Cooking local and farmstead cheesemaking classes give even more reasons to attend the Sustainable Agriculture Conference
*Don’t forget to register for the 26th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference! Late registration ends Nov 5th. Visit http://carolinafarmstewards.org/sac11.shtml to register and learn more.
In conjunction with their upcoming Sustainable Agriculture Conference, CFSA is offering two great classes that any local food lover would enjoy! Both the farmstead cheesemaking class and the cooking local class promise to be fun, informative, and above all, tasty!
The cheesemaking class will be taught by Fleming Pfann of Celebrity Dairy. Fleming has been making farmstead cheeses for over 25 years and is one of the foremost experts on cheesemaking in the Triangle. The class will cover both soft-curd (think fresh chevre) and heated-curd (think cheddar) cheeses, as well as the basics of starting a farmstead cheesemaking operation. Class size is limited to 24 participants so sign up soon! The cost is $35.
The cooking class is a great opportunity for home chefs and kitchen novices alike to learn more about cooking and eating sustainably. You’ll learn about sourcing ingredients locally, how to know what’s in season, preparation & cooking techniques, and recipes. Participation is limited to 20 people, and the cost is $45.
Both classes will be offered on Friday, November 11th from 2:30 – 5:30 in the afternoon at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro. CFSA has partnered with CCCC’s Natural Chefs program to bring you these two great opportunities, and you’ll have a chance to check out the Natural Chefs state-of-the-art kitchen and facilities while you learn.
For more information or to sign up for either the Farmstead Cheesemaking class or the Cooking Naturally, Locally, & Seasonally class, visit www.carolinafarmstewards.org or call 9129-542-2402.
(Note: both classes have been designed to be finished in time for participants to travel back to Durham for the opening dinner of the Sustainable Agriculture Conference)
by Lynn Byrd aka The Byrdfeeder
Brussels sprouts were first cultivated in Belgium (hence the name “Brussels” sprouts) in the 1500s, and introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s. Odd, though; this delectable alien isn’t mentioned as a classic Belgium food in the culinary portion of the Brussels Travel Guide. Perhaps our dear sprouts grew tired of playing second fiddle to a stupid waffle, and upon voluntary exile from its native land, lost all rights and privileges of birth. Tant pis Belgium, I say.
Brussels sprouts are cruciferous veggies containing high amounts of vitamins A, C, K, and folate, plus 4 grams of dietary fiber. These luscious buds are also rich sources of phytochemicals (also know as plant food) which boosts cell repair and might just cause cancer cells to commit suicide. Plus, they promote supple skin, digestive health, and a myriad of other health benefits.
You! Stop being a Brussels sprouts hater and give this garden super star its props. As long as they’re cooked with respect, they’ll maintain their dignity, won’t stink up the house, and you will love them. You will!
In The World’s Healthiest Foods cookbook, George Mateljan suggests trimming and cutting a pound of fresh Brussels sprouts in quarters, then steaming them for 5 minutes. Afterwards, dress them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 2 medium cloves of garlic, and sea salt and pepper to taste. And they are really, really good like this.
However, my little garden sprouts are too tender to steam that long! I trim and cut them in half, then, in a sauté pan, I add a few tablespoons of water with salt and quickly heat to boiling. Next, I toss all the sprouts in the sauté pan, add a pat (not a stick) of organic butter on top, and cover for one minute on medium high heat. Remove the cover, stir around to scrape any delicious carmelized bits off the bottom of the pan, add a little tamari if desired and romp on those goodies.
For an extra good treat, sauté some shallots in butter or olive oil and add to the sprout pan at the end, or just cook at the same time in the same pan. I simply prefer my shallots to be carmelized more.
Of course you can roast them for 40 minutes or so in a 400 degree oven after trimming and dressing with salt and olive oil, but why torture them? Yes, sprouts are delicious roasted, but I urge you to experiment with a shorter cooking time to maintain the nutrient integrity of the sprout. Not only that, but high heat changes the chemical structure of oil, and not for the better.
Rebellious vegetable, or limp waffle? Whose side are you on?
Tant pis is French for too bad. 40% of Belgium residents speak French; 60% speak Flemish.
by Carissa Leventis-Cox
My cousin Miguel e-mailed me out of the blue last week and after reading my posts, he immediately set out to make his own Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie. I was so impressed when he e-mailed me just 2 days later with a photo of his own pie. Although his was made with a Graham Cracker crust, the rest was all raw. He and his 2 year old little girl, Estelle, devoured it. His response brought a smile on my face, “I’m SOLD! I’m inspired to eat raw desserts! Any more desserts involving strawberries or peaches in the making? “
Needless to say, I’m always so excited when others are motivated to eat less processed and more raw foods. So today, I looked in my fridge: strawberries – check, almonds – check and macadamia nuts – check. Thought I’d create a Strawberry Cream Pie!
So, Miguel, this is for you and Estelle!
What’s so great about Strawberries?
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber and iodine, the latter nutrient helps protect our thyroids and gonads from radiation exposure of iodine-131. Strawberries also contain potassium, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, and vitamin K. And they are abundant in the spring. In fact, City Roots just announced that their strawberries are ready for picking.
The Soft Cookie Crust
Pulse together in a food processor:
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 T extra virgin coconut oil, liquified by placing bottle in warm water
1 1/2 T raw local honey
1 cup raw almonds, unsoaked, process to a powder
Create the crust in molds (first grease with coconut oil) or on two 5-inch pie pans or free form rounds. Freeze.
Puree in a high speed blender:
2 T raw local honey
1 organic orange, juiced, around 1/3 cup
1 cup raw organic macadamia nuts, unsoaked (or cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
Refrigerate until needed.
1 pint of organic strawberries
Mint from the garden
Make sure everything is cold when served and after putting it together, serve immediately.
To put together:
1. Place an almond cookie crust on a plate.
2. Top with strawberry slices.
3. Spread orange cream on top.
4. Top with more strawberries.
5. Garnish with a mint leaf.
By Carissa Leventis-Cox
I have been wanting to make Kimchi for a while because of its nutritional benefits: rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium, iron and lactic acid bacteria. Kimchi is a Korean condiment that is basically fermented cabbage. So, a few weeks ago, I finally remembered to ask Song, a Korean lady at my favourite local health food store, how to make it. But she introduced me to another shopper instead.
“He knows how to make Kimchi. Chris, tell her how to make Kimchi,” Song says.
I smiled inside as this White Cooked Foodie (judging from his food at the cashier) explains in detail to me, an Asian Raw Foodie, how to make Kimchi. Chris is very detailed in his instructions, and I am inspired to finally make it.
I experiment a few times, until I get the hang of it. With Chris’ help and one of my mother’s Korean cookbooks (one recipe contained Asian fruits that I substitute here with green apple and raisins), I finally create a mild sweet Kimchi that my son and husband will eat (i.e. not spicy here).
Kid/Family-Friendly Kimchi Recipe
Chop into bite size pieces or slice:
1 big or 2 small Napa Cabbages, cored
Place in a non-metallic container. Chris and Song use big glass mason jars. I used the lining of my slow cooker. Massage cabbage pieces all over with:
1/4 cup sea salt
Cover with water, place a plate with a weight on top (I used 2 mason jars full of water) or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in water. Leave overnight. The next day, drain the water and rinse the cabbage.
Place the cabbage back in the container with:
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbspns sea salt
1 green apple, grated
2 green onions, sliced
3 large carrots, grated
1/2 cup raw local honey
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup water
add chili peppers if you prefer spice
Mix together well. Make sure there are no air pockets by pushing the vegetables down. Again, place a plate with a weight on top or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in liquid. Cover with a towel and leave for 3 – 4 days. When done, place in mason jars and refrigerate.
How To Eat Kimchi with Raw Food
Eat it with other foods being served: salad, vegetable noodles (carrots, zucchini, squash), vegetable ‘rice’ (process in food processor cauliflower, sweet potatoes, parsley), and more!
We really enjoy a Great Big Kimchi Salad: spinach, lettuce, avocado and kimchi with juices. Mix all together with your hands. Yum!
With Sesame Veggie Noodles (photo above), recipe from We Like It Raw.
by Carissa Leventis-Cox
I love going to my local community health food store, 14 Carrot Whole Foods, for four wonderful reasons.
14 Carrot Serves Its Local Community
One of the best things they do, in my humble opinion, is their bi-weekly produce sale. I hear mothers come in and talk to each other all the time. ”This place is even better than Walmart on Thursdays and Sundays from 1 – 5. All produce is 30% off! And it’s all organic or local!” Indeed, a lot of its produce comes from farms nearby, like City Roots, or are grown by people who work there, like Don’s tomatoes. They also allow farms in the area to use their space as a drop-off for their CSA programs, making it so convenient for shoppers.
14 Carrot is Eco-Conscious
Jim helps me bag my groceries every week and often talks about recycling, reduce and reuse. Ed, the owner, is very environment-conscious and is passionate about decreasing his business’s carbon footprint. They are a certified GREEN business.
14 Carrot Focuses on Health
And for the nutrition-conscious like me, shopping at 14 Carrot is heaven. When Karen Ranzi, author of Creating Healthy Children Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods, visited and gave a talk at 14 Carrot, she remarked that we have more raw food items available to us in Lexington, SC than in her own local health shop in New Jersey! Indeed, the people who work at 14 Carrot are very knowledgeable about what they do. Kathy, also a health food minister for Hallelujah Acres, is savvy about all things raw vegan and has helped turn me on, and so many other people in the community, to eating more raw foods. I could also talk to Lou for hours learning about all things raw primal (raw milk, raw cheese, raw yoghurt, raw butter, raw meats) and local products as well (meats and dairy). Furthermore, because of the staff and the quality of foods on display, my son is introduced to HEALTH foods at a young age! This nutrition education is priceless.
14 Carrot is a Neighbor
Most of all, I really love going to 14 Carrots because it feels like going to a neighbor’s house for a get-together every time I visit. My son knows most of the people who work there by name. He plays rough with Mr. Don, sticks out his tongue at Mr. Tristan (ugh! but at least Tristan does it back), shows Ms. Lisa his Michael Jackson moves, has mini-conversations with Ms. La Toya, asks Mr. Lou for a smoothie and gives Ms. Song a kiss. I bump into friends all the time and I meet other like-minded shoppers who love healthy food. A few weeks ago, I was surprised when Chris, a white guy who eats cooked food, taught me, an Asian raw foodie, how to make kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented food!
Yes, 14 Carrots brings grocery shopping to another level. We love going there, and anyone who loves organic, local and health foods will too. 14 Carrot Whole Foods takes its mission as a local health food shop seriously and passionately. As a community, we cannot do without!
by Julia Mangan
I love local, raw honey. I use it to sweeten my hot tea daily. I love it in Greek yogurt and green smoothies as well. I mean, what’s not to love? Not only does it taste delicious, it is good for you, too!
- Local, raw honey has healing properties. Add it to your hot tea to soothe a sore throat, for instance. Because it has antimicrobial properties, it doesn’t just soothe your throat as it coats it; it can also kill certain bacteria.
- Local, raw honey helps with seasonal allergies. Don’t bother with allergy shots; take honey “shots” instead! The same allergens that trigger a reaction in you are present in local, raw honey. By ingesting the honey regularly, you are, in effect, taking “shots” of the allergen in small, manageable doses. The effect over time is similar to getting a whole series of allergy immunology injections. Doesn’t taking honey sound a lot more pleasant?
- Local, raw honey reduces the lifespan of colds. Eating 2 ounces a day can reduce a cold by up to 2 days! How awesome is that?
- Local, raw honey is a natural antiseptic. As mentioned above, honey has antimicrobial properties. That’s what makes it great for treating wounds. Because many types of bacteria can’t survive in honey, it speeds up healing, diminishes swelling, and gives tissue the opportunity to grow back more quickly.
- Local, raw honey helps tame the stomach flu. Because raw honey calms the inflammation of the stomach, it is a great pain reliever for the stomach flu.
Those are just 5 reasons local, raw honey is fantastic but there are a whole host of awesome health benefits to honey besides those 5. But you may be wondering, why local and why raw?
- Many of the health benefits of honey are lost when it is filtered and heated to high temperatures.
- Local, raw honey has unique flavors that are lost when industrialized.
- To help with allergies, you need to have local, raw honey. This will insure that the honey has the allergens native to the area you live in.
- Buying local is better and not just because it reduces pollution and saves resources. Bees shipped from elsewhere pollinating one crop is how commercial honey is made. This is completely unnatural and hard on bees. Let’s keep the bees home and pollinating as nature intended.
- Local, raw honey is full of all kinds of healthy ingredients. Industrial methods dilute the good stuff out.
I purchase my local, raw honey from either the farmer’s market or Earth Fare. The honey I buy is from the Bee Well Honey Farm in Pickens, SC. I love that I can buy it with or without the honeycomb, too.
Do you enjoy honey? How do you eat your honey? Where do you buy local, raw honey?
Julia from A Little Bit of All of It
by Kaynan Goldberg
In my last post, I talked about the differences between cage-free, free-range, and commercial eggs. Now I want to talk about the eggs themselves. Are they super-foods or arch-villains?
The biggest problem nutritionists have with eggs is the cholesterol found in the yolks. Basically, cholesterol is made by your liver, and can be found in various foods, including eggs. (Read this Wikipedia article for a good explanation of what it is and how it works.) Genetic factors and lifestyle choices likely have more of an impact on your cholesterol level than eating an egg or two per day. We actually do need cholesterol for many vital functions in our bodies, including making Vitamin D and many important hormones. Does it make sense that something our bodies synthesize and use for everyday survival is such a bad guy?
So, if you’re going to have an egg for breakfast, go ahead and eat that whole egg, not a “hole” egg. Eggs, especially the yolks, are chock-full of nutrients—proteins, healthy fats, Omega 3′s, choline, Vitamins A, D, and E…shall I go on? Nature has provided such a perfect little package of goodness. Why throw half of it away?
A box without hinges, key, or lid; yet golden treasure inside is hid. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit