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It’s easy to just grab a handful of washed strawberries from the bowl in the fridge, but let's make things a little interesting!! Two simple ways to add strawberries to your everyday food choices are first, by adding them to a salad and second, by making a jam out of them and applying it to your morning croissant!

The best summertime salad would be an arugula salad with walnuts, blueberries, strawberries topped with a balsamic glaze and some goat cheese!!

To make strawberry jam seems a little complex but I promise, it is very simple! All you need is 16 oz of fresh strawberries with the hulls removed. ¾ cups of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is best but bottled works fine as well). And it only takes about20 minutes!!

Instructions:
1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar and lemon juice
2. Stir over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved
3. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a full rolling boil
4. Reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently, mashing the strawberries as you stir.
Continue to simmer, until the jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface
of the jam (About 10 minutes)
5. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature
6. Seal jars and store them in the refrigerator

Sugar Snap Peas
are an excellent source of vitamin K, which plays an important role in keeping your skeletal system strong. They are also a great source of dietary fiber. Snap peas are a nutritious low calorie source of vitamins and minerals making them a healthy snack. For just one cup serving, you would consume only 35 calories, 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of natural sugar, 2 grams of fiber and no fat!


Try this quick and easy recipe with your sugar snaps this week! According to your box selections, if you have less than three cups of full shell peas in house, simply half the recipe. Enjoy!

Sesame Ginger Snap Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 cups snap peas
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

 Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in snap peas and soy sauce. Cook 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until snap peas are tender crisp. Remove from heat and toss with sesame seeds and sesame oil.
  -Erin Skinner



"We are a team of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who specialize in effective, root-cause healthcare," says Erin Skinner. "We provide care that actually makes you healthier.
We are so excited to join the Co-op this Season to provide subscribers with recipes and tips for how best to maximize the benefits of their fresh produce!"

- Erin Skinner, MS, RD, LDN, IFNCP

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Meet Erin Skinner + Empowered Nutrition:
We help our clients achieve their wellness goals through a combination of individualized nutrition therapy, specialty lab testing, professionally-curated and recommended dietary supplements, and compassionate support. In addition to 1:1 appointments, we offer group programs, continuous glucose monitors, metabolic testing, and a variety of lab testing (hormones, micronutrient, microbiome, genetics, and more). 
Through our insurance-based practice in Southern Pines we serve adults and children who want help with metabolic challenges, hormones, digestion, eating disorders, sports performance, pre/post-natal, and more.  You can learn more about our services, and set up a free call with one of our Dietitian Nutritionists at: www.EmpoweredNutrition.health


Favorite Recipes and Tips
Visit our Cooperative's Farm to Table Pinterest Page at https://www.pinterest.com/sf2t/ for a collection of favorite, fresh recipe ideas! Also follow us on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to catch cooking demonstrations, unboxings and more.

General Storage Tips
Like you, vegetables need to breathe!
If you are storing vegetables in a plastic bag, poke holes in the bag. Allowing air to circulate around the vegetables helps them store longer.


Open the bag on your greens.
When it comes to greens - wash them right away. Pat the leaves dry, and place them on a damp paper towel. Put them in a plastic bag that's open on one end and stick them in the fridge. This will help them stay nice and crisp for later use.


Here are a a few helpful resources we found through the North Carolina Cooperative Extension on how to get the most life out of your fresh fruits and vegetables at home.

Food Storage 101
by Anne Marie Hampshire • Illustration by Bambi Edlund

Green Onions
Have you ever pulled out a bundle of green onions from the fridge only to discover they’ve gone slimy? Yeah, we’ve been there, too. Avoid this by removing the rubber bands and placing the root ends in a jar filled with an inch or two of water—then keep on the windowsill until ready to use.

Root Vegetables
Beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips and radishes, oh my! Enjoy the cool season’s bounty longer by cutting the tops off the roots (all but ½-inch) before storing in an open container in the fridge, covered with a damp towel. Store the edible, trimmed greens separately in an airtight container in the crisper.

Potatoes
If, like most of us, you lack a root cellar, store potatoes in a cool, dark place in a basket, bowl or paper bag. Remember to keep potatoes a healthy distance from onions, which can make those spuds sprout more quickly. Also be aware that light causes potatoes to turn green and sprout, and refrigeration causes the potatoes’ starch to convert to sugar and discolor while cooking.

Fresh Herbs
Some herbs—especially basil—are cold-sensitive, meaning they’ll turn black in the fridge before you can say pesto alla Genovese. To keep basil fresh, cut a bit off of the stems and place in a jar of water on the counter away from direct sunlight. Do the same for cilantro or parsley, but place those in the fridge.

Eggs
Dry-clean your fresh-from-the-coop eggs with an abrasive sponge to remove any dirt or debris, but don’t soak the eggs in water—cold water pulls bacteria from the surface of the egg into the interior. If you prefer rinsing the eggs, wait until you’re ready to use them. Rinsing removes the egg’s bloom, the natural antibacterial coating on the shell. If planning an omelet in the near future, no need to store fresh eggs in the fridge. But to keep eggs longer (up to a month or so), it’s best to refrigerate.

Bread
As counter intuitive as it may seem, bread actually gets stale faster when refrigerated rather than left at room temperature. Keep sliced sandwich bread in a bread box or other airtight container, but leave crusty, artisanal loaves in a paper bag.

Berries
Discard any bruised or moldy fruit, then store raspberries, strawberries or blueberries in a sealed container in the fridge, where they’ll last for a couple of days. (Note: Wait to wash berries until right before eating.) To keep longer, wash berries carefully, pat dry and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a container and freeze for up to a year.

Asparagus
Wash thoroughly, remove the rubber bands, cut 1 inch off the stems and place upright in a jar filled with about an inch of water. Refrigerate and change the water frequently until ready to use. 

Cheese
Place soft cheeses, such as brie, mozzarella, goat cheeses, and chèvre in an airtight container in the fridge once opened. Wrap hard and semi-hard cheeses, such as Gouda, cheddar or blue, in parchment or wax paper first, then in aluminum foil. Store all cheeses in a warmer part of the fridge—in the vegetable drawer or on the bottom shelf.

QUICK LINKS:

The Helpful Plate with Amelia Kirkland:
http://www.thehelpfulplate.com 

Temperature and humidity requirements for specific fruits and vegetables:

http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/part-4-mixed-loads-postharvest-handling-and-cooling-of-fresh-fruits-vegetables-and-flowers-for.pdf

Harvesting and storage of garden produce at home:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/vegetables/harvesting-and-storing-home-garden-vegetables/

Practical tips for home food storage:

http://www.edibleaustin.com/index.php/food-2/techniques/1622-food-storage-101-stash-it-or-trash-it

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