5 Reasons To Buy Food Locally

5 Reasons to Buy Food Locally


We are just approaching that wonderful time when for the next several months locally grown food will be in abundance.  During this time of year, we make it our goal to source as much of our food locally as possible.  There are so many reasons why we do this but here’s our top 5:

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Cedar Plank Marinated Trout

Cedar Plank Marinated Trout

It was a delicious weekend of eating at our house and this trout was one of the highlights.  We’ve had it in restaurants but this was our first time cooking fish on a cedar plank and we anticipate it being repeated often in the future!   Not only did this method of cooking give the fish that smokey flavor but it was super simple as well.  

To prepare your plank for cooking you’ll want to soak it for a least one but preferably 3-4 hours.  After you get the plank soaking, this is a good time to get your fish marinating.  We used trout but this recipe would be great for any fish that you would want to plank.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Granola Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Granola Crisp

Tis the season when strawberries and rhubarb abound in gardens and farmers markets!  These late spring/early summer crops pair together perfectly with the sweetness of the strawberry offsetting the tartness of the rhubarb.  Rhubarb has always intimidated me, but this year I am determined to harvest and incorporate everything we can from our garden into our meals.  I’m so glad I did because rhubarb is super easy to harvest and prepare and this crisp turned out amazing.  In fact, Jim complimented that it was one of the best things he’s ever had!  I’ll link to the homemade granola recipe that we make and used for this but any granola should work.  Enjoy!

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We Gave Up This for TV and Videogames?!

We Gave Up This for TV and Videogames?!

Any spare time we have had over the last two weeks has gone to tilling, planting, watering, chicken coop building, and related activities.  In one of these planting sessions, Jim made the above comment “We gave up THIS for TV and videogames?”  The more we learn about growing our own food and the industrial food system the more we are compelled to really know where our food came from.  Not just was it organically grown but what was its life really like.  There’s a lot of marketing ploy mumbo jumbo out there you see often:  all natural, cage free, grass fed, etc.  Companies know these labels will sell their product and commonly do the bare minimum to get them on their packaging.  Which is why we encourage everyone to grow your own food, talk to your farmer yourself, or better yet, go visit the farm.  How else will you know what you are really eating?

I could go on and on about this but the great farmer and writer, Wendell Berry, does it so much better in his essay The Pleasure of Eating.  I highly recommend giving the whole essay a read but this excerpt summarizes why we are so convinced that it is important for our own health and the health of the world to know the source of our food.

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Learning to Nurture

Learning to Nurture

In Wendell Berry’s, The Unsettling of America, he describes two types of people: the exploiter and the nurturer.  He states:

“Let me outline as briefly as I can what seem to me the characteristics of these opposite kinds of mind.  I conceive a strip miner to be a model exploiter, and as a model nurturer I take the old-fashioned idea or ideal of a farmer.  The exploiter is a specialist, an expert; the nurturer is not.  The standard of the exploiter is efficiency; the standard of the nurturer is care.  The exploiter’s goal is money, profit; the nurturer’s goal is health – his land’s health, his own, his family’s, his community’s, his country’s.  Whereas the exploiter asks of a piece of land only how much and how quickly it can be made to produce, the nurturer asks a question that is much more complex and difficult: What is its carrying capacity? (That is: How much can be taken from it without diminishing it? What can it produce dependably for infinite time?) The exploiter wishes to earn as much as possible by as little work as possible; the nurturer expects, certainly, to have a decent living from his work, but his characteristic wish is to work as well as possible.  The competence of the exploiter is in organization; that of the nurturer is in order – a human order, that is, that accommodates itself both to other order and to mystery.  The exploiter typically serves an institution or organization; the nurturer serves land, household, community, place.  The exploiter thinks in terms of numbers, quantities, “hard facts”; the nurturer in terms of character, condition, quality, kind.”

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Rethinking The Banana

Rethinking The Banana

In recent years, bananas have edged out apples as the most consumed fruit in the United States The average American consumes 25-30 pounds of bananas per year, which amounts to roughly 100 bananas. In fact, with bananas being such a consumer staple, there has been a hidden price war over the cost of bananas at many local grocery stores. Many of us hardly get a few items onto our shopping list each trip before bananas make the lineup. So many in fact, that grocery retailers have notice the profound power behind having the cheapest bananas on the block. This article explains specifically the way this has been happening in the Chicagoland area. http://www.smartbrief.com/original/2016/01/banana-gauge-how-do-banana-prices-affect-food-retail

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Two Ingredient Creamy Popsicles

Two Ingredient Creamy Popsicles

I am currently typing this while lying outside with a tank top on…spring is here!!! With the warmer weather on the way, I’ve also been thinking about the shift in the seasonal foods we will be enjoying.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the comfort food aspect of winter soups and stews, BUT I Love the abundance of fresh greens and fruit in the summer.  

This recipe was born out of a desire to empty my freezer of some frozen pineapple that needed to be eaten and put to use the coconut yogurt that I had just made.  The resulting product was too good not to share.  Like I said, we used frozen pineapple and coconut milk yogurt but I’m thinking this recipe would work with any frozen fruit and regular plain yogurt.  Let us know if you try it in the comments and how it turns out!  

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Instant Pot Coconut Milk Yogurt

Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt

I’d heard about the Instant Pot for the last couple of years but thought, I don’t need another cooking appliance, I already have my slow cooker.  Fast forward to this Christmas when I reluctantly decided to take the plunge and ask for one of these devices whose praises were sung by so many.  Well, I have not been disappointed…if anything, I wish I would have asked for one years ago!  

What is an instant pot?  It’s a pressure cooker but also has features to sautee, steam, and slow cook as well as function as a rice cooker, yogurt maker, and has settings to cook various meat items to perfection.  Our instant pot gets used several times a week and often daily.  We regularly used it to make all sorts of vegetables (especially root vegetables), roasts, whole chickens, broth, hard boiled eggs, and now you can add yogurt to that list! 

Why Coconut Yogurt?  I used to regularly make raw milk dairy yogurt and loved it.  However, since having our daughter, we have cut back drastically on our dairy consumption and have all felt better because of it.  I love that coconut milk contains nutrients and fats as well as the beneficial probiotics contributing to health.

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice

If you’ve been following us, you know that we love easy meals that pack in as many nutrients  as possible.  Hence making fried rice out of cauliflower!  If you’ve never tried “ricing” cauliflower, it’s worth giving it a go.  The taste and texture are comparable to rice while adding way more nutrients and limiting the potential insulin spike that a comparable serving of rice could have on your blood sugar.  Enjoy!!

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Nourishing Health Not Hotness

Nourishing Health Not Hotness

What does it mean to nourish our bodies?  Dictionary.com tells me that to nourish means to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.  In today’s modern western culture, to nourish, is often thrown around as a buzzword in various discussions surrounding health and wellness.  So many conflicting opinions have emerged that we are often left wondering what REAL nourishment is for our bodies.

For me, the last 15 years have been an intensive period of both formal and informal education surrounding this topic with a lot of self experimentation and my views have fluctuated from one extreme to the next.  For a good chunk of that time, I subscribed to the theory that my body would be nourished through a low fat, low calorie diet with plenty of exercise.  In reality, this sort of lifestyle led me to be chronically UNDER fed and UNDER nourished.  Sure, my weight was “normal to low” and I was quite thin but my body was far from nourished and far from healthy.  I was right where our body image obsessed culture wanted me, believing that appearing healthy externally with a certain body fat percentage, bmi, jean size, weight, etc. was the truest measure of health while looking back, I was a far cry from healthy.  This phenomenon is all too common in our culture that constantly pressures us to look a certain way.

Conversely, when I look at the majority of people around me, I see many who are chronically OVER fed and UNDER nourished.  What do I mean by this?  They are consuming an abundance of food and calories, yet their bodies are still lacking proper, real nourishment.

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