Monthly Archives: October 2011

What’s FRESH & LOCAL in October?

Written  for “Healthy Updates from Valley Natural Foods,”  (Burnsville, MN)

Visualize bringing the jewel tones and earthy tastes of autumn to your dinner table. Beware: eating a cornucopia of deep reds, oranges, yellows and greens can lead to radiant optimum health. The USDA currently recommends eating at least four cups of red and orange vegetables per week and 1 ½ cups of dark green veggies for an average adult. The good news is that you most likely can’t eat too much FRESH & LOCAL. And your wallet and your waistline will breathe a sign of relief.

To invite more diversity, energy and health into your life, explore the whole colorama of vegetable and fruits delivered fresh each week in October from local Minnesota and Wisconsin farmers:

Orange, green & yellow squashes and pie pumpkins: Acorns and Spaghetti squashes offer a sweet nutty flavor, while the Buttercups, Hubbards, Kobochas and Turbans are richer in flavor. Butternut is similar in taste to a sweet potato. Consider the yellow-fleshed Delicata for flavor reminiscent of sweet corn. Consult the helpful chart above our squashes and try a new one each week.  The cute pie pumpkins from L & R Poultry and Produce are “New England Sugar,” a smaller variety with thick sweet succulent flesh. You can bake and eat like the squashes or make a super smooth pumpkin pie that will be eaten in no time.

Root vegetables including Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes, bright copper super-size Beauregard sweet potatoes, yellow and red Candy Apple onions and creamy horseradish root: Yukon Golds are less starchy and a little sweeter than the Russets. One colonial physician called sweet potatoes the “vegetable indispensable.” Their moist deep orange flesh is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, not to mention low in calories with zero fat. Candy Apple onions are much sweeter than a typical onion and are great eaten raw or to add amazing zest to any recipe. Folk medicine suggests a teaspoonful of fresh grated horseradish mixed with local honey to clear one’s autumnal nose in minutes.

Leafy and cruciferous greens, including broccoli, cabbage, kale, microgreens, dandelion and turnip greens: You can’t beat the high fiber, vitamins, minerals and proteins of the dark green veggies. Consider keeping a variety of greens on hand for quickly tossing into fresh salads, light steaming or blending into a green smoothie for a super jump start every day.

Don’t forget to eat a FRESH & LOCAL apple every day, Explore the tart, sweet, crisp and crunchy taste treats of our Cortland, Freedom, Haralson, Honeycrisp, Northern Lights, Sweet Sixteen, SweeTango and Zestar! apples.

Want more inspiration for eating FRESH & LOCAL in October?

1) Stop by my FRESH & LOCAL demo on Tuesday, October 11th from 11 to 2. I will be handing out samples and recipes for “Spicy Squash & Lentil Soup.” Receive free coaching to create a FRESH & LOCAL healthy kitchen.

2) Sign up at least one week ahead for my FRESH & LOCAL class on Tuesday, October 18th (6:30 to 8:30 pm). Call Customer Service at 952.891.1212, Ext. 221. Only $15 for members and $18 for non-members per class, take one class or the whole series that continues the third Tuesday of each month, including November 15 and December 20.

3) Keep inspired by reading this FRESH & LOCAL blog the first Wednesday of each month.

FRESH & LOCAL health coach Loris Sofia Gregory is based in Apple Valley. Explore more under “Classes”  at lorissofiagregory.com and contact her directly at 952.431.5586 or lorissofia@frontiernet.net. She would love to hear your ideas and needs for eating FRESH & LOCAL.