About Romaine Lettuce

romaine lettuceIt’s the time of the season when the weather is getting hot and people are craving light salads over heartier meals. Often overlooked in the interest of hearty greens, romaine lettuce is a lighter green that packs a serious nutritional punch!

Romaine is an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin A – important for eye health
  • Vitamin K – essential for blood clotting
  • Folate – critical for neuronal development and DNA synthesis

Romaine is a good source of:

  • Vitamin C – important for immune health
  • Potassium – protective against high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Copper – central to building strong tissue, maintaining blood volume, and producing energy in cells
  • Iron – enhances oxygen transport to all parts of the body

To add some fresh crunch to your summer days, chop up some romaine for a fresh salad, use the gorgeous large leaves as a bed for most any dish, or use the large crisp leaves to make spring rolls without the rice paper!

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Rustic Garlic Soup

Two Garlic Bulbs

Making something out of nothing can really be something.

A certain rough-hewn elegance is apparent here: the garlic is mellow and sweet, the broth enriched with egg yolks. This classic peasant soup works as a first course as well as a Sunday night supper around the kitchen table. In Italy, it’s called aquacotta, or “cooked water.” Making something out of nothing can really be something.

5 cups water
2 large heads of garlic separated into cloves, smashed, and peeled
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 Turkish or California bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 loaf country-style bread (Nash’s Miche from Pane D’Amore is a great possibility)

Special Equipment: an instant-read thermometer

Combine water, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

Discard thyme and bay leaf. Force mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then return to saucepan. Whisk together yolks, cheese, and 2 tablespoons oil in same bowl until well combined. Add 1/2 cup hot garlic broth in a slow stream, whisking, then add yolk mixture to remaining hot garlic broth, whisking.

Cook soup over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until it is slightly thickened and registers 170F on thermometer, about 5 minutes; do not let boil. Stir in pepper to taste.
Tear bread into bite-sized pieces and divide among four soup bowls. Ladle soup over bread and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

We thank The Gourmet Cookbook for this recipe.

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Benedict Strata

8 slices whole-wheat bread
6 slices (4 ounces) bacon, chopped
6 farm-fresh eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel

Break the bread slices into 1-inch pieces. Place half of the pieces in single layer in greased 8-inch square baking dish. Top with 1/2 of the bacon. Repeat layers with remaining bread pieces and bacon.

Beat eggs, milk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and lemon peel in large bowl until blended. Slowly pour over layers in baking dish. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350°F. Remove strata from refrigerator; uncover and let stand while oven heats. Bake in center of 350°F oven until puffed, golden and knife inserted near center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

Variation: sprinkle 1 cup finely chopped kale between the layers, and/or 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese on top for the last 20 minutes of baking.

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About Buckwheat

Buckwheat groats

Buckwheat groats look like tiny, three-sided pyramids. After it’s ground, sifted, and baked into pancakes, buckwheat is both delicious and nutritious.

Buckwheat is native to Eurasia, specifically the region of Siberia. It is an ancient and hardy plant that can grow vigorously, even in poor soils and extreme climates. The plant’s fragrant white flowers are attractive to bee pollinators. Because of buckwheat’s hardiness and resistance to disease, it is one of the few commercially-grown grains that is not doused heavily with pesticides.

Buckwheat is nutritionally dense, containing all eight essential amino acids. It also contains a phytonutrient in the flavonoid family called “rutin,” which aids the cardiovascular system by helping to lower the levels of lipids in the blood.

Magnesium, also found in significant quantities in buckwheat, relaxes blood vessels and helps promote blood flow and nutrient delivery. This relaxation also lowers blood pressure, making buckwheat an ideal choice for overall cardiovascular health. Rutin and other flavonoids found in buckwheat also act as antioxidants in our bodies, and they help to extend the antioxidant capacities of vitamin C.

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About Nash’s Soft White Wheat Flour

white wheat flour

Meet Nash’s soft white wheat flour: grown and milled here on the farm.

What? White flour that is really wheat?

Yes, this can be confusing sometimes, as we have thought about white bread versus wheat bread ever since milling really took off in the United States. We should really talk about these breads as being made with whole grains vs. processed/refined grains, as that refers to the process the grains undergo after they are harvested, and not just the color of the bread. All breads are made from wheat or other variety of grain. The difference is what is left of the seed after it undergoes processing.

When a grain is refined, it is stripped of the germ and bran and only the endosperm (starch) remains. This is great if you want your flour to be able to sit on the shelf for years and not go rancid. However, it removes the most valuable nutrients, such as protective oils, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. These nutrients help to feed the seed as it germinates and grows. When we “enrich” refined grains, we add these nutrients back in. Why remove them in the first place?

Nash’s soft white wheat flour is a whole grain product, so when we grind the wheat seeds, all parts of the seed including the bran (which contains fiber), the germ (which contains valuable oils and nutrients) and the endosperm are all still there, creating a nourishing end product. At Nash’s, we grow and mill the grains at the farm, delivering a fresh product with a difference you can taste. Our soft white wheat flour is perfect for making pastries, cakes, cookies, cereals, flat breads and crackers.

Our flour is a living product. To maintain its freshness, we recommend storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

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About Potatoes

We grow several kinds of potatoes here on the farm, including yellows, russets, reds, and purples. Which is your favorite? Have you tried them all?

We consider potatoes a “comfort food” and even the scientific name, solanum tuberosum, means “soothing tuber.” Potatoes can sooth and nourish us during the time of year when warmth transitions to cool.

Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, essential for the formation of all new cells in the body. They are also rich in vitamins C and B5 (pantothenic acid), potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and dietary fiber. Most of these nutrients are right near the potato’s skin, so leave it on to take advantage of the humble potato’s great nutrient density.

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An Oat Education

Nash's rolled oats

Nash’s rolled oats – grown and rolled right here on the farm!

Local up your breakfast with Nash’s farm-raised and rolled oats! More nutty and flavorful than traditional rolled oats, ours make amazing oatmeal, granola, cookies and more. A thick rolled oat, we recommend a slightly longer cooking time for breakfast cereal. Keep an eye out for hulls that sneaked through our cleaner, and scoop them off of the top of your saucepan, as they float to the top when combined with water. Because of the fiber combination found in oats, they have been shown to lower cholesterol levels time and time again in research studies. They also offer a unique antioxidant family called avenanthramides (say that ten times fast!) that has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nash’s oats are a bit different than what you find on the average grocery shelves, as they’re the least processed of the bunch, leaving a whole grain product just as nature intended. Because of the minimal processing, our oats will store in an air-tight container in a dimly lit space for months.

Whole Grain Naked Oats

These are oat “groats,” which we put through our roller mill to make rolled oats.

An Oat Education

Oat groats—unflattened kernels that are good for using as a breakfast cereal or for stuffing.

Steel-cut oats—have a dense and chewy texture, and are produced by running the grain through steel blades that thinly slice them.

Old-fashioned oats—have a flatter shape that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled.

Quick-cooking oats—processed like old-fashioned oats, except they are cut finely before rolling.

Instant oatmeal—produced by partially cooking the grains and then rolling them very thin. Oftentimes, sugar, salt and other ingredients are added to the finished product.

Oat bran—the outer layer of the grain that resides under the hull. While oat bran is found in rolled oats and steel-cut oats, it may also be purchased as a separate product that can be added to recipes or cooked to make a hot cereal.

Oat flour—used in baking, it is oftentimes combined with wheat or other gluten-containing flours when making leavened bread.

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About Cucumbers

cucumber in the field

Got lots of cucumbers? It’s gazpacho time!

The cucumber is one of the earliest cultivated food crops. A cucumber contains over 90% water, which is why they are so refreshing on hot summer days. The water keeps the internal temperature cool, making them a cooling food that quenches thirst and is an effective diuretic.

Although cukes cannot boast tons of vitamin and mineral content, they do offer us benefits through the form of phytonutrients such as cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids, which provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They also have a unique combination of lignans that offer anti-cancer properties as well as cardiovascular protection.

Lastly, cucumbers are a superior source of the mineral silicon, often lacking in our diets, but an integral component of calcium absorption. It may also play a role in bone and collagen formation.

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About Nash’s Heirloom Tomatoes 2015

heirloom tomatoes and sungold tomatoes

Don’t be afraid to be washed away by the waterfall of Pink Berkeley Tie Dye heirloom tomatoes in the top-center of this photo. Also grab some Sungold Cherry tomatoes while they last, which make an appearance in the bottom-left corner of the photo.

Heirloom tomatoes are soft and juicy when ripe, and extremely flavorful. Allowing them to ripen on your countertop for a few days until their color is bright and rich will bring out their fullest flavor.

Heirlooms are great where you want to showcase the tomato’s own flavor, such as bruschetta, salsa or sauce or homemade tomato soup. They are soft because of their higher juice content, which will require longer time to cook down, but their intense flavor makes it all worthwhile.

Heirloom Varieties

  • Black Krim: Near chocolate-colored, large heirloom with rich, balanced flavor.
  • Pink Berkeley Tie Dye: When ripe, this eye-catching tomato will be purple with green striping, with a softer flesh and juicy, mild flavor.
  • Katja: Pink heirloom tomato from Siberia. More irregular in shape and size. Great intense, rich flavor. Grower’s favorite pink.
  • German Johnson: Large, round pink tomato, less ribbing than Katja. Nice firm tomato with good flavor.

Slicing Varieties

  • Legend: Good old-fashioned red slicer tomato, sometimes a bit smaller. Good for salads and sandwiches.

Cherry Varieties

  • Sungold Cherry: Bright orange cherry tomato with sweet and tangy flavor. Eat them by the handful or dress up your salads with them.
  • Indigo Cherry Drops: Beautiful black and red cherry tomatoes with a full-sized tomato taste.
  • Gold Nugget: Bright yellow sweet/tart cherry tomato.
  • Washington Cherry: Red cherry tomato with good flavor.
  • Mixed Cherry Baskets: Fun and colorful cherry tomato medley, great for salads!

Meet our tomato greenhouse manager, Suzy Strom, in an interview on our Farm Shares blog.

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About Cauliflower

cauliflowerOne cup cooked cauliflower florets provides 73% of your daily vitamin C needs! Along with other brassica family vegetables (i.e., cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts), cauliflower provides our bodies with a great package of nutrients to support the detoxification process.

Detoxification happens in the liver in a two-phase process, and we need nutrients to support both phases. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, help to ensure that phase 1 happens. Sulfurous compounds, which cauliflower is rich in, help to ensure that phase 2 completes. Be sure to include cauliflower in your diet for regular detoxification support!

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