How to Eat Local

July 14, 2011

Here’s a fun guest post on eating local food from James Kim, from foodonthetable.com. Enjoy!

 

You hear the benefits of eating local preached on television, in the news, and in your

supermarket. Eating local can minimize air pollution while strengthening the local

economy. So how can you start eating local in your meal planning? Follow these easy

tips to become a “locavore” (and have fun doing it).

Know Your Seasons

Sure, you could probably buy watermelon in December in our super-globalized

economy. But this kind of out-of-season buying tacks on miles to food’s travel time,

thereby maximizing air pollution. No good for the environment! Do what you can to eat

seasonally to limit you food’s carbon footprint. Smart Living provides a search engine

which lists off the seasonal foods for each state.

Need help remembering your seasonal produce? Make rituals. If you bake a peach crisp

every summer, you will associate this fruit with its season. Easy as that!

Farmers’ Markets

 

It’s always fun to visit farmers’ markets. The people watching, the rows of food, the

sense of community — it’s a great way to spend the afternoon. Of course, the best

part about visiting a farmers’ market is meeting the people who have spent their days

nurturing and growing your food. Find a farmers’ market near you by visiting the USDA

website, which contains a farmers’ market search engine.

Take a Field Trip

 

Remember the good ol’ days of field trips? Relive them by taking a field trip to a nearby

farm. Here, you can learn about your local foods straight from the source. Find a local

farm in your area on the Eat Wild website.

There are tons of others ways to put your local diet into action. For example, visit a u-

pick farm. In these farms, you can pick you local food straight off the land and pay for

what you’ve picked when your done. Try the Pick Your Own website to find a u-pick

farm near you.

Eating local doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s a great way to get closer to your community,

eat fresher food, and educate yourself!

James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com. Food on the Table is a company

that provides online budget meal planning services. Their goal is to help families

eat better and save money.

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What’s sharing?

July 3, 2011

I don’t share, especially when it comes to my food. Then again, why should I when it looks like this?

I was recently contacted by Alina of Enjoy Life Foods (hi and thanks again, Alina!). She very kindly offered to share some of the company’s new giant chocolate chunks with me, and you know me. I’m not one to say no to chocolate (and I won’t share it, either).

These chocolate chippies are free of the most 8 common allergens as well as dairy and soy.

Perfect size for cookies! I love them. These are ideal for baking and snacking. Nothing else….especially not sharing.

My sister gave me a copy of Kris Holechek’s 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes a while back and I finally put it to good use. I’d recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t believe that vegan baked goods are tasty. Despite what you may think, vegans actually don’t bake twigs and leaves into their cakes and cookies. Though sometimes we do sneak tofu in there.

Of course, I can’t (and won’t) share the original recipe here, you’ll have to buy the book for that, but I can promise you you won’t regret buying it. I baked a batch of Kris’s cookies a few weeks ago, and despite putting them in the oven for too long (I just now discovered that we have a timer built into the oven), the little bricks cookies were still good, even if they were crunchy.

I remade these cookies today, and made quite a few changes to the original recipe. I like to think it’s healthier, which means you can eat five at a time and not feel guilty, right?!

Chocolate Chip Cookies that Aren’t for Sharing

Adapted from 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

a shake of sea salt

3/4 cup Earth Balance or margarine, softened

3/4 cup raw sugar (ie Sugar In The Raw)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons of water, stirred and left to gel)

as many chocolate chips as your heart desires (I used a mixture of dark and semi-sweet chocolate)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put wax paper on your baking sheets.

In one bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients. In another small bowl, combine your water and flaxseed to make your fake egg. Let it sit for five minutes, until it’s creepily gel-like.  In your third bowl, cream together Earth Balance, instant coffee, sugars, and vanilla. Once your flax egg has come together, add it to your sugar/butter mixture as well as some of the flour. Use a stand mixer (or a hand one) to combine all of your wet to dry, in batches.

When you have everything nicely combined, stir in chocolate chips and anything else you might want. Some people like raisins in their cookies, but I don’t use a walker so I don’t add them.

At this point, it’s totally a good idea to set aside half of the dough and just eat it all with a spoon.* Like I said earlier, it’s healthy. Don’t share.

Take a tablespoon and scoop out dough, then use your hands to roll and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Transfer to a cooling rack but eat about another half of the cookies while they’re fresh and warm with a glass of ice cold milk. Don’t share these, either.

If by some miracle you still have enough cookies to take to your boyfriend who live 110 miles away, you won’t have them for very long. 110 miles is such an exhausting drive, but cookies make it better and give you the strength to keep going. You won’t be able to share cookies with said boyfriend because they’ll be gone.

At least they were good while they lasted.

*This step is optional….but it shouldn’t be.