GOOD FOOD NEWS
Volume 8 Issue 20 May 17, 2016
MLH NEWS: Spring Open House – This week!
Mother Lode Harvest is having its spring quarter open house at the farm of one of its producer members on Sunday, May 22, from 12 pm to 3 pm. The event will take place at Casa de la Pradera, the farm of Alice Kaiser, 20161 American Flat Road in Fiddletown. Mother Lode Harvest members, as well as local residents who would like to learn about sustainable agriculture and accessing local food, are invited to tour the farm and enjoy demonstrations, information, and light refreshments. Other participating growers will also be on hand to answer questions about sustainable farming.
Parking for the event is at the old Schoolhouse across the road from the cemetery and the farm; attendees should park at the Schoolhouse and walk the short distance to the farm. A $5 suggested donation per adult is requested to support the work of Mother Lode Harvest, which is a nonprofit association. For more information, call Alice Kaiser at 209-245-6042, or email her at email@example.com.
Hey- it's almost here!
The"THIS-n-THAT" board. A place to list those things we want to Buy -Sell- Trade !
May Produce of the Month: Fava Beans
Fava beans—also known by a variety of other names, including broad bean, field bean, horse bean, English bean, pigeon bean and bell bean—is a member of the vetch and pea family Fabaceae. It is thought they originated in the Near East or Mediterranean, as evidence of them has been found in the oldest known human settlements. They were cultivated by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and were used in funeral rites because they are one of the few plants that has true black as a prominent component of its flower.
It is amazing to see fava beans grow. The beans develop from upright leafy stalks, sticking straight out, perpendicular to the stalk. No other bean grows like that, then again the fava is not a true bean, it is actually a legume. However, when shelled it resembles a lima bean, which makes it very exciting considering it can be harvested before the summer beans have even sprouted! That is because, unlike the beans you might be most familiar with, it is very cold tolerant. If planted in late fall, it will sprout, then wait for late winter/early spring to flower, for late spring harvest.
Fava beans can be prepared in a myriad of ways. Young tender pods can be harvested, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grilled whole for a delicious appetizer or side dish. Many cultures let the fava beans fully mature and then dry the seeds inside the pod for use in soups, stews, or spreads later.
For best use when just mature, the beans must be shelled from the long, green pods. If the beans are young and tender enough, the inner seeds can be cooked as is, but if the whitish skin around the inner bean has become firm, this too should be removed (easiest way is to blanch the beans for a minute, cool, then slit the outer casing and squeeze the vivid green inner bean out—or do like Dan D’Agostini and simply put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer, and deal with them some other time—the freezer has a similar effect to blanching). Sautee these in a little olive oil and/or butter and you will feel as if you have just had a mega-dose of something extremely healthy and tasty too. Or, you can whir up the cooked beans with a hand blender, along with some parmesan, a splash of olive oil, salt & pepper for a heavenly concoction to smear on toasted slices of baguette. Or, Google recipes ranging from Martha Stewart to Saveur. Bon Appetit!
Obtaining the Most Nutrients From Your Food
By Franziska Spritzler for Authority Nutrition
Eating nutritious foods improves your health and energy levels, but the way you cook it greatly affects the amount of nutrients left in it. This article explores the different cooking methods and how they affect the nutrient content of your food.
Boiling, simmering and poaching. These are similar methods of water-based cooking that differ by water temperature. Boiling reduces vitamin C more than any other cooking method, so your broccoli and spinach lose up to 50% of nutrients. Simmering also affects B vitamins in the food; however, if you consume the juices of the vegetables you will retain 100% of their minerals and B vitamins. On the other hand, these techniques are the best to preserve the omega 3 fatty acids in fish.
Grilling and broiling. When grilling the heat source comes from below, and when broiling it comes from above. When the juices drip from the food, you lose up to 40% of B vitamins. There is also the concern of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are potentially cancer-causing substances that form when meat is grilled and fat drips onto a hot surface. Luckily, researches found that PAH decrease by up to 89% if you remove the drippings and minimize smoke.
Microwaving. The short cooking times and reduced exposure to heat can preserve nutrients in food. When you microwave broccoli and spinach, they preserve more vitamin C than with any other cooking method. Garlic and mushrooms also retain most of their antioxidants.
Roasting and Baking. Vitamin loses are minimal with this cooking method, including vitamin C; however, B vitamins may decline up to 40% due to long roasting/ baking time.
Sautéing and Stir-Frying. These techniques are similar, but with stir-frying the food is stirred often, the temperature is higher and the cooking time is shorter. Cooking for a short time without water prevents loss of B vitamins; furthermore, the oil added improves the absorption of plant compounds and antioxidants. For example, the beta-carotene in stir-fried carrots is 6.5 times greater than in raw carrots.
Frying. Not all foods are suitable for frying. Fish like tuna can lose 85% of its omega 3 content when fried. In contrast, frying preserves vitamins B and C, and it may also increase the amount of fiber in potatoes by converting the starch into resistant starch. When you heat up oil for a long time, toxic substances called aldehydes are formed. Aldehydes are linked to increase risk of cancer and more.
Steaming. This is one of the best methods for preserving nutrients, including water soluble vitamins that are sensitive to heat and water. Steaming your broccoli, spinach and other vitamin C rich foods only decreases their vitamin C content by 15%. Do steam!
It is important to select the right cooking method to maximize the nutritional quality of your meal. In general, cooking for shorter periods, at lower temperatures, with minimal water produces the best results. Keep the nutrients in your food!
Summarized by Yash Nesmith