Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Apple and Arugula Salad

Delicata “delicious” squash has a smooth, rich creamy taste and texture similar to butternut, without the peeling. The skin is thin, edible and add’s a crisp texture. It can be steamed in as little as seven minutes when cut into 1-inch cubes, baked, grilled or roasted in up to thirty minutes, and has a savory sweetness when caramelized.

This light-weight squash is easy to cut, clean and cook. If you’re feeling adventurous, the seeds can be roasted for a crunchy snack! Delicata squash is excellent paired with Sage Mountain Pork, onions, maple & cayenne pepper or simply with a pinch of salt!

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Today I’ve decided to boost Delicata’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating benefits with two super foods! The most protein-rich food available, Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, is rich in iron, magnesium, B2, manganese, and lysine essential for tissue growth and repair.

Arugula, my favorite green discovered last summer working at Sage Mountain Farm, has surprising health benefits. Inactivating cancer-causing chemicals, arugula protects cellular DNA from damage, induces cell death in cells that have already become cancerous, and prevents tumor blood vessel formation and tumor cell migration. Wow! Arugula’s vitamin and mineral rich content are necessary for soft subtle healthy skin, healthy eyes by preventing eyestrain, strong bones decrease rick of osteoporosis, boosts mood naturally by increased production of serotonin, creates red blood cells and is an excellent blood cleanser and oxygenator.  Chlorophyll rich arugula has a strong detoxification effect, increases energy levels and is being studied to prevent against heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and depression.

 

Arugula, squash and apples are great weight loss food too! Replace foods that promote weight gain with leafy greens & veggies as a simple way to boost your nutritional intake and minimize body fat storing insulin spikes. In the long term this is a far easier way of keeping the weight off than restrictive dieting.


Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Apple & Arugula Salad

Toss quinoa with arugula, apple, raisins and fresh herbs, then spoon the salad into a halved baked squash.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cups arugula

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and season with freshly ground Himalayan salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the raisins and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and honey with the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with freshly ground Himalayan salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the quinoa along with the apple, shallot, garlic, mint and parsley and toss well. Add the arugula and toss gently.
  4. Set the squash halves on plates. Fill with the salad.
  5. Give thanks… and enjoy!

Additional Recipe

Healthy Roasted Delicata Squash Seeds:

Scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 170°F for 15-20 minutes. By roasting at a low temperature for a short time you help to preserve their healthy oils.


*Winter squash is a vegetable that might be especially important for us to purchase organic. Recent agricultural trials have shown that winter squash can be an effective intercrop for use in remediation of contaminated soils, according to whfoods.com. For this reason, make a special point of purchasing certified organic winter squash from a local, small certified organic farm. We at Sage Mountain Farm are dedicated to growing the most nutritious, delicious certified organic fruits and vegetables.


At Sage Mountain Farm, we supply only the best nutrient rich produce grown in good healthy soil, mountain rich air using the cleanest natural volcanic spring water available to our local customers in San Diego County, Riverside and Palm Springs.

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Let’s make small farms in our region stronger and profitable. Coming soon new ways that you can support small farms in your community!

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Now available! from Sage Mountain Beef 



This week in my Sage Mountain Farm CSA box:

Local Raw Clover Honey, Strawberry Watermelon Jam, Local Farm-fresh Eggs, Concord grapes, Certified Organic tomatoes, a variety of Apples, Oranges, Radishes, Candy Onions, Tomatillos, Delicata & Butternut Squash, Dates Medjool, Watermelon, and a bag big of luscious Arugula.


Thank you for visiting the Sage Mountain Farm BLOG!
Subscribe & follow
Comments, suggestions and questions?
Contact me directly: amy@sagemountainfarm.com
Visit www.sagemountainfarm.com & www.sagemountainbeef.com
for more information about our farm.
Together, let’s get healthy!

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Many blessings to you and yours!

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Apples!

You’ve probably heard the expression, “you are what you eat,” but what exactly does that mean? Put simply, food is fuel, and the kinds of foods and drinks we consume determine the types of nutrients in our system and impact how well mind and body are able to function, Mental Health America reports.

It’s not surprising that eating a daily intake of fruits and vegetables makes us more likely to have a longer life expectancy than those who don’t. When you look at all the available research, it becomes perfectly clear that “Food is Medicine” and consuming a little everyday is vitally important to over-all good health.

The benefits of eating an organic apple a day:


Apples are a wonderful source of tasty essential vitamins & minerals
like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C.

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  1. Weight loss and Obesity
  • Apples are filling, without costing you a lot of calories. “When healthy adults consumed one medium-sized apple approximately 15 minutes before a meal, their caloric intake at that meal decreased by an average of 15%.”
  • The magic of apples comes from its two types of fiber!
  • The apple’s peel, containing most of its fiber boosts calorie burn and increases muscle and brown fat, lowering the risk of obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for keeping your blood pressure at a safe level.
  1. Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Health
  • An apple a day can lower cholesterol by 40%, as reported in a study at Ohio State University. Researchers at the University of Oxford calculated what would happen if 70 percent of people over age 50 ate an apple daily, and compared that with putting that same group of people on statin drugs. They estimated that out of 17.6 million people 8,500 deaths would be avoided annually because of the apples, and 9,400 due to statins.
  • Pectin works with the phenolics in its skin to lower your plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. This aids the body’s absorption of cholesterol more effectively and leaves less cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries.
  1.  Healthy Lungs
  • Apples are tremendous anti-inflammatory agents. Five or more whole organic apples consumed a week; with their skin provide better lung function.
  • The decreased risk of lung cancer and anti-asthma benefits of apples has surprised health researchers. In one study, apples showed better risk reduction for asthma than total fruit-plus-vegetable intake combined!
  1. Cancer Fighting
  • Apples are high in antioxidants and prevent cell damage. They show a distinct and undeniable capacity to reduce lung cancer and slow its spread. Apples prevent colon cancer, while fighting against liver, colon, prostate and breast cancers.
  1. Gut Bacteria & Digestion
  • The important health benefits of apples may stem from their impact on gut bacteria. After apple is consumed, bacterial changes in the large intestine provide more available fuel to the large intestine cells, according to whfoods.com.
  1. Decrease Risk of Diabetes
  • Apples have been shown to lessen absorption of glucose from the digestive tract, making it easier for you to regulate your blood sugar.
  • Sugar (fructose) in fruit, has a very different effect on our biochemistries than other sugars. Sugar that comes in the form of a whole food (like an apple) is absorbed slowly because it takes more time to digest, and this helps insulin levels to stay steadier.
  • Eating apples on a regular basis might reduce insulin resistance, which should lead to lower blood sugar levels. The polyphenols in apples, which are found primarily in the skin, stimulate your pancreas to release insulin and help your cells take in sugar, according to healthline.com.
  1. Brain Food
  • Apples increase acetylcholine, which is linked to concentration, problem-solving, and memory. Apples stop the gradual breakdown of dopamine-producing nerve cells, which can be an underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease and also prevents Alzheimer’s.
  1. Atrophy – Muscle Weakness
  • Apples prevent muscle atrophy; the loss of muscle mass due to natural aging. Researchers from the University of Iowa have found a compound in tomatoes and apples can turn off a protein responsible for aging muscles. After consuming both daily for two months, muscle mass increased by 10 percent and muscle strength by 30 percent, according to medicaldaily.com.

Whole Apples Are Best

To get all the benefits from apples, eat them whole. In addition to both kinds of fiber, pectin works with the phenolics in its skin to lower your plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. This aids the body’s absorption of cholesterol more effectively and leaves less cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries.

By changing what you eat, you can help decrease the risk of numerous chronic diseases, stabilize your mood, improve your focus, and boost your brain health, all while trimming your tummy. Come by the farm stand today and pick up some local organic, farm fresh apples!

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Dehydrated Apples Recipe


Did you know that dehydrating food keeps most of their vital nutrients intact? My Dad got me a dehydrator last year for my birthday and I love making healthy snacks for when I’m on the go! Sage Mountain Farm has included the sweetest, most delicious varieties of farm fresh apples this year!

Now offering Red delicious, Gala, Golden delicious and Granny Smith apples hand picked locally by our neighboring small farm in Garner Valley! Sage Mountain Farm loves that it has been able to inspire many others in our community to peruse their dreams of small farming. Sage Mountain Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program allows us to help farmers who don’t otherwise have a way or means to distribute their nutrient rich treasures by including them in our CSA.


Using local organic apples, fresh squeezed organic lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, make Dehydrated Apple Rings:

  1. Wash and dry apples.
  2. Mix 2 tbsp fresh squeezed organic lemon juice in 2 qts water to prevent browning.
  3. Mix 1 teaspoon of each cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly ground ginger into a bowl.
  4. Peel & Core Apples.
  5. Slice apples 1/4 or 1/2 in. thick.
  6. Place fruit fresh in water mixture, then dip in your spices.
  7. Arrange on dehydrator tray & top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  8. Set dehydrator to fruit & veggie setting (135-145 F).
  9. Run dehydrator until apples are chewy (about 12-18 hours).
  10. Store in an air tight container; I like to use mason jars but a Ziploc baggie will do. If you have any condensation they haven’t fully dehydrated.

Savor the delicious sweet smell of cinnamon apples through-out your home while you prepare these healthy snacks even your kids will enjoy!

Tip: Make a batch before entertaining house guests to create a comforting fall aromatic atmosphere that will enhance the festivities. You could include a delicious apple crisp that would be the perfect compliment to any dinner party favorite!

Give thanks… and enjoy!


We supply only the best nutrient rich produce grown in good healthy soil, mountain rich air using the cleanest natural volcanic spring water available to our local customers in San Diego County, Riverside and Palm Springs.

Join+Our+CSA+2015

Let’s make small farms in our region stronger and profitable, coming soon new ways that you can support small farms in your community.

FarmStand_Open

Thank you for visiting the Sage Mountain Farm BLOG!
Subscribe & follow
Comments, suggestions and questions?
Contact me directly: amy@sagemountainfarm.com
Visit www.sagemountainfarm.com for more information about our farm.
Together, let’s get healthy!

Gut Renewing Farm Fresh Stewed Tomatoes with Okra & Candy Onion

This week’s farm share includes an abundant variety of colorful, organic produce. The first thing to catch my eye was a bright and cheerful medley of baby bell peppers and the most succulent, vibrantly deep purple plums. I love summer and the wealth of fresh local, organic, sustainable food that is available.

In our Sage Mountain Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box this week is a farm fresh local organic sustainable variety of fruits & vegetables that include: a richly sweet Sharlyn melon… which, I must say, if you haven’t smelled or tasted this heirloom variety of melon yet, you should and soon! Fleshly harvested and hand picked Valencia oranges, green apples, grapefruit Star Ruby, nectarines, melt in your mouth dangerously delicious dates Medjool, Candy yellow onions, tomatillo de Milpa, okra, salad mix and acorn squash (reminding me that fall is near).

While picking up my CSA box at Sage Mountain Farm in Anza, I ran into a long time CSA subscriber who shared with me the desire to see recipes in our blog for the lesser known produce items. When I got home and started unpacking my CSA box, I found the okra staring back at me, inviting me into a new relationship.

I began researching okra and in exploring the wonders of this mystery veggie, discovered it is at the core of disease prevention and stabilizing mental health. Who knew!? A potent natural remedy used in ancient medicine for improved health and vitality needed in our modern day society. Okra boasts a powerhouse of energy, and in addition to its nutritional properties, is a micro flora booster! Micro flora, or good bugs, help our bodies digest and absorb nutrients, rally against intruders, boost our immune system and send messages to our brain to regulate mood and metabolism.

To quote Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut” and the study of our gut micro flora is at the forefront of scientific research for good reason. In order to effectively prevent disease and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, we must continually grow a diverse micro flora and improve the integrity of our gut cells. Taking probiotic supplements in partnership with a diet strong in prebiotic and probiotic food is essential. Making onion and okra the stars of this week’s BLOG!

I found a recipe that withdrawls all the values of okras mucilage & nutrients in tasty compliment to other farm fresh veggies included in our current CSA seasonal harvest. This okra recipe has the taste of southern fried okra without the heaviness and on the contrary, will stabilize blood sugar levels and leave you feeling energized!

Since ninety percent of our cells are microbial cells and our diet influences our microbes, it’s true: We really are what we eat. Bon appetite!

Gut Renewing Farm Fresh Stewed Tomatoes with Okra & Candy Onion Recipe

 

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Ingredients:

2 cups chopped farm fresh, certified organic okra
2-3 medium certified organic, farm fresh tomatoes (peeled)
1 medium certified organic, farm fresh Candy yellow onion
4 certified organic, farm fresh baby bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
1 small certified organic, farm fresh Anaheim pepper (chopped very small) *if you like spicy, otherwise leave this one out
3 cloves of garlic
1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup water
5 sprigs of fresh Thyme
3 tsp sweet or hot paprika
Himalayan salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

*If you love meat, this recipe would be excellent prepared with high quality, best tasting, local, fresh, clean Sage Mountain Farm Beef!

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Directions:

  1. Peel your farm fresh organic tomatoes by soaking them in boiling water for one minute followed by an ice bath for 5 minutes.
  2. Dice onions, tomatoes and pepper medley.
  3. Transfer diced tomatoes and their juice to a bowl.
  4. Give 5 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves a good chop and add them to tomatoes; along with freshly minced garlic, paprika, and 2 turns of freshly ground Himalayan salt & pepper.
  5. Heat olive oil in the skillet and add onions.
  6. Cook onions until they start to turn translucent.
  7. Add in the chopped okra and water, cover.
  8. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  9. Add in seasoned tomatoes and pepper medley.
  10. Cover and simmer an additional 20 minutes or until okra is cooked through.
  11. Plate alone or serve over rice.

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Give thanks… and enjoy!

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To be engaged in Community Supported Agriculture, offers you a chance to share in the farms hand picked, certified organic seasonal daily harvest. There truly is a difference in taste, quality and variety.

Let’s make small farms in our region stronger and profitable, for theirs is a labor of love we enjoy reaping. Support your local small farm and become a CSA member today, visit us at your local Farmers Market or come by the Farm Stand now open (in Anza off Bahrman Rd at HWY-371) everyday from 9am-5pm (closed Sun & Tues).

Visit www.sagemountainfarm.com for more information and together, let’s get healthy!

Comments, suggestions and questions?
Contact me directly: amy@sagemountainfarm.com