I hate to ask, but how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along? Many of us at OAS had eating more beans as one of our resolutions. And almost everyone hopes to eat healthier year after year. So this week, we’re providing you with the most amazing heirloom beans, along with many healthy foods, like baby kale, sweet potatoes, goat milk yogurt and pickerel! Eating well will never be easier! Enjoy!
On the Menu this Week:
Carrots (Hillside Garden Farms)
Yellow Sweet Potatoes (Round Plains)
Red Onion (Hillside Garden Farms)
Baby Kale (Sleger’s)–Kale is a superfood, and this baby version is much easier to eat and prepare than grown-up kale. Great for salad, stir-frys and tossing into pasta. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 g of fibre and contains and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 , 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Living Sprouts (Sleger’s)–Because these sprouts are alive until you “harvest” them with your kitchen shears, they contain 100% of their nutritional goodness.
Portobello Mushrooms (Pfennings)–Brush the caps with canola oil and roast or broil them for a portabello sandwich or burger. You can also slice and sautee them–delicious on a bed of lettuce for a warm salad. TIP: if you’re cooking them for a pasta or another dish, to avoid the whole dish from turning brownish-black, simply scrape off the dark brown gills with a spoon before cooking.
Watermelon Radish (Pfennings)–Beautifully hot pink on the outside, and whitish-green on the outside. Try grating a radish onto a salad, or mix some grated radish into some plain yogurt or sour cream for the base of a “hot” veggie dip.
Red Delicious Apples (Warner’s Farm)
Hewitt’s Dairy Goat Yogurt!! Since we don’t have many fruit options to choose from, we thought you’d enjoy some delicious fruit-bottom yogurt! You’ll receive 4 yummy flavours: blueberry, strawberry, peach and raspberrry.
Heirloom beans from Grass Root Organic Farm
We are VERY excited to be providing you with these heirloom beans! You can’t get these beans everywhere–these are truly rare and special. In fact, we had to recruit some help to scour Ontario farms to find enough beans for everyone at OAS! See feature below!
Niagara Gold Upper Canada Cheese–back by popular demand from previous seasons, we’re sure you’ll enjoy this cheese! Niagara Gold is an Oka-style semi-soft, washed rind cow’s milk cheese fashioned after recipes developed by the Trappist Monks of the Loire Valley. This is a cheese with nutty, earthy overtones and mellow, buttery flavours. This luscious cheese is delicately mild and sweet when young and gains pungency and piquant qualities with age. The rind may be eaten or trimmed depending on your taste. It’s sold after 5 months of careful aging in their cellars. Under good conditions, it ages well for months and continues to develop unique flavours over time.
Pickerel from Purdy’s Fisheries–see recipes below
Featured Ingredient: Ontario Heirloom Beans!
Produced by nature and cultivated by world cultures through thousands of years, heirloom beans are untouched by genetic science or modern technology. Today there are over 10,000 known varieties of heirloom beans throughout the world that have been handed down from generation to generation!
These Ontario Heirloom beans are from Grass Root Organic Farm. These are absolutely gorgeous-looking beans! You’ll want to place a bowl of them next to your computer and just stare at them, or slowly run your fingers through them!
Beans are an economical, delicious and comforting way to eat and to feed your family well. They are an excellent source of protein, very low in fat and exceptionally high in fiber. They are also a very good source of calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.
These heirloom beans are not easy to come by, and required some heavy-duty work!
Shelling the beans: We have to thank the staff at Culinarium who spent SIX hours over the weekend just shelling the beans (this does not include bagging them)!! I always thought that beans are grown, shelled then dried. But actually, when you harvest dry beans you harvest the whole bean pod and dry it in the pod, and shell it once they dry. On a large scale you would have a machine shell the beans but unfortunately, for these small-scale heirloom beans, we don’t have that option! So the shelling was hand-done!
Here’s the process:
1. place beans in pods in pillow case (basket-weave pattern on pillowcase not necessary)
2. smash pillowcase against wall
3. remove empty pods and discard
And voila! You get beautiful beans!
Here are the varieties we’re providing in your bags…you’ll each be receiving one type of heirloom bean:
Red Turtle: These small, red beans are similar to the popular black turtle bean. Great in Mexican recipes
Marrow Beans: These are large, plump white bean which have a distinctive creamy texture and a flavor which reminds some people of meat! Cava restaurant in Toronto currently uses them in their cassoulet dish and they are great for baked beans too!
Scarlet Runner Beans: These gorgeous large beans pack a lot of flavour and aren’t as starchy as other beans. Great for recipes that call for Lima beans
Jacob’s Cattle Bean: Jacobs cattle beans are kidney-shaped with an earthy flavor and a slight sweetness and mealy texture. Also great for baked beans
Smilyan Beans: These are a beautiful purplish black colour. Great in soups or cooked then sauteed with onions, leeks or shallots in butter with herbs. Add a splash of cream at the end for richness. These beans were actually brought back (re: smuggled) from Italy recently, while the bean-lover was attending Slow Food’s bi-annual gathering, ‘Terra Madre’ in 2010. Click here for an interesting article about them and their growers in Bulgaria.
To Prepare Dried Beans:
All dried beans should be soaked overnight in tepid water. 8 hrs is good, 12 hrs is better, and you can even safely soak them for up to 24 or even 48 hrs (and they do not have to be refrigerated when soaking). The food-science here is that you are ‘waking them up’ from their long winter nap, almost encouraging them to sprout.
Adding a little bit of whey or lemon juice to the soaking water is supposed to help with digestibility (about 1 tbsp per 1 cup of dried bean).
When ready to cook, drain, rinse, cover with fresh water and bring to boil. Simmer until soft and creamy – this could be 30 to 45 min for more tender types (pinto comes to mind here), or up to 2 hrs for beans such as chickpeas. The smilyan beans are good at 45 min to an hour. The type of water (hard or soft) used will influence cooking times too.
White Beans with Pesto
A simple recipe that would work with any of your heirloom beans
Baked Greek Beans with Honey and Dill
This recipe is not a traditional baked bean recipe, but would work well with many of the beans mentioned above.
Cooked in oil, this recipe will really highlight the creaminess of beans. Decadent and delicious!
Ten Pickerel Recipes
Check out this link which provides 10 pickerel recipes from Canadian Living