web analytics

Tag Archive | "Fresh Market"

Fresh Market—the Pumpkin


 

By Vicky Babcock

 

Nothing says Fall quite so well as the pumpkin! Its bold color and robust texture are characteristic of the season. It is a fall favorite in the U.S., selling over 1 billion pounds annually in its relatively short season. Over 90 percent of our nation’s processed pumpkin comes from the State of Illinois, with a majority (85 percent) being processed for sale with the Libby’s ® label.  Most Americans today have never made a pumpkin pie that has not come out of a can.

Pumpkin popularity grew enormously in the U.S with the advent of the Jack o’ Lantern, a tradition brought over by Irish immigrants, who used carved turnips in their home country as lanterns to chase away evil spirits.  According to legend, Jack tricked the Devil into agreeing to never claim his soul. When Jack died, the Devil gave him a lit coal to light his way in the afterlife. Jack placed the coal in a turnip and became known as “Jack o’ the Lantern.”

Pumpkins, as other squashes, are native to America and Native Americans grew and harvested them for centuries. It was one of a group of crops known as the “three sisters” and was grown in conjunction with corn and beans. The corn stalk provided a pole for the beans to grow, while the pumpkin covered the ground, providing cover to deter weeds and to keep the soil moist. The Iroquois legend of the three sisters speaks of a Sky woman who fell to Earth, becoming the first woman on Earth. Being with child, she gave birth to a daughter who in turn, gave birth to twins by the West Wind. The woman died in childbirth and the children buried her; from the ground where she lay, sprouted corn, beans and pumpkins, which served as the main food staples of the Iroquois.

While pumpkins are most popular here as a carving base these days, the fruit is loaded with nutritional value. Pumpkins are high in vitamin A and beta carotene; the seeds are high in protein and rich in a highly nutritious, flavorful oil. The flowers and the leaves are edible and considered a delicacy in some countries.

Some little known facts:  pumpkins are used as a feed for livestock; the raw fruit can be used as a supplement to chickens during the winter to aid in egg production; the biggest pumpkin on record weighed in at a whopping 2009 pounds; Columbus brought the first pumpkins back to Europe from the New World; the largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds; canned pumpkin (not pie filling) has been recommended by veterinarians as a supplement for dogs and cats experiencing ailments such as constipation, diarrhea or hairballs.

Still not convinced that you should buy a pumpkin? Consider pumpkin chucking. A competitive sport in which teams build devices to throw a pumpkin as far as possible.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 32oz can of pumpkin

1 12oz can of evaporated milk

4 eggs

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie mix

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups sugar

1 box yellow cake mix

1 stick butter

Pecans to scatter on top as desired.

 

Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie mix, salt and sugar in bowl.  Pour in 13”x9” cake pan. Cover with 1 box of Yellow Cake mix.  Scatter pecans on top.  Melt butter and drizzle over the top. Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Note:  Solon Market will be closed October 5 for Red Flannel Festival. We will be open again the following week.

 

Posted in Awesome Autumn, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market – Garlic, the “Stinking Rose”


_AWE-Fresh-Market-GarlicBy Vicky Babcock

 

Thanks to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, everyone is aware of the power of garlic to ward off vampires, evil spirits and the like. It is rich in folklore, dating back—by some reports—over 7,000 years. Garlic has been found in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Kings and was given to their slaves as part of their diet to ward off illness and increase strength and endurance. Greek soldiers and athletes used garlic for these same properties and Roman soldiers consumed garlic before battle for courage. The Egyptians swore on garlic, invoking the Ancient deities, much as we use the Bible in courtrooms today.

Garlic was placed on piles of stones at cross-roads by the ancient Greeks as a protection from demons as it caused them to become confused and lose their way. This also served as a meal for Hecate, the goddess of the wilderness. Europeans believed garlic had the power to ward off the evil eye and Central Europeans considered it a deterrent against devils, vampires, werewolves and the like. Dreaming of garlic in the house is considered lucky and to dream of eating garlic means you will discover hidden secrets.

Garlic originated in Central Asia. It derives its name from the Old English garleac—spear leek. The Greeks had another name for it—scorodon—the “stinking rose.” Indeed, its pungent odor—the bulb gained the sobriquet halitosis during the 1920’s—appears to be a critical part in its role as a natural insecticide. And pungent bulbs (garlic included) have been used for centuries to aid in the prevention and fighting of the common cold. The Cherokee used it as an expectorant for coughs and for croup. Modern science supports its role as a preventative, although experts caution that it has not been proven to fight pre-existing colds.

Garlic is a heart healthy food. Components of it aid in lowing blood pressure, as well as helping to prevent blood clots. Because of these factors alone, be sure to check with your doctor if you are on any medications before using garlic in quantity. Components of garlic also aid to reduce oxidative damage to blood vessel linings, a key factor in increasing risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and atherosclerosis, commonly, hardening of the arteries. Garlic is very high in vitamin B6 and high in vitamin C. It is also a rich source of Manganese, which helps your body maintain strong bones, nerves and blood sugar levels. It also helps to promote optimal function of the thyroid and protects your cells from free-radical damage.

Garlic is an important ingredient in most spaghetti sauces, goulash and many tomato-based foods.  It is highly prized in Italian and Oriental cuisines and blends its unique flavor well with chicken, shrimp and lemon. To make the most of its nutritional value, chop garlic and let rest for a bit before using; toss into the recipe towards the end of the cooking process.

And about vampires?  It turns out garlic really does keep the bloodsuckers away—blood sucking mosquitoes, that is.

 

Easy Scampi

¾ cup butter

¼ cup chopped onion

3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound uncooked med. shrimp, deveined

¼ cup dry white wine

2 T. fresh lemon juice

Salt and ground pepper

 

Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden.  Add shrimp and stir just until pink. Remove shrimp and place in ovenproof dish. Cover lightly and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and simmer about 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over shrimp.  Serve with rice or noodles.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

 

Posted in Awesome Autumn, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market: The Butternut


AWE-Fresh-market-butternutsquashMeet the Butternut, a winter squash similar in flavor and texture to the pumpkin, but without the thick skin. Butternuts are harvested late in the season, usually October. However, as with much of the produce this year, they appear to be ripening earlier. You have probably seen a few coming into Market already.

Diligent research has given me little history on this tasty squash. One source (the Stow Independent) credits Charles Leggett with its development in the mid-1940s. It most certainly has its roots in the Americas, although it is relatively new to the table, arriving (according to some sources) in the 19th century.

It is considered a pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand, where the two are used interchangeably.

With all due respect to its summer cousins, winter squashes are a powerhouse of nutrients, far eclipsing that of the zucchini or summer squash.

The butternut is an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, providing a whopping 457 percent and 51 percent RDA respectively, in one cup, cubed. Vitamin A has been identified as a deterrent against breast cancer as well as age related macular degeneration. It is heart healthy, protecting against heart disease. Low in fat, yet high in dietary fiber, the butternut is an excellent choice for your diet. It provides significant amounts of potassium and vitamin B6 as well, important to bone health and the function of the nervous and immune system respectively.

Butternut is a versatile squash, lending itself well to soups, casseroles and dessert dishes. It can be baked or microwaved whole for an easy fix. Remove the peel and seeds while still warm, then puree for a buttery flavored soup or a base for pumpkin pie.

 

Holiday “Pumpkin” Pie

1 ½ c. cooked and pureed butternut squash

½ c. sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

* 1 ¼ c. Holiday Nog

1 tsp. orange liquor or brandy

1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell

Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 400◦ F. In large bowl, combine squash, sugar, salt and spices.  Blend in eggs, nog and liquor. Pour into pastry shell. Bake 50 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool. Refrigerate. Serve plain  or with whipped cream.

*Substitute Holiday Nog with milk if desired—add ¼ c. sugar

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue. For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

Posted in Awesome Autumn, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market—the Potato


BLOOM-potatoesThe Muscogee (Creek) consider the potato as a gift from the Creator, given to provide sustenance and to define the new breed of mixed bloods born after the advent of the “others” (white men). The clan of the Muscogee is passed through the mother’s family but, because the “others” belonged to no Muscogee clan, the children born of these mixed marriages had no clan. After much prayer and hardship, the Creator was induced to provide the potato, a food that though underground, could see in every direction—the eyes, when planted, would provide them with food forever—and the White Potato Clan came into being.

Yet potatoes, which originated in the Andean mountain region of South America, are believed by experts to have been cultivated by the Indians for 4000 to 7000 years. This durable vegetable was able to be grown at high altitudes and became a staple of these peoples. They were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century and used on Spanish ships to prevent scurvy. European governments promoted this nutritious inexpensive foodstuff but much of the public was suspicious of a product that was not mentioned in the Bible and considered it poisonous because it was a member of the Nightshade family. Indeed its poor reputation in Europe led to the belief by many that eating them would cause leprosy.

There is little doubt that this lowly crop had a big role in demographics and population of the United States as well as other countries. During the early 1800s Irish farmers depended almost exclusively on the potato as it was inexpensive to produce and the economy was poor. But this strategy failed when a potato blight (1845-1846) wiped out most of the crop—the Irish Potato Famine was responsible for nearly three quarters of a million deaths and hundreds of thousands fled their country in search of sustenance. Many (including my ancestors) landed in the United States.

The potato, in its natural state, has many healthy qualities. It is a good source of vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber. The potato is an important source of B6 vitamins, containing over 20% of our daily value in one cup of baked potato. Vitamin B6 is essential to the production of new cells as well as aiding in neurological activity, our body’s messaging system—specifically cell to cell. Some of these neurotransmitters are; serotonin–lack of serotonin is linked to depression, melatonin, which is needed for a good night’s sleep, epinephrine and norepinephrine—hormones that help us respond to stress, and GABA which is needed for normal brain function. It is best to leave the skin on, as much of its nutritional value is concentrated just under the skin.

Considered by many to be a comfort food, potatoes now enjoy the distinction of being one of the most widely used natural food products throughout the world and Americans love their potatoes! Unfortunately, we tend to negate the food value by adding unhealthy choices or cooking in oils.

Some healthy choices for serving potatoes include baked (without all the cheese, butter and sour cream—try vinegar), lightly fried with a touch of olive oil and steamed or boiled in clear soups. For heart health, keep the salt down to a minimum or use light salt, a more healthy alternative.

The potato is a member of the nightshade family and as such, all green parts of the plant are inedible, including the green parts of the tuber itself. Potatoes should be stored away from sunlight, to prevent the development of toxic compounds such as solanine and chaconine. This toxin affects the nervous system, causing weakness and confusion. These compounds protect the plant from predators and are mostly concentrated in the leaves, stems and fruits.

Potato skins, along with honey have been used as a remedy for burns in India. Burn centers there have experimented with the use of thin outer layers of the skin to protect the burns while healing.

Baked Potato Wedges 

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled

4 T. olive oil

½ to 1 tsp light salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh  chopped rosemary

¼ tsp. pepper (optional)

Cut baking potatoes into wedges (about 6 per potato)  Place in a covered bowl or zippered bag.  Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.  Bake on cookie sheet in pre-heated 400◦ oven for about 30 minutes, turning half-way through.   Lightly sprinkle with salt if desired.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market—Broccoli


BLOOM-broccoli‘’I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it.  And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!’’ George Bush Sr., defending his edict to ban broccoli from the White House and Air Force One.

Within a week, broccoli growers in California, outraged by the comment, shipped ten tons of the vegetable to Washington D.C. where it was donated to local homeless shelters  to feed the hungry.

Bush may have done broccoli a favor in the long run as the ensuing firestorm brought broccoli into the public eye as never before! This manmade member of the cabbage family has had a love-hate relationship with humankind since its conception as early as the first century BCE.  The Romans were enamored with the crop and served it with herbs and wine as well as in cream sauces. Drusius, the son of Roman Emperor Tiberius, loved broccoli so much that he gorged on it (excluding all other foods) for an entire month.  It was only after his father chided him for “living precariously,” that he was induced to give it up.  It was during the Roman Empire that broccoli became a staple of their warriors who believed that it enabled them to gain strength for battles.

Despite its early success, its introduction into England and France in the early 18th century did not fare well.  And although broccoli received its debut in the United States over 200 years ago, it did not obtain favor with the general public until the D’Arrigo brothers, Stephano and Andrea, immigrants from Italy, established The D’Arrigo Brothers Company and created “the brand name Andy Boy, named after Stephano’s two-year-old son, Andrew. They advertised by sponsoring a radio program and featured ads for broccoli on the station. By the 1930s the country was having a love affair with broccoli. People were convinced that broccoli was a newly developed plant”(Wikipedia).

Broccoli is another powerhouse vegetable, rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant which has been found to help protect against cancer and aging.  Because beta-carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin, pairing foods rich in it with fats such as nuts or olive oil can help the body absorb it more readily. A cup of cooked broccoli provides as much calcium as 4 oz. of milk and as much Vitamin C as an orange while weighing in at only 44 calories. Eaten raw, one cup chopped comes in at only 24 calories! Looking to boost your potassium? Need iron? Adding fiber to your diet? All are reasons to put broccoli on the table.

 

Ham and Broccoli Roll-ups

1 Bunch fresh broccoli or 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen broccoli spears, cooked and drained

5 thin slices cooked Ham

½ cup Mayonnaise

3 T. Flour

½ tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

1 ½ cups Milk

1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Cheddar Cheese

Fine dry Bread Crumbs

Wrap ham around broccoli spears.  Place rolls in shallow casserole.  In small saucepan, stir together mayonnaise, flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add cheese, stirring until blended.  Pour sauce over rolls.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Broil 4 or 5 inches from source of heat 2 minutes or until bubbly.  Serves  5.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

Posted in Bloomin' SummerComments Off

Fresh Market


BLOOM-cucumbersBy Vicky Babcock

 

The Cucumber

The cucumber has been cultivated for over 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest known fruits to be raised for consumption by man.  It has its origins in Nepal and was likely introduced to the rest of Europe by the Greeks or the Romans.  Columbus introduced this member of the squash family to the New World where it thrived.  Indeed, it—along with other squash and root vegetables—was described by William Wood as often being bigger and better than  those grown in his native England.

According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had mobile gardens, which were used as a type of greenhouse to keep him supplied with cucumbers throughout the year. Romans reportedly used cucumbers to treat scorpion bites, bad eyesight and to scare away mice. Wives wishing to have children wore cucumbers around their waists (Wikipedia).

The cucumber fell out of favor along with other uncooked fruits and vegetables in the late 17th century. It was thought that uncooked plants brought on summer diseases and were “fit only for consumption by cows,” a statement that may have led to the appellation of “cowcumber.”

Forget caffeinated beverages, cukes are a good source of B vitamins, providing a boost in energy levels. Often referred to as a superfood, they are known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health. Cucumbers are 95 percent water, aiding to keep the body hydrated as well as helping to rid the body of toxins. Much of the vitamins are contained in the skin of the cuke so be sure to consume these natural powerhouses with the skin intact. As with any vegetables consumed raw, be sure to scrub them well before eating.

Cool as a cucumber? Cukes are often about 20 degrees cooler than their surrounding temps. They have been used to treat sunburn and swelling around the eyes and can be pureed to create a lotion for moisturizing and smoothing skin. A slice of cucumber, pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds will kill bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. Eating cucumber before bed can aid in preventing hangovers and headaches. All in all, a hearty powerhouse to aid in your body’s health. Try our salad for a tasty nutritious treat.

 

Cucumber Salad

1 3-oz. pkg. lime Jello

1 cup boiling water

½ tsp. salt

1 cup salad dressing

½ cup sour cream

1 cup chopped cucumbers

1 T. chopped onions

Stir together first three ingredients; let cool. Mix salad dressing and sour cream. Add cucumbers and onion. Fold into Jello mix. Refrigerate until set.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market


BLOOM-jalapenoBy Vicky Babcock

 

The jalapeño, a medium sized chili pepper, is a cultivar of the species capsicum annuum which originated in Mexico. It is probably the most well-known of the chilies, often considered one of the hottest. However, the jalapeno’s heat level varies from mild to hot, depending on the soil and cultivation.  The heat is mostly concentrated in the membrane surrounding the seeds and in the seeds itself, which is why whole chilies are much hotter than chilies that have been seeded.  Always use caution when handling chilies and keep hands away from the face and eyes as it can be extremely painful if brought into contact with the eyes. It is traditionally picked unripe as a green fruit but it can also be eaten as a mature red chili.

One cup, chopped (90 grams) contains only 27 calories and provides 10 percent of your dietary fiber and 66 percent of vitamin C.  It is low in Cholesterol and Saturated Fat, low in Sodium and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Copper, Potassium and Manganese.

Fresh out of garlic? Around here the best deterrents against vampires and werewolves are chilies. It’s also very effective in warding off the evil eye.  According to the web site, Fiery-Foods, East Indians in Trinidad have been known to wrap “seven red pepper pods with salt, onion skins, and garlic skins in paper” and pass it around a baby to “remove najar, the evil eye, which is believed to cause unnecessary crying.”  Another African-American legend holds that in order for peppers to be hot, you must be angry when you plant them.  We assume that means, if you want medium hot peppers you would only need to be mildly annoyed.

 

Jalapeño Poppers

1 lb Italian Sweet Sausage

1 8 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese

4 T. Parmesan Cheese

3 tsp.  Italian Seasoning

A produce bag full of big Jalapeño Peppers.

Note:  If you get the smaller ones they will be really hot. The bigger peppers are mild.

Crumble and cook sausage.  Remove from heat and drain grease.

In bowl mix cooked sausage, cream cheese,  parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning.

Prepare peppers by cutting in half and removing seeds.  Fill each pepper and place on cookie sheet.  Broil for about 4-6 minutes. Be sure to wash your hands and keep your hands away from your face as these peppers  can be extremely painful to the eyes.

Serve warm.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market


BLOOM-RosemaryBy Vicky Babcock

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”—William Shakespeare

Rosemary’s long time association with weddings and funerals probably stems from this complex herb’s ability to aid in mental activity—thus rosemary for remembrance. Students in Rome wore wreaths of rosemary to improve their test scores—indeed modern studies seem to support this belief. Studies have indicated that this pungent herb may help in the delay or prevention of Alzhetimer’s or age related memory loss. It is a digestive aid as well. It improves mood, respiratory function and circulation and boosts the immune system. It has anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. Rosemary was burned as an incense to protect against the plague and later in France during WWII in hospitals to protect against infectious diseases. The herb is an excellent source of iron, and contains about 83 percent RDA per 100 grams of fresh leaves.

Folk stories abound around this herb. It is associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who is said to have worn a drapery of rosemary when she ascended from the sea. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her cloak over a rosemary bush as she rested and the flowers, once white, took on the blue of the cloak. Thus the bush received its name, “Rose of Mary.”

Rosemary actually gets its name from the Latin Rosmarinus, dew of the sea.

One 16th century belief states that in homes and gardens where rosemary grows in abundance, the woman rules the household. This caused a bit of consternation among the men, who began ripping out rosemary bushes to prove that they, not their wives, ruled the roost. Sorting fact from fiction can be a bit tricky at times, as in the belief that rosemary placed under one’s pillow will prevent nightmares. This indeed may be true as the herb’s scent improves mood. Whatever your beliefs, consider adding fresh rosemary to your supply of culinary herbs. Its unique flavor will surprise and delight you. And tuck a sprig into your lapel as well. It just may keep the thieves—and the witches—away.

Cautionary note: Women who are pregnant are advised against using rosemary in large quantities. Check with your doctor.

Rosemary Pecan Onion Bread

2 cups milk

2 pkg. dry yeast

¾ cup finely chopped onion

2 tsp. salt

½ cup butter

5-6 cups flour

2 T. honey

¾ cup toasted pecan pieces

Vegetable oil cooking spray

2-4 fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped

In small saucepan, combine milk, onion, butter, honey and salt. Cook over medium heat until butter melts. Cool mixture to about 100 degrees (warm to touch, but not hot)  Dissolve yeast in warm mixture.

In a large bowl, combine 5 cups flour and yeast mixture. Stir to form a soft dough.Turn onto floured surface—using additional flour as needed, knead dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Add pecans and rosemary, kneading to incorporate.

Place dough in a large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray—turn once to coat dough. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Divide into thirds, shaping each into a round loaf.  Place on lightly greased baking sheets—cover and allow to rise in a warm place 20-25 minutes.

Score tops of bread with a sharp knife to form an x. Lightly brush tops with water—bake in pre-heated 375◦ oven about 25 minutes until golden. Serve warm or cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market


BLOOM-blueberry-sorbetBy Vicky Babcock

In early America, Native Americans traded “star berries” to colonists who believed them to be some form of bilberry, a fruit found in the United Kingdom. While similar and likely related, blueberries are native to North America. Blueberries, with the highest anti-oxidant content of all fresh fruits, are an excellent nutritional choice in your diet. Heart healthy, vision aid, memory aid, cancer preventative (consumption of blueberries has been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer and ovarian cancer), anti-depressant, and anti-aging agent—blueberries may very well be that fountain of youth so sought by Ponce de Leon! Blueberries can aid in the prevention of cell-damage, lower cholesterol and reduce body fat, reduce digestive inflammation and prevent infection.
It was said during World War II that RAF pilots consumed bilberry jam to improve their night vision. While this has since been proved to be false—a story created by the Brits to confuse their enemies when radar was first used—it was plausible because consumption of bilberries, as well as our native blueberries, can prevent or delay age related ocular problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, myopia  and dryness and infections, especially those pertaining to the retina.
While claims of improved night vision have been made, we could find nothing to support this. Even so, blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse that should not be ignored.  Eat these tasty treats fresh or straight out of the freezer, add them to cereals or pancakes, or try any number of recipes found on the net. Remember, the darker the berry, the more antioxidant and other nutritional value.

Blueberry Sorbet

Ingredients:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup whole lemon verbena leaves or lemon balm (optional)
1 pound frozen blueberries
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lemon-flavored rum (optional)
Preparation:
Process sugar and lemon verbena in food processor or blender for about 30 seconds.   Add blueberries and process an additional minute.  Add lemon juice and rum:  process until smooth.  Serve immediately or freeze in a covered freezer container.
Yield: 4 servings. 

Per Serving: 209 calories; 0.4 g fat (0 g saturated fat; 2 percent calories from fat); 50 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 mg sodium; 0.9 g protein; 2.9 g fiber.
Brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Posted in Bloomin' SummerComments Off

Fresh Market


BLOOM-Fresh-market-lavenderBy Vicky Babcock

 

Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green, when you are king, dilly dilly, I shall be queen.

You may think we are deviating from our theme of fresh edible foods. Not so. Lavender, most widely known for its use in aromatherapy products, is an edible herb—both its leaves and buds can be used in that capacity. Once a favorite choice for the chefs of kings, lavender somehow fell from the list of common cooking herbs.

Common it is not. Lavender’s unique flavor lends itself well to dishes with chicken or fish, but it is also used to enhance the flavor of cookies and lemonades. If you are trying out lavender for the first time, a light hand is best as its flavor can be overpowering.

Lavender originated in the Mediterranean, where it remains a wild herb as well as a cultivated plant. Referred to as Spikenard in the Bible, lavender is believed to be the oil used to anoint the feet of Jesus. From the root word “lave” (to wash), lavender has been used for that purpose since the written word. It is a natural astringent, mild bug repellant, aid to relaxation and headache reliever.

Check out next week’s Post for more on this versatile plant and try a sample of our recipe at Market. Have a happy holiday!

 

Lavender Shortbread

1 ½ cups sifted flour

¾ cup confectioners sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ lb. butter, softened to room temp.

2 tbsp. Fresh lavender buds or 1 tbsp.

dried culinary lavender, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 325º f.

Mix all ingredients together. Knead until consistency becomes doughy.  Press firmly into shortbread mold (or pie plate) making sure to fill in all the space in the shortbread mold. Bake 1 hour. (Shortbread should be pale in color—not brown)  Unmold while still warm. Great warm or room temp.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon  Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, Featured, RecipesComments Off