All About Beets

Oh hey! It’s Friday!

I’ve literally been thinking its been Thursday for some reason this entire day…anyone else with me?

Tonight we’re talking beets…… Why eat them? How can I cook them?

 

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I was 28 when I tried my first beet. For real. They were rarely ever served anywhere that I would have been eating and there’s no way I’d ever buy one from the store!? What do I do with one and I hear they just taste like earth!? I also heard they leave a nasty red mess all over your counter…..

If you are in this same boat, I’d like you to know that there is still hope. Nowadays, I am a beet-loving fool and am sure to add them to dishes I cook for my family throughout the week. If health facts perhaps sell you on the idea of trying them…let me throw some fun facts out there to ponder…and a little warning for your first encounter with them….

  1. Beets are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including folate and manganese. Folate helps to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia.  Folate is also important for synthesizing and repairing DNA as well as helping with cell division and growth, such as during pregnancy or infancy.

    Due to high levels of iron, folate, and betaine, beets are sometimes referred to as “crimson spinach” as they pack the powerful nutrients that fill Popeye’s favorite meal.

  2. Cardiovascular Disease The nitrates in beet juice which are converted into nitric oxide in your body, which helps you relax your blood vessels. This, in turn, can reduce blood pressure, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.

     

  3. Fighting Inflammation The betaines (pronounced like bee-ta-eens) within beets helps protects cells from environmental stress. Betaine is unique to beets and this nutrient helps to guard cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress while fighting inflammation in internal organs and preventing all sorts of inflammation-based chronic diseases (i.e., cardiovascular disease).

     

  4. Detox Beets have often been a staple of a detox diet, and are a great help to your liver. You’re getting plenty of antioxidants from beets and the betains (Bee-ta-eens) found within beets will help your liver better process toxins.

     

     

     

     

    ::: WARNING ::: One other thing you should know. The red colour compound in beets known as betanin, is NOT broken down in the body. High concentrations may mean that things are going to be a little colorful at the end of the day (in your bowel movements). Don’t be concerned though, the red color of your stool is harmless and will cease once the beets are completely out of your system. (this always makes for a fun conversation with your kids:)

 

“Ok great…so I know they are good for me….but how the heck should I eat them ?”

Beets can be prepared in so many different ways….sliced, raw, cooked , pickled…you name it! Here are just a few recipe ideas to try ……

How to Roast Beets Perfectly Every Single Time

Coconut Oil Roasted Beets (Vegetable Candy)

Coconut Oil Roasted Beets recipe. I like to call these beets Vegetable Candy! They are perfect sweet and caramelized. I could eat the whole bowl myself! Beets have amazing detox properties--this is a great way to eat them!

Beet the Cold Power Smoothie

Beet the cold power smoothie filled with beets, blueberries, lime juice and chia seeds. The perfect healthy & refreshing detox smoothie.

Beet, Arugula & Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese

Honey Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Beets

Honey-Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Beets with walnuts and gorgonzola - a healthy side dish

Ok there we go! Just a few different ways to prepare beets. If you already love beets….awesome ! We are looking forward to multiple varieties in the garden this year. If not…which recipe are you going to try next week? Would love to hear your feedback! Just remember….that color passing through your body….totally normal . 

I hope you all have an awesome weekend! We are so thankful for each and everyone of you. Blessings!

 

 

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You Can Eat That…..

Good Morning ! It’s Friday….which means time for another post. Hope you’ve all had a great week! I am currently enjoying the most beautiful sunrise this morning….the calm before the storm I suppose?

Our plants have been loving these humid and wet days. Perfect for growth for plants AND weeds…but hey…beggars can’t be choosers.

Today I wanted to talk about the parts of the plants that we may tend to throw out after preparing the usual parts that we are used to eating. In short,  we are going outside of the box just a smidge to take a look at some new ways to eat veggies that might be worth a shot.

Plants are split up into groups by the “parts that we eat”. For example….

We eat the ROOTS of beets, radishes and carrots

We eat the FLOWERS of broccoli, artichokes and cauliflower

We eat the LEAVES of spinach, lettuce, swiss chard

We eat the STEMS of rhubarb, celery and asparagus

We eat the FRUITS of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers

We eat the SEEDS of snap peas and sunflower seeds

Leafy greens are a great way to start thinking outside the box when it comes to considering different parts of the plant being edible.

Radish Greens tend to be pretty underrated. They are both edible and fast growing. Most radishes take just 24-28 days from seed to harvest!  Their flavor is subtle, with a a slight hint of radish which is awesome if you don’t like the spiciness of the actual root.  It’s best to harvest the greens before a radish develops, which would only be about 12-16 days for baby leaves. For a twist on a common recipe…try these greens in your next batch of pesto instead of basil leaves!

Looking for a substitute for collard greens? Try Broccoli Greens!  They carry a slight broccoli flavor and are relatives to collards, kale and cabbage…which are all in the Brassicaceae . Harvest the greens in the early spring on young plants when the leaves are tender. Use them as you would kale or collards in any of your recipes.

Sweet Potato Leaves are other plant part then seem to get overlooked. I actually just read that these leaves are a staple to many dinner plates around the world.  They can be used as you would any other tender green and taste similar to spinach. These leaves are packed with nutrients and rich on protein. …. give them a try!

FLOWERS AND HERBS

Herb-Infused Vinegars. While some can be found in pricey markets, infused oils are actually pretty inexpensive and easy to make at home. They can be used in dressings and marinades, but also straight from the bottle atop raw tomatoes from the garden. Common herb flowers used for a simple vinegars would be chives, thyme, basil or oregano. To make, simply use a small saucepan and warm your favorite vinegar over medium heat to a simmer. Fill a jar with your flower blossoms of choice and pour the warm vinegar over them. Let the oil steep out of direct sunlight for two weeks and enjoy!

Nasturtiums are a common flowering plant to be found in gardens. They are popular for attracting bees and pollinators, as well as being used as a trap crop for aphids. Nasturtiums are great companions to cabbage and broccoli to deter cabbage moths as well! These edible flowers and leaves can be considered power plants as they are high in vitamins A & C and the entire plant is edible. Due to the high concentration of mustard oils on the leaves, this fast-growing vine produces a peppery flavor Use sparingly to brighten up a salad or add a kick to garden pesto and sauces.The leaves make great rice paper alternatives for rolls.

These are just a few ideas to start thinking “outside of the box” when it comes to eating the “entire garden.”

WITH THIS BEING SAID….On the other hand, however….there are a few leaves you DO NOT WANT TO EAT. 

Nightshade Family : Eggplant Leaves and Flowers and Tomato Leaves 

These plants contain trace amounts of solanine and tomatine that could leave you with an upset stomach.  The leaves and flowers of these plants are where the toxic solanine is most concentrated. GREEN POTATOES are also on the Nightshade List

Rhubarb Leaves

While the stalks are rather tasty in pies, rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid and anthraquinone glycosides, two compounds that are poisonous to humans when ingested. The symptoms vary depending on how much you eat, but they include everything from vomiting and stomach pain to possible seizures….so please, steer clear of these greens!

 

I hope some of this information was helpful and/or new to you today! I’d say when in doubt….look it up! But don’t be afraid to try new things in your gardens or CSA harvest boxes this summer.

Make it a great day everyone, and Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!

 

 

 

Information for this post gathered from Garden Safe and Organic Life. 

 

 

 

 

The Way We See It

Hello fellow farm friends!

It’s been forever since we’ve had a post….but since it is halfway thru April and we are counting down the days until the first CSA share dispersal….I figured it was time.

How are you feeling?

Like, really?

This spring weather has been a rollercoaster ride, for sure. The song  that keeps coming to my mind lately is an oldie but a good from the 1990’s….

“I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna get me down.” Tubthumping by Chumbawamba  ( you’re welcome for the repetitive chorus that will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day )

For those of you familiar with our family, you know that spring is an extremely busy season for us. Jordan, “the Farmer,” runs a greenhouse business along with his brother where they grow perennials and annuals for stores across the United States. Generally speaking, southern states are warmer before northern states, therefore shipping is able to start “early” to start supplying those warmer places. This year, however, we aren’t the only ones suffering from a cold, delayed spring. Is this a fun issue? Nope. Not fun at all. Product being shipped means more room to plant to fulfill later orders in the season, which in turn means a successful greenhouse season. Does this mean that all hope is lost for the spring? Definitely not.

THE WAY WE SEE IT: This is going to be a short, intense shipping season. Product will move with a little more TLC  and cleaning , and it will all need to go….FAST. We see this as a challenge and a time for growth. As a business, as a marriage, as a team. As our kids say “Teamwork makes the Dreamwork.”

For MY business, “The Farmer’s Wife” this weird weather introduces a different set of setbacks. Crops that were supposed to be in the ground have been postponed and the heater in the greenhouse has been running longer to help our sun deficient plants along.

THE WAY WE SEE IT:  We’ve been blessed with a place to grow our seedlings at home. Even with longer hours for Jordan, I’mstill able to accomplish all of our preparations at home, with the kids, and actually find therapeutic joy in doing it. With a few years under our belts, we’ve recognized what spring looks like for us. He is usually getting his equipment in the field preparing to grow zucchini and I’m chomping at the bit to get everything in our own garden ready. THIS YEAR, we prepped everything early so that when that glorious weather decides to come around….I WILL BE READY.

With that being said…. we are looking forward to hitting the ground running as soon as this weather breaks. Which, by the looks of it….next week is looking pretty amazing! I cannot wait to start seeing your faces each week and being able share the excitement of fresh, seasonal produce with you.

In the meantime….it is my hope that you’ll find some personal sunshine in the next week to boost your spirits if that’s something your in need of this time of year.

Look at the roadblocks are frustrating things in your life….HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SEE THEM? How can you turn them into something good and possibly necessary for this time in your life?

In the meantime….put on your favorite winter hat today and rock it out knowing it may be one of the last couple of times you GET to wear it this season.

Walk through the produce aisle and pick 3 vegetables you’ve been waiting to try…and make something with them!

Make a fruit salad or add fruit to your water….. Good nutrition is key to happy physical and mental health.

 

Looking forward to a fun season! We are thankful for YOU.

Sincerely, Janine Dekker

“The Farmers Wife”

Find our Page on Facebook “The Farmers Wife CSA”

Or Follow us on Instagram: thefarmerswife_grower

Our Last Week….. 10/2

Good evening everyone! Here we are…..OCTOBER! What a gorgeous weekend we had to ring in a new month. I cannot even believe it;  tomorrow this is our last week of the CSA shares for the year! Jordan and I spent the day with our kids doing what we love to do on Sunday afternoons…..play around in the garden.  It has been a blast watching this space transform over the season; from a snow covered construction site to a flourishing space that was able to grow over half of our produce the season. Those of you that have been part of the CSA for a while have known that we’ve bounced around a bit with field locations and what a blessing it has been to have so much of our produce be right at home, with the rest being grown at our greenhouse locations in Hudsonville. We are thankful.

With tomorrow being the last day of deliveries, with a few pick ups on Tuesday…I just wanted to go over a couple of things before we part for the winter.

  • It would be so very helpful to me if you could keep your box from last week, as well as the final box delivered to your house to reduce the amount of boxes I will have to haul around and recycle/dispose of myself. (thank you)
  • If you have any outstanding balances for tomatoes or eggs, let me know what works best for you to settle up for the season:)

 

I want to make sure I take a moment to let you all know how incredibly thankful I am for ALL of you! Your kindness and support are more than I could ask for, and you make my “job” so enjoyable. It is my goal to continue to grow and learn through all that we do, and I appreciate your understanding and input as we go through the season. Thank you for considering our program and for jumping on board. Thank you for caring and being a part of the farm in which you get your food…even the crazy stuff you’ve never tried before! If I can share my heart with you, Jordan and I just had a discussion late last night about the CSA. I have a slew of ideas and dreams and sometimes have a hard navigating my way through real life situations and/or expectations. There are times where I wonder what people think about what we are trying to do with our farm, the community we are hoping to create, and if it even matters, especially when I hear feedback on what we’re doing from people that don’t quite get it.  Jordan simply asked me if I felt that 1 family benefitted from something we were doing, and I immediately felt a burst of excitement and confidence in my heart. I thought about what I had seen in some of our families this summer; kids that tried things they never have before and realizing they LOVE certain vegetables; parents taking the plunge to try new recipes in efforts to create a healthier lifestyle; togetherness with a community of like-minded people……all of those things affirmed the reason we are here….the reason I do what I do. Did you guys know that our farm also sponsors 2 amazing families in the area? You have all been blessed to be a blessing just by investing and being part of our farm! THANK YOU…..from the bottom of our hearts.

Ok…now that you know probably way too much about what goes on in my head….here’s what this week’s box is looking like:)

I’m calling this box: the GLEAN Box. Originally the plan was to have this be the last week of boxing up items, followed by a week of whoever wanted to come glean from the garden, however….the heat wave and drought last week sent us over the top. Especially now with these cooler nights,  things have drastically slowed down, leaving us to glean all that we have for tomorrow’s shares. Here are a few staples you will find in your box…with a few mix and/or match items thrown in:)

Butternut Squash

Onions

Leeks

Zucchini

Lettuce

Dill

Beets

Turnips

Peppers

Eggplant

Peas or Beans

Kale

Given that produce may not be super consistent throughout , I don’t have any awesome recipes for you this week. I hope you have enjoyed those and that they have given you inspiration to try a different way to prepare the vegetables you find in your box.

I am looking forward to seeing/serving you this week and look forward to being in touch with you in the future. Stay tuned to your email for an end of the season questionnaire as well as some exciting news for next year. Have a great week everyone!!! It’s been an absolute pleasure working for you:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s In Your Box? 9/27

Hey y’all! Here we are….feels like we are closing out the summer again after the weather we’ve been having! Totally mixed feelings on it over here…..but either way….it is what it is, and there isn’t much any of us can do about it…so ON WITH LIFE:) Thanks so much for understanding our day off on Monday….just wasn’t sure how to keep everything fresh throughout the day….looking into fixing that for next season! So happy we made it into October this year….even with the crazy pattern of weather we had this summer!

Well…here’s what you can look forward to this week:)

Acorn Squash

Summer Squash

Zucchini

Broccoli (some….we had an amazing crop but it did NOT like this hot weather)

Onions

Beets

Turnips

Peppers

Tomatoes

Eggplant

Kohlrabi

Salad Mix

Swiss Chard

Rosemary

Cilantro

Peas (full shares)

Green Beans

Bok Choy

Joi Choi

Curly Kale

Lacinato Kale

Radishes

 

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:)

Roasted Acorn Squash with rosemary

Roasted apple and Acorn Squash Soup

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Summer Squash, Zucchini & Tomatoes

Baked Squash Chips

Summer Squash Risotto

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Roasted Kohlrabi

Sea Salt & Vinegar Kohlrabi Chips

Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime

 

Have a great rest of the week!

 

 

 

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What’s In Your Box? Sept 18

Good Morning! What a warm and beautiful weekend we had! I just wanted to thank those of you who came out to the dinner at our house last week…..it was such a fun night! We hope you enjoyed your time and went home with full, satisfied stomachs. To those of you who couldn’t attend….we missed you! We hope to continue doing dinners for the CSA members and other events so hopefully another time will work out. Next year I will have to look into the date a little better.

The list of produce available this week is long! It is encouraging to still have so much to share, however, there may not be enough of each and every thing to put it in every box. Some shares may have broccoli this week, for example, while others have sweet potatoes. But I will do my best today to keep them equal. Since its so dark even as I type, deliveries may be a little later today since there’s plenty to clean and pack.

Here’s what you can look for this week:)

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Onions

Tomatoes

Tomatillos

Peppers

Eggplant

Bok Choy

Joi Choi

Lacinato Kale

Curly Kale

Radishes

Salad Mix

Sweet Potatoes

Broccoli

Butternut Squash

Acorn Squash

Parsley

Basil

Cilantro

 

And here are a few recipe ideas 🙂

Roasted Radishes with Onion

Joi Choi Stir Fry

Baby Bok Choy Salad

Parmesan Kale Grilled Cheese

simple lemon kale salad

Caramelized Onion Apple Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Have a fantastic Monday Everyone!

What’s In Your Box?? Wednesday Sept 5

Hey all ! Alright ….here’s the updated list for what you’ll find in your box tomorrow after looking through the gardens a little better today. I am super excited to have scored a fun “not so little” addition to your share this week:)

Summer Squash

Sweet Corn (a couple of ears)

Tomatoes (mainly romas, some heirloom varieties and cherries)

Peppers (Green bell, Hot Peppers of all sorts)

Tomatillos

Eggplant (multiple varieties)

Chinese Cabbage (2 varieties)

Kale

Beets (Red and Yellow)

Turnips (may only be in full shares)

Leeks

Radishes

Parsley

Beans (They just keep coming ….so I picked them)

WATERMELONS!

My sister in law grew a large amount of watermelons and actually has them coming out of her ears so I purchased them for a stellar deal. Since we are on our first year in the new garden and learning how to utilize our space, this is something that I have missed growing this year. She uses the same growing practices as I do so they are pesticide free.  The ones I am including in your box were picked last week so they are ripe NOW. She said to eat them sooner than later…..and most of them are seeded. I hope you enjoy them!

Here are some recipes for you to try:)

Wondering what the white eggplant looking thing is?? Here’s a few tips to help 🙂 How to Cook a Small White Eggplant

Stuffed Mini Eggplant (includes parsley, cherry tomatoes…doesn’t need to be vegan)

Summer Squash Corn Chowder

Fresh Corn and Summer Squash Tacos uses a ton of great ingredients!

Chipotle Lime Radish Salad

3 great recipes right here!