[Today’s post is brought to you by Ann Heuer, Western Carolina University Dietetic Intern for our school.]
Using unique local food ingredients
Local produce stands and farmers markets are opening back up this month, so it’s time to get creative with unique local ingredients!
Swiss Chard- Typically available in May
Rich in Vitamin C, which helps build tissue, prevent iron deficiency, and boosts immunity. It is also rich in Vitamin K, B-vitamins, and iron, which all help maintain healthy blood cells and tissues. Try Swiss Chard in one of the following recipes:
Quick Caramelized Onions Swiss Chard
Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Swiss Chard
Fingerling Potato-Leek Hash with Swiss Chard and Eggs
Pan-Roasted Chicken, Squash, and Chard Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
Beets- Typically available in April, May, June
Beets have been show to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and have compounds that protect against cancer. Beets are also high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, as well as potassium (for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (beneficial for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets are also rich in folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects. Try local beets and sweet potatoes in the following recipe:
Sweet Potato and Beet Chips with Garlic Rosemary Salt
Rutabagas- Typically available starting in March
Rutabagas are an excellent source of antioxidants (protect against cell damage), fiber (for digestive health), and potassium (which has been shown to reduce blood pressure). They are also high in Vitamin C and minerals associated with strong bone tissue. Try out the following soup recipe for a warm meal that includes rutabagas:
Classic Rutabaga Soup RecipeIngredientsRecipe Instructions
3 lbs beef roast
1 gallon of water
¼ tbsp. black pepper
6 beef bouillon cubes
First, trim the beef roast and cut into bite size pieces. Fill a large (12 quart) kettle with the water and pepper. Add the meat to the kettle. Turn heat to medium-high, add the beef bouillon, and begin to cook.
4 stalks celery
4 large carrots
1 small onion
4-5 medium potatoes
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 medium or large rutabagaChop up celery (including leaves at the end of the stalks), carrots, onion, potatoes, cabbage, and rutabaga, and add to the soup cooking in the kettle. Add more water for desired consistency.
Bring the soup to a boil, and then let simmer until all ingredients are tender.
Add salt/pepper or season as desired.
Leftovers can be reheated- this soup is even better the next day!
Brussels Sprouts- Typically available in June
Brussels sprouts are a good source of Vitamins B, C, and K. They contain many valuable nutrients, including manganese, fiber, choline, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids. Brussels sprouts are delicious when roasted, especially with balsamic vinegar and honey in the following recipe:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Honey
For More Information
Link to NC State Produce Seasonality Chart: http://www.ncsu.edu/project/nc10percent/seasonality.php
Cedar Valley Farmers’ Market Information:
Written By: Ann Heuer, Western Carolina University Dietetic Intern