The Farmer's Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Your CSA and Farmers' Market Food, written by local Cambridge homesteader, Julia Shanks, and chef Brett Grohsgal, which gives some nice suggestions on preparing and storing farm-fresh foods, as well as many recipes that can be used and adapted for little ones.
Below are some of the foods I have been preparing lately thanks to the bounty of farm goodness coming our way! For reference, I get all of our milk from a regional organic farm collaborative, as well as much of my meat, cheese, grains, and legumes. I try to buy raw milk from local farms when I can, and I purchase as much food and wine as possible from our city's daily local farmers' markets. Eggs, other in-season fruits and vegetables, and occasional meats, in addition to what I buy at our city's farmers' markets, I purchase through our local farm CSA just outside of the city.
At this time of year, with so many great foods coming in, I am also trying to limit my trips to the store for those "processed" foods we still rely on quite a bit: brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, peanut butter. I can't give these up entirely--yet--but I am finding that summertime is a great time to rely less on these staples and hopefully develop farm-fresh eating habits that can last us all year. I'll admit that there have been some grumblings around the dinner table--mostly from my picky three-year-old who would be content to subsist on peanut butter sandwiches--but for the most part we are all enjoying the summer harvests and are grateful for being more connected to food and farm.
Here is a sampling of our current favorite farm-fresh foods. If you can find a local dairy source, and have access to local grains, meats, and legumes through your farmers' markets and/or CSA farm partnership, you shouldn't have to visit the grocery store for much more than a bit of baking powder and salt:
- Corn bread (farmers' market or CSA corn meal, whole wheat flour, and sunflower oil; local spices) with homemade or farmers' market jam and fresh berries
- Zucchini muffins (local grains, local raw honey)
- French toast (homemade or farmers' market bread; farmers' market or CSA eggs and maple syrup)
- Blueberry muffins (local grains, local maple syrup, homemade yogurt, local berries, local spices)
- Eggs with farmers' market cheese and fresh fruit
- Whole wheat pancakes (farm grains, eggs, and CSA or farmers' market olive or sunflower oil) with local maple syrup and fresh berries
- Homemade or farmers' market bread with bean spread (I use whatever dried beans are available from the local farmers' market or CSA, and farmers' market herbs, garlic, and tomatoes)
- Whole wheat biscuits (or farmers' market bread) with melted cheese (and fresh tomatoes and herbs for whoever doesn't pick them out!), and sliced turkey breast from CSA
- Eggs - hard-boiled or scrambled are my kids' favorites -- from farmers' market or CSA
- Cucumber popsicles (peeled cucumbers pureed with homemade plain yogurt and local maple syrup and frozen)
- Local ice cream (eaten while shopping at the farmers' market!)
- Popcorn (with farmers' market popping corn)
- Cheese and veggie platters with homemade or local hummus from the farmers' market
- Fresh fruit and homemade yogurt, sweetened with local maple syrup or local raw honey
- Homemade applesauce (farmers' market apples (yay for early apples!), cinnamon and local maple syrup)
- Fruits, veggies, fruits, veggies, fruits, veggies....
- Farmers' market or CSA seafood, grilled or baked, with farmers' market corn, green beans, potatoes
- CSA ground beef or ground turkey meatballs with toothpicks and fresh veggie sides
- CSA or farmers' market chicken nuggets with veggie sides and cheese or honey dipping sauce
- Whole wheat tortillas with CSA or farmers' market flour and black beans, fresh veggies, homemade or farmers' market salsa, local cheese, etc.
- Fresh salads with local veggies, cheeses and homemade dressing
- Fruit crisp (farmers' market cut peaches, plums, berries, etc. mixed with local maple syrup and honey to desired consistency/sweetness and sprinkled with a mixture of 3/4 stick butter and 1 cup local flour, drizzled with honey and baked at 375-degrees for 40 minutes...yummmm)
- Local chocolate from the farmers' market
- Local baked goods from the farmers' market
What about you? What are your favorite summertime farmers' market and CSA family recipes? Please share!