Emily’s Post: Strawberry Banana Nice-Cream

Last week I finally made the latest dessert fad: nice-cream.  It was so easy to make and so delicious I thought I would share with the Seacoast Eat Local audience.  For those of you who don’t know what nice-cream is, it is ice cream that is good for you, believe it or not!  It uses mainly frozen fruit as its ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to make.  Nice-cream does not contain dairy and doesn’t have all of those added sugars like typical ice cream does.  There still is sugar in nice-cream though, but not the “bad” kind.  Fruit is made up of carbohydrates which break down to glucose, which is sugar.  However, this is the good kind of natural sugar.  Your body needs carbohydrates because that is its main source of energy.  So when you have nice-cream you are putting healthy food in your body that actually tastes good!

Fruit season is coming to New Hampshire before we know it, and with strawberry season especially being just around the corner, I decided to make a strawberry banana nice-cream! In just a few short weeks (OK, a few more than a few), everyone will be able to visit their favorite PYO strawberry patch and rush home for delicious home made nice-cream!

Here is how I made my strawberry banana nice-cream:

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas, cut in coins, frozen
  • ½ cup strawberries, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Cut bananas into coins, freeze
  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth
  3. Pour contents into a small container
  4. Either freeze for an hour, or enjoy right away!

This is such a delicious, refreshing, guilt-free dessert that you can blend up in no time!  You can have this really any time of the day because it is frozen fruit that tastes like dessert.  For breakfast, you can turn this into a breakfast bowl by adding nuts, chia seeds, and other fresh fruit on top.  You can also modify the ingredients for this recipe to make other flavors.  The base of nice-cream is the frozen banana coins and you can add other kinds of frozen fruits such as frozen mixed berries, or peanut butter and dark chocolate.  There are so many ways to make different flavor nice-creams.  Next time you want a refreshing tasty dessert, I suggest you try this nice-cream!

Emily’s Post: An Insight on Local Foods

 

Editor’s Note: It has been such a pleasure to work with Emily, and like her friend and intern predecessor Brooke, we have really enjoyed watching her have new learning experiences and deepen her understanding of local foods and agriculture. While we feel it proves the value of our work, we also feel it shows how much more work there is to be done to educate everyday citizens of all ages and backgrounds!

I was sad that this past Saturday was my last farmer’s market as a Seacoast Eat Local intern.  From attending every market this season, my love and appreciation for farmer’s markets was ignited.  Having the opportunity to talk to the farmers about what they produce helped me get better insight about the farming process.  My hometown does not have many farmer’s markets, so this was my first experience where I had the time to look around and fully appreciate what they have to offer.  I didn’t realize the variety of goods sold that were available at farmer’s markets.

I never thought that there would be so much variety of local foods available at the markets.  At our markets there are so many fresh foods available.  There are homemade chocolates, cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, pastries, and mushrooms from local farms.  You can also get a lot of fresh ready-to-eat meals like vegetable rice bowls, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches.  At every market, I would get my lunch there knowing that I was eating a meal that was grown locally and with no added chemicals.  I also love knowing that by purchasing food at the market I am in contributing to the farm so that they can continue making such delicious food.

I look forward to attending warmer markets this summer.  My experience here at SEL has taught me a lot about the inner-working’s of putting on farmer’s markets.  Now for every market I attend, I will not only have a greater appreciation of how much work it takes to run them but also an appreciation of the hard work that goes behind producing the food I buy!

Emily’s Post: Springtime Snacks

With warmer weather coming around the corner, there is going to be a lot more opportunity to meet up with friends to enjoy the weather.  If you’re anything like my friends and I, there is no such thing as a gathering without food around.  Typically, some snacks include some sort of chip product.  Unfortunately, chips are not the healthiest snacking option because they typically are high in fat content, making them higher in calories.  I have recently discovered a yummy alternative…carrot chips!  Carrots are high in vitamin A which helps with eyesight and also contain more fiber in comparison to a potato chip.  Carrot chips are easy to prepare and make, and satisfy that chip craving.

Here’s how to make them:

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

 

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots.  Using a knife, tilt the carrot and slice diagonally making oval-shaped pieces.  The thinner the slice, the crispier the chip will be.
  3. In a bowl, toss the carrot slices with the olive oil and sea salt until evenly coated.
  4. Lay the carrots on a lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the carrots are crisp.

This is such an easy way to get your salty chip craving fix while not putting extra fat and calories into your body.  You can modify this recipe and use it with other root vegetables.  Pair your homemade chips with your favorite dip and you will be ready to have a healthy springtime snack!

Emily’s Post: Are You Getting Enough Fiber in Your Diet?

Did you know that most Americans do not eat the Daily Recommended Intake of fiber?  What does that mean?  What does fiber do to my body?  How much fiber should I be eating?  I am here to explain the basics of fiber to help you add more into your diet!

Fiber is the non-digestible form of carbohydrate that helps regulate gastrointestinal function.  Consuming foods high in fiber makes you feel fuller longer after eating.  Fiber helps reduce the risk of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and colorectal cancer.  Proper intake of fiber also assists in weight management and helps regulate blood sugar.  There are so many health benefits of adequate amount of fiber in a healthy diet, yet most people are not getting enough in their diets.

The Daily Recommended Intake of fiber for women is 25 grams per day, and 38 grams per day for men. An easy way to make sure that you are getting enough fiber in your diet is to eat three servings of whole grains and five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  If you think that you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, make sure to add it into your diet slowly.  Adding too much fiber too fast will cause gastrointestinal distress.  I would suggest adding a fiber rich food every few days to let your body adjust to the increase in fiber.

Here are some common foods that are a great source of fiber, remember to aim for 25-38 grams:

  • One slice of whole wheat bread has 3 grams of fiber
  • In a serving of oatmeal there is 4 grams of fiber
  • A serving of mixed nuts contains 2 grams of fiber
  • There is almost 4 grams of fiber in a serving of broccoli
  • There is 3.5 grams of fiber in brown rice
  • There are 3 grams of fiber in a banana
  • Beans are a great source of fiber with 9-19 grams of fiber in one cup!
  • 1 cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber
  • 1 cup of strawberries has 3 grams of fiber, while 1 cup of blueberries has 4 grams of fiber
  • In 2 tbsp of chia seeds, there is 8 grams of fiber

There are more foods available that contain high amounts of fiber, the ones I listed above are just some examples.  A well rounded diet includes adequate amounts of fiber, so be aware of how much you are consuming to make sure you are as healthy as can be!