ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
After reading through my newest issue of Organic Gardening magazine, I was inspired to look at the greens we grow in a new light. I knew all along that our greens are wonderfully tasty, but I don’t think that I quite understood the extent to which they are so wonderfully good for our bodies. The issue includes information on Kale and Swiss Chard, as well as Turnip Greens and Spinach. I copied the excerpt on Spinach here in this newsletter so that you all could stand in awe of the fabulous leafy veggie before you as well J. I hope that reading this also lends you a new appreciation for an old favorite. Keep an eye out for similar excerpts on Kale & Chard when they appear in your shares again this season.
While we don’t have the greens to go along with the Turnips this week, I am sure that you will enjoy these winter roots just as well. If you aren’t that familiar with the turnip, I recommend giving them a try raw first to get a sense of what they are like before you do anything to them. Then try something simple like chopping or dicing them and sautéing them in some butter, alone or with onions and garlic, until soft. They will surely become one of your favorite winter delights.
Believe it or not, winter is also the time of year when we start planning our next CSA season. If you would like to give us any suggestions for our summer CSA program, please email me and I will be happy to pass it along. We always appreciate your comments & suggestions. After all, we couldn't do this without you! Have a great week!
(If you have questions about any of these veggies, email me and I will do my best to get back to you right away with storage ideas, serving suggestions, etc.)
Sunflower Microgreens (By now many of you have developed a healthy addiction to these crunchy little greens and we're glad for it. All of us here happen to have that "problem" as well. All we can say is enjoy and share the joy if you can!)
Mushrooms (The shiitakes are abundant and we are happy to share these great (big) beauties with you this week. Remember, you can save the woody stems and boil them for a great mushroom broth--always delicious in the middle of winter!)
Pac Choi(This member of the cabbage family is fabulous eaten raw as part of a vinegar-based slaw, or as part of a lovely winter salad. It can also be enjoyed in a stir-fry with the shiitakes and other veggies. It is also fantastic sautéed or steamed with your favorite herbs & spices as a side dish to compliment any main course.)
Spinach (I love spinach! I bet you do too. Enjoy your wealth of greens this week--they will be sure to keep you happy and healthy :). Have a look at the nutritional information I've included this week on the next page.)
Potatoes ** (Yummy, yummy! Check out the recipe this week for a new take on an old culinary standby. This will surely change your impressions of mashed potatoes, and hopefully your preferences for how they're done.)
Turnips (“If I want to work on my head, I have roots or stems for dinner.”—Rudolph Steiner.)
Recipe: French Mashed Potatoes with Cheese & Garlic (Serves 6)
**NB: If you are not going to use them right away, please store your potatoes in a paper bag in the fridge to extend their shelf life.
4 to 6 medium-sized
potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch thick slices, rinsed well & drained
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
salt to taste
2 medium garlic cloves,
minced or pressed
1 to 1 ½ C. whole milk
4 oz. mozzarella cheese,
4 oz. Gruyere cheese,
ground black pepper to
Place potatoes in large saucepan; add water to cover by 1 inch and add 1 tablespoon salt. Partially cover saucepan with lid and bring potatoes to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender and just break apart when poked with fork, 12 to 17 minutes. Drain potatoes and dry saucepan.
Transfer potatoes to food processor; add butter, garlic, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Pulse until butter is melted and incorporated into potatoes, about ten 1-second pulses. Add 1 cup milk and continue to process until potatoes are smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds,
scraping down sides halfway through.
Return potato mixture to sauce pan and set over medium heat. Stir in cheeses, 1 cup at a time, until incorporated. Continue to cook potatoes, stirring vigorously, until cheese is fully melted and mixture is smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. If mixture is difficult to stir and seems thick, stir in 2 tablespoons milk at a time (up to ½ cup) until potatoes are loose and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
This dish, called aligot comes from the Auvergne region of south-central France, where it is so revered, an entire festival is devoted each year to celebrating it.
(Recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated, March & April, 2009.)
Focus on Spinach:
(Excerpt taken from Organic Gardening Magazine, February-March 2009.)
This power-packed green is chock full of…
● Iron, which allows the body to utilize oxygen.
● Kaempferol, which lowers the risk of ovarian cancer.
● Magnesium, to lower susceptibility to migraines.
● Neoxanthin, which kills prostate-cancer cells.
● Vitamin E, which prevents damage to joints and protects against cancer and heart disease.
● Zeaxanthin, which prevents cataracts.
Popeye is only a cartoon, but the health payouts of spinach are the real deal. Your muscles won’t burst out of our shirt in a display of superhuman strength, but spinach does bring powerful benefits.
Studies show a link between diets low in magnesium and headaches, migraines specifically. Doctors suggest that headache sufferers increase their magnesium intake. Spinach is a rich source, but the nutrient can be lost in cooking, so stick to raw or lightly steamed spinach.
Spinach is a nutritional heavyweight, high in beta-carotene (which your body turns in to vitamin A) and vitamins E and C. Foods rich in these nutrients reduce your risk of heart disease. Spinach also contains a potent combination of potassium, calcium, and magnesium that lowers blood pressure.
Women with diets containing high amounts of kaempferol, a phytonutrient found in spinach, decreased their ovarian-cancer risk by 40 percent. Spinach extracts slow down division of stomach-cancer cells, and carotenoids contained in spinach cause prostate-cancer cells to commit suicide.
In your body, iron equals energy. Low iron leads to anemia and other problems. Spinach is a valuable, low-calorie vegetarian source of iron.
(Recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated, January & February, 2009.)
I hope you find this information helpful! Enjoy your share and keep in touch. Have a wonderful week and don’t forget you can contact us at:
(740) 448-4021 ORgreenedgegardens@verizon.net