Get the Most Out of Your Gourd

Fall is finally here! Even in the concrete jungle where the forecast still says 97 degrees, it’s time to celebrate! This Saturday at the market, Downtown Phoenix can enjoy a celebration of all things Autumn as we cozy up into a new season. At the market, there will be a costume contest, pumpkin carving station, Open Air scavenger hunt, pumpkin displays for adorable photo-ops, and pumpkin patches with a variety of Phoenix-grown pumpkins to take home. Of course, shoppers can also pick up fall flavors at almost every vendor booth, as well as market-roasted chiles for what bubbles in the cauldron at home.

All this fun begs the question: once the great pumpkin is chosen and does its decorative duty at the doorstep–what’s next? Cut it open and roast the seeds, leaving the body for compost? Use it as a doorstop in the home and see how long it lasts before rotting from the inside out? Find the local trebuchet and see how far it’ll go? Maybe we can suggest something better:

homemade pumpkin puree!

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Some Like it Raw

Walking the farmers market can be a very inspiring journey. In each aisle, shoppers might find a fruit they’ve never tasted, maybe a condiment they’ve never thought of, or perhaps even a dog on a skateboard scooting by. For Kenny Hadley, the market inspired a total lifestyle change.

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Kenny has been a volunteer at the Community Exchange Table (CET) for nine years. Now, Kenny is known as the booth manager. His family, of Hadley Farmship, helped start the club through a local permaculture group. The operation is run completely by volunteers, and featured neighborhood growers and makers keep 80% or 90% of their profits (depending on the market they’re selling at).

The CET lately features the Orchard Community Learning Center, Sundown Ranch, two independent neighborhood locals who grow fruit and make all-natural beauty products, as well as Hadley Farmship. Growers and makers set their own prices. The Hadley’s also produce “Mom’s Tortillas.” Produce ranges from the exotic non-edibles that will catch shoppers’ eyes, such as loofah and pine-cones, to the all-familiar basil (bags of which they famously sell for just $1). Often, heritage seeds are sold next to the fruit they produce. Kenny recalls seeing huge stalks of sugarcane for sale at one market, but maintains that tart and sweet mulberries from their table are still the best thing he’s ever eaten in Phoenix.

Kenny’s perspective on produce in Phoenix is especially viable due to the fact that he has been eating exclusively raw vegan foods for five years this October. After watching “Food Inc.” in 2008, he had worked to cut “bad” foods from his diet progressively until 2012. At that point, Kenny was inspired to attempt a 10-day all-raw challenge by a fellow vendor at the market after hearing how great much it improved their overall well-being. His 10-day challenge became a life challenge.

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The Benefits of Butternut

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As cooler temperatures roll in, we’re getting excited for a whole new season of fresh produce for fall and winter.  Butternut Squash is a favorite winter squash variety to cook with because of it’s slightly sweet flavors and creaminess.  Chop and roast for an easy side dish or simmer for soup, but we challenge you to think outside the box and add this colorful veggie into a variety of meals.  This season cook up everything from creamy risotto to crispy fries.  Tag us in your favorite recipes @phxpublicmarket

Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.

Discover more reasons to eat this super food online here.

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This week’s Taste of the Market, C-CAP Arizona and 9 Degrees North Catering chefs will show us how to select, prepare and store squash.  Learn how to make creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce and pick up ingredients like handmade pasta from Decio Pasta, mix in extra veggies and power up the protein by adding your favorite meat.

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“Slow the Fork Down”

slow foodThe Phoenix Division of the Slow Food Movement is gaining traction in our community, where the focus is placed on local culinary heritage and social justice. The Slow Food Movement, globally and nationally, aims to deepen the public’s awareness surrounding our food systems and how they affect just about every aspect of our livelihood on this planet. A daunting task, surely, so let’s start with lunch.

Slow Food Phoenix’s most recent project is entitled “Feeding the Future,” during which attendees will sample diverse dishes made by a bold lineup of beloved chefs, including Charleen Badman of Scottsdale’s FnB and Eddie Hantas of East Valley favorite Hummus Xpress. There’s a twist to this sampling event, though: each chef’s budget will reflect the current National School Lunch Program (NSLP) budget, and will be served in the style of an American school lunch.

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Market Recipe: Orzo Salad

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Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups dry orzo pasta from Decio Pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, or just enough to lightly coat the pasta
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large English cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, Chile Acres
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo al dente according to package directions (about 9 minutes). Drain the pasta, let cool for a couple of minutes, and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, cucumber, herbs and cheese.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve chilled or at room-temperature. Can be made up to a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator.

Summer Menu Favorites

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Whether you’re serving brats or burgers,
cook up these sides to serve a truly market fresh meal this grilling season.

Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges | potatoes, garlic, parmesan cheese, herbs

Panzenella Salad |bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, fresh herbs, lemon, salt

Roasted Peaches | peaches, honey

Deviled Eggs | eggs, pickles, relishes herbs, onion

Don’t Forget The Munchies | chips + salsa, pita + dip, veggies + dressings

Infused Water | fresh citrus, fruits, edible flowers, herbs, cucumbers

 

Double Up at the Market

Gather around SNAP recipients, you are not going to want to miss this.

A few months ago at the market we introduced Double Up Food Bucks, a federal program that allows a dollar-for-dollar match at participating farmers markets (up to ten dollars per week). Anyone utilizing SNAP benefits is eligible to receive twice as much healthy, Arizona grown produce through DUFB. Not only does this directly benefit food stamp recipients, but local farmers receive more customers, and the food dollars go back in to our local economy. Call it a win-win-win.

The process is simple. Shop with your EBT card at our market on Saturday’s and pay for your items at the Information Booth. In return, we will match however much you spend by giving you up to 10 tokens to use on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. Use the tokens the same day or come back and use them next time; they don’t expire.

Have any further questions about this program? Come see us at the Information Booth where our volunteers can help you get started.  DUFB started in Michigan just five years ago and since then has benefited over 300,000 low income families and 1,000 local farmers. Help the program stick around by getting involved.

SHOP + CHOP + COOK

41Many of us have become so used to the convenience of dining out, picking up food or even ordering food in. Sustainable Table gives us three motivations to start rethinking our habits and get cooking at home.

  1. The economics of cooking at home:  Home cooking beats all of the competition hands down when it comes to saving money. Whether you’re considering dining out or bringing home prepared food, you’re paying for someone else to do something you can do yourself — and, with a little practice, probably do better. At a restaurant, you’re spending money on the cost of running somebody’s business, including rent and payroll. By the same token, purchasing prepared food from the grocer’s freezer involves paying for the processing, packaging, and advertising of that product — none of which adds value to the food itself.
  2. The flavor game: We’re losing our palates to our industrialized food system. Not so long ago, herbs and spices and sugar were used to enhance the flavor in our food. But in recent decades our taste buds have been corrupted through the use of cheap chemicals and corn syrup to fill that role. We’ve forgotten how wonderfully delicious fresh food tastes as we’ve become acclimated to food that’s polluted with preservatives. The more you cook, the more you’ll learn that sustainable, local ingredients just taste better. Let the food do some of the work for you. Take back your palate so you can take back your plate!
  3. You are in control: Think about what you” want to find in tonight’s dinner. You have control over the nutritional value of the foods you prepare. Locally grown food is fresher by definition, which also means it’s more nutritious. Cooking methods also count. For example, roasting a vegetable will preserve vitamins that are wasted by boiling it; retaining the peel on many fruits and vegetables provides additional vitamins. Watching your salt or sugar intake? Keeping an eye on fats or carbohydrates? You’re in control of all these when you cook.

Need some inspiration on where to start or new ideas about what to buy this weekend at the Market and how to create that into something delicious at home?

Melanie Albert joins us again this month her SHOP + CHOP + COOK Cooking Class series at the Market. 

Shop the market with her and learn how to pick the freshest ingredients then get ready to get chopping in this unique hands on cooking class.  Check out Melanie’s new book to take home market fresh recipes that are simple to cook and delicious to enjoy.

Click here to register for the class.

Click here to check out Melanie’s website and book.

 

Why Probiotics?

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Did you know 80% of your immune system is located in your gut and 95% of your serotonin (happy hormone) is manufactured in your intestines?

What’s more, if your digestive system is out of whack, your entire body will suffer. That makes the gut pretty important. Because it’s so important, it’s critical to keep it in the best shape possible.  The health of your gut depends on the amount of good bacteria, known as probiotics, inside of it. Probiotics are found naturally in your gut; however, the amount of good bacteria versus bad bacteria in your gut can often get out of balance.  Stress, pollution, a diet high in sugar or eating too many processed foods will wreak havoc on your body’s good flora. Even taking an antibiotic one time can cause an imbalance.

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SHOP + CHOP + COOK

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Hands On Farmer’s Market Cooking Class with Melanie A. Albert

Shop + Chop + Cook

Learn Unique, Simple Ways to Enjoy Phoenix Public Market Foods at Home

Have fun intuitively creating your own refreshing veggie dishes with Phoenix seasonal veggies. Enjoy hands-on interactive cooking experiences and learn simple culinary techniques to create unique, tasty, beautiful dishes.

Learn: Unique Ways to Create Raw Salad with Local Farmers Phoenix Public Market Veggies

Get tips to shop easily at the farmers market. Mindfully enjoy your creations with our Phoenix community.

Led by intuitive cooking expert, Melanie A. Albert, author of “A New View of Healthy Eating. Simple Intuitive Cooking with Real Whole Foods.”

Meet the instructor…

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