I love Saturdays down the Jersey Shore ... anytime, but between now and just before Thanksgiving, there are many towns that have farmer’s markets where farmers and their families…farming is truly a family business…bring their wonderful colorful displays of fresh fruits and vegetables.
My favorite is the Farmer’s Market in Highlands where I can stock up on the end of summer’s bounty while at the same time get the first gourds and squash of the fall season.
I spend a couple of hours washing them all, separating the radish from their leaves so I can use the leaves in a vegetable stock, cutting up the celery and saving the tough bottoms and leafy ends for that same stock, slicing some celery into strips and storing it upright in water so I have an easy healthy snack …have I mentioned before that celery is the only food that is not only non-caloric but negative caloric???
It burns energy to chew celery, so it even burns a calorie or two while you’re eating it!
The cucumbers I simply wash and keep in the refrigerator for easy slicing as needed, the radish I wash , trim and pop into a container, again for a quick and easy snack, and the lettuce I take off the outer leaves, again for that stock and wrap in damp paper towels ready for salad making.
If I need onions, I chop some of them as well along with string beans I save to put in the stock after I’ve strained the other veggies out. The soup-making veggies I put in the pot with water, some garlic, a sliced apple (for a bit of sweetness) and perhaps a sweet potato for sweetness and a bit of thickener, and let it brew for a couple of hours.
After I strain it, I either mince up the veggies, toss in the string beans and pour them back in the stock, or simply freeze the stock for future use. If there’s leftover chicken or beef or pork one night, the stock’s already ready for a meat soup with perhaps rice or pasta in it.
If I have kale, there are a couple of smoothies that make great use and a delicious drink out of this vegetable loaded with carotenoids. Here are a couple of great ones in “Eat Right for Your Sight “, a wonderful recipe book put out by the Macular Degeneration Foundation, who are doing great things for promotion of all causes that help macular victims get some pretty terrific information and help.
Kale and Pomegranate Smoothie
2 kale leaves, no stems
1 C blueberries
2 C pomegranate juice
1 T lime juice.
Toss them all in the blender, puree until smooth, chill and serve. Makes 2 Cups, has lots of Vitamins A C and E, along with zinc and beta carotene.
Kale Banana Smoothie
1 C. chopped kale
1 stalk of celery, chopped
½ C apple juice
¼ cup water
½ cup ice
1 T. lime juice
1 t. wheat germ, ground flaxseed or oat bran.
Toss it all in the blender until smooth, chill and serve. Makes 2 Cups