Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Banana Bundt Cake

I cleaned out our kitchen freezer the other day and found several frozen, shriveled bananas. You know, the dark overripe ones you toss in the freezer thinking you'll do something with them later? I decided it must be later.

I'd show you a picture of my frozen banana stash, but overripe bananas gross me out a little. I just have to remind myself of the tasty baked goods that come of them!

The Girl's dairy allergy always has me on the lookout for dairy-free cake recipes. I do a lot of substituting for milk and butter in other recipes, but one that's dairy-free from the beginning always has the best chance of success.

We love this Banana Bundt Cake. It's not only dairy-free, but fairly low fat. One slice has just 140 calories and a little under 6 grams of fat. Not too shabby for tasty cake. The mashed bananas and applesauce make up for the small amount of oil. It's dense enough to eat from your hand (great for picnics). If you want to dress it up, you can brush on a basic glaze.


Recipe below.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How to find a CSA

Word-of-mouth is the best way to find a local CSA, hands down. Ask around to see what other people's experiences have been with the CSAs in your area. What did they like? What disappointed them? Did they go back the next year? You'll get an honest idea of the quality and variety of the produce.

Local Harvest is a fantastic online resource. It has a searchable database of CSAs, farms, farmers' markets and more. It will give you a good look at what is available in your area. It also has a concise overview of Community Supported Agriculture in general, with helpful tips for choosing a CSA.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is a CSA right for me?

Joining in a CSA isn't for everyone. There's no shame in that! It's usually a pretty hefty financial commitment and a fair amount of work. We receive far more produce than we could possibly eat each week and it can be a challenge to figure out how to use or preserve it all.

Here are some questions to ask yourselves when deciding whether or not to take the produce box plunge:

Do we eat veggies now? Lots of folks, including our family, sign up for a CSA as motivation to up our veggie intake or introduce us to new veggies. But if you rarely eat fresh produce--or only eat a few favorites--a weekly produce box is probably going to be pretty overwhelming. Trust me: it's a lot of food. It might be better to ease into it by spending a summer shopping the farmer's market first.

Do we have time in our schedule? You'll need extra time each week for cooking, digging up recipes (what in the world do you do with kohlrabi?), and preserving the extra produce while its still fresh. If you can barely find time to cook dinner during the summer, you likely won't have time to handle the demands of the produce box.

Do we like to cook? You don't need to be foodies (heaven knows we're not), but you should at least not mind cooking from scratch. You can only eat so many raw veggies, and some veggies aren't that tasty unless cooked into a dish. There's also not much point in preserving food if you're not going to cook with it during the year.

Do we have a sense of adventure? I'm sure there are some folks out there who can (a) identify and (b) effortlessly use everything that comes in their produce box. We are not those people. We were introduced to lots of new fruits and veggies last year. We mis-identified items all the time (oh, the sad little rhubarb cobbler that wasn't rhubarb after all) and wasted others while we dithered about how to use them. But we also discovered some new favorites (hooray for ground cherries!) and had fun trying new things. A sense of humor and a willingness to try the unusual will serve you well.
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