Healthy Harvest Travels: Ketchum, Idaho

For the last three years, we have made the 12-hour drive to Ketchum, Idaho to meet with a local food buying club and give a presentation on the health benefits of pure, extra virgin olive oil.

This year, we packed our trailer as full as we could and set out for the Sun Valley of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Sunrise and Supermoon
Sunrise and the lingering supermoon in Wyoming

We split the long drive over a day and a half, and the views did not disappoint.

Mountains in Idaho

We arrived in the sleepy ski town just as the first winter storm was about to move in, giving hope to residents that resorts might be able to open for Thanksgiving.

ketchum-idaho
photo from Pinterest

Upon arriving, we were graciously hosted by Julie, owner of Nourish Me, a locally owned health food store and cafe located right downtown. Julie works hard to make foods not usually available in small towns accessble to residents and tourists in the area. She not only sells amazing foods from trusted sources like raw milk and cheese, kombucha, organic veggies, and supplements, but also serves wholesome meals from her in-store cafe and teaches community classes about ferments and other fun topics.
Nourish me health food store ketchum idahoSince Ketchum is nestled in a remote mountain valley,  passionate local foodies organize a food buying club to purchase organic foods and other necessities in bulk a few times a year. Members drove from nearby towns Bellevue, Hailey, and more to hear about our authentic Greek and Italian olive oils.

We had an absolute blast connecting with like-minded people who really know their stuff about healthy eating!! If you know of any food clubs interested in a presentation, give us a shout!

Make it Easy to Eat Seasonally this Winter Pt 1

monroe-organic-farms

As foodies who care about our communities and the environment, we try really hard to eat what’s in season year round. This means the food travels less far to get to us, which reduces emissions from transportation. Also, by eating what’s in season, we can support our local farmers. One of the easiest ways to do that is to sign up for a CSA.

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for community-supported agriculture. According to Monroe Organic Farms in Colorado, “people in the community ‘join the farm’ as members. Members receive a percentage of produce.” By supporting the farm financially, you can get vine-ripened locally grown produce for your whole family. You can even choose the size of your share.

Which made me think of all those meal services popping up on social media these days…That’s great! I’m all for healthy food made convenient, but why not support your local farmer with that same money?

Plus, if you thought you couldn’t get more sustainable than locally grown seasonal produce, some farms like Monroe even store their crops in old fashioned dugouts, pits, and straw-bale buildings to preserve freshness and use less energy from utilities.

What do I get?

Every other week from November through February, we’ll get whatever crops have been recently harvested at the farm. That might change throughout the winter. Our share includes:

beets
bell peppers
cabbage
carrots
celery
celery root
Chinese cabbage
garlic
leeks
lettuce
onions
popcorn
potatoes
rutabagas
sweet potatoes
tomatoes
turnips
winter squash
other

Turnips? Rutabagas? What do I do with those?

Get creative, that’s what! We got our first share last week, and I have been trying to figure out what to do with all those root veggies. Stay tuned for winter harvest recipes in Make it Easy to Eat Seasonally Part 2.

How to Roast Pumpkin

fall-ingredientsFall is my favorite time of year, and Colorado never disappoints. Cozy sweaters and crisp mornings. Gorgeous aspens dripping in gold. Gathering with friends around warm fires. Perfect climbing weather. And of course, amazing food.

Autumn has made it’s way to the farmer’s market, where we’re starting to see apples, pumpkins, and winter squash. So over the weekend I grabbed a couple sugar pumpkins and roasted them to use in everything from oatmeal and smoothies, to pies and breads, to stir fry and curries.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my favorite fall dishes, but today I thought I’d start with the basics of how to roast a pumpkin. Sure, you can just buy it in a can, but nothing beats the fresh flavor and texture of making your own. It’s really not as difficult or time consuming as you’d think. Plus, you get to spend a morning or afternoon at the market and support local farmers.

img_2063 First, you have to start with the right kind of pumpkin. While the large jack-o-lantern style variety might look beautiful, it’s best reserved for decoration. Smaller pumpkins, called sugar or pie pumpkins, are the best variety for baking for both their flavor and ease of handling.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, start by cutting a small slice off the top to remove the stem. Next, cut the pumpkin in half.

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Then use a spoon to scoop out the stringy pulp. I like to scoop it straight into a colander, so I can rinse and save the seeds for roasting as well. Yum!

img_2068Cut the pumpkin halves into wedges. Arrange the wedges skin side down in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush the flesh with extra virgin olive oil and place in the oven. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until fork tender. After the pumpkin has cooled, remove the skin.

Using your pumpkin

Pumpkin is so versatile. It can be enjoyed sweet or savory. You can cube your roasted pumpkin to use on salads, in stir fries, and curries (Stay tuned for my Pumpkin Okra Curry recipe!). Or you can puree it to use in soup, pumpkin ravioli, pies, breads, smoothies, and more. It freezes well, so make a bunch all at once to have throughout the fall and winter.

Impressive Health Benefits of Pumpkin

A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which can help improve eyesight.

It is low in calories and rich in fiber, helping you to stay full and maintain a healthy weight.

The beta carotene that gives pumpkins their orange color (as well as carrots and sweet potatoes) is an antioxidant that is thought to prevent cancer, enhance sight, and protect skin from wrinkles.

They are also high in Vitamin C, which we all need as cold and flu season approaches.

So, ditch the PSL and get your pumpkin fix fresh for an abundance of benefits.

 

 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

Don’t miss local, handmade holiday gifts before market season is over

IMG_20160826_100407Holiday Season. While some people love the hustle and bustle, more often that not, friends I talk to tend to feel a bit stressed.

Stores begin to coerce us to fulfill our duty as consumers just moments after the clock strikes midnight on Halloween. Black Friday asks us to choose between sharing food and gratitude with our families or saving money on a gift in hopes it will make our loved ones smile.

How can we truly enjoy the winter holiday season as a festive time of celebration to brighten the dark, cold days of winter? Of course, we think that presence is the ultimate answer.

But if you are going to buy gifts, then why not them reflect your values? You could support a small business and keep money in your community. You could celebrate local and handmade, rather than cheap, foreign products made by people in poor working conditions. You could purchase something one-of-a-kind, special as the person receiving it.

Where is one of the best places to find all of those qualities? The Farmer’s Market! As market season winds down, mark off your gifts early, avoid feeling rushed in November or December, and help make a community small business owner’s day merry and bright.

Here are 10 local gift ideas from Colorado Farmers’ markets on the Front Range.

Screenshot 2016-09-01 11.05.55For Kids

Musical Frogs and Owls – Breckenridge Market Sunday 9-2 or www.musicalfrogs.net

 

 

For Foodies

Olives, Oil, Dressings/Marinades – Healthy Harvest

Homemade Dips – Joe’s All Star Dips (Evergreen Tues 10-2)

For Women

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ShawlsShawls By Veronika

Dillon Fridays 9-2

Breckenridge Sundays 9-2,


 

 

Soap & Candles – Mountain Moon20160826_093248

Dillon Fridays 9-2

Breckenridge Sun 9-2

 

 

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Boho Style Jewelry – Spicy Heart

Breckenridge Sun 9-2

Shop on Instagram or Etsy @Spicyheart

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Natural Stone JewelryScarlet Rose Designs

Breckenridge Sun 9-2

 

healthy harvest essential olive oilsOrganic Facial Oils – Healthy Harvest

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Soy CandlesBreckenridge Candle Cabin

Dillon Friday 9-2, Breckenridge Sunday 9-2

 

Misc

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Cabin Style Home Decor and Furnishings –  The Cabin Collection

21 EASY ways to be more Earth-friendly in 2016

earth day every day

Happy Earth Day! Below we share some ways to be more sustainable without having to make huge life changes. No one’s asking you to go off the grid. It’s strength in numbers we’re going for. Each of our small acts has a greater impact when combined. No act is too small to make a difference.

1. Wash your laundry in cold water and hang clothes out to dry.

Save money and energy at the same time by washing your laundry in cold water. If you have a yard or balcony, put up a clothesline, or use a drying rack for inside spaces.

2. Wear your clothes more than once before you wash them.

This will not only save time and energy, but your clothes will last longer.

3. Buy clothes and products that you love and will last a long time.

Cheaply made items such as clothing often do not include fair wages for the people who made them. Buying things we truly love ensures we get the most use out of them versus throwing goods in the landfill.

4. Use less (or no!) disposable items.

It’s a small change to use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper towels, disposable countertop wipes, and other one-time-use items.

bulk-food5. Buy in bulk.  

Many things we buy, especially convenience items, come in large amounts of non-recyclable plastic packaging. Save money and buy in bulk. You can then use reusable containers to serve and store in smaller portions

6. Buy organic.

Organic products not only protect your health, but the also protect the health of the environment by avoiding harmful pesticides and chemicals

7. Eat more fresh foods.

Processed foods require energy to run factories, contain chemicals, and added packaging. Eat mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, and take the trash out less.

8. Make your own beauty products.

Toothpaste and deodorant are easy to make at home with cheap, simple ingredients saving money and avoiding chemicals and disposable packaging.

9. Make your own household cleaners.

Again, a few cheap, simple ingredients can be combined to make almost any cleaner, from countertops to toilets, as well as dish and laundry detergents.

10. Buy local!

Support your community and discourage the costly transportation of goods cross-country.

11. Use public transportation or carpool.

Ok, we know this one’s not always convenient, but when it is, do it!

12. Use thermal curtains.

Save on heating and cooling costs while conserving energy.


13. PLAY OUTSIDE!IMG_6513

The more we are connected to nature, the more we will want to protect it.

14. Grow your own herbs. 

Add some life to your home and deliciousness to your food! Herbs require little space and little effort.

15. Add an air-purifying plant to your home.

Many of the best air purifying plants are some of the easiest to keep alive! Plus, adding green to your space promotes relaxation.

16. Unplug your phone and laptop chargers.

Did you know these common electronics still use energy even when they’re not in use? Save money and unplug them when you’re not charging.

17. Use reusable grocery bags.

In Boulder, we’ve already banned plastic bags. Hooray! Not only do reusable bags reduce waste, but you can fit loads more in one bag, making for less trips. YES!

18. Repair your leaky faucet.

Even a slow drip really adds up over the course of the year.

19 Ask to borrow items you don’t use very frequently instead buying them new.  

buyerarchy of needsLawnmowers, leaf blowers and power tools are expensive and take up space. Declutter and save money by borrowing instead.

20. Carry a reusable water bottle.

There are so many places to refill these days. Save money, avoid plastic, and use your own water bottle. 

21. Support companies that share your sustainable values. 

Vote with your dollar. Choosing companies who share your values allows them to continue or expand their efforts while encouraging other companies to jump on the bandwagon.

Share your tips with how to be more Earth-friendly and sustainable on our Facebook.

Adventures in Asheville, NC

Photo from Pinterest

This weekend was proof of the old adage that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  Karl, Jake, and I had an absolute blast savoring thoughtfully made organic food and exchanging lively stories with like-minded friends at the Mother Earth News Fair nestled in the blue tinted mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

For years, we have attended Mother Earth fairs around the country sampling the best local fare and educating festival-goers on the healthy benefits of pure, straight from the source, extra virgin olive oil and olives. With it’s heart-warming hospitality and love of all things local, Asheville is one of our favorite destinations. Charming Victorian-era buildings and flower-drenched trees line the streets near the easily walkable eclectic downtown, with its endless breweries, organic clothing boutiques, and creative gift shops. Just a few miles west, the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway lead to relaxing views of the spring green forest and layers of mountains worn down to rolling hills by Father Time. 

But traveling for us is mostly a marvelous treasure hunt for food so good you laugh out loud. This trip, we were delighted to find Nine Mile in downtown Asheville, a local restaurant serving Caribbean dishes packed with layers of rich flavor and warm spices. We tried the smoky vegetarian chili, the vibrant Easy Skanking salad with rare ahi tuna and grilled pineapple, and the star of the show, the Jamaican Me Thirsty, made with succulent chicken, flavorful zucchini and yellow squash, and perfectly al dente pasta in a red jerk sauce. This place is not one to miss, y’all!

So. Good. 

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Karl, Jake, and Amy at Nine Mile in downtown Asheville

We also couldn’t wait to tell everyone about Koreana, a tasty (you guessed it) Korean restaurant plating up awesome lunch boxes including spicy kimchi and sweet pickled veggies. These ancient fermented foods are not only sensational, but they can also heal your digestive system with good bacteria called probiotics.  
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Speaking of ferments, at the show we caught up with our friends and fellow vendors Jordan and Jen, owners of Fab Ferments. Their radiant personalities and bright, funky designs are hard to miss, and that’s a good thing because their traditionally made Raw Cultured Veggies, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Beet Kvass, and unfiltered Kombucha are OUT OF THIS WORLD.

At the Healthy Harvest booth, we excitedly launched our new healing Olive Essentials Facial Oils formulated by longtime Mother Earth lecturer, author, herbalist and esthetician, Stephanie Tourles, using only organic certified or wildcrafted essential oils and our unbelievably silky organic Tuscan olive oil. While many natural beauty products use olive oil as a key ingredient, when it comes to olive oil, ours is simply the best. (Stay tuned for news on Karl’s trip to the farm in Tuscany later this summer!)

Of course these are just some of the many reasons to visit Mother Earth News Fairs, where you can attend fascinating lectures and workshops on tiny homes, organic farming, herbal medicine, and more or shop from small producers who care about quality, community, and the environment. From raw honey and elderberry juice to geothermal heating and solar panels, there is no shortage of tasty food and lifestyle products that help us live in harmony with nature.

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Sound fun? Join us in Madison, Wisconsin July 9-10. Cheese? Yes please! Can’t make it? Give us a heads up on the best place to grab a bite! Post on our Facebook or email info@healthyharvests.com