Fiddlehead Ferns - A Fleeting Springtime Treat

Right now, we're ripe with fiddlehead ferns. These interesting coils are harvested early to be used as a vegetable, and they are absolutely delicious. Check out some more info below:

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These charming baby ferns have a very short season, usually starting in early spring when young plants are growing new leaves. They are tightly coiled in their youth, and if left unharvested, would bloom into new fern fronds. 

Fiddlehead ferns taste similar to asparagus, with a hint of spinach. They have a unique texture, somewhat crunchy like cauliflower or, oddly enough, shrimp (in texture only!) Some people say they taste a hint of nuttiness, mushroom or artichoke. Alongside the richness of morels, their spring time companions, they will exude a greenbean-like flavor. 

FIddlheads are very easy to cook! We don't recommend eating them raw - they should always be cooked. You can think of them the same way you think of asparagus: saute, steam, boil... it's all delicious! We like them with butter and alliums like onions, garlic, and shallots. If you're foraging, make sure you bring an expert along with you!

First, cut the tip of the stem off (you only want one or two inches of stem attached to the coil.) We recommend cooking sliced garlic in a pan with butter until it starts to lightly brown, then adding the ferns with another tablespoon or so of butter. Saute them until they reach your desired texture - not too soft! (We added a dash of black vinegar and some sesame seeds to the ones you see pictured above.)

They pair well with light cheeses like buratta, make an excellent pizza topping, and work delightfully in French dishes like omelettes with hollandaise sauce. Because they have a short season, many people will pickle them for use in salads, sandwiches, or as a side dish.  If you're looking to add a new veggie to your vegan, paleo or keto diet, these are the unique ingredient for you!

Green Goddess Avocado Toast

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A delicious breakfast or lunch, avocado toast can become a staple of your quick-and-easy weekday meals.

This particular avocado toast is rich, savory and full of healthy fats and protein to keep you full throughout the day.

 

 

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2 slices of toast (your choice! We recommend the Co-op's Multigrain.)
    • One medium-sized avocado
    • One egg (cooked however you like - we went for sunny-side-up)
    • Green Goddess Tahini dressing (recipe below)
    • Red onion and cilantro for garnish
    • Lemon juice

    Spread the Green Goddess Tahini evenly on a slice of warm toast. Top with diced avocado and red onion. Cook your egg however you like, and slide it on to the toast for an extra kick of quality protein and B2. Fresh cilantro will make a perfectly well-rounded garnish (it goes wonderfully with the Green Goddess Tahini,) and a sprinkle of lemon juice will keep your avocado from oxidizing. 

    Green Goddess Tahini

    This dressing will thicken in the fridge, so don't be afraid of over-thinning it. 

    • 1 cup tahini
    • The juice of two lemons
    • 1/4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 1/2 cup basil leaves, rough chopped
    • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
    • 1/2 cup chives, rough chopped
    • 1/4 cup of radish greens
    • Water
    • A big pinch of salt

    Blend* all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender until herbs and garlic are finely chopped. Slowly drizzle in water until your dressing reaches your desired consistency! Store in a jar or other air-tight container for up to one week. 

    *You can also chop the ingredients finely by hand, and mix in the tahini and water to blend the dressing.

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    Cherimoya: The Greatest Fruit on the Planet? Probably.

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    “We had an abundance of fruit in Honolulu, of course. Oranges, pine-apples, bananas, strawberries, lemons, limes, mangoes, guavas, melons, and a rare and curious luxury called the cherimoya, which is deliciousness itself.” 

    (Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872)

    Creamy, sweet and smooth, cherimoya has been called by Purdue University "certainly the most esteemed of the fruits..." and we're inclined to agree. We love this fruit.

    Here's why:

    1. You can eat them raw: Easily broken or cut to expose the pleasant fragrance and delicious, custard-like fruit, they're usually eaten like an avocado: scooped out with a spoon, or cut in half lengthwise and peeled. This is our favorite way to consume all the interesting fruit that comes through the Co-op! Cherimoya fruit is creamy like a banana, but with a subtle flavor reminiscent of vanilla and pears. Some people taste pineapple or mango or even bubblegum, and ours at the Moscow Food Co-op are rather sweet and smooth.
    2. Actually, you can eat them in a ton of different ways. Thick dark seeds pop up throughout the flesh of this unique fruit, so be sure to cut your pieces into cubes before adding them to your favorite smoothie recipes. The cherimoya will add a delightfully creamy texture and sweet flavor to any smoothie or morning drink, and can easily replace bananas for unique new variety. Cherimoya can also be cut into cubes, pureed, and used as a mousse or pie filling. 
    3. Cherimoya seeds have interesting medicinal uses, and are toxic if crushed! Cherimoya seeds, if kept dry, will remain viable for several years. The seeds can be toasted, peeled and pulverized... the powder taken with water or milk can be used as a potent emetic and cathartic. Mixed with grease, the powder from the seeds is used to kill lice and is applied on parasitic skin disorders. Yikes! We'll stick to just eating the fruit. :-)
    4. With zero saturated fat, cherimoyas are cholesterol-free, high in fiber, iron, and niacin, and contain powerful cytotoxins that are said to combat cancer, malaria, and human parasites. They're high in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that helps the body resist infection, as well as a good source of B vitamins, notably vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), which provides 20 percent of the daily recommended value.

    Come down to the Moscow Food Co-op and grab one of these delicious beauties today! 

    Gluten-Free and Vegan Apple Peanut Butter Cake

    Ingredients for a 10 inch springform pan

    We use grams instead of tablespoons in a few sections of this recipe. This allows for a more precise measurement, and a delicious outcome.

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    Ingredients:

    • One large banana
    • 150 grams of maple syrup
    • 250 grams of peanut butter, unsweetened. Creamy and salted is what we prefer!
    • 0.25 cup to 0.5 cup coconut milk (or almond milk or similar)
    • 120 grams of rice flour
    • 2 teaspoons organic baking powder
    • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 dash of vanilla
    • 3 large Fuji apples
    • 1 lemon

     

     

     

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    Instructions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 320°F.
    2. Line the bottom of the springform pan with baking paper, grease and flour the sides.
    3. Wash the apples, cut two apples into very thin slices and mix them with the juice of half a lemon.
    4. Peel the third apple and cut it into very small cubes and mix with the juice of the other lemon half.
    5. Purée the banana, stir in the maple syrup and vanilla with a spatula or cooking spoon.
    6. Then stir in the non-dairy milk – depending on the thickness, add 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup coconut milk (for instance: add 1/4 cup if your peanut butter is very creamy and melty; add 1/2 cup if it's more firm.)
    7. In a separate bowl, blend the dry ingredients (rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon.)
    8. Stir the peanut butter in a mixing bowl, then add the banana mixture. Slowly stir in the flour mix using a silicon spatula or cooking spoon. Mix all ingredients well. 
    9. Fold in the cubed apples, and fill your springform pan with the batter. Press the apple slices lightly in the batter and bake for 45-55 minutes.
    10. Brush the apple slices with your remaining lemon juice periodically while baking. 
    11. When the cake is finished (a toothpick or caketester will come out clean when inserted in the center) let the cake cook on a cooling rack. Brush with a bit of maple syrup when serving.

    We found that this cake makes a delightful and filling breakfast, but it can be eaten with ice cream as a dessert too! 

    We found this recipe online at Our Food Stories and adapted it for the Moscow Food Co-op! 

    Gluten-Free and Easily-Vegan Waffles (Exclude the honey!)

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    These easy, gluten-free and easily-vegan (exclude the honey!) waffles are dense, packed with flavor, and can be seasoned to a sweet or savory variety.

    We used crisped buckwheat to add a crunch on top, and added flax seeds to the batter for extra texture. Topped with bananas and peanut butter alongside beautifully sticky honey, these are a sweet treat perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

     

     

    For the Waffles:

    • 1 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
    • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free buckwheat flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1 tbsp. flax seeds
    • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup buckwheat groats

    First, combine the almond milk and vinegar in a bowl to curdle. This makes a sort of "almond-buttermilk." Add the olive oil and maple syrup (or honey) and whisk until well combined. Set this bowl aside.

    Next, mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated. If you like a sweeter batter, now is the time to test this out and see if it's to your liking. Add more honey or vanilla extract if you'd like. (We used a dash of vanilla.)

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    Toast the buckwheat groats by cooking them dry in a non-stick pan. These groats have a delightfully crispy texture and add a crunch to each bite. Once your waffle iron is ready, coat it with non-stick spray and add a heaping 1/2 cup of batter. Cook to your desired done-ness — avoid stacking waffles so they keep their crispiness.

    Serve the waffles immediately with your favorite toppings — for these, we used the buckwheat groats, peanut butter, bananas and honey, but they are delicious with all fruit or maple syrup, or even savory toppings like mushrooms or fried eggs!

    Adapted from The Minimalist Baker for the Moscow Food Co-op.