March Fresh Food Box News!

Avocado Facts!

 Although they’re often referred to as a vegetable, avocados are technically a fruit — they’re a single-seed berry that grows on a tree!

The color of an avocado’s skin isn’t the best way to determine ripeness. Hold the avocado in the palm of your hand and give it a gentle squeeze instead; ripe avocado will be firm, but will yield slightly to gentle pressure.

You can ripen avocados by placing them in a plain brown paper bag and storing them at room temperature. Adding an apple or banana to the bag will speed the ripening process.

Better than a multi-vitamin? One ounce of avocado (about one fifth of a medium avocado) has nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Use avocados in place of butter when you’re baking; they’ll help keep baked goods moister for a longer period of time.

Avocados make a healthy alternative to creamy frozen pudding pops. Just mix avocado with lime juice and honey to taste and then blend the avocado mixture into twice as much milk before freezing in Popsicle molds.

Recipes!
Spinach and Potato Frittata

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 small red potatoes, sliced

1 cup torn fresh spinach

2 tablespoons sliced green onions

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

6 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

 

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Place potatoes in the skillet, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, until tender but firm. Mix in spinach, green onions, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach is wilted.

In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and milk. Pour into the skillet over the vegetables. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until eggs are firm.

 

Aloo Phujia

This simple Indian recipe is a great way to add some kick to your potatoes

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric or curry powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tomatoes, chopped

 

Lightly brown onion in oil in a medium size skillet.

Stir in salt, cayenne, turmeric and cumin. Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes, cover pan and cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes

The Halton Fresh Food Box is a not for profit corporation which works to provide equitable  access to healthy, predominately  locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetables for the residents of  Halton region.

 

 

April Food Box News!

 

 

April 2017

 
What’s In the Box This Month?
In your $10 bag we have included:  Spinach, Ontario Tomatoes, Eggplant, Ontario Yellow Onions, Oranges, Ontario Carrots, Ontario Apples, Ontario Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Zucchini, Peppers, Cucumber and Mushrooms.
In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items:  Spinach, Ontario Tomatoes, Eggplant, Ontario Yellow Onions, Oranges, Ontario Carrots, Ontario Apples, Ontario Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Zucchini, Peppers, Cucumber and Mushrooms.
In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Spinach, Ontario Tomatoes, Eggplant, Ontario Yellow Onions, Oranges, Ontario Carrots, Ontario Apples, Peppers Ontario Sweet Potatoes, Bananas,  Zucchini, Cucumber and Mushrooms as well as Spaghetti Squash, Kiwi and Kale.

 

Recipes!!

Zucchini Meatloaf Boats

1 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1 tablespoon dried basil

1/4 cup grated carrot

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 (26.5 ounce) can spaghetti sauce, divided

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Scoop out and discard zucchini seeds, leaving the hollowed-out shells. Sprinkle garlic salt into the hollowed-out zucchini, and set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix the ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, basil, carrot, and Parmesan with the onion mixture. Stuff the zucchini halves with the meat mixture, and place them into a baking dish. Spoon half the spaghetti sauce over the zucchini, covering all the meat.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the meat is no longer pink in the center and the zucchini are tender, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the zucchini, and return to oven until the cheese melts, about 5 more minutes. Heat the remaining spaghetti sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat while the zucchini boats are cooking. Serve the zucchini boats with the additional sauce on the side

 

Red Pepper Eggplant Dip

a 3/4-pound eggplant

2 pounds red bell peppers

4 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin) plus additional for coating the vegetables

4 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

1 small fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

(A few dashes of hot sauce can be used as an alternative)

pita loaves, or sliced veggies for dipping

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Coat eggplant and bell peppers lightly with additional oil and arrange in a jelly-roll pan. Roast vegetables, turning once or twice, 30 to 40 minutes, or until eggplant is very soft and bell peppers are charred. Transfer peppers to a metal bowl and let steam, covered tightly with plastic wrap, until cool enough to handle.

Peel and seed bell peppers and pat dry between paper towels. Peel eggplant and put flesh in a food processor. Add bell peppers, remaining 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, lemon juice, jalapeño, and salt and pepper to taste and combine well.

Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened and reduced to about 2 cups.

Cool dip and chill, covered, at least 1 day and up to 1 week. Serve with Pita Chips or Fresh Veggies.

 

The Halton Fresh Food Box is a not for profit corporation which works to provide equitable  access to healthy, predominately  locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetables for the residents of  Halton region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School Box

September is here again and the weather isn’t letting us forget that Autumn is quickly on its way. September and October are some of the best months of the year for quality food in our boxes with so many fantastic Ontario grown products. September also brings our order numbers back up after our usual summer dip from customers growing their own and farmers markets in full swing.

Your Burlington box this week:

We have four items this week directly from farmers with Busy Liz grape tomatoes and onions, Fisher Farms pears and Tigchelaar apples.

In your $10 bag we have included:  Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Romaine Lettuce, Busy Liz Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Busy Liz Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Corn, Ontario Carrots, Tigchelaar Ontario Apples, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Eggplant, and Ontario Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Romaine Lettuce, Busy Liz Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Busy Liz Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Corn, Ontario Carrots, Tigchelaar Ontario Apples, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Eggplant, Ontario Broccoli as well as Ontario Cabbage

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Romaine Lettuce, Busy Liz Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Busy Liz Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Corn, Ontario Carrots, Tigchelaar Ontario Apples, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Eggplant, Ontario Broccoli as well as Ontario Cantaloupe and Ontario Pepper Squash

Red Pepper Jelly

Ingredients
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped, seeded red bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼-1/2 tsp crushed chile flakes
  • 2 pouches (each 3oz/85 mL) liquid pectin
Instructions
  1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids:
  2. Place 12 4-oz jars in large canning pot or Dutch oven (ideally on a rack for easy removal). Add enough water to fill jars to the top and just cover them with water. Bring water to a low simmer (do not boil).
  3. In separate sauce pan, cover lids with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep lids hot until you need them, then remove with tongs. Wash screw bands with soap and water and rinse thoroughly – do not heat them, you want to be able to handle them.
  4. In blender or food processor, purée peppers and 1 cup vinegar until smooth.
  5. In large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine pepper puree, remaining 1 cup vinegar, sugar, and crushed chiles. Bring to a boil over high heat (it will bubble up significantly – use your largest saucepan!) Boil, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Stir in pectin and boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off any thick foam.
  6. Quick pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼” headspace. Wipe rims of jars to ensure they are clean. Center lid on jar and screw band on until fingertip tight (don’t over-tighten).
  7. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil, put lid on canner, and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid and turn off heat. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, keeping them as straight as possible, to a flat surface where they can sit for 24 hours. Don’t dry them at this point, any water on the tops will evaporate on its own.
  8. After 24 hours, check all lids for seal – you should hear them popping quite quickly as they seal, and the lids should not flex when pushed after 24 hours. If any have not sealed, store in the fridge and use within a month. Canned jars are best used within a year.

 

 

Rain!

Rain For Ontario Crops

We finally some much needed rain for our Ontario crops this week after one of the driest summers that Ontario has ever seen. Many farmers have been running their irrigation systems nearly every day this summer often needing to have them on for 10-12 hours per day. We are extremely lucky to have modern irrigation systems as past generations would have faced massive loss of crops that we were able to avoid this year. While there is often seasonal changes for various reasons another summer like this one next year would push our crops and systems to the brink. Farmers now hope for some heavy rain in the fall season to make up for the dry season.

Food Waste

Droughts and crop issues only help to highlight on of the most problematic aspects of the Canadian food system, food waste. Approximately $30,000,000,000.00 (Yes, 30 Billion, that isn’t a typo) in food ends up in landfills every year in Canada, a massive problem that extends through every aspect of a broken system. There are terrific organizations that have existed for years across Canada and here in Halton that try and tackle this issue, trying to solve issues of food security at the same time.

Food For Life is a fantastic organization that saves thousands of pounds of food from ending up wasted and redirects it back into the community. http://www.foodforlife.ca/whoweare.php

In a newer development a brilliant new company in Toronto have also created an app called flashfood that can truly help to make a difference in the food waste issue while also offering affordable food to those who could use it most. By allowing restaurants and grocery stores to post food near its ideal shelf life at strongly reduced prices they keep good food out of landfills and help some pocketbooks at the same time. While the app is currently running in Toronto alone it’s only a matter of time before we see options like this in Halton Region and beyond, and along with many other exciting initiatives we can hope to take a massive chunk out of that 30 Billion.

Your Burlington box this week:

In your $10 bag we have included:  Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Green Leaf Lettuce, Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Ontario Zucchini, Ontario Corn, Ontario Carrots, Ontario Celery, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Green Onion, and Ontario Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Green Leaf Lettuce, Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Ontario Zucchini, Ontario Corn, Ontario Carrots, Ontario Celery, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Green Onion,  Ontario Broccoli as well as Ontario Cauliflower

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Green Leaf Lettuce, Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Ontario Zucchini, Ontario Corn, Ontario Carrots, Ontario Celery, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Green Onion, Ontario Broccoli, Ontario Cauliflower as well as Ontario Cantaloupe and Ontario Field Eggplant

Baked Eggplant

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Prepare a baking dish with non-stick play.
  2. Arrange eggplant and tomato slices into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables; season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the entire mixture.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Switch oven broiler to high; continue baking until completely browned, about 5 minutes.

Eggplant

 

Ontario Corn!

Ontario Corn has arrived and will be making its first appearance in our Oakville Fresh Food Box this week. Ontario field veg is coming in at full force now and with lowering prices and a greater quantity of produce we will be able to increase the quantity and variety over the coming months.

No Way Out

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We are still in great need of some driver help for our upcoming Tuesday pack at Kerr St Ministries. We are looking for a driver for both our morning and afternoon runs in Oakville.

Driver– Helps deliver food boxes to drop sites across the city, loading and unloading boxes with help from a drivers assistant. Boxes range between 15-35 pounds and requires strength and range of movement.

Second Tuesday of the month in Oakville leaving from Kerr Street Ministries. Morning deliveries running from 11:00 AM- 1:00PM and afternoon from 1:00PM-3:00PM.
If you or anyone you know is interested please reach out to manager@haltonfreshfoodbox.com for more info!
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In your $10 bag we have included:  Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Green Leaf Lettuce, Busy Liz Cherry Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Ontario Zucchini, Ontario Corn, Ontario Turnips, Ontario Celery, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Green Onion, and Ontario Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Green Leaf Lettuce, Busy Liz Cherry Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Ontario Zucchini, Ontario Corn, Ontario Turnips, Ontario Celery, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Green Onion,  Ontario Broccoli as well as Ontario Cauliflower

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Fisher Farms Ontario Pears, Ontario Peaches, Ontario Green Leaf Lettuce, Busy Liz Cherry Tomatoes, Ontario New Potatoes, Ontario Zucchini, Ontario Corn, Ontario Turnips, Ontario Celery, Ontario English Cucumber, Ontario Field Pepper, Ontario Green Onion, Ontario Broccoli, Ontario Cauliflower as well as Ontario Cantaloupe and Ontario Field Eggplant

 

Ontario Veg Nachos

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix 1/2 shredded Cheese, mayonnaise, 1/2 the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cooked corn kernals, 1/2 chopped green onions, chopped peppers, and garlic powder together in a bowl.
  3. Spread tortilla chips into the prepared pan; top with cheese-tomato mixture. Sprinkle remaining Cheddar cheese on top.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling and browned, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle nachos with remaining cherry tomatoes and green onions.