Dena’s Tips 2/15/13

Happy Valentine’s Day + 1! This week’s share is particularly sweet to celebrate the holiday. We will have full fruit and salad bowls this week. Wonderful freshness for this time of the year.

We have again the fresh organic apple cider from farmer Mesa Ruiz; be sure to refrigerate it as it is a raw product and has a 2 week shelf life.

Our sprout grower Susan Higgins had a wipeout of her sunflower sprouts for us this week and so we are receiving pea shoots again; look for the sunnies again in two weeks. Pea shoots are best raw or added to Asian dishes just before serving; heat them through but do not cook them. Here are some tips on our blog Member Julie Ann used them in juice and was pleased with the quantity and flavor. 

While watching an episode of “America’s Test Kitchen,” I learned that soaking beans in salted water resulted in more even cooking and softer skins. I have tried it and it is true! (I had always been taught that salting the cooking water for beans had the opposite effect.) The soaking water contains nutrients as the beans are beginning to sprout, so don’t pour it out – use it for cooking the beans.

If you are having trouble keeping up with the organic tomatoes, just put them in the freezer and use later pureed in soup or stew or beans. You can briefly cook them and they will mash together better in the ziplock bag.

The butternut squash in this week’s share need to be used up soon – there is an explanation from Steve in his blog entry for this week on why they have not held up so well this year. It turns out that butternuts and orange juice is a great combo. I added orange juice to the last soup I made with the squash and also came up with an unusual cake recipe while driving – wondering what else we could do with the abundance of squash. I cut raw butternut into small cubes (to 2 cups) and one pear into cubes twice as large. Then I reduced the juice of 2 oranges and ½ stick of butter till slightly thick. I buttered a cake pan, added the squash and pear, and poured over the juice/butter mix. Then I made an orange flavored cake with orange juice and orange extract, using alternative flours (coconut, chestnut and quinoa flours) and poured it over the squash and pears and baked according to the cake directions. You could use any flour, of course. This came out great and was best served warm.

Have fun in the kitchen with this fruity share!


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