News & Recipes

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) There are so many ways to prepare summer squash. This one is very simple to do and has great flavor. The touch of honey brings out the natural sweetness in the squash without being overpowering. Simple Squash Ingredients small to medium sized summer squash, washed 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 tablespoon butter dash salt Instructions Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the summer squash down the middle to create two halves. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. Warm the honey and butter together and stir to combine. Brush the honey mixture onto the cut parts of the squash. Sprinkle with a touch of salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork tender. ...

Storage Kale is a vitamin-packed, hearty green that is as healthy as it is delicious. That’s why proper storage is so important. Treat it right, and it stays fresh for quite some time. So don’t pre-wash it, keep it very cold, and away from apples. Yes, apples. Kale is super fragile, despite its heartiness. And because of all the grooves that some varieties have, it takes it forever to completely dry. So don’t bother wetting it again. I beg you! Washing it before storage will only increase spoilage. So do we wash our kale before storing it? Oh, kale no! Now, you want to store kale in the refrigerator (duh!) but in the coldest part of the fridge. Kale tends to get more and more bitter the longer it is left at room temperature, so keep it cool, sucka’! I tightly wrap my kale in a paper towel and then place it in an air-tight...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) Peaches do not seem to need a recipe. You just eat them! But I admit to enjoying with relish a good peach cobbler. We often only associate fruits with sweet desserts, but I wanted to create a savory one instead. Not that it doesn’t have its share of sweetness, but it is balanced with savory flavors, too. I make a version of this in the fall with figs, but peaches seemed perfect for a summer dish.   Savory Peach Tart Ingredients 3 large peaches 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 1 large egg handful of arugula leaves 1 tablespoon honey 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary Instructions Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out thawed puff pastry sheet. Place into a shallow dish and press into the edges. Beat egg and brush liberally over the puff pastry. Sprinkle arugula leaves on top of egg. Peel and slice peaches...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) My aunt made this dish at a family gathering a few years ago. It was such a smash hit that I asked for the recipe. She cut it out of the paper and gave me the clipping. I have heard of other versions of this called Texas Caviar, which uses more Southwest flavors like jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. It is different every time I make it, as the basic recipe is so easy. Sometimes I add corn kernels, sometimes I add farro or quinoa, sometimes I change up the beans, but it always turns out great. It is perfect for picnics, too, as it doesn’t need to be kept cool. I really hope you try this one!   Mississippi Caviar Ingredients 1 can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 large green bell pepper 1 large red...

Storage Store summer squash unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Wrap tightly to minimize contact with air, and be careful not to bump or scratch the squash as this will cause it to bruise more quickly. Use squash within 3-5 days. Preservation To freeze summer squash or zucchini, first wash the squash and slice to desired thickness. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and place in a freezer-safe airtight container for storage. An alternative method for freezing is to shred the squash and freeze without blanching. The shredded squash can be used for baking, soups, or fritters. Squash and zucchini can also be preserved by pickling. For this method, use the recipe above or another trusted pickling recipe. Check these out: Grilled Summer Squash Sauteed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta Summer Squash Pizza Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin Zucchini Boats with Ricotta Basil...

Drying Herbs Tie stems in bundles and hang the herbs upside down. Use twist-ties so you can easily tighten the bundles when stems shrink as they dry. A warm, dry spot is best; avoid the kitchen. Wrap muslin, a mesh produce bag or a paper bag with several holes around the bundle, and tie it at the neck. A drying screen helps dry leaves or sprigs. Make your own from an old window screen or hardware cloth mesh stapled to scrap wood or a picture frame. Lay cheesecloth over the screen, and place herbs on the cloth. Herbs can take a few hours to several days to dry fully. Storage To store herbs in the refrigerator, first place them stem-side down in a jar of water like you would with fresh flowers. This keeps the herbs hydrated and prevents them from wilting in the bag, allowing them to stay fresh much longer *Keep in mind...

About Honey Store honey at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Over time, liquid honey also tends to naturally crystallize - a process where the honey appears to be thickened, become lumpy and grainy. The rate of crystallization varies for the different types of honey. Crystallization is easily reversible and does not affect the taste and quality of the honey at all, although it adversely changes its appearance. So, please don't throw away sugary-looking honey, it hasn't gone bad! To bring honey back to its natural consistency, all you need to do is boil water in a small pot and place the jarred honey in the hot water. As soon as the granules dissolve, take the jar out of the water and let it cool. Ideal Storage Honey should be stored in a cool dry place, making sure that the container cap is on tight since honey tends to absorb moisture from the environment Store honey at room temperature....

Storage Red peppers are simply mature green peppers; yellow and orange peppers are different, sweeter varieties. Keep your eye out for shiny, unblemished, wrinkle-free skins, regardless of color. Peppers should be firm when you buy them. How to store: Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Keep them dry, as moisture will eventually cause them to rot. Shelf life: Red and yellow peppers will last four to five days; green, about a week. Recipes Enjoy them fresh, grilled, or roasted Simple Sautéed Peppers Veggie Fajitas Smoky Stuffed Peppers Broccoli Pepper Stir Fry Ratatouille Pasta with Peppers, Squash, and Tomatoes Tomato, Squash, and Pepper Gratin Pepper, Tomato, and Cucumber Panzanella Salad Greek Pasta Salad Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata Preservation Peppers can easily be frozen for later use in recipes where they will be cooked. First wash and slice peppers to desired size, then lay flat in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for about two hours or until just...

Arugula is a green leaf with a spicy, peppery bite. If you like the pepperiness, try an arugula salad or arugula pesto. If not, try it in moderation on sandwiches or pizza. Storage Fill the sink or a large bowl with cold water, then wash the arugula leaves gently to clean and hydrate the leaves. Spin dry in a salad spinner or between two clean kitchen towels. Wrap clean arugula leaves in a paper towel and place in an airtight container or plastic bag. Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days for maximum freshness. Recipes Arugula Salad Recipes Arugula Prosciutto Pizza Toasted Turkey Cranberry Arugula Sandwich Arugula Pesto Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Balsamic Fig Dressing Preservation Arugula will wilt down very quickly if sautéed or braised. This is a great way to use a lot of arugula at once and makes a delicious side dish or pizza topping. Arugula can be also...

Storage Cucumbers are sensitive to both moisture and temperature, so storing them too cold may lead to a wilted, rubbery texture within a few days. Instead, try wrapping cucumbers in a paper towel or thin kitchen towel and placing them on the upper shelves of your refrigerator where it is not as cold as the crisper drawer. Cucumbers can also be stored in a cool spot on the counter, away from direct sunlight and ethylene-producers such as tomatoes, apples, and bananas that will accelerate spoiling. Either way, eat within 3 days for maximum freshness. Preservation Because of their high water content (95%!), cucumbers do not freeze or dehydrate well. The best way to preserve cucumbers for long-term use is to make pickles. There are many types of pickles and many recipes for each, but here are a few basic recipes to get you started: Garlic Dill Pickles Bread and Butter Pickles Sweet and Spicy Pickle Relish Recipes   Summer Tomato, Onion,...