Category Archives: Asparagus

asparagus

Preserve the Harvest

asparagusThe growing season may be over, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to do without the fresh fruits and vegetables you’ve bought all summer at your farmers’ market. There are several ways you can save them and enjoy them throughout the winter.

Freezing is the easiest, quickest, and safest way to preserve vegetables, though it doesn’t work for all types. Asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peppers, summer squash, and dark leafy greens freeze well, and if you cut it off the cob, so does fresh corn. Use the freshest veggies possible and make sure they’re free of any damage and wash them. It’s best to blanche the vegetables before freezing, to preserve their quality by destroying the enzymes that destroy taste and color. To blanche, bring a large pot of water (at least a gallon for each pound of vegetables) to a boil, add the clean and trimmed veggies to the pot and check for doneness after a minute. When they are done, remove them from the pot and put them into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Let them cool and dry them well.  Pack them into freezer bags — the heavy-duty kind are best — and force out as much air as you can. Pack them into the freezer but be careful not to crowd them.

When you’re ready to use them, you don’t even have to thaw the vegetables. Just drop them into your stir-fry, casserole or soup and cook as usual. A short time in the microwave will make them ready to eat. Be careful not to overcook or you’ll find those crisp veggies will end up soggy.

Another option is to can vegetables using the hot water bath method. This method of preserving foods dates to the 1800s, when Napoleon sponsored a contest to discover a means of preserving large amounts of food so that he could feed his troops while on the march. The winner was Nicolas Appert who heated food to a certain temperature, killing the germs that cause spoilage. The heat also forced air out of the jar so that it sealed the lid.

Canning works best with high acid vegetables, so it’s especially good for tomatoes; beans, beets, and carrots are also good for canning. You’ll need some equipment, including a kettle wide and deep enough to hold several canning jars and enough water to cover them; canning jars, and lids. It’s important that you closely follow all directions for water bath canning; check with Cornell Cooperative Extension for canning instructions and canning classes in your area.

 

 

Photo Credit: Meditations Via Pixabay

morningside park farmer's market

Morningside Park Farmers’ Market

morningside park farmer's marketWhen is the market open? Market open Saturdays, 9:00AM – 4:00PM, 05/06 – 12/30

Where is the market located? 110th St. & Manhattan Ave., New York, NY

Does the market accept EBT SNAP benefits?  Yes, and to encourage you to use your SNAP card, we offer Health Bucks. Health Bucks are $2 coupons that you receive for every $5 you spend from your SNAP card; you can use the health bucks to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market.

What do the vendors sell? Vendors offer a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meats, dairy; baked goods, specialty foods and plants and flowers; jams & jelly, salad dressings, sauces & salsa, olive oil, chutneys, frozen soups, chocolate, pickles as well as prepared ethnic foods.

For more information about Morningside Park Farmers’ Market, please visit the website at:  http://downtoearthmarkets.com/markets?region=manhattan&market=Morningside+Park+Farmers+Market and their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morningside-Park-Farmers-Market/118800614848796

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Check out what is being picked this week*:

italian peppers, red/yellow bell peppers, bell peppers, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini squash, summer squash, slicing cucumbers, patty pan squash, okra, hot peppers, purple eggplant, tomatillo, greenhouse tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, corn, plum tomatoes, braising greens, spinach, salad mixes, head lettuce, leaf lettuce, chard, kale, asian greens, arugula, broccoli raab, collards, escarole, amaranth/calaloo, dandelion, mustard greens, asparagus, thyme, sage, parsley, mint, dill, cilantro, basil, rosemary, oregano, lavender, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, blueberries, plums, peaches, nectarines, sweet cherries, apricots, celery, fennel, leeks, onions, scallions, string beans, italian flat beans, shell peas, snap peas, garlic, snow peas, shallots, haricovert, red beets, carrots, parsnips, french radish, radish, rutabaga, purple top turnip, japanese turnip, bok choy, golden beets, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, chioggia beets, black radish, specialty carrots, fingerling potatoes, savoy cabbage, napa cabbage

 

Recipe of the week: Yellow Summer Squash in the Oven

This easy recipe from Peg at www.allrecipes.com is easy and quick to prepare!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asparagus

Buy Local: The Benefits of Shopping at a Farmers’ Market

Farm to table is the latest and best trend to hit restaurants since the invention of the restaurant. Whether you’re dining at the newest seasonal gastro pub or you’re picking out produce from the supermarket, most people can appreciate the benefits of locally grown foods.

Why not skip the middleman and hand select your produce, meats or baked goods brought to you by your local farmer? If you’ve never shopped at a farmers’ market you’re depriving yourself from the opportunity to create your own farm to table menu at home.

The benefits of shopping at your local farmers’ market are:

  • The fruits and vegetables are at their peak of freshness and flavor and in season.
  • You’ll be directly supporting your community and more importantly your local farmer.
  • Most vendors accept SNAP.
  • There is no guessing where the food came from. Nothing was shipped across the country in a freezer.
  • You can get food preparation tips right from the farmer.
  • Outdoor markets will give you a good dose of fresh air.

We recommend trying this asparagus and chicken delight, click here for the recipe!