Preserve the Season: Ginger Pear Preserves

GingerPearPreserves2

We have boxes of beautiful local pears in store right now, and if the thought of eating 14 pounds of pears seems a little daunting, here’s an idea to preserve the harvest. These Ginger Pear preserves are sweet and spicy and would make a beautiful gift for someone. The pears develop a delicious caramelized flavor that pear pair nicely with a sharp and salty blue cheese- lovely for fall.

To make the preserves you will need:

3 pounds pears, peeled, cored and sliced
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 candied ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

In a large pot place the pears, sugar, lemon juice and fresh ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the candied ginger to the pot and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick coats the back of a spoon, about 45 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath. Without being processed in a hot water bath the preserves will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

GingerPearPreservesCollage

Let’s Toast: Peach Mojitos

PeachMojito2

The long, warm days of summer are fading fast, but before it’s too late try making these peach mojitos, or faux-jitos if that’s more your style. Since we have delicious, juicy peaches right now, making them with fresh peach puree is the way to go. But if it ends up being the middle of winter before you get around to making these, well, shame on you… just joking– you can make these with bottled peach nectar too! We got a little fancy and finely chopped some mint and mixed it with sugar to coat the rims of our jars. And while this step isn’t necessary, it ups the wow factor.

To make these mojitos you will need:

3 cups of peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 cup lime juice
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups white rum
4 cups club soda, chilled
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
lime wedges for garnish

Place peaches in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Press peach puree through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard solids. In a large pitcher, combine zest, lime juice, sugar, and mint. Muddle the  juice mixture with the back of a long wooden spoon. Add the peach puree and rum to the pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Mix in club soda. Serve over crushed ice. And garnish with lime wedges.

PeachMojito1

PeachMojito3

Carrot Applesauce Muffins with Walnuts + Currants

CarrotApplesauceMuffins

Apples are starting to make their way into the store (yea fall!) and we’ll be bringing you a ton of recipes and visual guides. These are a healthier-than-usual muffin that use applesauce (we’ll be teaching you how to make your own soon) and shredded carrots, which we have from local farmers. These freeze nicely, so they can be defrosted in the morning quickly for a nice bite in the morning. We added walnuts and currants to ours, but feel free to add in other nuts or fruits or omit entirely.

To make these muffins you will need:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the butter, honey, egg, vanilla, and applesauce.
Stir ingredients together until just combined, then add in nuts and currants. Fold in the shredded carrots until combined just combined.  Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin liners (we recommend an ice cream scoop). Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Appy Hour: Fresh Fig Bruschetta

FigBruschetta2

It’s that special time of year. You’re getting ready to pull out your sweaters and boots and say “sayonara” to tank tops and flip flops. The evenings have a slight chill and pumpkin flavored things are beginning to make an appearance. We love to celebrate the changing seasons at the Co-op with recipes that highlight unique ingredients.

FigBruschetta1

If the only way you know figs is through Newtons, prepare to be amazed. They offer sweetness, smoothness and crunch all wrapped up into one tiny fruit- which (FUN FACT!) grow on ficus trees. They’re flavor isn’t overpowering, which allows them to pair nicely with a mild cheese and toasted bread.

FigBruschetta3

Figs will automatically up your host(ess) game, so be prepared for the oohs and aahs at your next shindig.

To make this bruschetta you will need:
1 baguette or loaf of crusty white bread cut into slices and toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces of goat cheese, softened
1 pint of fresh figs, sliced thinly
fresh thyme
honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush bread slices with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Let bread cool slightly and spread goat cheese on each piece. Top with slices of fresh figs and a sprinkle of thyme leaves. Drizzle honey over the top and serve.

FigBruschetta4

Cucumber Salsa

CucumberSalsaCollage
Our kitchen’s made-from-scratch products are ever changing and growing as we develop more relationships with local growers and this cucumber salsa is a perfect example. We’re able to use local cucumbers, herbs, onions, tomatoes and peppers to highlight the flavors of the season. And now we’re sharing the recipe with you!

To make this salsa you will need:

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
1/2 pound cucumber, peeled, seeded, & diced
1/4 pounds red onion, finely diced
1/4 pounds fresh tomato, seeded & minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely diced
1  fresh jalapeno, seeded & minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then finely dice them. Prep the rest of the vegetables as directed and place them all in a large bowl. Whisk together the safflower oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Toss with the vegetables, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or as a refreshing topping for tacos.

CucumberSalsa1

Chocolate Ch-ch-ch-chia Pudding

ChocolateChiaPudding1
If you’re used to Chia Pets and Chia Heads you may never have thought about eating chia seeds… before now. These tiny seeds pack a punch of nutrients in very few calories, they’re full of protein and fiber, deliver plenty of antioxidants and can help with heart health– they’re also a great source of calcium for people who follow a dairy-free diet. Native to South America, chia seeds were consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans and were praised for their ability to provide sustained energy. Only recently have they made in a surge in modern diets, as people are recognizing their health benefits.  This recipe requires that the chia seeds soak for several hours, so take that into account when making this pudding.
To make this Chocolate Chia Pudding you will need:
1/3 cup of chia seeds
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, agave, cocoa and vanilla until well combined. Add chia seeds and let soak for 2-3 hours. Enjoy!
ChocolateChiaPudding2

3 Simple Sandwiches Kids Will Love

You’re about to send your little ones back to school, so here are a few of our favorite sandwich combos that we think your kiddos will eat up! All sandwiches/roll-ups can be made with gluten-free bread options.

SandwichBoard

Preserve the Season: Spicy Dilly Beans

DillyBeans1
Dilly beans- cute name, but they sure can pack a punch. These are a simple, quick pickle recipe (we don’t like to work too hard) that use local beans, local garlic and local peppers. WARNING! The cherry bomb peppers are pretty dang spicy, as one staff member can attest to, so either omit them and opt just for chili flakes, or prepare accordingly! Dilly beans, while delicious straight out of the jar also make a delicious addition to cheese boards and, our favorite, Bloody Marys.
DillyBeanCollage
To make these Spicy Dilly Beans you will need:
2 overflowing handfuls of beans (enough to fill 2 jars)
1 cup distilled vinegar
4 teaspoons peppercorns
6 sprigs of fresh dill
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 cherry bomb pepper cut into rings
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt

Divide ingredients in half and place in jars. Add vinegar to each jar and cover the rest with water until ingredients are submerged. Cover with lids and gently shake to dissolve salt and sugar and to move the ingredients around. Let stand in refrigerator for a couple days. They’ll be good for 2-3 weeks.