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January 2017

Go for Greens: Chickweed

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “greens" "goforgreens"GO FOR GREENS!! Looking for a little pep in your step? Greens are the perfect go-to for energizing a dormant winter body, and fighting off those last few flu bugs. In addition to Chickweed which we cover below, we’ve also got Miner’s Lettuce, Tetragoni (New Zealand Water Spinach), Watercress, and Lambsquarter Greens in this week!

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Chickweed

AKA Starweed (its botanical name Stellaria Media translates to Star in the Midst) or Winterweed, Chickweed is most easily recognized by its small star-shaped white flowers and delicate oblong bright green leaves. It has a similarly mild, but more grassy flavor than Miners Lettuce, with a meek and slightly bitter undertone.

In the Kitchen its applications are endless and can be used almost any way you would use Spinach, from soups and salads, to stir-frys, casseroles and making into Pestos. It’s also great for juicing and smoothies as it’s extremely nutrient dense – speaking of which, get this – you think Spinach is good for you? Chickweed has 6 times the amount of Vitamin C, 12 times more calcium, and 83 more times than Spinach. Imagine what Popeye could have done with a can of Chickweed!

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Go For Greens – Miner’s Lettuce

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “greens" "goforgreens"GO FOR GREENS!! Looking for a little pep in your step? Greens are the perfect go-to for energizing a dormant winter body, and fighting off those last few flu bugs. In addition to Miner’s Lettuce which we cover below, we’ve also got Chickweed, Tetragoni (New Zealand Water Spinach), Watercress, and Lambsquarter Greens in this week! And make sure and check out our Blog of Kerry foraging in the wild (the pic below is from her trip) for Miner’s Lettuce here.

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Miner’s Lettuce

Miners Lettuce can be found particularly abundant in the wild during the Spring (especially in northern California) but has also been cultivated as a food plant since the settlers brought it back to Europe in the late 1700’s (and since then in the US). As a matter of fact, it gets its current name “Miners Lettuce” because Miners during the California Gold Rush used to eat lots of it to get their Vitamin C to prevent scurvy. It gained popularity in food circles in Alice Waters & Chez Panisse’s hey-day during the 70’s and 80’s. After falling off the radar for a bit, it recently resurfaced as people once more search for an increase in greens, organics, and nutrients in their daily diets.

Its large leaves are tender with a slight crunch and have a mild pleasing flavor with a subtle earthiness, making it popular for use as a fresh green in salads.  Miner’s Lettuce is also packed with tons of nutrients including significant amounts of Vitamins C, A, Iron, Beta Carotene, and Protein – making a great choice not just for salads but for juicing and green smoothies as well. But don’t limit yourself with this little gem, as you can see in our recipes below, in addition to delicious Salad preparations you can branch out – including turning it into a fresh pesto to use with a variety of main pasta and meat dishes.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” "go for greens" "greens" "salad greens" "miners lettuce"Here are some of our favorite recipes (especially salads – yum yum) on the web – perfect for making the most of your Miner’s Lettuce:
(Clockwise from Upper Left)

Forged Miners Lettuce Salad:
https://braisedandburnt.com/recipes/2015/2/foraged-miners-lettuce-salad

Miners Lettuce Salad with Baby Beets:
http://mattikaarts.com/blog/miners-lettuce-salad-with-baby-beets-beet-greens-rapini-spring-garlic/

Miners Lettuce and Sorrel Pesto:
https://rockfarmer.me/2013/05/08/sorrel-miners-lettuce-pesto/

Grilled Squid with Miners Lettuce and Green Sauce:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-squid-with-miners-lettuce-salad-and-green-sauce

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The Delicious and Delectable Kumquat

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Kumquats

Hooray for delicious nutritious Kumquats! Ripening from a lime green to a bright orange in color, the fruit of the Kumquat tree typically grows to about 2 inches – and unlike typical citrus’ the entire fruit is edible (including the few seeds, which if you decide not to eat you can save as they are great natural source of pectin) – in fact, the peel of Kumquats is the sweeter part of the fruit while the interior flesh provides the perfect juicy and tart contrast.

In addition to fresh eating, the Kumquat, being entirely edible and having an equal blend of sweet and tart flavoring makes a great pairing for both sweet and savory applications in the kitchen. They can be candied and used to top baked goods, made into marmalade’s of chutneys, sliced or cubed and added to a variety of refreshing salsas (try combining with your typical avocado, red onion, cilantro, and lime salsa for a twist of flavor) or cooked and added to sauces to top a variety of meats (especially fish or poultry).

Nutrition – Kumquats are rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants along with Vitamin’s A, C, and E – as well as a host of B-complex vitamins. And, because you also eat the peel of the Kumquat, you get an additional nutritional boost – the peel being rich in essential oils, anti-oxidants, and Fiber.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” "kumquats" "kumquat"Kumquats aren’t just for fresh eating – so we wanted to provide you with a variety of ways to highlight these delicious fruits in the kitchen:
(Clockwise from upper left):

Pickled Beets, Herb Goat Cheese, and Kumquats:
http://www.lanascooking.com/pickled-baby-beets-with-herbed-goat-cheese-and-kumquats/

Candied Kumquats:
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/candied_kumquats/

Grilled Chicken with Kumquats:
http://www.marthastewart.com/333945/grilled-chicken-with-kumquat-lemongrass

Kumquat Chutney:
http://www.citronetvanille.com/blog/2009/02/kumquat-chutney-chutney-de-kumquats-recipe/

We’re Mad for Mizuna!

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Mizuna (Green & Red)

AKA Japanese Mustard Greens, California Peppergrass, and Spider Mustard – Mizuna is a cool season Japanese Mustard Green which features long serrated leaves with thin trailing stems, and a bright piquant flavor with a subtle earthiness. (In appearance easy to confuse with Wild Arugula).

Most commonly used as a fresh green in Salads, Mizuna can also be cooked (however the stalks and leaves should be separated when doing so as they require vastly different cooking times). In cooked applications it’s often used in stir-frys and soups, or other recipes where it can be swapped in for mustard greens (or even in some cases cabbage) – however in the advent of more wide-spread culinary creativity it has recently been making its way onto pizzas, tossed into pastas, and even blended into pestos.

Red Mizuna – A varietal of green Mizuna, Red Mizuna can range from a deep purplish red all over to bright red rhubarb stalks and flashy green leaves tinged with red. Its fragile thin stems extend towards similarly long and serrated leaves as regular green Mizuna, however they are even more wispy and feather like. Red Mizuna is known for its more forward mustard notes and tangy sorrel overtones. In the Kitchen it is used the same as your green Mizuna, but in those applications where a stronger mustard flavor is called for or preferred.

Nutrition: Either varietal of Mizuna’s leaves are laden with Beta Carotene, minerals, Vitamin C, Folate, and Iron.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown 3rd" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” "mizuna" "red mizuna" "green mizuna" "greens"Here are some of our favorite recipes (especially salads – yum yum) on the web – perfect for making the most of your Mizuna:
(Clockwise from Upper Left)

Roasted Beat and Mizuna Salad:
http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/recipes/a3693/roasted-beet-mizuna-salad-recipe-clx0311/

Mizuna Pomegranate seed and sliced Apple Salad:
http://wishfulchef.com/mizuna-salad/

Mizuna, Melon, and Pomegranate Salad:
http://mostlyfoodstuffs.blogspot.com/2012/10/mizuna-melon-and-pomegranate-salad.html

Mizuna Pesto Pasta:
http://www.fivesensespalate.com/mizuna-pesto-recipe/

Happy New Year – Resolutions and More…

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“Resolute” to a Fresh, Healthy, Sustainable – and Delicious – Way of Eating!

Even though New Years arrives around the beginning of Winter – Mother Natures period of death and decline – the marking of the first day of the Calendar year is a universal and symbolic time of new beginnings, fresh starts, and those (often abandoned) New Years Resolutions. So whether you are challenging yourself with said Resolutions, or simply “Re-Solutioning” last years with renewed vigor and dedication, we ask you to join us in our own continual and resolute determination to spread the word on healthy and sustainable eating, and to both support buying local and the growing Farm-to-Table movement at large (and if you haven’t check out our list of Top Ten Reasons to shop the Farmers Markets).

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More and more people are making increasingly conscientious choices about what they eat: where it comes from, how it’s grown, and how both of those effect the big picture (in terms of sustainability, carbon footprint etc.) – as well as recognizing different produce for its intrinsic energetic and nutrient value.

 

We can’t just eat to eat – to feed our stomachs. We need to feed our blood, our bones, our hearts, our skin and eyes and hair – our brains – every little atom of our body is made to be fueled and work in symbiosis with Earth’s abundant varieties of natural food sources.

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “farms” “organic farms” “small farms” “independent farmers” "kerry clasby"With Kerry Clasby’s creation of the Farmers Markets here in Las Vegas, she has given the Intuitive Forager family (and by family, we mean You too!) an opportunity to spread not only this message of symbiotic and healthy eating, of mouth-watering organic flavors  and sustainable and ethic farming practices – but also one of communal support. The Markets are a gathering place for not only Chefs and Foodies, for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Carnivores alike, but also for those wanting to support those living around them – like the artisanal farmers and craftspeople who may struggle against the grain in order to provide something that is unique and sustainable.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “farms” “organic farms” “small farms” “independent farmers”It’s meant to be a place of health and happiness, of caring and sharing, a place to not only nourish yourself, but your community around you – and yes – a place of fresh produce – fruits and vegetables ripe with energy and vitality – made not to simply fill your stomach, but to delight your taste buds and join your body in a harmonious dance of energetic creation!

From all of us at the Intuitive Forager Farmers Markets, and from the Intuitive Forager herself, Kerry Clasby, we wish you a healthy, happy, and hope-filled New Year!!

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Salsify Root

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Salsify Root

If Burdock Root resembles a wood stick than Salsify would be a long skinny twig. Available in both a black and a white variety (the black is thinner and smoother), the flesh of either is white and creamy. The black variety is often preferred as it is less fibrous and the thick skin easier to peel, and has a slightly more nutty flavoring. However both are mild with very subtle earthy notes, and a taste similar to that of artichokes.

Similar to Burdock Root, when prepping your Salsify for culinary uses you’ll want to peel the skin and soak the exposed flesh in water with Vinegar or Lemon Juice to keep the white flesh from oxidizing and discoloring. And although young Salsify may be eaten raw (like sliced thinly into salads) it is most commonly sliced and added into gratins or fritters, or steamed and then pureed and added to soups or stews as a thickening agent.

Nutrition – The nutritional value of Salsify makes it a stellar addition to any dish – especially Black Salsify, which has as much Potassium as a banana, is a great source of the prebiotic fiber Inulin (aiding in a healthy digestive tract), along with Copper and Iron. Both varieties of Salsify are high in protein, low in sodium, and contain significant amounts of Vitamins B and C, as well as complex carbohydrates.

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” "salsify root" "white salsify" "black salsify" "recipes"Two of our favorite ways to partake of your Salsify Root: as a delicious creamy soup and roasted:
(Above From Left to Right):

Cream of Salsify Soup:
http://www.sergetheconcierge.com/2014/03/comforting-cream-of-roasted-salsify-soup-from-pickles-pigs-and-whiskey.html

Oven Roasted Salsify with Lemon:
http://www.junedarville.com/roasted-salsify.html

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Top Ten Reasons to Shop the Farmers Markets!

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In Honor of New Years –

Why “Resolve” to shop the Farmers Markets?

Over the past couple of years there have been plenty of “Top Ten” articles published on why you should support/shop at Farmers Markets (vs major chain grocery stores), and we must admit they make a pretty good case. After scouring all of these, and adding a couple of our own,  here’s our low-down on the Top Ten reasons why we think you should make the Markets a weekly pit stop (AKA our “Ode to Farmers Markets”):

1. Taste Real Flavors
The Produce you buy at the Farmers Market is the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits and Vegetables are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no premature picking, long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage! When we say freshly foraged, we mean business – this food is as real as it gets – we put the fresh in farmfresh.

2. Enjoy the Season
A big part of the Intuitive Forager’s message (and her actual “foraging”) is based on the natural Seasonal process of growth, and the food you get at the Farmers Market is in-season – which means it is freshly foraged, at its peak deliciousness, and reflecting its truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the Farmers Market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.

3. Support Family Farmers
Family farmers need your support! Now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S., small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace – despite the fact that your small family farms typically practice much more ethical and sustainable farming practices. Buying directly from farmers at the Markets gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment
Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. That’s right – 1,500 miles! All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth. (See our Blogs under Sustainable Farming, which discuss sustainable farming methods such as biodynamic agriculture – something practiced by many of our Farms).

5. Nourish Yourself
Much of the food found in the average grocery store is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. Many of these practices have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the Farmers Market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties. Just because it looks like an Apple doesn’t mean it is an Apple – in the nutritional sense. So make sure your “apple a day”, will “keep the Doc away”.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety
One of the multitude of benefits coming to us via the Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, is her abundant passion for – and knowledge of – untold varietals of produce. One of her goals has always been to share these with you, to introduce you to produce you may never have encountered before, and which is nutritious, delicious, and in-season. At the Farmers Markets you will find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: from uncommon roots like Burdock and Salsify, to a rainbow of Heirloom Tomatoes, from exotic greens like Puntarella and Stinging Nettles, to Green Garlic, Chocolate Persimmons, rare Mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals
At the Farmers Markets, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From
A regular trip to a Farmers Markets is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to Farmers and food Artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas
Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but our Intuitive Farmshop employees along with our Farmers and Artisans at the Farmers Markets are very often also passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. And almost every Saturday you can also attend our free Chef Demos or Talk & Taste series led by Top Vegas Area Chefs. These World Class Chefs often donate their time to both support the Farmers Market, as well the community at large because they are passionate about what they do and they are passionate about freshly foraged, family farmed, organic produce. So make sure you take advantage of these often opportunities! Visit our upcoming events page to see what’s coming up next.

10. Connect with Your Community
Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the Farmers Market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The Farmers Market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of the bright and flashing neon lights of Las Vegas.

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Burdock Root

 

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Burdock Root

Above ground Burdock Root (AKA Gobo) appears as a long stemmed plant with large leaves and purple thistle flowers – but it’s what grows beneath that we’re after – and the root of this veggie grows long and cylindrical deep into the ground (being anywhere from 1-3 feet in length). Once harvested the root portion looks a bit like a stick or a more uniformly cylindrical (and brown) carrot. With a light brown or beige skin the inner flesh of the root is a bright and crisp off-white, and has a mild and sweet earthy flavor (sometimes compared with Artichokes).

Those more familiar with Asian ingredients may recognize Burdock Root as it is a traditional component in a variety of stir-fry’s, stews, and braised dishes – where the root’s nutty and earthy flavor compliments many other vegetables and grains. In this way it is often used as a seasoning agent, although it can also be served on its own as a side dish or pureed into a soup.

To prep: rinse thoroughly and either scrub or peel (depending on thickness) the skin off, then soak the root in water with either vinegar or lemon juice to help prevent oxidation and remove any possible astringency.

Nutrition: Long used in Chinese and Alternative Medicine, Burdock Root is utilized for its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial qualities. In addition it’s also a great source of Potassium and Dietary Fiber, and contains smaller amounts of Vitamins E & C, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, and Niacin.  

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “how to cook” “health benefits” “cooking with” "burdock root" "recipes"Two of our favorite ways to prepare Burdock Root – Sauteed and Braised and used in a Soup:
(From Left to Right)

Japanese Sauteed and Braised Burdock Root:
http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/japanese-sauteed-and-braised-burdock-root-burdock-kinpira

Burdock Root Daikon Carrot and Pork Soup:
http://www.chinesesouppot.com/1-soup-recipes/1477-burdock-root-daikon-carrot-pork-soup

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