Tag Archives: Fresh Produce

pumpkin

It’s Pumpkin Season!

pumpkinsWe have a love affair with the pumpkin! No other fruit or vegetable matches how the pumpkin has become a part of our autumn culture. Coffee, creamer, cookies, crackers, even cake mix for dogs. Come autumn almost anything you can eat is pumpkin-flavored. And if you can’t eat it, you can smell spiced pumpkins in candles and cleaning products. It’s been a long-term relationship, dating back to when colonial cooks in the 1600s discovered that this vegetable had dessert possibilities.

There are more than 40 varieties of pumpkins and all are edible; however, some are better for Halloween carving and decorating, others for cooking and baking. Spend some time with the grower at your famers’ market to learn a little about the different kinds of pumpkins for sale. And yes, you can just go to the grocery store and buy canned pumpkin puree to make your pies, muffins or soup, but what’s the fun in that? Using fresh pumpkin isn’t all that difficult.

Look for the small pumpkins to use for cooking — they’re usually marked as “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins.” A two-pound pumpkin will give you about two cups of puree, the amount you’ll need for a 9-inch pie. You can cook the pumpkin by roasting or steaming it. To roast, slice it in half (or leave it whole), put it in a 350-degree oven for 60 to 90-minutes. Scoop out the flesh, then puree it until smooth in a blender. Cooked pumpkin freezes well, so be sure to save any extra. But don’t limit your pumpkin experiences to just pie. Don’t forget pumpkin bread, muffins and cookies. And if you’re really adventurous – try pumpkin ice cream! It’s delicious!

Our thanks to www.blessthismess.com for our Fresh Pumpkin Pie recipe!

Pumpkin Pie From Fresh Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • Homemade Pumpkin Puree from 1 to 2 small sugar pumpkins (see notes), about 4 cups
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14-ounce)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust

Instructions

  1. To prep your pumpkins cooking them in the slow cooker is the easiest and best way to cook them. You can find full pumpkin cooking instructions here. You can do this a few days in advance if you need to.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake your prepared pie crust for 12 minutes.
  3. While the crust is cooking make your filling. Add your pumpkin puree (about 4 cups) to the bowl of your food processor. Process until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredient and process to combine well, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. When the pie crust has cooked for 12 minutes, remove it from the oven. Carefully pour in the filling, return the pie to the oven, and bake for an additional hour. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve at room temperature or cold with fresh whipped cream.

 

Photo Credit: 127071 Via Pixabay

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

Peppers

Cut Down on Salt and Sugar – Shop Farmers’ Markets!

PeppersWe get most of our salt from processed and restaurant foods, so the best way to reduce the salt in our diets is to eat fresh – and it’s easier than ever to find fresh produce at your neighborhood farmers’ markets! With everything from beans to zucchini being harvested right now, and many markets offering fresh meat, poultry and fish, you can avoid sodium-heavy canned and packaged foods for an entire week – just don’t add any salt while you’re cooking. Try adding some fresh herbs such as basil and rosemary for seasoning. When you add fresh fruit for dessert, you avoid all that processed white sugar that can add unnecessary calories to your diet – and add unwanted pounds to you.

Here’s a recipe for a French vegetable stew that uses lots of things you can find at the market:

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille*

Ingredients

  • 2 onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cubed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the zucchini and place in the pot with the onions and garlic.
  3. Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch at a time, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the large pot as was done in step 2.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the large pot, cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.

*From www.allrecipes.com

Photo Credit: H3rko Via Pixabay

Queens Botanical

Queens Botanical Garden Farmer’s Market

Queens BotanicalQueens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens and innovative educational programs. The Queens Botanical Garden Farmers Market celebrates locally grown fruits and vegetables, brought to the neighborhood straight from the farm! It is one of 15 farmers’ markets operated by the Down to Earth company. Down to Earth Markets has been creating and managing farmers markets in down state New York for over 25 years. We bring cooks and eaters together with regional farmers and local food makers to create food communities, improving access to fresh, local foods, strengthening the local food system and supporting small businesses in the New York area.

When is the market open? Market open Fridays, 8:30AM – 3:00PM, 06/16 – 11/17

 Where is the market located? Sidewalk outside Garden – Dahlia Ave at Main St. in Flushing, 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 the Queens Botanical Garden Farmers’ Market, please visit the website at:  http://downtoearthmarkets.com/markets?region=Queens&market=Queens+Botanical+Garden+Farmers+Market and their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=queens%20botanical%20garden%20farmers%20market

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Check out what is being picked this week*:

Tomatoes, (round, grape, cherry), Beans, Cucumbers, Pickles, Hot peppers, Sweet Bell Peppers, Onions, Eggplant, Beets, Lettuces, Greens, Beets, Cabbages, Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Broccoli, Carrots, Blueberries, Cherries, Peaches, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Leeks, Cauliflower, Early Apples

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the week: Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad

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Park Slope

Park Slope Sunday Farmers’ Market

Park SlopeSituated at the crossroads of several neighborhoods, Park Slope’s Down to Earth Farmers Market is a great mix of people as well as a variety of fresh produce. Friendly farmers and lots of nearby cultural offerings make this a unique shopping experience.  The market features New York State fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, free range beef and sausages, artisanal breads and baked goods, local wines, specialty foods, pickles, and much more! It is one of 15 farmers’ markets operated by the Down to Earth company. Down to Earth Markets has been creating and managing farmers markets in down state New York for over 25 years. We bring cooks and eaters together with regional farmers and local food makers to create food communities, improving access to fresh, local foods, strengthening the local food system and supporting small businesses in the New York area.

When is the market open? Market open Sundays, 10:00AM – 5:00PM, 05/07 – 12/24

 Where is the market located? 4th Street — closed street off 5th Ave at Washington Park & the Old Stone House, Brooklyn, 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 the Park Slope Sunday Farmers’ Market, please visit the website at:  http://downtoearthmarkets.com/markets?region=brooklyn&market=park+slope+sunday+farmers+market

and their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Park%20Slope%20Farmers%20Market

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Check out what is being picked this week*:

Tomatoes, (round, grape, cherry), Beans, Cucumbers, Pickles, Hot peppers, Sweet Bell Peppers, Onions, Eggplant, Beets, Lettuces, Greens, Cabbages, Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Broccoli, Carrots, Blueberries, Cherries, Peaches

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Amalgamated Market

Friends of Van Cortlandt ParkThe Friends of Van Cortlandt Park (FVCP) Amalgamated Market is run by local youth who spend their summer learning about our food system, how to grow food, and the basics of running a small business. They help with cooking demonstrations and become part of the community as they get to know the customers. Our market hosts local school children on trips during the fall and provides them with added extras like pumpkin decorating or fitness classes.

When does it open? The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park (FVCP) Amalgamated Market opens July 12. It is open from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. every Wednesday through November 1.

Where is it? The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park (FVCP) Amalgamated Market is located at the corner of Gale Place and Orloff Avenue, Bronx, NY.

Does the market accept EBT SNAP Benefits? The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park (FVCP) Amalgamated Market does accept SNAP and offers a ‘Health Bucks’ program as added incentive — for every $5 a SNAP customer spends, they receive Healthy Buck, a $2 coupon that can be used to purchase additional locally grown fruits and vegetables. All customers who visit the market eight times gets a health buck and a small prize.

For more information on Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, please visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/friendsofvcp/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf
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Check out what is being picked this week*:
peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cabbages, potatoes, greens, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, beans, peas, beets, tomatoes, herbs, pickles, carrots, kohlrabi, sweet onions, sweet corn, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, black raspberries, cherries, sour cherries

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the week: Mild Salsa

http://snaptomarket.com/?recipe=salsa

 

 

 

Kingston Farmers Market

Kingston Farmers Market

Kingston Farmers MarketWhen the market started in 2000, the original goal was to encourage people to visit Uptown Kingston on Saturdays. Over the past 17 years, however, the market has become a place for residents to find fresh produce from the mid-Hudson region and to support regional family farms.

When is the market open? The summer market is open every Saturday, 9am – 2pm; from May 13 – November 18; the winter market is open every other Saturday, December through April.

Where is the market located? The market is located on Wall Street between John St and Main St., Kingston, NY.

Does the market accept EBT SNAP Benefits? Yes, we accept EBT SNAP benefits and we offer Fresh Connect checks to increase your buying power by 40% — for every $5 you spend with your EBT card, you receive an additional $2 Fresh Connect check to use at the market.

What products do the vendors offer? Vendors sell local produce and other farm products, including farm raised venison, ostrich, buffalo, mouflon, rabbit, wild boar and quail; wild caught, fresh only, New York State seafood; cow and goat dairy products; and small batch herbal skin care and elixir products.

What makes your market special? We provide live music and activities for kids every week.

For more information about the Kingston Farmers’ Market, visit their website: http://kingstonfarmersmarket.org/about/ and their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/kingstonfarmersmarket/

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Check out what is being picked this week*:

peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cabbages, potatoes, greens, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, beans, peas, beets, tomatoes, herbs, pickles, carrots, kohlrabi, sweet onions, sweet corn, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, black raspberries, cherries, sour cherries

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the week: Mild Salsa

http://snaptomarket.com/?recipe=salsa

 

 

 

 

Oswego Farmers Market

Oswego Farmers’ Market

Oswego Farmers MarketThe Oswego Farmers’ Market is in its 53rd year of serving area residents with locally grown fruits, veggies, goodies and crafts handmade by Oswego area residents. Come early to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest rage – edible cookie dough from The Sweet Shop!

When is the market open?  Thursday evenings from 4:30pm to 8:00pm, May 25 to October 5.

Where is the market located?  West First Street, from West Oneida St. to West Bridge St. by City Hall.

Does the market accept EBT SNAP Benefits? Yes. We also accept WIC benefits.

What products do the vendors offer? Locally grown and handmade products

Special events:  The Oswego Summer Band Concert series follows the Farmers’ Market, so get your fresh veggies and stay for the music!

For more information about the Oswego Farmers’ Market, visit their Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/oswegofarmmarket/

Check out what is being picked this week*:

Peas, Lettuce, Beets, Greens, Radishes, Green Onions, Strawberries, Cherries, Cabbage, Broccoli and Cucumbers.

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the week: Fresh Pea Soup

http://snaptomarket.com/?recipe=fresh-pea-soup

Elmira East Side Farmers Market

Elmira East Side Farmers’ Market

Elmira East Side Farmers MarketElmira EastSide Market has been welcoming area residents to come and enjoy local products and crafts for 11 years. Support local farmers and crafters and eat healthy!

When is the market open? 2017 season runs from June 9-October 13, every Fridays from 2:30-6 pm.

Where is the market located? The market is located on the west lawn of the Holiday Inn Elmira-Riverview, 760 E Water St.

Does the market accept EBT SNAP Benefits? Many of the vendors accept EBT SNAP, WIC fruit and vegetable checks and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons. For those vendors who do not accept SNAP, the market has a Cornell Cooperative Extension table where customers can use SNAP benefits to buy tokens that they can use with all vendors. We also offer NYS Fresh Connect checks that help your SNAP benefits go farther — for every $5 you spend with your EBT card, you receive an additional $2 Fresh Connect check to use at the market.

What products do the vendors offer? Vendors sell local produce and other farm products, including meat, eggs, maple syrup, honey, jams, jellies and baked goods.

What makes your market special? We welcome local organizations and non-profits to set up tables at no charge. We have a weekly kids’ activities table and ice-cream truck, as well as live entertainment. The market will also have craft vendors, a food truck, and educational displays.

For more information about Elmira EastSide Farmers’ Market, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/EastSideMarketElmiraNY/

Check out what is being picked this week*:
Peas, Lettuce, Beets, Greens, Radishes, Green Onions, Strawberries, Cherries, Cabbage, Broccoli and Cucumbers.

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the week: Fresh Pea Soup

http://snaptomarket.com/?recipe=fresh-pea-soup

 

 

 

 

 

Dansville Farmers' Market

Dansville Farmers’ Market

Dansville Farmers' MarketThe Dansville Farmer’s Market is the oldest open-air market in Livingston County.

 When is the market open?  The market operates May 26 through the first week in October, every Friday from 11am until 4pm.

Where is the market located?  We are located in the Airport Hangar Parking Lot at 50 Maple Street in North Dansville.

Does the market accept EBT SNAP Benefits? Yes. We also distribute Fresh Connect checks with increase SNAP consumers spending power. When you purchase $5 at the market using your SNAP benefits, you are given an extra $2 FreshConnect Check to be used to purchase additional foods at the market.

What products do the vendors offer? Dansville Farmers Market offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and other locally produced foods. All brought to the market by local farmers and producers.

What makes your market special? We are a vendor run market and our focus is in bringing fresh, local foods to our community.

For more information about Dansville Farmers’ Market, visit their website at their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NYS-DansvilleMt-Morris-Farmers-Market-FM/1011206332254648____________

Check out what is being picked this week*:

Peas, Lettuce, Beets, Greens, Radishes, Green Onions, Strawberries, Cherries, Cabbage, Broccoli and Cucumbers.

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the week: Cheesy Cabbage Casserole

http://snaptomarket.com/?recipe=cheesy-cabbage-casserole