Join me this Sunday 11 am to 2 pm at the new College Park Farmers Market! I’ll be demonstrating dark-chocolate-dipped strawberries using the season’s first strawberries. I just bought several quarts at my local Rose Park Farmers Market, and they are sweet and tender – just as they should be when they’re picked locally at peak ripeness.
Today is the 2nd “Katherine’s Market Recipe” of 2013, all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, famiy-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local farmers markets this week. At your farmers market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture, and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your farmers market. Here’s how…
For my “Dark-Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries,” I recommend you buy the strawberries at Rose Park Farmers Market, Dupont Circle’s Fresh Farm Market on Sunday or come visit me demonstrating this incredible recipe on Sunday at the new College Park Farmers Market.
Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
by Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
Serves 6 – 8
For the Fondue:
½ cup Skim Milk
8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 quarts Whole Strawberries (or other seasonal fruit)
Long toothpicks or Kebab Sticks
Finely Chopped Nuts (optional)
Course Ground Coffee (optional)
Heat the milk in a double boiler. When the milk begins to bubble around the edges, turn off the heat, and whisk in the dark chocolate chips. When melted, mix in the vanilla. Be careful not to burn the chocolate! Keep it on very low heat or in a double boiler. Pour into a fondue pot, keep on low, stirring occasionally. Spear each strawberry or piece of fruit with a long toothpick or kebab stick, and dip into the chocolate. If desired, roll in a bowl of chopped nuts, granola – or for the adults: course ground coffee for “mocha” dipped strawberries. To harden the chocolate, place each chocolate-dipped strawberry separately on parchment paper and let cool.
About 160 calories per serving, which is 1/8 of the recipe. Tthe strawberries are only 2 to 6 calories each, depending on their size.
Did you know that there are 200 seeds on each strawberry?
Strawberries are members of the Rose family and there are over 600 different varieties. Choose freshly picked, ripe berries, as they will be the tastiest and will have the most nutrients. “Look for berries fully formed, bright red, without bruising or soft spots and with fresh-looking green caps,” says Janie Hibler in “The Berry Bible.”
Strawberries are considered a “superfood.” They have one of the highest antioxidant and nutrient contents of all foods, yet they are low in calories, so you can eat them in unlimited quantities. In fact, for your health, the more the better! “A serving of eight strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange. Strawberries are also rich in folate, potassium, and fiber. They’re especially high in cancer- and heart-disease-fighting phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds) called flavonoids, anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechin, and kaempferol.
Is it true that a chocolate a day will keep the doctor away?
The cacao bean, grown mainly in Latin America, Africa and Asia, is loaded with beneficial compounds. In fact, its early uses, dating back 3,000 years were mainly medicinal. It has been highly prized for centuries, which is reflected in its scientific name, Theobroma cacao, meaning “Food of the Gods.”
Cocoa, if high in flavanols, the beneficial plant compounds scientists believe impart most of cocoa’s benefits, may help maintain a healthy vascular system, relax blood vessels, reduce blood clotting – an aspirin-like affect –reduce oxidative damage, inflammation, and improve blood flow. All of which reduces heart disease risk.
If you’re eating chocolate for health benefits, you’ll need to be very discriminating in your selections. You’ll get more flavanols, and therefore health benefits, with less processing. The first choice is cocoa, which isn’t Dutch processed – as when cocoa is “Dutch processed with alkali” the flavanols are reduced. Look for chocolate which has the highest percentage of cocoa as possible and to save calories, look for chocolate with lower fat and sugar levels. In general, cocoa is your best first choice. Second choice is a semisweet or bittersweet chocolate with a high cocoa percentage. Some chocolates go as high as 85% cocoa, but legally can be as low as 35%. I recommend no more than an ounce a day, which may be about 110 – 150 calories, depending on the chocolate. Any more than that and you’re probably going to take in too many calories for weight control.
Type of Chocolate Mg Flavonols Calories
1.3 oz Dark Chocolate Bars, Average*: 82 mg 187
1.3 oz Milk Chocolate Bars, Average*: 42 mg 198
1 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Average*: 75 mg 12
- *USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory
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Why Soup??? The science…
I love soups… Filling… Comforting… Psychologically Satisfying. Here’s why soups cause weight loss: Classic studies have found that as long as the volume of a food is high – even though the volume is created by just water or air and adding zero calories, people can feel full with fewer calories. In one study, researchers varied the water content in three different first courses to see how it would affect peoples’ intake at the main course. The study subjects were fed either 1) chicken rice casserole, 2) chicken rice casserole served with a glass of water, or 3) chicken rice soup – basically the casserole with water/broth added. The researchers found the subjects who ate the soup consumed 26 percent less, about 100 calories fewer, at the main course, compared to the other conditions.
Researchers surmise that a large food volume caused by water, even without added calories, helps us feel more satisfied for several reasons. It causes stomach stretching and slows stomach emptying, stimulating the nerves and hormones that signal feelings of fullness. Also, visually seeing a large volume of food can increase your ability to feel satisfied by it, even though the calories are relatively low. Finally, the larger a meal and the longer a meal goes on, studies show, your satisfaction declines and you lose interest in completing it. Water is the component in food which has the largest influence on how much you eat. This study, and many others like it, find eating a high-water-content, low-calorie first course, such as soup, enhances satisfaction and reduces overall calorie intake.
Bottom Line: Lose 20 pounds: Start lunch or dinner with a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup OR turn main courses into soups by adding water or broth. Save 200 calories a day! Do this every day and lose twenty pounds in one year… Wasn’t that SIMPLE? And oh…. so painless!
Katherine’s Puree of Asparagus Soup with Tarragon
This sublime, pale green soup may be served warm or cold.
Serves 8 to 10
2 pounds Asparagus, cleaned, tough ends removed, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Leak, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 clove of Garlic, mashed
Pinch of Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Vegetable Broth (see recipe) or Chicken Broth
2 Medium Potatoes, diced
1 Bay Leaf
A few sprigs of Fresh Thyme and Parsley
1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Garnish: 1 Small Bunch Fresh Tarragon, chopped
Use the cleaned tough ends and scraps of the asparagus and leek. Add 1 onion, 1 garlic clove (or more), and 2 quarts of water. Other vegetables you happen to have could also be thrown in, such as a carrot and/or a celery stalk. Let simmer about 30 minutes and strain.
Clean the asparagus, break off tough ends. If you wish, peel the stalks for a more tender vegetable. Slice the asparagus stalks into approximately 1.5 inch pieces.
Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pan. Add the leak, onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, the potatoes, and herbs and simmer about 30 minutes. Add half of the asparagus and simmer another ten minutes. Remove the herbs.
Using an immersible hand blender (ie, Cuisinart’s Smart Stick), puree the soup, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, steam or broil the remaining asparagus for 5 minutes, until barely tender. Strain and cover in ice water to stop the cooking process and prevent limp, over-done asparagus.
Serve the soup, garnishing each bowl with the sliced asparagus and a pinch of chopped fresh tarragon.
Asparagus is packed with nutrients. Low in calories, it’s an excellent source of folic acid, Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Vitamin B6. Asparagus, like other fruits and vegetables, is sodium-free, and contains no fat or cholesterol. It is an important source of potassium and many nutrients for boosting your immune system, preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure and even preventing cancer. Asparagus has the highest levels of Glutathione, a potent cancer fighter , according to the National Cancer Institute. Asparagus is also high in Rutin, valuable in strengthening the blood vessels.
Puree of Asparagus Soup with Tarragon is adapted from “The Vegetarian Feast” by Martha Rose Shulman, a cookbook I highly recommend.
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The simple pleasures in life always bring me the most joy. I especially love the holidays because it’s a time of year I get to spend precious moments with my family and friends. One of my favorite traditions is an annual “girls get-together” with 3 of my favorite girlfriends. We feast on the most fabulous “girl” food, share stories about our lives, and exchange thoughtfully chosen gifts. I’m always asked to bring the “salad,” which is really so much more. This “salad” is a feast for the senses: salty, sweet, tart, crunchy – every texture, flavor and color imaginable. Developed by Persian Chef, Najmieh Batmanglij, it is a holiday home-run.
Winter Salad of Orange and Pomegranate
By Najmieh Batmanglij in “Cooking With Les Dames d’Escoffier”
1 Cup (about 1 large pomegranate) pomegranate seeds
6 Large Oranges, peeled and cut into section, membrane removed
¼ Cup Finely Chopped Candied Orange Peel (store-bought or home-made)
½ Cup freshly squeezed Orange Juice
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed Lime Juice
1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
8 ounces Sheep’s milk cheese, such as Pecorino Romano OR aged Goat Cheese, cut into shavings with a potato peeler (I use only 2 ounces)
1/3 Cup Chopped pistachios
Pistachio Oil or light-bodied Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
In a bowl, combine the pomegranate seeds, orange segments, candied orange peel, orange juice, lime juice and orange blossom water. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. To serve, distribute the fruit mixture among 4 plates. Alongside the fruit, place a portion of cheese and top with the chopped pistachios and a light drizzle of oil. Serve immediately
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My very luscious version of a “flan,” a custard dessert, is lighter and simpler than most, and highlights one of the most nutritious seasonal foods – the sweet potato, and a favorite flavor: Vanilla. The vanilla’s quality is essential to the flavor, so I buy special plump, juicy California vanilla beans – the kind top chefs use – from Cook’s.** Sprinkle the flan with toasted pecans for a bit of crunch. Make in six or eight “personal” soufflé dishes, or in one large dish. Perfect as a holiday dessert!
Today is the 12th “Katherine’s Market Recipe,” all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here’s how…
For my “Light Sweet Potato Flan with Vanilla Bean,” I recommend you buy your sweet potato at the Glover Park – Burleith Farmers Market on Saturday, or Dupont Circle’s Fresh Farm Market (open year-round) on Sunday.
And don’t forget the Cook’s Vanilla for your Flan and other holiday baking. I first discovered this special vanilla in Georgetown’s Griffin Market (now closed). It peaked my interest because former Washington Post food reporter (and longtime Georgetown resident), Walter Nicholls, endorsed it and provided it to Griffin. Apparently, Walter has teamed up with Paso Robles, California’s Cook Flavoring Company, a family-owned business. “They personally monitor the cultivation and harvest of its vanilla beans in a way that few can match and no one can exceed, extracting the flavor by the same slow, cold extraction method the family has been using for almost a century,” said Walter. The best pastry chefs in town seem to use it: Baked & Wired, Dolcezza, Black Salt, CoCo Sala, CityZen, the Hay Adams hotel and all of Jose Andres restaurants, to name a few. Beans and extract are available locally at Rodman’s on Wisconsin Avenue.
Katherine’s Light Sweet Potato Flan with Vanilla Bean
Serves 6 – 8
2 Cups 1% Lowfat Milk
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
½ Vanilla Bean, halved lengthwise
¾ pound Sweet Potato (1 large)
1 Egg Yolk
1Tablespoon Warm Molasses (Optional)
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Chopped, Toasted Pecans or any favorite Nut (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sweet potato on the oven rack and let cook for about 45 to 60 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Use long tongs to pull out of the oven. When warm to the touch, remove the peel. Mash the potato flesh and measure out ¾ cup.
Turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter or spray the insides of 6 or 8 ½-cup ramekins* or a 6-cup glass Pyrex bowl or soufflé dish.
In a medium saucepan, bring milk, sugar, and vanilla bean slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat. Pull out the vanilla bean and scrape the vanilla seeds into the milk mixture. Return the pod to the pot and let sit for 15 minutes to let flavors blend.
Meanwhile, puree the 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk with the mashed sweet potato (I use a Cuisinart Smart Stick immersion hand blender). Add the sweet potato mixture to the warm milk mixture and puree until well blended – most easily done (and less messy) with an immersion hand blender. For a smooth custard, try not to create too many bubbles.
Pour the liquid into six or eight ramekins, or into the 6-cup soufflé dish. Set the soufflé dish(es) into a large baking pan and add boiling water until it is halfway up the sides of the soufflé dish(es). Place in the center of the oven and bake until slightly wobbly in the middle – about 40 to 45 minutes for the individual ramekins or 1 hour if you’re using the larger soufflé dish.
To serve: Leave the custards in the water bath until they are not too hot to handle or until ready to serve. Slide a knife around the inside edge of the individual dishes and turn them onto serving plates. Or scoop out 6 or 8 servings from the large soufflé dish. Over each serving, drizzle the warm molasses and sprinkle chopped, toasted pecans.
**A “ramekin” is an oven-proof ceramic or glass serving dish, usually round, but sometimes in novelty shapes, ie, hearts or ovals.
The entire recipe = 1,000 calories (1,242 calories with molasses and pecans). Divided into 6 servings = 167 calories per serving (207 with molasses and pecans). Eight servings = 125 calories per serving (155 with molasses and pecans).
Katherine’s “Light Sweet Potato Flan with Vanilla Bean” was adapted from award-winning cookbook author, Deborah Madison’s “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America’s Farmers’ Markets.”
Sweet Potatoes, considered one of the “Super Foods,” are loaded with Beta-Carotene, the orange pigment which is a potent anti-oxidant. It is important for your immune system, your skin, your vision, bones, reproduction, and may reduce cancer risk. But sweet potatoes provide so much more; they’re also high in fiber, vitamins C, E, the B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron. Sweet potatoes’ origins date back thousands of years in Peru, became a favorite of Christopher Columbus once he landed in America, and grow particularly well in the American South, where they have become a staple.
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Side Dish Options:
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Today is the 11th “Katherine’s Market Recipe,” all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here’s how…
For my “Autumn Apple Crisp with Nuts, Dried Fruits, and Ginger,” I recommend you buy the apples or pears at Georgetown’s Rose Park Farmers Market (your last chance this year) on Wednesday, or Dupont Circle’s Fresh Farm Market (open year-round) on Sunday.
Katherine’s Autumn Apple Crisp with Nuts, Dried Fruit & Ginger
By Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
This will become a favorite holiday dessert – delicious, but quick and simple, too. And, heart healthy – using predominantly whole grains and nut oil instead of butter – and filled with fruit and nuts.* This Apple Crisp is very versatile with its main ingredients. Use a crunchy, tart Fall Apple, an Anjou Pear, or a combination of both. Use any dried fruit, your favorite nut, and a nut oil for maximum flavor.
½ Cup Pure Maple Syrup
½ Cup Raisins, Dried Cranberries, or a mix of both
2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Minced Candied or Crystalized Ginger, or less if you like it less strong
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
3 pounds crisp, tart Fall Apples, or any apple or pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1-1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts, any favorite Nut – or a mixture**
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour*
½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Walnut Oil, any Nut Oil,** or Canola Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare filling: In a large bowl, mix the maple syrup, dried fruit, lemon juice, ginger, and flour. Add the apples and mix well. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Prepare Topping: Mix the oats, nuts, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, and cinnamon. Add the oil and mix until the topping is moist. Pour over the filling in the baking dish.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crumble is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes until serving
300 calories per serving.
“Katherine’s Autumn Apple Crisp with Nuts, Dried Fruits, and Ginger” is adapted from a recipe in “Eating Well” Magazine.
*A whole grain – whole oats and whole wheat flour – has three parts: bran, germ and endosperm. The bran and germ contain fiber, Vitamin E, B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid) minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, selenium and iron), protein, essential oils, antioxidants and phytochemicals (plant substances that may protect health). The endosperm contains mostly starch with a little protein and very few nutrients. When a grain is refined, turning whole wheat flour into white flour or brown rice into white rice, only the nutrient-poor endosperm is left. The heart-healthy, cancer-fighting riches found in the bran and germ are lost. Learn more about whole grains…
**Nuts – Every time a new study comes out about nuts – any nut – it’s positive news. Nut eaters around the world have fewer heart attacks, and we know that most of the protective nutrients are in the oil of the nut. While you already know each nut has a different look and flavor, each nut also has its own unique nutritional characteristics. For instance, almonds are the highest in protein and Vitamin E, and the lowest in artery-clogging saturated fat. Walnuts are the only nut with omega-3-fatty acids. Pecans have the highest antioxidant content. Pistachios contain lutein, a compound which may significantly improve eye health. ALL nuts are good for you. My favorite: Italian Hazelnuts!
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“Thank you for the best soup we’ve had in ages. I love it! And I hate cauliflower!” said my neighbor Nancy Flinn. A client’s teenaged son even asked for 2nd and 3rd helpings. That’s why this is one of my favorite soups. It’s adapted from “The French Culinary Institute’s Salute to Healthy Cooking,” an inspirational cookbook for me. A “Vichyssoise,” is normally cold, but I recommend you serve this hot. A traditional vichyssoise is made with cream, potatoes and leeks, but I think you’ll love this version even more – made with the more flavorful cauliflower, a little potato lending texture, and milk making it lusciously smooth.
Today is the 10th “Katherine’s Market Recipe,” all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here’s how…
For my “Cauliflower Vichyssoise,” I recommend you buy the cauliflower, leeks, and potato at Georgetown’s Rose Park Farmers Market (there are only two market days left!) on Wednesday or Dupont Circle’s Fresh Farm Market (open year-round) on Sunday.
By Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
Cauliflower is in the species of foods called “brassica.” The brassica family of foods has extremely high nutritional values and contain high levels of antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin C, selenium, calcium, potassium, folic acid and choline – important for the brain, as well as soluble fiber, which reduces cholesterol and helps level blood sugar. Brassica, a huge category of foods including broccoli, cabbages, mustard seeds and greens, also contain potent anti-cancer compounds which help detoxify carcinogens in the liver before they continue to circulate in your bloodstream. These compounds also aid your immune response with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
4 to 8 Servings
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Medium Potato
6 Cups Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock), fat removed
1 Cup 1% Milk
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
8 leaves Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Slice the white part of the leeks, cut the cauliflower into florets and set aside. Heat canola oil in an iron skillet over medium heat. Add sliced leeks, stirring frequently for about ten minutes until soft. Stir in the stock, cauliflower and potato. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes or until vegetables are soft. When mixture has cooled a bit, puree with the The Cuisinart Smart Stick… No mess, no fuss! (or blender or food processor), add the milk. Serve hot in the cool weather, cold in the hot weather. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.
700 calories in the entire pot of soup
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Don’t miss the special Thanksgiving Menu below…
“This poem reminds me of how Autumn is a threshold—in the midst of the abundant autumn landscape of color and light, there is also a sense that the grey bare days of winter are just around the corner,” says Terri Lynn Simpson, Consultant for Contemplative Programming, Washington National Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage.
“These liminal times are like open doorways that invite us to a particular kind of mindfulness where we are aware that we’re moving from one way of being to another. One foot is in the past and one foot is in the future, and in the midst of the two is the present. We can put our weight on one foot or another, superficially living in the past or the future, but true balance comes only when we live deeply in the moment.” Learn more about the health benefits of mindfulness…
Song for Autumn
by Mary Oliver from New and Selected Poems: Volume II (Beacon press)
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
Katherine’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
Recipes Excerpted From: Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!
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Side Dish Options:
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“A ‘comfort soup’ with just the right spices to make it interesting; my ‘go to’ soup for the Fall!” says my neighbor, Constance Chatfield Taylor, president of Flying Colors Broadcasts. “Great to serve with h’oeuvres in simple demitasse cups or on Thanksgiving day.”
Winter squashes, particularly butternut, are far superior to the summer squashes and zucchini in taste and nutrition because of their deeper color and higher carbohydrate and nutrient content. The most potent squashes are the more deeply colored varieties, especially pumpkin and butternut. Their color is provided by one of the most powerful nutrients: beta-carotene.
Characterized by a chubby bowling pin shape, a buff/beige color on the outside and a deep orange on the inside, the butternut is an exceptional source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant which converts to vitamin A in your body. Beta-carotene is critical for your immune system, your skin, your vision, bones, reproduction, and more. Studies show that people who eat foods high in beta-carotene and people with high blood levels of beta-carotene have a lower incidence of certain cancers. But you won’t get the same results with a beta-carotene supplement. Study after study has shown disappointing results with the supplements. So, only the food will do! But that’s a good thing for us squash lovers.
Apparently, each squash is a bustling little factory of nutrients and phytochemicals, the plant compounds with potent powers of healing. When acting synergistically in a food, these nutrients provide a more powerful health punch than the individual nutrients alone. Some of the most important nutrients in squash are antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and vitamin C, which are powerful substances believed to reduce inflammation, improve immune function and help prevent heart disease and cancers, among other benefits.
But there are other good reasons to eat butternut squash.
Butternut squash is also a great source of fiber (good for your gastrointestinal system), potassium (important for your heart and lowers blood pressure), vitamin C (a great antioxidant important for your skin, bones and healing), magnesium (important for muscle function, the heart, bones, blood clotting, and improves diabetes),manganese (important for metabolism and bone formation) and calcium (important for your heart and bones). And a big plus: it’s low in calories, only 82 calories in a cup (7 ounces) of baked squash cubes.
Today is the 9th of “Katherine’s Market Recipes,” all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here’s how…
I recommend you buy the butternut squash, “candy”onion, and garlic at Georgetown’s own Rose Park Farmers Market on Wednesday, the Glover Park – Burleith Farmers Market on Saturday, or Dupont Circle’s Fresh Farm Market on Sunday. Incredibly, you can even buy locally grown ginger at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market or other Fresh Farm Market locations from Next Step Produce, Tree and Leaf Farm, The Farm at Sunnyside, Radix Farm and Mountain View Farm. It’s simple to preserve this fresh, tender and exquisite ginger so you can have it all year long. Learn how with my step-by-step instructions for Preserving Ginger…
Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Ginger
By Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
About 6 servings
1 Small Butternut Squash
4 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Cup Chopped Sweet Onion (about 1 medium)
1 Clove Garlic, crushed (2 cloves, if you like it spicy)
1 tsp Curry Powder (2 tsp, if you like it spicy)
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, about 2 inches, grated (2 Tbsp, if you like it spicy)
1 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
Optional Garnish: A few fresh Cilantro sprigs per bowl
Cut Butternut Squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place squash face down in baking pan with 4 cups water. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until soft when pierced by a fork. (If you cannot slice a raw squash, as an alternative … Bake the squash whole, then slice it in half when relatively cool – add the water to the soup pot later…)
While the squash is baking, prepare the aromatic vegetables and spices: Place the oil in a large iron skillet or soup pot on medium-high. Add onions and garlic and fry until golden. Stir in curry powder, ginger, and a pinch of salt and simmer on low for a few minutes.
When the squash has cooled to the touch, pour all the water in which the squash was cooked into the skillet and stir to scrape up the bits of aromatic vegetables and spices. When squash has cooled, scoop out the butternut squash meat, leaving the skin, and stir into the mixture in the skillet. When room temperature or cool, puree the vegetable and spice mixture in a blender or food processor with the broth. Better yet, use my favorite immersible hand blender and puree right in the cooking pot: The Cuisinart Smart Stick… No mess, no fuss!
NOTE: Adjust seasonings by adding more salt, pepper or spices, if desired. Adjust consistency by adding more water or broth. Also, any similar winter squash will work well if Butternut is not available.
The entire pot of soup makes about 6 cups and is about 500 calories
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I’m delighted! I’ve never experienced such tender, juicy ginger as I found at the local Farmers Market recently. Turns out, several farmers from Fresh Farm Markets grow it, and it’s in season now, but for a very short time. Which left me with the question: What am I going to do for the rest of the year when local ginger is no longer in season? The hard, dry, woody variety found in the stores just won’t do!
I got my answer from Phyllis Frucht, my cooking teacher from whom I’ve been taking classes for years, and who contributed many recipes to “Diet Simple.” Phyllis said to place the ginger in jars of sherry and it’ll last forever in my refrigerator. Well, I started taking her advice a few years ago, and I’ve enjoyed fresh, juicy locally-grown ginger year-round! Here’s how I do it:
First, gather your ingredients. Phyllis and I recommend a cheap dry sherry, such as Taylor’s. But Heinz Thomet, of Next Step Produce, who has been growing ginger for years and sells it at the Dupont Circle Fresh Farm Market, among others, uses rice vinegar “because it is a traditional Asian ingredient.” You can also use plain, distilled vinegar.
Cut the ginger into manageable pieces:
Place the ginger pieces in a jar, cover completely with sherry or vinegar, and place in the refrigerator:
Enjoy all year long!
Ginger is not only grown by Next Step Produce, but new growers include: Tree and Leaf Farm, The Farm at Sunnyside, Radix Farm and Mountainview Farm, all sell at Fresh Farm Markets’ Farmers Markets.