HOPE Farmers Market Seasonal Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are great because they allow you to use lots of different ingredients to make a tasty and nutrient filled beverage. They are also incredibly easy to prepare. For a basic smoothie, all you need is a cup of vegetables, a cup of fruits and a liquid to use as the base. There are lots of recipes available on the web and this website has a fun to use smoothie recipe tool.

Today’s green smoothie is bursting with flavour and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It is made using:

HOPE (1)1/2 a cup of carrots – carrots are by far the best food source of vitamin A that there is. A medium sized carrot provides you with more than double the amount of vitamin A that you need per day. Vitamin A from plant foods is in the form of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in your body, thereby preventing diseases such as cancer.

Carrots are also great for your skin, vision and heart. They help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, protect your liver and boost your immunity. All in all, they are a very powerful vegetable!

1 frozen peach – using a frozen peach will help thicken up this smoothie, giving it more of a soup like consistency. To freeze your peach, simply peel off the skin, cut it into quarters or eighths and then place it in a container in your freezer for a few hours.

A medium sized peach provides you with 17% of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. This vitamin is one of the most well-known and is responsible for a myriad of different functions in the body. It helps wounds heal, assists with iron absorption and is important for heart health.

The sugars found in peaches add a natural sweetness to this smoothie.

1 teaspoon of honey – talking about sweetness, a teaspoon of honey will help make the smoothie more palatable.

When eaten in moderation, honey has some great health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, which include phenols and flavonoids that could help lower blood pressure. It also helps to reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol whilst raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

1 cup of spinach – whenever possible, you should try and add a green vegetable to your smoothie. Greens are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet because they are full of vitamins and minerals. Indeed, spinach is one of the best sources of vitamin K that there is; a one cup serving provides you with 181% of your daily requirement. Vitamin K is important for bone health.

Spinach also enhances muscles, meaning you can exercise more efficiently after eating it. Also, since it is mainly made up of water, a one cup serving has only 30 calories!

1 cup of coconut water – coconut water is great for smoothies because it contains natural sugars. It is also rich in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that your body needs to keep your heart and brain healthy.

Using chilled coconut water will ensure that this smoothie is nice and cold when you drink it. If you don’t have coconut water, you can always just use plain water instead.

1 tablespoon of flax seeds – it’s always a good idea to add some type of nut or seed to your smoothies because they are rich in fiber and protein, both of which help make you feel full faster. This means that smoothies can be drunk for breakfast and will keep you feeling energised and satisfied.

Seeds are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, containing a large number of vitamins and minerals. Sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds can all be used in place of flax seeds.

Preparation

To make this smoothie, add all of the ingredients to a blender and process until you get a smooth homogeneous liquid. It is important that you process the ingredients for at least half a minute so that all the ingredients are mixed well. If you want a thicker smoothie, simply throw in a few ice cubes and process until they are crushed.

 

Thanks to blog contributor Veronica Shah! Veronica runs the website healthsomeness.com and she’s a huge fan of local food & smoothies. 

Farm Stand Surprise: Cucuzza Squash!

Currently, we get most of our produce for the HOPE farm stand from Urban Patchwork‘s Violet Crown farm, the HOPE community farm, Urban Roots, and backyard fruit trees. We’re also trying to start selling more produce from backyard gardens, but we’re still working out how that process will work.

Lesley is one of the many great volunteers from Urban Patchwork who drop off produce for us on Sunday mornings. She also has her own backyard garden, which she chronicles on her blog Yogardener, and she recently started selling us some of her extra produce. When we found out that she has cucuzza squash for us this week, we knew we had to do a blog post about it.

Cucuzza is actually a gourd that’s fairly common in Italian cooking, and it’s really goofy looking. Similar in taste to zucchini, it has pale green skin (that needs to be peeled), white flesh, and seeds that are edible when they’re small but can get large and tough if the squash is mature. It can grow up to three feet long! Lesley just put up a couple of cucuzza recipes on her blog that we want to share.

 

Rich Cucuzza Soup

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons minced green onions (mostly the white part, green for color)

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup rice

1 pound Cucuzza squash (peeled, seeded, and grated)

salt and pepper to taste

6 cups vegetable stock or water

2 eggs, room temperature

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 Cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese as garnish (optional)

Step one:  Warm oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for another minute or two.  Add rice and stir to coat with oil and cook for another two or three minute, until fragrant.

Step two:  Add Cucuzza squash, salt and pepper.  Stir constantly until the squash starts to release it’s liquid and wilt (5 minutes or so).  Add stock and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. 

Step three: In a large, heatproof bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until creamy, then add lemon juice.  Take a ladle of broth (try to not ladle the veggies) and slowly add broth to eggs, only a few drops at a time at first so that the eggs won’t curdle (the eggs act as a thickener in this dish).  Repeat once or twice more until mixture is thick, smooth and very warm.  

Step four: Make sure the soup is bubbling only every so gently and slowly add the egg mixture, stirring constantly.  Taste, adjust seasonings and add parsley.

Step five:  You’re done!  Eat up!

And check out her recipe for (vegetarian) chana dal puree here.
Goat Picadillo Cooking Demo

Chef Hector Octavio (@mexicanity) stopped by the HOPE Sample Booth this past Sunday to serve up a quick, healthy, and delicious dish: goat picadillo. If you caught the demo but didn’t get the details… here’s the HOPEFM shopping list:

1 lb ground goat meat
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1 medium onion, half sliced, half hole
4 cloves of garlic, 2 minced, 2 whole
2 medium tomatoes
2 serrano peppers, 1 minced, 1 whole
1 bunch cilantro
10 Napa cabbage leaves

+2 tbsp honey, 4 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil, 1 tbsp coriander, and s&p to taste

We’ll post the entire recipe here, so check back later today!

When you shop, be sure to talk to Ty of Windy Hill Farm about goat as a tasty, healthy and sustainable meat in central Texas!