It is hard to believe it is the end of September. The amount of produce in this week’s box felt overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. Look below for some ideas and ways to preserve your produce for the upcoming winter. We hope that your freezer and shelves are full of produce to use throughout the winter.As we were working on the final harvest, we were all pleasantly surprised be the amount of produce that decided to “show up” after the last few weeks of weather. It is amazing what rain does for all of us. This was definitely needed after our dry growing season.
Perhaps this is a good lesson to reflect on. Rain is a lot like love, care, kindness, patience and grace all wrapped together. When we shower others with this, they too grow into more than they ever thought was possible. As we all scramble to find the new balance in this year’s school year, this is worth reflecting on.
In closing, we wish you rain that fills your box up with enough abundance to share with others and plenty to nourish your well-being. Thank you for another great year!
Boxes of Produce
This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.
Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.
Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season leafy green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads.
Beets – Enjoy beets by peeling and cutting into wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or boil with the skin on for approximately 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. Eat with a dab of butter or in a salad. Check out the NDSU Pocket Guide to Preparing Fruits and Vegetables.
Brussel Sprouts – This was our first year growing brussel sprouts. It was fun to see who liked them.
Cabbage – This looks like a yummy way to use up your cabbage.
Carrots – The carrot crop in general did not liked the drought this year. We were so happy for the end harvest! Enjoy fresh or cooked. Try these brown sugar glazed carrots from Martha Stewart. Cut off the tops, rinse and air-dry them for storage in an air-tight plastic bag in the refrigerator to maintain proper humidity. Carrots will maintain their freshness longer at or around 32 degrees F.
Cauliflower – Here are a few ideas of how to use this vegetable from Taste of Home.
Cucumbers – Here are a few cucumber ideas from Martha Stewart.
Peppers – Learn more about peppers from America’s Heartland. I like to cut my peppers up and freeze them to pull out to use later.
Potatoes – Red Norland, Yukon Gold and Kennebec potatoes. Great for baking, cooking on the grill, boiling or mashed. Learn more about how potatoes are harvested from America’s Heartland.
Pumpkins and Gourds – Enjoy some Fall decorations. Check out this information on gourds.
Onions – White Onions – cut and freeze for easy use in your recipes.
Salsa – Are you trying to figure out how to store and use your tomatoes. Check out this resource from NDSU.
Tomatoes – A few Fourth of July, yellow, cherry Sungold tomatoes. I love the size of the Fourth of July for a quick lunch, and the Sungolds. Let us know if you are interested in canning or freezing extra quantities. We do still have plenty. Let us know if you are interested in more.
Watermelon – Check out these options and consider freezing your watermelon so you don’t loose out on the goodness.
Winter Squash – Butternut, Kuri, Spaghetti and Carnival squash this week. Sorry to inundate you all at once. Remember that Butternut, Kuri and Carnival squash can be cooked and then frozen for use throughout the winter.
Recipe of the Week
Borscht (Beet and Vegetable Soup)
2-3 large beets, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
6 c. water or vegetable broth
2 large potatoes, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
½ medium cabbage, cut into strips
1 bay leaf
¼ c. lemon juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. dill
½ c. fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional)
Add vegetable oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot and heat on medium. Add onions and sauté until soft, then add garlic and sauté briefly. Add broth and/or water and heat until simmering. Add carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add bay leaf, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Simmer until all vegetables are tender (20 to 30 minutes).
Add chopped herbs and adjust seasonings if needed. Top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired.
Makes eight servings. Each serving has 130 calories, 0 g fat, 4 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 160 mg sodium.
Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., is a North Dakota State University Extension food and nutrition specialist and professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.