National Farmers' Market Week

I got an email from Slow Food USA about this coming week being National Farmers' Market week... apparently the USDA and Secretary of Agriculture issued a proclamation that August 4-10 will be National Farmers' Market week.

So I Googled it.  There's practically nothing about it.  So I went to the pages of all the farmers' markets I could think of on Facebook.  There's nothing about it.

What the heck?  Why so little publicity?   So I took it upon myself to make this little graphic and share it around on Facebook... feel free, if you are a small farmer who goes to markets - no wait.  If you are a person who eats food, feel free to share this graphic and if you haven't been to your local market - or if you have! - please go and support your local farmers this week.

In other news, the EPA recently approved an increase on allowable limits for glyphosate (Roundup and its spin-offs) on crops.  Hey EPA... you're under a Democratic president, get a clue :(   Here's a link with more info on why glyphosate is awful for the environment and awful for you.

Please, if you can afford to, eat organic or certified naturally grown (crops that are not grown with Roundup or other herbicides, artificial fertilizers and pesticides), and especially, support your small local farmer who is farming responsibly.  Get to know them.  There's nothing like knowing where your food came from.

Herbal Stomach Soother Green Smoothie

Pretty?  Eh, kinda.  Good?  Yes!!

I'm trying to ease up on the coffee, because I'm tired of having a headache by 1:00 pm if I don't drink it.  So I cut back to 1 cup for a few days, now I'm drinking 1 cup of Chai tea in the morning.

Chai and my empty stomach didn't get along this morning, and I was getting a burning in the back of my throat and some reflux.  Bleh.

So here's what I did for my green smoothie this morning... I took a handful of stomach-soothing herbs -- apple mint, and lemon balm -- and threw them in the blender with the greens, and made sure to use papaya as one of my fruits, because it's known for its stomach-soothing properties, too.  Seems to have done the trick :)   Here's the recipe.

Don't have lemon balm and mint?  My god, why not?  Find a corner of your property you don't want to mow anymore, stick one of them at one end and the other at the other end (seed, plants, whatever) and let them go to town.  They will take over the area, and you will have all the mint and lemon balm you could ever wish for.  They both make amazing hot teas and iced teas, and they add flavor and a load of nutrients to a green smoothie, and as far as green things go they taste fantastic.  Last year I couldn't possibly have picked and dried and used all the lemon balm and mint I had growing.  My plan this year is to pick it and freeze it with water in ice cube trays so I can throw it in my smoothies all winter long. 

Stomach Soother Green Smoothie

10-20 mint leaves
10-20 lemon balm leaves
1 cup kale or spinach or green of choice
1 cup water
1 cup Silk coconut milk (I love this stuff!!!!)

Blend the heck out of it.  If your herbs are stemmy you might want to strip leaves off the stems.  If the stems are still tender and you have a good blender, throw 'em in.

1 cup pineapple, fresh preferable or if using cans you can use some of the juice instead of water
1/2 a papaya, seeded, peeled and sorta chopped
1 small-medium banana

ice cubes to taste... I like mine cold.  You can seed and chop the papaya and then freeze, freeze the banana, pineapple, or all of it, for a nice cold one.  If you put enough ice cubes in here and you have a Vitamix, you can turn this into their version of soft serve ice cream.  Or freeze it into popsicles for little upset tummies.

Blend till smooth.  This will serve 2, you can put it in a sealing glass jar or mason jar in the fridge and it'll keep for a day or two, if there's only one of you in the household braving the green stuff.

This is GOOD!  Seriously, if you don't have mint and you're a smoothie-holic, get some.

Green Smoothies Win!

Last week I started a Green Smoothie Challenge.  I am loving it!!  Want to join me?

Here's the deal.  I am all about some whole foods, which is why we are in a CSA again this year.  Well, with a full share and only 2 of us consuming it, I am finding that I have a lot of leftovers, most of which can be canned, frozen or preserved in some way, but not so much the greens, which, being springtime/early summer, we are getting a lot of.

So, what to do with them?  I stumbled on this green smoothie thing.  The concept is, you drink 1 smoothie a day.  You can use it to replace a meal (you'll probably want to, they're filling, but you can snack a little too).  That's it.  You don't deprive yourself, you can eat what you're eating, but here's the thing.  Since this is basically whole foods thrown in a blender, you're getting all the fiber with whatever sugar is in it, which for me is killing my carb/sugar cravings (yay!), and because of the fiber you don't get the same spike in blood sugar levels that you would just eating junk or even juice.  The ingredients are PACKED with nutrients, so that's awesome.  

How to:  The skinny is, you shoot for a proportion of 40% greens (leafy dark greens preferably - think kale, spinach, collards, mustard, turnip... I don't eat most of that crap except for the first two either, but I promise, you won't taste it) and 60% whole fruit, with a liquid - water, coconut milk, almond milk, you can even use teas sometimes, or regular milk, or yogurt.  You can follow that challenge link above to get you started with great tips and recipes.

Recipes will follow here, or you can follow my Green Smoothie Board on Pinterest as I gather smoothie info and recipes from all over the web.  Drink up!