My family has been picking fiddleheads each spring for as long as I can remember. My Dad would take us every year to our *Top Secret* family spot. With his passing in 2005 (from colon cancer), I hold this tradition close to my heart and share it with my children each year.
Fiddleheads actually hold a very significant meaning for mean. So much so, that I use them in my logo on Fresh4five. They are green (my favorite color). They bring me and my family to the outdoors (where I am meant to be) and they honor my amazing father.
Fiddleheads are actually the Ostrich Fern, still coiled up emerging from the ground. They are found along the sides of creeks and rivers in the spring time.
My kids love the family adventure through the forest. They pack little backpacks with magnifying glasses and binoculars so they can explore and investigate nature. They also usually end up a little wet! Those rubber boots are never high enough
Chocolate. Sheet. Cake. Now those, my friends, are three words that invoke comfort. And this cake definitely fits the bill – a fudgy, moist cake, topped with a decadent, rich, sweet chocolate frosting. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a crowd-pleaser. That’s my favorite kind of cake.
But what if I told you that this cake is actually a tad healthier than your typical chocolate sheet cake? That aside from the fact that there is no gluten, dairy, or refined sugar, that there is also a secret ingredient thrown into the cake batter – something that provides a boost of vitamins K and C, fiber, and folate, and even helps keep the cake nice and moist?
What if I told you that secret ingredient is…
One of my favorite features of spring and summer is getting fresh organic produce delivered to my home in my CSA each week. I love the organic box we receive and the amazing variety available of produce when the weather warms up. I’ve learned about lots of unusual fruits and veggies that way, too, and some (like fennel) are now counted among my favorites.
The one thing you don’t see much in fresh organic boxes, though, is corn on the cob. In fact, organic corn in general is difficult to find, though other corn-based products like frozen or canned kernels, or corn flour and corn meal can all be purchased fairly easily from your local Whole Foods or health food store.
An important reason you might wish to stick with organic corn is that conventional varieties are among the foods most likely to be GMO (genetically modified). In fact, there is lots of recent news about GMO corn and how it contains many fewer nutrients than organic corn—as well as some additional ingredients most of us would rather not consume! For me, it’s best to steer clear.
Just because the fresh grain isn’t available (yes, corn is a grain!) doesn’t mean I forgo corn altogether, though. One of my favorite recipes this time of year uses cornmeal for that perennial favorite—polenta. I combine it with creamy cheese and fresh dill and peppers (also from my CSA) and the final product does look very spring-like! It makes great party food, but if you’re cooking on a weekday, just spread it in the pan and serve in big slabs instead. I make mine with dairy-free feta, but you can use any kind of cheese you prefer.
These polenta appetizers are an easy way to enjoy one of my favorite foods in the form of cornmeal. In the meantime, I’ll wait for that “special delivery” CSA that brings me my annual treat of corn on the cob.
This guest post is from Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mamma:
With the sun peaking out more and local farmer’s markets starting up, we begin to see spring produce flourish here in Ohio. One of my favorite seasonal produce picks of spring is rhubarb. It was not until a friend shared rhubarb out of their garden that I knew how tasteful it was. I wish that I had not waited until I was an adult to discover this!
Rhubarb is typically available starting in April and lasting in some places through July. Thanks to some hot greenhouses, rhubarb is available throughout the year in many areas. Rhubarb can vary in color from a beautiful bright red, to a soft pink or a delicate green.