Friday, January 13, 2012

Farmers' Market Finds for January & Ranch Kale Chips (gluten and dairy free)

It was a Wednesday in January of last year when we made our way to the Farmers' Market at the Triangle. We weren't headed to the market in search of anything in particular, but felt the need to support the farmers on a bitterly cold day. There were few farmers there that day, but you couldn't miss the bright red strawberries front and center at the Markley Farms tent. He presented his strawberries with the face of a proud papa and we were not disappointed. Clay took one bite and a smile instantly appeared on his face. I'm pretty sure he finished the pint and we gladly went back for more. 

This year we weren't going to miss out. We got to the market early and bought a whole flat of sweet winter strawberriesWe're freezing them for our morning smoothies and we'll be putting them in our oatmealchia porridge with homemade almond milk and making raw strawberry oat bars and muffins all winter long. We saved plenty for snacking on and making desserts...for now that is. Clay may have other plans. 

We had the chance to visit Markley Farms last year in April and were amazed by their setup. Try this gluten-free Hot Chocolate Shortbread recipe and serve with your fresh strawberries.

Also at the markets right now are some amazing cauliflower heads in green, white, purple and orange. The purple, of course, is my favorite, but we used a green head to make this cauliflower soup. Mix in some raw cashew sour cream, sprouted pepitas, some coarse grey Celtic sea salt and Damas Ofertas Salsa and you've got a really quick, local (and a bit native) lunch. 
Lately, my favorite market has been HOPE Farmers' Market. I love the slow Sunday feel and the smaller vendor tents. The music is always great and they've got picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy a Gardener's Feast spinach and caramelized onion tamale from or even a pint of Wunder-Pilz kombucha

We picked up some Windy Hill Farms Kimchi and Provence seasoning that we we're pretty excited about and even scored some Death to False mustard in our Salt & Time Butcher's Box this month. 

Although I didn't find these at the farmers' market, we stopped in at the Peach Basket on the way to Leakey and found these organic sun dried tomatoes from Lester Farms in the bulk section. It is always great to support a local, organic farm, especially when you are on the road. 

Now that our fridge and pantry are's time to start cooking! I can't wait to share all of the new raw recipes I'm trying as well as some new local and healthy twists on traditional comfort food.

Ranch Kale Chips (Gluten and Dairy Free)
Recipe Adapted from Ranch Dressing/Dip on The Sunny Raw Kitchen

one bunch kale, washed and dried (Farmhouse Delivery)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes (bulk section at Wheatsville)

1 1/2 cups cashews (soak for 1 hour prior to making dip)
3 pitted dates (soak for 1 hour) - pick up some fresh dates in the produce section at Wheatsville
3/4 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon (our garden - also available from G & S Groves & available through Farmhouse Delivery)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (Love Creek Orchards)
1/3 cup garlic olive oil (Texas Olive Ranch - available at Wheatsville)
3 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried or fresh dill (make sure it is bright green to be sure it is fresh - Johnson's Backyard Garden)
1 TBSP Celtic sea salt
1 TBSP ground peppercorns

1. Blend all ingredients (except for kale and nutritional yeast) until creamy.
2. Mix in 1/4 cup fresh parsley and dill, chopped (Johnson's Backyard Garden).
3. Pour about 1-2 cups of the mixture in a bowl. 
4. Add kale and nutritional yeast and combine using your hands to make sure the leaves are coated. 
5. Spread the leaves out on the dehydrator trays (I needed 4 trays) if using a dehydrator or line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
5. Save the rest of the dressing/dip in a pint-sized mason jar as a dressing or dip for your farmers' market carrots, broccoli and radishes. It will thicken in fridge.
6. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 10 hours in a dehydrator or for 2 hours or until crispy at 200 degrees in your oven. 

Makes 1 quart-sized bag of kale chips
Extra dressing/dip will keep 4-5 days in the fridge. 

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