You, like most people, are proud of your cooking. Your meals provide your family with nourishment, which is important, but the most important part of meals is the way they taste. The presentation is a close second. Because of this, you should consider farm-fresh foods. These foods are of much higher quality than store-bought foods. Here are eight farm-fresh foods that will elevate the meals you serve at your table.
According to The Mobile Chicken House, mobile-pastured eggs are a healthy, quality-driven, sustainable alternative to standard commercial eggs. These eggs come from hens who have a certain level of freedom on the farm. They are allowed outside for a significant amount of time during the day and they can eat a more "natural" diet instead of just corn and soy. This freedom makes the hens healthier which, in turn, makes the eggs healthier. Mobile-pastured eggs can have up to three times the Omega-3 than standard commercial eggs. You get an added advantage by getting your eggs fresh from the farm. The shells are thicker leading to thicker yolks. They taste better and have great nutritional value.
Milk has a quick expiration date compared to other foods from a farm. It is great to be able to milk a cow and bring it straight to the table (not exactly straight to the table, but you get the picture). If you are not the milking type, your local farmer's market will have fresh milk. Whether you choose raw milk or pasteurized milk, you will still get the best-tasting milk possible by getting it directly from a farmer. Many people prefer raw milk (unpasteurized milk) because it has the full amount of nutrients.
However, there is some controversy surrounding this type of milk. According to Food Safety News, raw milk can have bacteria such as E. Coli or Listeria. The odds are low of contracting these diseases from raw milk, but the risk is still there. Farmers pasteurize milk, so you can still get safe milk fresh from the farm. However, pasteurization removes bacteria, so it is safer than raw milk.
Fresh fruit is always a welcomed food at any table. Imagine picking your fruit each day so it is the ripest, sweetest fruit you can possibly get. There are plenty of farms that will allow you to pick your own fruit. You could also get fruit from the farmer's market. If you happen to live on a farm, that is even better. After the fruit is picked, it rapidly begins to lose nutritional value. Fruit that is to be sold at a local store takes from one to six weeks to make it there. That is why they do not last very long once you take them home. You do not have this problem with fresh fruit straight from the farm.
Vegetables are like fruit in the sense that they begin to lose nutritional value as soon as they are plucked from the vine. Just like fruit, it can take weeks for vegetables to travel from the farm to the store. By the time you buy them, they only have a short amount of time to be eaten before they are no longer any good. Farm fresh vegetables are not only healthier than store-bought vegetables, but they taste better. They are so flavorful that they can easily become the star of your dinner. For the freshest vegetables, you should pick them yourself if you have a local farm that allows it. If not, you will find plenty at your local farmer's market.
Farmer cheese is just what it sounds like - cheese processed by the farmer instead of by some giant processing plant. According to Berkeley Wellness, farmer cheese has less calories and higher nutritional value without all the additives and preservatives. Plus, farmer cheese has a unique taste that you will not find from machine-manufactured cheese. Good cheese seems to make everything taste better. For great dishes such as oven-baked mac n' cheese, cheddar ‘n' chives mashed potatoes, bacon & cheese dip, and so many more, it makes sense to have the freshest cheese you can get. You could even make your own cheese with easy online recipes if you do not live near a farmer's market.
Ham is one of the tastiest meat you can eat. While it is true that most ham tastes good whether you got it from a farmer or a store, it is just so much fresher when you get it from a farmer. One advantage of getting it straight from a farmer is that, since each farmer has their own, unique way to cure ham, you will get a unique flavor than those processed, vacuum-sealed ham packages at the store. They even look healthier as the ham can have a richer color. Plus, you do not have to worry about it being injected full of preservatives.
Most people love a good steak, and you cannot get better steak than those that come directly from a farmer. These steaks are fresher, cooks better, tastes better, and lasts longer if you need them to. According to Grit, you will probably also get more bang for your buck when buying from a farmer which is great for those pricey premium cuts of steak.
Chickens are one of the most popular farm-to-table animals. They are relatively easy to raise, so if you live in a country area, it is not uncommon to find average residents who raise chickens at their house. If you are going to eat farm-fresh eggs, you will probably be interested in farm-fresh chicken also. Just like the other meats, the chicken will be freshers, tastier, and much more nutritious than the chicken you would buy at the store. Plus, there are so many great chicken recipes out there that would be great with farm fresh chicken.
Farm fresh foods are tasty, nutritious, and probably a lot cheaper than buying store-bought foods. The eight foods above are some of the more popular farm-fresh foods, but there are others that can complete your shopping list. This will give you the best ingredients to make the best meals to serve at your table. If you have access to farms or farmers markets, do not be afraid to try out a few of your favorites!
Read this next: Real Milk’s Role in a Sustainable Farm-to-Table Diet
You Can Create Balanced, Flavorful Meals Anytime with a Little Imagination and a Little Help from Frozen Foods - Learn how by reading the full Medium article here.
Here’s 2 wholesome recipes with big flavor and nutrition for your family dinner! Read the full Medium article for recipes for Taco-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and Baked Eggs Puttanesca.
Now more than ever, food choices matter. People want healthy, environmentally friendly foods without sacrificing flavor. Substituting the traditional protein in your favorite dishes with seafood is one deliciously smart way to satisfy these demands. Get started today with 4 swap recipes in the full Medium article here.
Whether you’re hosting a houseful of guests or simply keeping your family’s hunger at bay before dinner, appetizers can be a home chef’s best friend. Simple options like this Caramelized Sweet Onion Hummus allow for personalization while keeping cook time to a minimum.
Help Yourself to Healthier Hummus
(Family Features) Whether you’re hosting a houseful of guests or simply keeping your family’s hunger at bay before dinner, appetizers can be a home chef’s best friend. Simple options like dips allow for personalization while keeping cook time to a minimum.
The next time you’re looking for a quick fix, consider this Caramelized Sweet Onion Hummus recipe that’s ideal for pairing with pita bread, veggies or crackers. With the layered flavor, color and texture of onions serving as a key ingredient, it’s a nutritious substitute for less health-conscious appetizers and snacks.
In fact, onions can be called nature’s ninja because of their many “skills.” Onions add abundant flavor to a wide variety of foods with just 45 calories per serving as a source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and other key nutrients such as folate, calcium and iron. They are also rich in heart-healthy nutrients and have been shown to help prevent some cancers.
Find more recipe ideas at onions-usa.org.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Caramelized Sweet Onion Hummus
Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association
National Onion Association
Seafood can make for a healthy addition to diets, particularly for children. These tips can help make it quick, easy and affordable to add nutritious seafood to your family’s menu with recipes like Chipotle Shrimp Street Tacos.
6 Tips for Adding More Seafood to Your Family’s Menu
(Family Features) Seafood can make for a healthy addition to diets, particularly for children. It improves body and brain function, and studies conducted by “Pediatrics” and the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” have linked seafood to reduced risks of heart disease and allergic conditions like asthma.
In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture suggests making seafood part of healthy diets and its 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend putting it on menus at least twice a week.
While there are common complaints, such as “my kids won’t like it” or “I don’t know how to prepare it,” these tips can help make it quick, easy and affordable to add nutritious seafood to your family’s menu.
Find more tips and recipes to add seafood to your family’s table at aquastar.com.
Chipotle Shrimp Street Tacos
Total time: 20 minutes
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family eating)SOURCE:
Wondering what to cook for an upcoming holiday gathering - or just a family meal? A beautiful beef roast is a feast for the eyes and the stomach, sure to impress guests of all ages. With a few expert tips and tricks, you'll be sure to serve a perfectly cooked roast packed full of flavor. Here's a "how to" guide to make you a roast expert!
(BPT) - Wondering what to cook for an upcoming holiday gathering? A beautiful beef roast is a feast for the eyes and the stomach, sure to impress guests of all ages. With a few expert tips and tricks, you'll be sure to serve a perfectly cooked roast packed full of flavor.
Roasting tips from the pros
No matter which cut of beef you select to serve, there are some tried-and-true tricks chefs use to get the juiciest, most delicious results. The pros from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. and the Beef Checkoff are the experts on all things beef and offer these tips for the perfect holiday roast.
Step 1: Use tools of the trade
Before you start, consider investing in an ovenproof meat thermometer. This is particularly important when roasting larger cuts. Unlike an instant-read thermometer, an ovenproof meat thermometer stays in the roast while cooking. This helps you avoid opening the oven unnecessarily and poking multiple holes in the roast, causing you to lose some of the juices.
Step 2: Select your cut
When cooking for four people or fewer, it is best to purchase a steak. For larger parties, a traditional bone-in roast is a popular option. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a roast that has one rib for every two people. To save time in the store, you can even call your meat counter in advance to order the exact size roast you need.
Step 3: Preheat and prep
It’s important to set your oven to the appropriate temperature for your roast. For a bone-in Ribeye roast, 350 F is generally recommended, but make sure to check your recipe for specifics. While your oven preheats, season the roast according to your recipe, then sear. While it's possible to develop a crust on your roast through slow roasting, you may get tastier results by searing it over high heat at either the beginning or the end of the roasting time. Most recipes will specify whether and when to brown the meat, but when in doubt, a quick sear before popping the roast into the oven won't hurt.
Step 4: Go low and slow
When placing the roast in your roasting pan, preferably on a roasting rack, you want to place the beef on the rack fat-side-up and bone side down (if your cut has bones). Using a rack improves air circulation and promotes even cooking. Once your roast is in the pan, you’ll want to insert your ovenproof meat thermometer with the tip centered in the thickest part of the roast, avoiding the bone, if the cut you select has one. Cook as recommended, being sure not to overshoot your target temperature as it will continue to rise after pulling the roast from the oven.
Cooking times vary depending on both the cut of meat and your desired doneness. For example, if you're cooking a bone-in Ribeye Roast for four to six people at 350 F, you can plan for a cook time as short as 1 hr 45 min for medium rare, targeting an internal temperature of 135 F, or as long as 2 hr 45 min for medium, with an internal temperature of 145 F. For specific roasting time guidelines for a bone-in Ribeye Roast, as well as other cuts, you can visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.
Step 5: Let it rest
Once you pull the roast from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil (this is called tenting) and let it rest. It is important to let your roast rest so the juices have time to re-absorb into the meat ensuring a tender, juicy roast. Larger roasts need more time to rest, often as long as 15–20 minutes. Those few extra minutes provide a great opportunity to make an au jus from the reserved beef drippings and plate side dishes.
Step 6: Carve and serve
The most important tool for properly carving your roast is a sharp knife. And, if you're using a meat fork to help carve, try not to pierce the roast to hold it in place. If you want to avoid this risk altogether, you can use the back of the fork instead or simply opt for tongs. If you have a rib roast, cut each slice along the rib bone. And remember to always cut across the grain for maximum tenderness.
When cold weather hits, it’s natural to seek comfort in a variety of forms: warm blankets, layers of sweaters and delicious, hearty meals like Chickpea, Spinach and Coconut Curry, Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables, and Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese.
Recipes and Tips Rooted in Goodness
(Family Features) When cold weather hits, it’s natural to seek comfort in a variety of forms: warm blankets, layers of sweaters and delicious, hearty meals. Winter is the perfect season for spending time indoors honing cooking skills to take your culinary creations to the next level.
Opt for Seasonal Produce
While the days of peaches and watermelons may be over, dropping temperatures bring a slew of seasonal produce made for cool-weather cooking. Think winter squash, apples, root vegetables and cauliflower. Try using a seasonal food guide to learn what produce is in season in any state at any time of the year. Cooking with seasonal produce helps ensure your food is in peak form at its most nutritional and flavorful state.
Find more winter recipes at farmtoforksauce.com.
Simple Recipes for Shorter Days
With less daylight hours during the winter, many people tend to get sleepy earlier. Quick weeknight dinner recipes are usually ideal, especially when they take only 30 minutes or so to prepare. Easy dishes are perfect for those nights when you want something savory and delicious, but you also want to get into pajamas and onto the nearest couch as soon as possible. Few things are better than a warm bowl full of flavor like this taste-tempting curry recipe bursting with caramelized onion and roasted garlic notes.
Chickpea, Spinach and Coconut Curry
Prep time: 20 minutes
The Perks of Passive Cooking
Wintry weekends call for warming meals that bring an extra sensation of coziness through the wafting aroma of slow-cooked dishes. Wintertime is the perfect season to break out your slow cooker or put your stove on low heat and let fragrant dishes such as Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables simmer slowly and fill your home with enticing smells.
Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Prep time: 20 minutes
Find Comfort in Your Favorite Foods
Almost nothing beats pasta and sauce on a chilly night. When craving warm and filling meals during winter, a quality, jarred pasta sauce like FarmToFork can add simple goodness to hearty dishes like Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese. Made with sustainably grown, vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh garlic, basil and onions, the sauce brings rich, distinctive flavor to a variety of cool-weather favorites from traditional pasta recipes to soups and oven bakes. During the season of giving, comfort and warmth can also be found in doing good for others, which is why FarmToFork supports Big Green, a national nonprofit organization that partners with low-income schools around the country to bring garden-based learning and food literacy curriculums to children.
Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese
Prep time: 15 minutes
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