potato chips so much I have tried a new, much healthier recipe to enjoy. My new favorite snack is parmesan summer squash chips and I can say they do just the trick! Making these is very simple. All you need is some summer squash, shredded parmesan, panko bread crumbs, olive oil, and salt and pepper and garlic. I have been using fresh summer squash from my garden at home and it’s an added bonus to the recipe. Below I have written out the recipe for you to try at home to enjoy yourself!

Parmesan Summer Squash Chips:

  • 4 yellow summer squash
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to preference

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start by slicing 4 decent sized summer squash into rounds. In a large bowl toss together the summer squash and olive oil. Then season generously with the salt and pepper and garlic. In a smaller bowl, mix together and parmesan and panko. One at a time dip each piece of squash into the panko mixture and push it into place for it to stick and then place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the squash chips until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes and then enjoy!

These squash chips are so great and the perfect snack for anyone who has trouble straying from potato chips like me. I can guarantee they are just as satisfying. Summer squash right now can be found throughout the Seacoast farmers markets quite easily. You can even experiment in this recipe with different types of squash you find, they all are delicious! I hope you try and enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Melissa’s Post: 3 Sweet Uses for Watermelon (That Aren’t Fruit Salads!)

Despite the stormy weather lately, you can’t hide the fact that melon season is poking through! Little cantaloupes, golden melons, and watermelons were spotted at farm

 tables like Shagbark and Zach’s farm this past market, with surely more to come! Sweet, hydrating, and refreshing– this week, I wanted to give you a few recipe ideas for the American summer favorite (that tastes even better when you buy it locally!). That being said, I wanted to spare you the obvious fruit salad recipe, which can be exciting when you use unique fruit mixes or other repurposed ingredients, but also sometimes a little overplayed. Here are 3 watermelon uses you can try to discover with all of that irresistible fruit, so have fun!

Watermelon and Strawberry Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 3 heaping cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 heaping cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze 3-4 hours, or until very solid.

(source: https://www.onelovelylife.com/strawberry-watermelon-popsicles/)

Watermelon Rind Candy

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups watermelon rind, white part only, cut into strips as for French fries (do not use very small melons for this recipe, as their rinds are too thin)
  • 1 quart water, PLUS
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 cups sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 lemon, peeled

Directions:

Cover the rind with hot water and boil 5 minutes. Drain.
When cool, cover with a brine of 1 quart of water and 1/4 cup of salt. Set aside for at least 6 hours.
Drain and rinse several times, and then cover the rind with fresh water and simmer until the rind is tender. Drain.In a saucepan, place 2 cups sugar, the remaining 1 1/4 cups of water, and the lemon peel. Cook until a drop forms a soft ball in cold water.
Add the rind. Simmer, stirring and lifting the rind from the bottom of the pan to prevent it from scorching.
Cook until the rind is clear and the syrup forms a long thread. remove the rind and drain. Discard the lemon peel if desired.
Drop each piece of rind in sugar for coating, and shake off the excess. Lay the rinds separately on a rack to cool and dry.

(source: https://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/819/Watermelon-Rind-Candy108617.shtml)

Watermelon Juice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups watermelon (chopped)
  • ¼ lime (squeeze, save Juice)
  • 1 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 slice lime (for garnish, optional)
  • Mint leaves (for garnish optional)

Directions:

Cut the watermelon into chunks removing the rind and seeds. Place the chunks into a bowl and let them cool in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

In blender, combine watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup and puree.

Pour into the glass and garnish with a slice of lime and mint leaves (optional). Chill before serving if you like.

Recipe Notes

Simple syrup: You can replace simple syrup with regular sugar if you want to save the time.

If you prefer to remove pulp, strain through a fine sieve. You will also need to double the portions for each ingredient per glass.

(source: https://www.justonecookbook.com/watermelon-juice/)

Jessica’s Post: Summer Dill Pickles!

My mom, aunt and I take care of our own garden at my memere’s house and the past couple years we have planted less cucumber plants but we still seem to run into the same problem, we still get too many cucumbers! We always seem to have more cucumbers than we need during the summer growing season so in order to not waste any, we have started to pickle them instead! Pickling is actually a really easy process and the perfect way to enjoy the excess amounts of cukes that many people seem to find themselves having during the summer months. I have written below my mom’s recipe for dill pickles, because, although I may be biased, they are super delicious! Please note that this is a recipe for “fridge pickles” and does not use a water bath canning method. As a result of this, these pickles must stay refrigerated and last approximately 1 month.

Summer Dill Pickles:

  • 14 pickling cucumbers
  • 40 fresh dill sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed pickling spices

My family sorta just uses this recipe as a guide and judges the amounts of each ingredient needed based on how many cukes we have available at that time. But I do recommend that if it’s your first time pickling that you follow the recipe to ensure you are getting the flavor desired! Below I wrote out the directions to help you prepare this delicious treat.

Instructions:

  • Remove the blossom end of each cucumber and wash. Cut each cucumber lengthwise into about 6 spears. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, dill and garlic; set aside.

  • In a covered pot, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook and until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this liquid over the ingredients prepared in the first step (containing the cucumbers) and allow to cool.

  • Transfer to jars and cover tightly (My family buys mason jars at the store). Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You should get from this recipe about 4 quarts of pickles!

I have been enjoying the pickle recipe for many summers and it never fails to impress me! It really is quite simple although I know the process of making pickles can seem a difficult at first. If you love a good dill pickle like I do, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this recipe!