A Picture-Perfect Week at New Roots Organic

Hey New Roots Readers,

Hope you’re having a great Friday so far! We know everyone is excited to get to their weekend, so let’s keep this short and sweet.

First we want to say thank you, because with your help, we raised $850 for fresh fruit that will go in the Food Bank Kids’ Packs. This is a huge help, and we all know how important a healthy diet is to children’s development, so give yourselves a round of applause.

We also wanted to show you our newest addition to the New Roots facility, a beautiful mural created by the very first NRO employee, Jared DelDeo. Jared now resides in Portsmouth, NH, but he came back for a visit and left this new addition behind our assembly line.

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Warm days and warm nights are bringing on the late summer produce early and the quality has been fantastic! Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, melons are all here. Soon, we’ll have local corn and larger tomatoes too 🙂 If you haven’t tried our medium-bodied New Roots Blend or Back Pedal coffee, they also make for a wonderful iced coffee during the warm weather.

We’ve got some delicious looking eggplant, banana sweet peppers, and more cherry tomatoes to come, so why not try this Eggplant Ratatouille recipe by Serious Eats?

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End of World, Will Go Organic?

TGIF everybody!

We hope you enjoyed the sun and the fresh produce of last week as much as we all did at New Roots, but we’re glad our farms are getting the much needed rain these last few days (and hopefully seeing the fires in east Washington at their end!).

New Roots Organics Food Bank CollectionA quick shout-out to all of our New Roots patrons is also in order. This month alone we have raised almost $500 for the Food Bank Donations, and are hoping to end the month out strong! In case you missed our email or are new to New Roots- This is an exciting new way we are helping to raise purchasing dollars to help get fresh produce to more people in our community! We are partnering with the U-District food bank 4 times a year and this month we are focusing on raising money to buy fruit for their program called Packs for Kids. Typically summer fruit is expensive and they are always in need of fresh fruit. So if you want to participate, just click on that icon found where you Shop for Additional Items, and purchase a “Coupon”, they are sold in $5 increments.

Finally, I wanted to leave you with a fun little thought on going organic, and see what you’re reasons for eating organic are. I’ve read many, many articles about the pros and cons of going organic, and seen some pretty unique reasons on both sides of the matter. I stumbled upon the most unique by far today while scanning through i09, which featured an article about ‘preppers’ going organic. Confused by the headline, I read on and discovered that those who are preparing for natural or man-made disasters- the end-of-the-world kind of disasters- are looking to organic sustainable means of growing nutritious food in the future. They are also among the most opposed to GMO’s in the recent controversies.

While I never thought of this being the reason, I’m certainly glad that our organic farm partners will have businesses booming and better than ever this year!

What’s your reason for going organic? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Looking Ahead: Next week we will have Romaine lettuces, Bunched carrots, Summer squash, Cucumbers, Chard, Freshly dug Sweet onions and Yukons, Broccoli, Cherry tomatoes, Purple Kale, Green and Yellow Beans, Bok Choy, Blueberries, Peaches, and Apricots, all from our local Washington/Oregon farms!
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Organic News, Washington Fires, & This Week’s Produce

This week’s lineup is here, but first we’d like to take a second to send our hopes to all of our Eastern Washington farmers that their families and crops are safe from the recent fires taking place. We have had some issues getting produce due to Highway 97 needed to be closed down, but are hoping to get everything from our planned bin on time.

what in this weeks fresh organic local produce by New Roots organics, washington farms' vegetables and fruit

In case you haven’t Googled ‘organic food’ lately in the news, there have been a slew of articles quoting a recent study proving that organic food contains more antioxidants and less pesticides, up to 69% more antioxidants than non-organic food! (Full article, Huffigton Post)

We’d also like to announce the Food Bank Donations button! 

This is an exciting new way we are helping to raise purchasing dollars to help get fresh produce to more people in our community! We are partnering with the U-District food bank 4 times a year and this month we are focusing on raising money to buy fruit for their program called Packs for Kids. Typically summer fruit is expensive and they are always in need of fresh fruit. So if you want to participate, just click on that icon found where you Shop for Additional Items, and purchase a “Coupon”, they are sold in $5 increments. At the end of each week we will tally how many were purchased and New Roots will add an additional 25% to the total we have to spend.  WE are already up to $194! This is really great- let’s keep it going.

Last but not least, another favorite recipe around the office, Green Bean Salad: just add green beans, leafy greens, olives, cherry tomato and summer savory.

The full recipe, as per SaladPride.com:Ingredient for 1:

Green bean salad

Cherry tomatoes 100gr
Steamed Green Beans 100gr
A handful of Black Olives
A handful of Pistachios
Greek Basil
2 TBS Toasted Sesame seeds
2 spring onions

Dressing:
balsamic vinegar, Extra virgin olive oil, Salt and pepper.

 

Photo via Salad Pride
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Ask Us A Fava?

This week we have Fava beans in our bins, a fairly rare find in the NW!

Therefore,we thought it might be useful to offer up a little information about what they are, how to eat them, and some great ways to cook them. Enjoy!

how to Fava beans with new roots organic, pohto by Ian-S

Via Wikipedia, we find that Vicia Faba, or fava bean, broad bean or faba bean is a type of bean native to North Africa and Asia. While it’s become uncommon in

America as a household item, it is still used regularly in Italy and other Mediterranean countries.

How to prepare Fava Beans 

Or, instead of following the French preparation, follow other cultures’ prep- don’t peel them at all. Mature beans might have too tough a skin to enjoy, but fresh and younger beans can be enjoyed with the skin in tact. If you’re a time saver, look for young, fresh favas for you and your family!

How to eat them: 

Our founder Carolyn loves her favas steamed and then smashed with a fork. Add a touch of lemon, some good olive oil and crunchy flake salt atop a piece of grilled bread. It’s quick and simple but tastes divine!

You can also try this delicious looking recipe for fettuccine with fava beans:

See the full recipe 

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Carrot Cool Off

We all know it’s important to have a balanced diet, and eat as nutritiously and naturally as you can (just read this interview on Huffington Post about how crucial the diet is to the USA team during FIFA ). That said, when the temperatures are up and the Seattle rain takes a vacation, it’s so hard to find the motivation to even use the microwave, let alone the stove.

Since you probably have a few spare carrots left from the past weeks bin, try this cold dish, with very minimal cooking time required!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, sliced
  • 1 rib celery
  • 3 large leeks
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche
  • Parsley, to garnish
  • 4 toasted pita pockets

Directions:

1. Heat oil on medium-low heat in medium size pot. Add carrots, celery, onions, leeks, and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Add spices and vegetable broth. Simmer for 30 minutes until carrots are tender. 3. Remove pot from heat. In small batches, puree soup in blender until silky smooth. Return soup to pot and finish with crème fraiche. Thin to desired consistency with additional broth, if necessary. Adjust seasoning. Chill. 4. Serve in vodka shot glasses garnished with parsley and toasted pocket-less pita on the side.

 

If you’re not the carrot loving type (or very much the carrot type and eaten all of yours already), Food and Wine has a slide list of chilled soup recipes!

This week we have some beautiful apricots, raspberries and cherries on sale. What are your favorite ways to eat summer fruits?

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What’s in the Bin?

We have a treat for you (and ourselves) in this next delivery week- Every year we receive bunches of garlic scapes from the Filaree Farm in Okanogan, for only 2 weeks out of the year, and those weeks are upon us again!

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 5.09.20 PMWhat are garlic scapes? Garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers. These stalks start to appear a month or so after the first leaves. They are usually cut off of the plant, since leaving them on only diverts the plants strength away from forming a plump bulb.

There are lots of ways to enjoy scapes- they impart a mild garlic flavor to dishes when sauteed.Garlic scapes have many uses, according to GarlicFarmCT, ‘from soup to salads to garnishes: grill, stir fry, use them raw on salads, blend them into hummus or habit-forming scape pesto, mashed potatoes, and more.’ Last year a New Roots team member pickled them and they were fantastic that way! Serious Eats also recommends these 7 recipes for garlic scapes that sound positively divine.

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 5.24.19 PMIn a hurry and not sure what to add as a side to your entree? We’re throwing in beautiful Bok Choy from Mt. Vernon this week to save the day. Through these on the grill or in a pan with oil and garlic or ginger for approximately 4 minutes or until they wilt (similar to spinach). Add to chicken, beef, shrimp or other veggies to get your nutrients and a tasty meal in under 5 minutes.

 

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How to easily raise money for local schools (and clean out your closet)

There aren’t a lot of things that we like better than fresh local food, but after speaking with Seattle entrepreneur and mother Natalie Angelillo, we may have found a contender.

Angelillo is the founder of Swopboard, an online community marketplace that allows you to buy and sell products near you. The upshot? Each item sold allows you to donate 10-100% of the proceeds to a local school; the more parents participating on the marketplace, the more money you recieve. Angelillo also was just named one of the 7 moms to know, so check out her blog on Swopboard for tips on fundraising, parenting, and everything in between.

how swopboard works, buy and sell items, and donate the money to your school

Many of us at NRO have or have had children in schools that will directly benefit from Swopboard, so we wanted to give them a special shout-out to let you, our customers, know about them and how awesome we think Natalie and the rest of the Swopboard team are (which is a lot!).

Since our founder, Carolyn Boyle, is a member of the Cascade Harvest Coalition, we know just how hard it can be for non-profits (such as school organizations) to raise funds. Says one Swopboard user, “My school hosted a post-auction sale on SwopBoard. I listed and sold an inflatable bouncy house for $200 and donated 100% of the sale to my school.” For those of us who didn’t know how much a bouncy house is, just a 10 x 8 x 7.5 on Walmart is $279! You can even tell the community what you are looking for if you don’t see a listing, and get notifications when someone lists that item.

The beauty of the marketplace for us? Cleaning out the garage and spare closet and selling them makes us a little money for us and our schools, on a trustworthy site or other parents in your neighborhood.

Here’s a bit more about Swopboard, and what their other fans are saying.

About SwopBoard

Natural Greek Flokati thick lush pile of 100% wool Standard Shag Rug is only $179 on Swopboard.

This Natural Greek Flokati thick lush pile of 100% wool Standard Shag Rug is only $179 on Swopboard.

SwopBoard is an online community marketplace to buy, sell and give back to your school. Each transaction involves trusted users who share similar lifestyles to yours – people in your school and neighborhood – which increases the chances of finding the right buyer and purchasing what you really need. As a bonus, you can donate up to 100% of every sale to your school (a minimum of 10% is required). 

SwopBoard Features
Simple, Fast “I Want” Function. Users can peruse the “Want” list to find items other parents are seeking. When users have something on the “Want” list that they would like to sell, they can easily list that item and auto-connect within their immediate community to those seeking that item.
An Intuitive Selling Experience with Built-In Marketing Tools. Buyers can easily ask questions, follow their favorite sellers, and ask for a lower price with SwopBoard’s internal messaging system. Sellers can simply customize their privacy settings and tailor the school’s donation amount on an item-by-item basis. Users can even create video listings directly from their smartphones.
Private Collections at “SwopBoard Boutiques.” Mini shops stocked with great designs, think of “SwopBoard Boutiques” as the ultimate estate sale combined with a fashion editor’s closet. Every collection is different, with one-of-a-kind finds. And, like always, each transaction benefits local schools. Learn more about “Boutiques” here: http://www.swopboard.com/#!/Boutiques
 

Fans Say:

“SwopBoard is something we don’t have to put in extra hours for to raise money. It’s kind of a no-brainer for us.” – Seattle-area Parent Teacher Club President

“I like using SwopBoard because I can choose what area to buy and sell items from, so I don’t have to worry about shipping or driving too far. I can also choose which school I want to donate to and would rather give back in this way than some of the other fundraising activities.”

swopboard logo

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New Roots New Leaf

That’s right, even we need to turn over a new leaf every once in a while, so it’s a good thing we have all kinds of leaves in our summer bins.  We have big plans for our organic-loving patrons this summer and we want to bring more value than ever, so we’re returning to the blog to make sure you have all the tips, tricks, and information on everything local and organic.

Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, here are a few ideas for what to make using the produce from this week’s bin.

A yummy berry sangria for Memorial Day Weekend!What to Drink: Fruit Sangria

The recipe for this yummy strawberry sangria is by Erin, from The Almond Eater. Enjoy it as is, or throw in your extra blueberries and nectarines to make it fruit-tastic.

Tip: Use a Riesling or Moscato for a sweet sangria, or a savignon blanc or chardonnay for an option that offers tart and sweet flavors.

What to Grill: Veg Kabobs and BurgersPerfect burger tips by Bowl of Delicious

Nothing says Memorial Day like grilled food. Try slicing your leftover veggies and marinating in BBQ or Italian Vinaigrette for a side dish everyone will want seconds of (and clean out the fridge in the process). Read through Bowl of Delicious’ tips for the perfect burger, and add toppings like avocados, mango or beets to kick it an extra kick of flavor.

What to savor for dessert: Banana Cream Pie

Use this weeks bananas (it’s ok if they’re a little over-ripe), to whip up this summer sweet treat that will take you back to the good old days. You’ll need:

1 (9 inch) pie crusts, baked
3 cups whole milkBanana cream pie by food.com
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten (and organic New Roots eggs, of course!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 bananas

Follow the directions by Food.com and send us your results. Hopefully it looks as pretty as theirs does, but it’s the taste that counts afterall!

How are you using your bin to celebrate the long weekend? Comment or tweet us with pictures or recipes!

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All about Artichokes!

Hello all and Happy Friday! Next week will bring more amazing produce. We’d like to shed a special light on one of our favorite veggies: artichokes!

Find complete cooking tips here!

Originally from the Mediterranean region, the artichoke is actually classified as a flower! And, frankly, we love this fleur! The artichoke was eaten first over 3000 years ago. Then, at the fall of Rome, it disappeared. Italy revived the artichoke in the 15th century.

Catherine de Medici, who was married to King Henry II of France at the tender young age of 14, is credited with bringing the artichoke from her native Italy to France, where its success was instant.

Today, California is home to 100 percent of America’s commercially grown artichokes.

So are they good for you? Yes! Artichokes are low in calories, with only 60 calories for one medium cooked globe. They are naturally fat-free.

The artichoke is a natural diuretic, a digestive aid, and provides nutrition to health-promoting bacteria in the intestinal tract.

Some studies suggest that fresh artichokes help control blood-sugars in diabetics and lower cholesterol levels thus warding off arteriosclerosis.

Although artichokes have a high amount of natural sodium, they are still lower than most processed foods, and are also good sources of fiber, potassium and magnesium.

Let’s get cookin’! 

Braised Artichokes With Lemon and Garlic

Cream of Artichoke Soup

Potato and Artichoke Gratin

Simply Steamed Artichokes

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Vegetable Ragout with Pesto

and More!

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Produce Report: Carolyn’s Favorites!

Hello all and Happy Wednesday! The week is almost over, but we are enjoying every bit of this week’s produce. We’re featuring some new items this week that have been just awesome! 

Today, we’d like to focus on two of Carolyn’s favorites: snap peas and spinach!

First-of-the-season sugar snap peas, these little pods are crisp and delicious. Sugar snap peas are considered to be one of the oldest crops known. Many theorists date them back to 9750 BC in Thailand and Burma. They were known to be a staple in the diet of Romans and Greeks, showing just how nutritious they are.

As they consumed as a whole, they have relatively high content of dietary fiber, vitamins K, A and B complex.

Their subtle sweet taste make them an excellent snack or a great addition to many meals. According to the blog, The Kitchn, here are 5 ways to eat these yummy little treats:

Snap Peas with Meyer Lemon and Mint – A quick, vibrant side dish
Barley Salad With Green Garlic and Snap Peas – Light yet filling – and nutritious, too!
Pickled Sugar Snaps – Sweet and crunchy with vinegar and garlic
Pork Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas – A savory spring dinner
Sesame Roasted Snap Peas – Roasting brings out the sweetness of the peas

Truly a warehouse and fan favorite, along with Carolyn, spinach is back and better than ever! Spinach is one of those super food, awesome, do-all-be-all, best thing ever type of veggies. Not only is spinach amazingly healthy for you and readily available, there is literally a spinach recipe for every type of meal (breakfast to dinner and even dessert)!

So just how good is spinach for you? According to Health Diaries, there’s quite a few reasons spinach is awesome for your body:

One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.

Cancer 
Flavonoids — a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties abundant in spinach — have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory
Neoxanthin and violaxanthin are two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls that play an important role in regulation of inflammation and are present in unusual amounts in spinach.

Antioxidants
The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure 
By inhibiting the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, peptides within spinach have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure.

Vision
Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Immunity 
One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of vitamin A that not only protects and strengthens “entry points” into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, but is also a key component of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) that fight infection.

Skin
The high amount of vitamin A in spinach also promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles.

Bones 
One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K that can prevent excess activation of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bones), as well as promote the synthesis of osteocalcin, the protein that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of our bones.

Brain and Nervous Function
The abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes greatly to a healthy nervous system and brain function by providing an essential part for the synthesis of sphingolipids, the crucial fat that makes up the Myelin sheath around our nerves.

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