MAKE IT: Black Bean Soup
I love black beans, and am always delighted to find new ways to prepare them. Although I have had black bean soup before, I never had black bean soup quite as delicious as the soup I enjoyed at the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Florida (a huge recommendation to visit the Columbia if you ever find yourself in Tampa!) Despite a stomach already full from tapas, after the first spoonful of this amazing soup, I then proceeded to very quickly devour the rest. From a nutritional standpoint, this soup is low in fat, rich in fiber and protein, and a fantastic source of iron, magnesium, thiamin, folate, and riboflavin. Despite being good for you, it is also delicious and filling. Enjoy! (Serves 4)
Harvest of the Month | Rhubarb
Rhubarb is a perennial spring vegetable that grows abundantly from May to July in the Adirondacks. Rhubarb is in the plant family Polygonacea along with knotweed and buckwheat. While the plant is technically a vegetable, the tart edible stalks of the plant are most commonly thought of as a fruit, and is eaten in sweet preparations.
MAKE IT: Southwestern Squash and Corn Soup
I love summer squash, and eat as much of it as I can during the months when it is growing abundantly. Although I usually eat it roasted, in ratatouille, or cooked with other vegetables in foil packets over a fire, I had never before combined it with potatoes and corn in a soup. However, when I saw an instant pot variation of this recipe from Brand New Vegan, I knew that I had to try it. I am so glad that I did! This soup is easy to make, inexpensive, and filling. Delicious by itself, it is incredible when topped with the red pepper maple relish. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can also carefully puree the soup in small batches in your blender. Enjoy!
Farmers Market season begins
New Adirondack Harvest Resource Provides Info on 65+ Area Markets
Summer farmers market season has officially kicked off this month in the Adirondack region, bringing a welcome return of locally grown and made food, arts and crafts. Seasonal farmers’ markets offer a closer-to-home opportunity for folks to support farmers and makers in their community.
Harvest of the Month: Eggs
Eggs, more specifically, chicken eggs, are an integral part of traditions, celebratory dishes, and the everyday diet around the globe. Historians estimate that humans have been eating eggs for roughly 6 million years. Originally, people foraged eggs from wild bird nests until they were domesticated around 1500 BCE in Ancient Egypt. Throughout history, eggs have become a symbol of life, rebirth, renewal, and fertility for many cultures.
Today, humans eat about 88 million tons of eggs each year worldwide. China is the top producer of eggs (roughly 34 million tons), then the United States (roughly 6.9 million tons), and then Mexico (roughly 4 million tons). While we may think of them as a staple of the American diet, countries like Japan, Paraguay, China, and Mexico consume more eggs per person each year.
MAKE IT: Blueberry Freezer Jam
I love blueberries, and will often pick gallons of them at local orchards every summer, eating some straight away, and freezing the rest so that I can later make yummy treats, like this recipe for blueberry freezer jam. Although this jam is not shelf-stable (i.e., should be stored in the freezer), it is incredibly easy to make and does make a delicious jam. I love adding the jam to my oatmeal, using it as a topping on sorbet or ice cream, or slathered on a slice of freshly baked bread. Enjoy!
5 Cups of Fresh/Frozen Blueberries
2 Cups of Sugar
6 Tablespoons Ball Freezer Jam Instant Pectin
3 – 12oz Freezer-safe canning jars
1. Wash berries, then place them in a shallow pan. Using a potato masher, crush berries.
2. Add the mashed berries to a saucepan, and add sugar. Mix well, and bring to a boil,
cooking at full boil for around a minute.
3. Remove jam from heat and stir in the pectin, mixing well.
4. After jam has cooled a bit, scoop the jam into small freezer-safe jars. Top with lids after
30 minutes, and then place in freezer.
Use within one year. Enjoy!
*Recipe adapted from The Frugal Navy Wife
Adirondack Harvest Festival returns Sept. 24, vendors and volunteers needed
Adirondack Council’s Essex Farm Institute awards farm micro-grants
In celebration of Earth Day 2022, the Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization today awarded 15 micro-grants totaling $32,000 to local farmers and value-added food producers, in an effort to build a climate-friendly local economy in the Adirondack Park.
It was the seventh consecutive year that the Adirondack Council has awarded micro-grants to farmers and small business owners who want to reduce their environmental impact and adapt to a changing climate. This year’s grant criteria were modified to accommodate both larger operations as well as projects featuring collaborations between several qualified applicants.
MAKE IT: Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake in a Mug
If you are craving something sweet and do not want to wait, this cinnamon roll coffee cake in a mug is for you! I use an 18-ounce mug to make these and will often use whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose flour. If you do not want the cream cheese frosting, feel free to drizzle maple syrup, add berries, or even ice cream on top. Enjoy!
April Harvest of the Month | Spring Greens
Spring Greens are the edible young leaves or new growth of plants. Spring greens are the tender new growth that first emerges in early spring. In the Adirondacks, spring greens start to appear in greenhouses at the end of March and early April.
These tender greens are the unofficial start of the new year. They are the first fresh growth of the season! They indicate that young radishes, asparagus, and scallions are coming soon.
When we say “spring greens”, we mean baby cut lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, and other plants like bok choy. Many times, a variety of different spring greens or types of lettuces are packaged together and called “Spring Mix” or “Salad Mix.”
Why do we eat what we eat?
What will we eat when the Bugs are gone? Part 2
What you eat and drink is often no less a matter of fashion and tradition than what you wear, with the important qualifier that what you eat has generally much more impact on your health than what you wear, assuming that what you wear at least correlates with the seasons of weather and climate conditions and doesn’t offend people to such an extant that it invites abuse from others. Our Cro Magnon ancestors, who left Africa about 80,000 years ago, were hunter-gatherers who hunted mammals, fished, and routinely ate insects, all of which are good protein sources. They foraged plants which provided nuts, seeds, berries, fruit and roots. Proponents of the paleo diet claim that the fact that we subsisted for 200,000 years on such a diet, and evolved to accommodate such a diet, points to its efficacy.
What if you want to cut back on your meat consumption, whether for health or environmental reasons, but you lack the imagination to eliminate red meat from your diet altogether? I try to avoid beef whenever possible, and if I am cooking at home, substitute bison, which browse free range, and are much tastier and healthier for you anyway. Bison have lighter impact on the land, being like deer more browser than grazer (grass eater). The word “moose” is derived from “moswa”, a Native American word meaning “twig eater”. Elk are more grazer than browser, but unlike cattle move around to fresh graze, thus allowing grazed lands to recover.
Adirondack Experience announces new virtual ‘Dacks Drinks series
Wednesday, April 13, 7 pm: A Taste of Tupper with Garret Kopp from Birch Boys and Josh Weise and Tanner Hockey, Brewers at Raquette River Brewery
Meet two of Tupper Lake’s taste-making companies as Raquette River Brewing and the Birch Boys share their stories and offerings. Discover their unique collaboration to create Chugga Chugga Chaga Honey Brown Ale, an English-style brown ale made with sustainably harvested Chaga mushrooms. Josh Weise and Tanner Hockey from Raquette River Brewery will wrap up the evening with a few tips on how to infuse local flavor for home brewers.
About the speaker: Garret Kopp grew up in Tupper Lake and began harvesting Chaga mushrooms and selling them at local pop-up markets with his grandmother when he was 15. He created the Birch Boys while in college and today, the company leases 220,000 acres of private land in the Adirondacks for sustainable Chaga harvesting, making products like teas, tinctures, and skin care products. Kopp is also a certified mushroom identification expert & licensed NYS guide.
MAKE IT: Fish Chowder
Fish chowder is a wonderful way to use up the panfish in your freezer. This simple recipe is easy to make and cooks up quickly. Pair with some crusty bread and a salad for a full meal. Enjoy!
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
3 cups low-sodium stock (fish, chicken stock, or vegetable)
1/2 cup chopped carrots or sweet corn kernels
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp. Old Bay-type seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1-pound boneless, skinless panfish fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1. Sauté onion and celery in oil until tender. Add potatoes, fish stock, carrots or corn,
parsley, lemon juice, and seasonings. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30
2. Add fish and simmer for around 5 minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork. Add milk, and
heat gently (do not bring to boil).
Nutrition Information: (calculated with vegetable stock and carrots): Serving size: 1/4th recipe |
Servings per recipe: 4 | Calories: 324, total fat: 22.5 g, saturated fat: 9 g, cholesterol: 0 mg,
sodium: 44 mg, carbohydrates: 53 g, fiber: 4.7 g, sugar: 6.5 g, protein: 20.2 g
*Recipe adapted from The Wild Harvest Table
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