Most of this week's local meals have consisted of menu repeats from the last few weeks: cabbage soup, cabbage stir-fry, those yummy strawberries, and the last few oranges of the season.
Instead of rehashing all the oldies (albeit goodies), let's talk about what's new this week...
Pecans - At our local natural food store, I found a bag of local pecans (I love pecans). I don't often eat nuts mostly because of impulse control, but they are so good and so wonderfully good for you. I've been (mindfully) enjoying a handful each morning for breakfast along with a bowl of those beautiful strawberries we got picked at Kings Orchard last week. Local tastes SO good!
Wheat Berries - Now, here's what's REALLY exciting and a completely new experience for me. A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a luncheon to talk to a half dozen people about eating locally. One of the things we discussed was the fact that I'd not yet found a local wheat producer so I was eating mostly local rice and potatoes. The next thing I know, I have an email from the grandson of a local wheat producer and 2 pounds of wheat berries to try. Networking is everything!
Before I delivered the wheat berries to one of the vendors at our market (who just happens to have a grain mill), I extracted a cup of wheat berries to see what cool and interesting things I could do with them. Boiling them like rice seems to be the most popular.
I placed 1 cup of wheat berries in a saucepan with 3-1/2 cups of water, brought it to a boil, reduced the heat, covered the pot, and allow it to simmer for 60 minutes. Once cooked, I drained them (saving the extra liquid - there has to be nutrients in there that I can use later, right?), and nibbled away. The texture is similar to brown rice, but with a completely different flavor that I just love. Mmmm, wheat berries! Who knew?
So wheat berries are fabulous all by themselves, or you can jazz them up with some of your favorite veggies. Pictured here is 1 cup (cooked) wheat berries, mixed in with sauteed onion, carrot, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, and mushroom. Let me tell you, there's not a better all-local meal around!
Next step? Getting that flour back from the mill to see just how good fresh whole wheat flour makes my homemade bread. Stay tuned, 'cause local wheat could change everything! Ok. Maybe not everything, but it's pretty darn cool!
That's all for this week's "Market to Table" post. Have a great Thursday, everyone. And as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!