Sam

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I was asked by the 21 Acres kitchen team to test out their new gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix that they just started selling in the market and let them know what I thought. I was a little apprehensive since the assumption with gluten-free baking is that it simply is….just not the same. However, these cookies were delicious and absolutely scrumptious, which made it very hard to not eat just one!

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I made sure to have both my husband try them, as well as our neighbor so that I could get a well-rounded opinion on them. The opinion was unanimous. They were amazing. My neighbor was surprised that they were gluten-free, since she usually thought gluten-free items are dry and have a bad texture. However, she thought these cookies tasted like a traditional chocolate chip cookie. The only critique my husband had was that the garbanzo bean flour added a different flavor. Not necessarily a bad flavor but unique, in a good way. I loved that not only did they taste good but they also had a great chewy and soft texture, which is what I like in a good chocolate chip cookie.

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The pre-made mix is made up of gluten-free flour (garbanzo bean flour, oat flour, millet flour and potato flour), sugar, chocolate chips, baking soda and salt.

 

The benefits of choosing to make this gluten-free mix are, that not only is it high in protein but it also is high in nutrients.

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Here are the instructions, you simply:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the package ingredients with

8 Tbls butter

1 egg

2 Tbls milk

1 Tbls vanilla

 let the mixture rest for 30 minutes. Bake for 12-14 mins rotating once. Transfer to wire to cool.

Makes about 24 cookies.

 

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When you get a chance, pick up this awesome product from the market and bake up a wonderful batch of cookies to share with your loved ones!

Enjoy! Sam-21 Acres volunteer

Feel free to comment if you have gotten a chance to try this new product from the market!

This post is all about the unique root vegetable that is known as sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes). Though their season is coming to an end, I know you can still find this wonderful root vegetable at your local farmers market!


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I personally didn’t grow up eating these. They seem somewhat foreign and unknown in my vegetable vocabulary. That is why I was super stoked to try something new.

 

Something that I never knew about sunchokes is that they grow with a beautiful yellow daisy like flower. The sunchokes grow like any other tuber vegetable under the ground. The name has an interesting history much of it is unknown. Since they don’t originate from Jerusalem and aren’t a part of the artichoke family. Early Italian settlers to America called them “girasole” which means sunflower in Italian. And somehow that evolved into Jerusalem. The artichoke part was named because of an early French explorer who came to America and believed that the vegetable tasted like artichokes. They were renamed sunchoke in the 1960s for commercial purposes.

 

I went ahead and researched various ways to use them. Many recipes suggest that they are wonderful and tasty pureed as a soup, as well as roasted in the oven.

 

I roasted my first batch and used them as a topping to a flatbread pizza. I figured they would be great on their own but since I already planned for the flatbread for dinner I thought, “Why not put them on top!”

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Later that week I decided to pick up some more sunchokes from my local farmers market to make them into a soup.

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I found the flavor to be spectacular. They reminded me of a sweet flavored yukon gold potatoes. My husband agreed. He also was not very familiar with them and was wonderfully surprised by their taste. They have a similar texture to potatoes but without the same starch content.

 

Feel free to comment on what your favorite way to enjoy this unique vegetable is!

 

Enjoy!

-Sam -21 Acres Volunteer

 Roasted Sunchokes

½ pound sunchokes scrubbed clean and sliced thin

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange sunchokes on parchment lined sheet pan. Drizzle generously to coat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. (I used smoked sea salt ) Roast for about 15 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.

Enjoy as a delicious vegetable side dish or add as a unique topping to a flatbread or pizza.

Sunchoke Soup

Serves 4

Adapted heavily from A House in the Hills

4 cups peeled and chopped sunchokes

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 medium onion thinly sliced (I used wild leeks from my garden)

2 ½ cups vegetable broth

1 ½ -2 cups almond milk (can use regular milk as well)

salt

olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.

Lay out sunchokes on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast for about 10-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pot. Add sliced onions and for cook about 2 minutes, until translucent. Add in garlic. Once the sunchokes are done add to the pot and go ahead and add the broth. Bring to a boil and remove from heat and add in the almond milk, just as much as you want for the desired creaminess. Puree either with a hand blender or in a stand blender (be careful with the stand blender and make sure to blend small amounts at a time to avoid the soup exploding out).

Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil. I enjoyed my soup with emmer flour focaccia .

There is supposedly a debate over if you can call a vegetarian chili, actually CHILI? I was with a group of Texans, a couple weeks ago and I thought I would ask them if a vegetarian chili could be called a chili. To them the simple answer is no.

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Chili, according to some Texans, means it contains meat and no beans. Once you add beans it is no longer chili. So with this conversation under my belt I decided to name this recipe three-bean stew instead of three-bean chili.

The three beans come from Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton, Washington in the Yakima Valley. Alvarez farms was started Don Hilario Alvarez. Back in 1981 he started farming organic on a rented 30-acre plot of land on his free time. Since then has expanded to over 125 acres.

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I found an intriguing farmer case study done back in 2005 by the Northwest Direct Marketing team on the Alvarez family. In this article Don Hilario Alvarez states that, “… it gives him great pleasure to be able to provide his customers with fresh, delicious vegetables that are organically grown, with no chemicals that can harm their health.” Organic farms like the Alvarez families are what supporting and eating local is all about. Recognizing and supporting those who want to improve the future of our food and health.

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I made this homemade cornbread to go with my three-bean stew. I prefer my cornbread not sweet, as it goes better with savory meals without the added sugar. But feel free to use your favorite recipe.

Make this stew while the cold nights are still around and you can still find the last of the winter squashes at your local farmers markets! It is perfect heartwarming and protein packed meal. Great flavor with great northwest grown beans!

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Feel free to comment on what your favorite cold night meal is!

 

Enjoy!

-Sam -21 Acres Volunteer

 Rainy day Three-Bean Stew

 Easily serves 8

 1 cup dried Pinto beans (160g) (soaked over night)

1 cup dried Maya Coba beans (160g) (soaked over night) (aka Canary beans)

1 cup dried Red Chili Lava beans (160g) (soaked over night)

1 small winter squash cubed (most squash or even sweet potato would work)

3 carrots chopped

1 bell pepper (color your choice) chopped

2 serrano peppers finely diced

1 onion (I used yellow but any kind would do) diced

2 cloves of garlic minced

2 cans of diced tomatoes

4 cups veggie broth

2 tbls tomato paste

1 tbls cocoa powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1 tsp coriander

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper

Additional topping options: cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips

Heat a large pot on medium with a few tablespoons of olive oil. (I used my LeCreuset Dutch oven because of its large capacity). Add the onions and cook until translucent a couple of minutes. Add the minced garlic, carrots and butternut squash and cook with the lid on to soften the veggies about 10 min. Then add the bell pepper, Serrano peppers, diced tomatoes with their sauce and tomato paste.

At this point you can add as much of the 4 cups of broth as you want depending on the thickness you want your stew. I add it all as it tends to evaporate with the required long cooking time. Throw in your drained soaked beans and stir everything to incorporate.

Add all the dry spices and season with salt and pepper generously.

I usually cook my stew for a good 1 hour so the beans are fully cooked. Also this gives the stew time to absorb and develops more flavors.

You can check the stew at about 45 min to see if the beans for cooked fully, also along the way about more broth if the stew seems too thick.

Dress with your favorite toppings. I chose chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.

Enjoy with your favorite cornbread recipe!

 

 

Notes: This recipe makes A LOT of stew. I froze some since it’s just me and my husband but for a large family it would be plenty for a night or maybe two. Feel free to cut the measurements in half.

This time of year, the weather is inviting for staying at home and enjoying a bountiful and comforting soup. The wide variety of winter vegetables at the 21 Acres Farm Market inspired me to make a heart-warming Veggie Soup.

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beginnings of a delicious soup

I had a handful of spelt berries from the market and thought they would add a yummy crunch and unique texture to the soup. I added beans as well, because they add protein, as well as another texture element.

Veggie soups are so inspiring because you can add almost anything to them and they will be satisfying. I chose to incorporate savoy cabbage, kale and parsnips, along with the traditional soup base of mirepoix.

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mirepoix mix

This mixture of veggies added a wonderful variety of flavors in the soup. What I enjoyed the most was the cabbage and kale, the soft and chewy leaves were a perfect contrast to the slight crunch of the root veggies and their natural sweetness.

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chopped parsnips, kale and savoy cabbage

I also made my favorite dutch oven crusty bread to serve alongside the soup. I love baking this bread because of how easy and simple it is to make. You could, of course, buy your favorite artisan bread:

Or should I dare say… have the soup without bread…. but who would want that!

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super simple and tasty dutch oven bread

The spelt berries are from Lentz Farms. The Market at 21 Acres carries a variety of items produced by Lentz Farms. It’s important to support farms like Lentz because they are growing grains that have perhaps been forgotten over the years – faro, spelt, einkorn. The farm is located in the Columbia Plateau of eastern Washington and is working towards enhancing biodiversity in agriculture. Biodiversity is key to improving the future of our agriculture systems. Increasing biodiversity in agriculture will make the ecosystems more productive, while improving the nutrients and livelihoods. To learn more about their efforts and products visit their website.

*I precooked both the spelt berries and beans before hand* Dried beans and grains bought as bulk are much more cost effective and are  easy to prepare.

The soup was warm, hearty and wholesome, making it perfect for a winter evening. Don’t forget if you don’t have the exact amount of veggies or want to substitute something the soup will turn out just fine. Veggie soup is versatile and it’s easy to make adjustments for personal preference.**

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 Enjoy!

-Sam – 21 Acres Volunteer

Feel free to comment and let me know how your soup turned out and if you added or substituted anything!

Veggie Soup with Spelt Berries and White Navy Beans

 

1 onion diced finely

3 carrots diced finely

1 small bunch of celery diced finely

2 cloves of garlic minced

2 large parsnips diced

Half a head of savoy cabbage thinly sliced

1 bunch of kale chopped

8-10 cups of veggie broth

1 ½ of precooked spelt berries

2 cups of precooked white navy beans (or two cans)

Small amount of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and heat. Add the mirepoix mix (onion, carrots and celery). Cook until onions are translucent and carrots have slightly softened.

Add parsnips and garlic and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Add broth, kale and cabbage and cook until leafs are softened, allow to come to a low simmer. Add spelt berries and beans. Season with pepper and taste. Add salt depending on your preference of saltiness.

Serve with your favorite fresh bread and enjoy a wholesome hearty and healthy dinner.

Serves 8-10 large bowls

NOTES

*Precooking whole grains and beans is simple and makes the cook time for the soup quick.

I boiled 1 cup of spelt berries in 3 cups of water for 1 ½ hours over medium heat and they had a nice slightly crunchy texture which is how they should be, chewy but not hard.

For the beans I had about 1 ½ cups of dried white navy beans which I soaked over night to lesson the cooking time. I rinsed and drained them before cooking and picked out any funky looking beans. Cook them in about double the amount of water and check for doneness at about 30 min. Cooking time depends on how large the beans are and how long you soaked them.

**Suggestions for other ingredients:

other white beans like cannellini or great northern beans

spinach, swiss chard, butternut squash, any root veggie would work.

One tradition that my husband and I have started is always cooking something special for Sunday breakfasts. One of his most requested items is Pfannkuchen, being that he is German, but people may know this classic treat as Swedish pancakes or crepes. They are enjoyed in many different cultures but no matter what you call them they are especially delicious.

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I grew up with a fond memory for Pfannkuchen, however in my house we called them Swedish pancakes. My dad was always in charge of making them, as he had learned the recipe from his Swedish mother. My sisters and I loved eating them with fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar. Tart and sweet is exactly how I remember these pancakes. (more…)

Greetings!

My name is Sam and I am a new volunteer at 21 Acres. I am here to introduce myself and let you know that over the next few months I will be blogging for 21 Acres and I look forward to sharing recipes and inspiration for ways to use products from the Farm Market.

I was lucky enough to find this opportunity with 21 Acres, as I have always loved being in the kitchen. Being able to use local and sustainable ingredients as my canvas will be a fun and interesting learning opportunity.

The Farm Market at 21 Acres has so many wonderful items to use in the kitchen that I hope to get followers excited to cook with new items and find delicious ways to use healthy wholesome ingredients.

I greatly look forward to sharing my time in the kitchen with you.

Look for new blogs posts weekly as I get this project going!

-Sam