It’s FALL Y’ALL

If this BEAUTIFUL weather we have been having lately is any indication…FALL is upon us.

So it is time to swap Watermelon and Corn for Apples and Broccoli.

What else is in season you ask??

WELL….

Cauliflower

Beets

Brussel Sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Celery

Grapes

Figs

Greens

Mushrooms

Parsnips

Pears

Pomegranates

Potatoes

and…

Squash

Just to name a few…

So pick up the kids, head to the farm or local farmer’s market and start cooking!!

Need a little inspiration?

Check on DETOXINISTA’S awesome NO-SUGAR Applesauce!

SLOW COOKER APPLESAUCE (NO ADDED SUGAR)
Author: Detoxinista.com
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INGREDIENTS
  • 3 lbs. apples (Fuji, McIntosh, Jonathan, etc.)
  • ½ cup water
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Prepare the apples by slicing and coring them– no need to peel, unless you want to.
  2. Place the sliced apples and water in the bowl of your slow cooker, then cover and set to cook on low for 6 hours, until the apples are very soft. (If you have a VitaClay, like I do, it only takes 2 hours on the “stew” setting.)
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the applesauce, or transfer the apples in batches to a blender and (carefully!) blend using a dishtowel to cover the vent at the top. If you’re using a Vitamix, or another high-speed blender, be careful not to over-blend this sauce– it can become too smooth very quickly. Store the applesauce in the fridge for a week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

**THE FITgals RECOMMEND ADDING CINNAMON TO THIS RECIPE

Or how about Doris Choi’s Mushroom Pizzas

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Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

(for lovely bite sized hors d’oeuvres, use cremini mushrooms. Seriously cute. )

Two large roasted Portobello mushrooms, see recipe below

1/2 cup tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought

1 cup shredded, roasted Brussel sprouts, see recipe below

1/2 cup shredded semi soft goat cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or gouda)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place mushrooms on a baking tray.

Spoon tomato sauce over mushrooms, add Brussel sprouts and top with cheese.

Bake for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

3 tbs avocado oil (or oil of your choice)

2 tbs tamari or liquid aminos

2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced

few sprigs thyme

pinch crushed red pepper flakes

s/p to season

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together.  Drizzle the mushroom cavities with marinade  and flip over so caps are facing up (this allows the marinade to flavor the mushrooms without drying out) 

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Shredded Brussel Sprouts

2 cups Brussel sprouts, shredded

2 tbs avocado oil (or oil of your choice)

2 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp thyme sprigs

s/p to season

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place Brussel sprouts on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil, add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

Bake for 10 minutes until Brussel sprouts are slightly browned.

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At the Market: Spring produce, organic eating, and local food-sourcing!

To market, to market!
This past weekend, I started tackling that spring to-do list and I am so glad I did.  The Farmer’s Market at Dupont Circle has so many wonderful, fresh, local products!  Cheeses, meats, eggs, soup…

And of course, veggies, more veggies, fruit and more veggies!  The best thing to do at farmer’s markets is to look for inspiration.  Try something you have never heard of.  For me, that was Stinking Nettle.  I juiced it as was recommended to me. It was similar to spinach, and is rich in vitamins A, C, potassium, manganese, and calcium.

It was a great find!  I also stocked up on local apples, kale, and honey.

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Walking around, I was struck not only by what was there, but also by what was not.  Farmer’s Markets strive (and should succeed) to bring local produce into your home.  In order to do that, they can only provide items that actually grow in the area, and are in season.  There were no peaches or grapes.  I didn’t see tomatoes or cauliflower.  They are not in season right now.  So what is?

What’s in season right now?
Between April and May, you should expect to be cooking, eating, or juicing apples, asparagus, broccoli rabe, carrots, chard, mushrooms, kale and collard greens, onions, arugula, beets (which did look particularly red and wonderful), parsnips, nettles, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, spinach and other salad greens, turnips, and sugar and snap peas and strawberries will be making an appearance in May.

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Based on what is in season, this Spring Salad recipe should be a wonderful treat!

To organic, or not to organic? That is the question… 
The other thing I started to think about as I was arm deep in cheese samples, was why local?  Why organic? There was a study released by Stanford University back in 2012 that found no “strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.”  Well, of course not!  There is not more calcium in an organic banana (versus a conventional one).  Just like it doesn’t have fewer calories!  Rather than regurgitate what Mark Bitman said, please read his excellent editorial on the subject.

So why should we eat organic?   Continue reading

Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market

We’re kicking off our series on local DC farmer’s market with the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market! Are there better ways to spend a Sunday morning than heading out in some beautiful spring weather and stocking up on fresh goodies at a farmer’s market? Well, maybe there are a few things that can top that, but the list is pretty short in my opinion.

tomatoes cucumbers

Here’s the thing – I live very close to Eastern Market, so I don’t usually make it up to Dupont. That said, I am happy to report that the trip was completely worth it. So if you’re far away like me, trust me when I say it’s worth the extra travel.

I headed up there with a friend on a bright, sunny morning to see what it was all about. This farmer’s market is bustling and I got the feeling that people from all over DC, not just the surrounding neighborhood, stop by. The thing that is great about the Dupont Farmer’s Market is that everything is local. Even in the winter months, the farmer’s market is still alive and kicking. They just don’t have very much produce available, because everything is 100% locally grown. Not every market is like this and it’s really refreshing to see!

Continue reading