January 23, 2020

Spice It Up: Mulling Spices

Spice It Up: Mulling Spices
This week’s blog post is a bit of a twist on our Spice It Up series. Rather than talking about one spice, we’re talking about one of our favorite blends, mulling spices.

History:

Originally a method for making bad wine more palatable, and ensuring that no alcohol went to waste, Ancient Greeks would add spices to their more questionable wine and heat it up to improve the taste. The Ancient Romans followed suit, heating their extra wine with spices as well to prevent waste. They also believed that drinking hot wine in the winter would help ward off illness. The Romans called their mixture “Conditum Paradoxum” and it featured honey, saffron and bay leaf.

It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that mulled wine really became popular. People believed that the added spices would make them healthier. In Germany, a mulled cider referred to as “wassail” became part of a drinking ritual that was intended to bring good luck and prosperity for the next season’s apple harvest. In old England, mulled wine and cider became closely associated with the holiday season. It is often referred to in Christmas carols today.

Flavor:

The exact combination can vary, but mulling spices generally refer to a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and occasionally dried fruit or brown sugar.

Spice It Up: Mulling Spices

Spice It Up:

If you don’t want to put together your own mixture of spices, we highly recommend this mulling spice blend from Little Apple Treats. As beautiful as it is delicious, it features dried heirloom rose petals from their California gardens, dried apples from their orchard, organic hibiscus blossoms and organic spices, including two types of cinnamon sticks, green cardamom pods, cloves and allspice. The combination is perfect for flavoring apple cider, mulled wine or a rose or herbal tea.

Spice It Up: Mulling Spices

Spiced Sangria

Although you may associate mulling spices with the holiday season, we think this blend makes the perfect year-round red sangria. One of our favorite parts of sangria is that there really are no steadfast rules. Try experimenting with seasonal produce and flavors - we recommend oranges and apples in the cool months and peaches and strawberries in the warm months. The only guideline we would advise you to follow is to give your sangria time to soak so that the wine can truly absorb all of the decadent flavors from the spice blend. Try using our recipe below as a guideline, and experiment with different flavors from there!

Spice It Up: Mulling Spices

Ingredients:
1 bottle of red wine (we recommend a Spanish wine like Grenache or Rioja)
2 oranges, sliced
1 apple, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 pear, thinly sliced
½ jar of Little Apple Treats mulling spices (or a 1 oz blend of your own mulling spice mixture)

Optional:
½ cup brandy
1 cup orange juice
Bubbles (sparkling water, lemon-lime soda or ginger ale would all work)

Wash and cut your produce and add the sliced fruit to a pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to lightly press down on the fruit, releasing some of the juices.

Add a half jar of mulling spices along with a 750 mL bottle of red wine into a pitcher. If using, add the brandy and/or orange juice now. Cover the pitcher with a lid or airtight seal and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Serve the sangria over ice, topping off each glass with a splash of sparkling water if desired.

Spice It Up: Mulling Spices

How To Add Farm Stand Products to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood. You can even get your whole office in on the fun with our office snack packs. Find more information about our office deliveries here.

January 16, 2020

Super Snacks for Superbowl

Superbowl Snacks
For all of the football fans out there, the Superbowl is just two weeks away and we're looking forward to a fierce and competitive game! And for those of you that don't care about football, you get to look forward to some fierce Superbowl snacking! We admit that one of our favorite parts of Superbowl Sunday is the delicious array of tailgate snacks and appetizers. If you are hosting or attending a viewing party this year, consider trying one of these fun recipes, and make sure to check out our selection of Superbowl favorites when you customize your box.

This vegetarian version of "wings" will knock your socks off! They are spicy and super tasty. The Greek yogurt dip is refreshing and is a delicious complement to the spiciness, and also cuts some of the heat. You can also try pairing them with this blue cheese dip if you want to save extra time in the kitchen!

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Superbowl Snacks

Nothing says comfort food like macaroni and cheese, but with the New Years and many healthy resolutions in place, here is a produce-packed spin on this favorite cheesy classic. This recipe utilizes organic seasonal produce and California artisan-made pasta from Baia Pasta.

Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Chili with Quinoa

Superbowl Snacks

With endless possibilities and flavors to explore, chili is a great vehicle to try out new spices, peppers, and beans. We love this vegan version of the spicy stew, but if you don't feel like cooking you can also try this delicious ready-to-eat chili.

Leek and Mushroom Pizza

Superbowl Snacks

Mushrooms and leek is one of our favorite combinations on pizza. The sea salted-herb crust is so good we don’t know why we haven’t been doing this to all of our pizzas! You can skip a step by using our classic pizza dough and our organic heirloom tomato sauce.

Brie and Artichoke Dip

Superbowl Snacks

Brie and artichoke are a delightful combination in this addicting dip. Perfect for rosemary olive oil crackers or a freshly baked baguette! For an extra burst of flavor, dry drizzling a balsamic vinegar reduction over your toasted crostini slices.

Tomatillo Guacamole

Superbowl Snacks

A delicious and tangy alternative to traditional guacamole. Pair it with traditional tortilla chips, veggie sticks, or these delicious kettle papitas! You can also pair it with a slightly spicy medium roasted chipotle salsa.

How To Add Farm Stand Products to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood. You can even get your whole office in on the fun with our office snack packs. Find more information about our office deliveries here.

January 9, 2020

Spice It Up: Turmeric

Spice It Up: Turmeric

About

Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that is a member of the ginger family. It’s native to Southeast Asia and India, but it can grow anywhere that has a warm and humid climate. Turmeric plants grow long leaves that emerge from rhizomes, which is more or less a root, that is hidden beneath the soil. When the rhizome is harvested, it is boiled, dried under sunlight for about a week, then polished. Dried rhizomes are about two to three inches in length, but are most commonly sold ground up into a powder that is found in the spice aisle. The name turmeric comes from the Latin word terra merita, which refers to the golden yellow color of ground turmeric.

Aside from its culinary uses, turmeric also has various cultural and religious meanings. In parts of India, turmeric is thought to protect against evil spirits. Buddhist robes have been dyed with turmeric for centuries, and the Hindu religion views turmeric as pure and sacred. Turmeric is often incorporated into Hindu wedding ceremonies to purify the minds and bodies of the bride and groom prior to the marriage ceremony.

Spice It Up: Turmeric

Potential health benefits

Although turmeric has recently been trending as a health-food in Western cultures, Turmeric has been used medicinally for nearly 4000 years. It has been particularly popular in both Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese herbal medicine. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is mainly used as a remedy for breathing problems and also as an antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises. In Chinese herbal culture, it’s used as an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, particularly for arthritis.

Today, turmeric is being studied for its suggested positive effect on cholesterol, stomach problems, skin irritation, arthritis, depression, and even cancer and liver disease. The main active ingredient, curcumin, is also being studied in clinical trials for its effects on Parkinsons and Alzheimer's disease. Although there is not enough scientific evidence yet to conclusively determine the healing effects of turmeric, it is generally considered safe to consume as a regular part of a healthy diet.

Spice It Up: Turmeric

Cooking with Turmeric

Turmeric has an earthy, bitter and light peppery flavor. Fresh turmeric is generally less potent and has a fresher, slightly more lemony citrus flavor. Either way, its bitter taste is best balanced out by other rich and creamy flavors such as butter, ghee, coconut milk or other fats. Be careful when cooking with turmeric because its color will certainly stain! In fact, the distinct hue is used to color most store-bought mustards.

The pungent, bitter flavor and pepperlike aroma of turmeric are most commonly featured in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is probably most popular for its use in curry. Today, India produces the vast majority of turmeric and also consumes 80% of it.

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is not easily absorbed by the body. When you pair turmeric with black pepper, it increases your body’s ability to absorb and utilize turmeric and all of its healing properties.

Spice it up: easy ways to use turmeric

Spice It Up: Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric Golden Milk Tea

This comforting "tea" kind of tastes like a spicy Chai tea (though you can put in fewer spices if you want a more mild taste). Turmeric has been shown to have many health benefits, including helping with depression, insomnia and arthritis.

Spice It Up: Turmeric

Homemade Chicken Soup

In these winter months when it seems everyone is getting the flu or a cold, serve your family this delicious and healthy chicken soup. Add your favorite noodles if you'd like. Get our recipe for homemade Vegetable Broth.

Spice It Up: Turmeric

Refreshing Turmeric Tonic

We love drinking this turmeric tonic to prevent colds during the holiday season when everyone is sick and in close quarters. The turmeric and ginger give this tonic a slight kick that we love.

Spice It Up: Turmeric

How To Add Farm Stand Products to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood. You can even get your whole office in on the fun with our office snack packs. Find more information about our office deliveries here.

January 2, 2020

Artisan Producers That Give Back



Vendors Giving Back - Bee's Wrap

Giving back to our community and supporting other small farms & artisans has always been a part of our mission. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with producers who also embody similar missions. Here are a few companies we partner with that are making a difference both locally, and globally.

Once Upon A Farm

Vendors Giving Back

Once Upon A Farm is committed to increasing access to fresh, nutritious food so that babies and children are better prepared for lives filled with health and happiness. One of the ways they do this is by ensuring that their baby foods are WIC-approved, making them the first line of organic, refrigerated baby foods eligible for WIC program participants to purchase.

Once Upon A Farm has recently partnered with Wholesome Wave, a non-profit that works to make fruits and vegetables affordable to all, to create a new program called “A Fresh Start”. A Fresh Start supports Los Angeles, CA families enrolled in Save The Children’s Early Steps To School Success program. This program works with parents to develop their children’s social and emotional, language, literacy and numeracy skills. A Fresh Start will provide participating families with pre-loaded cards that are restricted to purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables. A Fresh Start will also offer nutrition education, providing families with the tools they need to make small, health-driven changes and increase the use of fruits and vegetables in their family’s diet. Through these initiatives, Once Upon A Farm aims to provide families with fresh produce that otherwise may not have access.

Bee’s Wrap

Vendors Giving Back - Bee's Wrap

Bee’s Wrap is committed to giving both locally and globally, with special emphasis on programs that are centered around conservation, research, exploration, and education. They accomplish this by focusing their efforts on three philanthropic causes. First, they partner with The Bee Cause Project to place observation beehives in schools. They then work with teachers to teach students about the natural environment while developing STEAM skills. To date, the Bee Cause has placed hives in over 300 schools in 50 states and 4 countries.

Bee’s Wrap also to reduce waste by supporting ocean conservancy, beach cleanups and water stewardship. By working with organizations such as 1% For The Planet, National Geographic and 5 Gyres, they are able to raise awareness of the global plastic trash crisis. Bee’s Wraps even donates a percentage of their sales to 5 Gyres, an organization that leads research expeditions to study plastic pollution globally.

Vendors Giving Back - Bee's Wrap

Lastly, Bee’s Wrap works to strengthen and enrich their local community. Because they are based in Vermont, they set aside financial contributions each year for local causes such as the Addison County Food Shelp, VPIRG and 350.org. In addition, all employees receive extra paid time off for volunteer work in the community. This is just another way that Bee’s Wrap supports and spreads the spirit of giving.

Nature’s Path

Vendors Giving Back - Nature's Path

Over 10 years ago, the founder of Nature’s Path Foods heard the Dalai Lama speak about compassion. He was inspired to put his own compassion into action and implemented multiple community programs for his company, the first of which would benefit his own local community of Vancouver, BC. The Eat Well Do Good program sponsors local community fundraisers benefitting food banks and elementary schools and has raised over two million dollars worth of food to date. Nature’s Path will match every dollar that you donate with five dollars worth of food.

In addition, Nature’s Path supports three community gardens each year that are increasing community access to fresh organic food via their Gardens for Good grant. The grant money goes towards three gardens chosen from a pool of applicants, all of which are nourishing communities in a unique way.

Finally, Nature’s Path contributes a portion of its sales to support endangered species, habitat conservation and environmental education for kids. To date, they have raised over three million dollars.

Sol-ti

Vendors Giving Back

In this day of unsustainable consumerism, Sol-ti has chosen to take a different path in order to preserve the environment and save our oceans. Yes, they choose to use glass bottles for their healthful beverages, packaging that can be recycled, reused, or repurposed. But they are doing even more than that.

Sol-ti is in San Diego, California where they intentionally placed their production facility in close proximity to many local, sustainable farms where their source from. Sourcing locally not only ensures the freshest, most flavorful product but also supports the environment (fewer miles traveled) and their neighboring communities.

As a way to give back to the land, 1% of Sol-ti’s sales are donated to Permaculture Planet, a mission-driven company that focuses on developing land, primarily in Costa Rica, using permaculture principals. Sol-ti is using its business model to move beyond organic with regenerative agriculture through reforesting with fruit trees. Permaculture Planet plants thousands of exotic fruit trees annually through food forest implementations and native species reforestation. So the next time you choose to drink Sol-ti, know that you are helping your good health and the planet.

Theo Chocolate

Vendors Giving Back

Theo Chocolate approaches chocolate with the core value that chocolate can allow everyone in the bean-to-bar process to thrive. They believe that all persons within the chocolate community are interconnected, from the cocoa farmer in the Congo, to the truck driver in Seattle, and the chocolate lover in California. The choices Theo makes must positively affect and support lives across the planet in real and lasting ways.

Theo opted out of the global commodity cocoa market because this structure leaves farmers uncertain about their livelihood year to year and does not provide farmers with producing quality cocoa. Instead, Theo provides a reliable base price, annually negotiated directly with the farmers, based on the farmers meeting base quality specifications. They also pay an additional premium for better quality, which motivates their partners to produce high-quality beans. Through this direct trade partnership, everyone comes out ahead in the end.

Vendors Giving Back

Most farmers who grow cocoa are so disconnected from the process, they don’t know who ultimately makes chocolate from their beans or what it tastes like. Theo is committed to having a transparent relationship with their farms, suppliers, and everyone in-between. They visit all their cocoa farms each year to make sure they are understanding each farm’s circumstances and challenges. And of course, Theo tastes their chocolates with the farmers, so the farmers know just how awesome their chocolate is.

REBBL

Know Your Farmer: Rebbl

In 2011, Dave Batstone set out to find a creative solution to the human trafficking problem in Peru. Through his non-profit, Not For Sale, he already had accumulated nearly 11 years of experience in raising money through anti-trafficking awareness campaigns. However, through his organization’s efforts, he learned that nearly everything that consumers buy contributes to forced labor and exploitation.

What was missing from the market was reliable, sustainable and safe products that contribute to the solution rather than the problem. Batstone brought together investors, agronomists and other global thought-leaders to come up with a business idea that would uplift at-risk communities around the world. He partnered with Palo Hawken, who had experience in the natural products industry, and together they started REBBL.

REbblFrom the beginning, REBBL has committed to donating 2.5% of net sales of every bottle sold to Not For Sale, Batstone’s non-profit organization. This money goes towards preventing exploitation, generating awareness, and supporting individuals. Since partnering with REBBL, Not For Sale has gone on to partner with other entrepreneurs to create more products that feed revenue back into communities. This model allows for job creation and a stable income for at-risk populations.
Since 2007, Not For Sale has supported 20,000 survivors and at-risk individuals from over 40 countries worldwide. Their services have expanded to offer long-term housing, education, medical care, legal services, counseling, and job training programs.

How To Add Farm Stand Products to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood. You can even get your whole office in on the fun with our office snack packs. Find more information about our office deliveries here.