- The Secrets Tastes Tell
- Winter CSA Pick-ups
- In Season Recipe: Carrot Flan in a Pan!
“Let Flavour be Your Highest Standard”
I don’t care how a food was grown or produced if it tastes good. Well… that’s not entirely true. I have a conscience, and environmental stewardship is our responsibility to future generations, but what I’m trying to get at is that good taste is more important than labels or dogma.
Put another way – Food that truly tastes good, is probably really good for you! That’s it.
Flavourful vegetables are associated with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and phyto-nutritients, and can be measured as having a high brix content. So what is brix?
Let me back up a bit: Refractometers measure the amount of light that is refracted or bent when it passes through a liquid. The more the light is refracted when it passes through the juice of a carrot, the more stuff there is in that juice causing the light to bend. Brix is the scale by which that bending light is measured. But what is that stuff that bends the light in the first place?
Typically the stuff in vegetable tissue is sugars and nutrients – things that make plants taste good and be good for us. Vegetables grown in healthy, balanced soils, will produce nutritionally balanced leaves, roots, fruits and flowers, which will be full of healing properties.
Let me give an example… Have you ever eaten something that resembled a vegetable in appearance only to find your not quite sure what it tastes like, but that it reminds you of cardboard? This could happen for a variety of reasons:
- The food was harvested long ago, and has lost a lot of its nutritive value (which is inherently linked to flavour).
- The food was grown in nutrient depraved soil – if soils lack certain nutrients, it is hard for crops to develop properly (just like people)
- The food was grown too quickly. Vegetables take time and if you rush that process by means of synthetic fertilizers or too much water in some cases, you pay the price in crop health (flavour)
- The food’s nutritive value (and flavour) was dismantled by means of irradiation or toxic chemicals. Pesticides can bind up nutrients, making them inaccessible to plants. Studies show that trace amounts of glyphosate (Round Up) may be linked to chronic digestive diseases due to its antagonistic effect on gut flora (see the work of Dr Vrain)
That being said, its easy to get all wound up and feel dis-empowered or frustrated, so lets keep it simple…
If it tastes truly satisfying, its probably good for you.
Trust your senses! Seek out the best tasting foods you can find – its a very, very, very worthwhile investment in your health and over all well being. Don’t let bland food numb your experience of life, follow your taste buds and experience the unique terroir of your local region!
2. Winter CSA Information:
There are only 2 distributions left for this years Winter CSA, below are the details:
Clarksburg – The Marsh Street Centre, February 5th and 19th from 4:00-5:30 pm
Collingwood, February 14th & 28th from 9:00-11:00 am behind the Collingwood Community Food Co-op, Sol Kitchen, Creemore Coffee Studio, etc.
While these are pre-paid pick-ups, I always bring a little bit extra, so you can either order a share in advance, or risk it and drop by while I’m set up.
3. Carrot Flan in a Pan!
This recipe is based on a dish we were served by a Danish volunteer a few weeks ago. Flans work great in muffin molds, but if you don’t have one of those, you can use just about anything!
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 5 large garlic cloves, halved
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 large eggs, beatenS
- alt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon chopped summer savory (fresh or dried)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 10-inch glass pie plate and sprinkle it lightly with Parmesan cheese.
- In a large saucepan, steam the carrots and garlic until very tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer the carrots and garlic to a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour in the heavy cream and milk and process to blend. Add the eggs, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and process the mixture until thoroughly blended.
- Pour the flan mixture into the prepared pie plate. Set the pie plate in a shallow roasting pan and add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the side of the pie plate. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the flan is just set.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the melted butter, summer savory and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Season the thyme crumbs with salt and pepper.
- Remove the flan from the water bath. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the flan with the summer savory crumbs and broil for 30 seconds, or until golden brown. Cut into 6 wedges and serve warm.
*This recipe is adapted from foodandwine.com, meaning Carrot Flan in a Pan goes great with wine!