Almond Zucchini Breakfast Muffins



2 Cups Sonrisa Farm stone ground whole wheat flour

1 Cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1  cup organic raw sugar

2 Cups ground almonds or almond flour

1 Cup sliced almonds (optional)

3-4 cups grated summer squash like zucchini, zephyr, or pattypan squash

4 eggs

1/2 cup pure maple syrup or local raw honey

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk

1 Tbs pure almond extract



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, maple syrup, apple sauce, and almond milk.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Add the grated zucchini and stir until fairly even-textured.  Add the almond extract and stir to combine.

Line muffin tin with parchment muffin liners, or coat with oil or cooking spray.  Fill muffin tin with batter.  Bake for 25 minutes for mini muffins, or 30-40 minutes for large muffins. They are fully cooked when a toothpick or bamboo skewer comes out clean.  Let cool on a cooling rack before serving.  Cool completely before freezing.

Makes about 5 dozen mini muffins, or 30 large muffins.


Fire Roasted Peppers


Roasted sweet peppers are a commonly found for sale in jars or cans for about $6/16oz.  Organic roasted peppers can be even more expensive.  Making your own fire-roasted peppers, however, is exceedingly easy and inexpensive.  Preserving is easy by canning them in jars with water and citric acid, or just pack them in freezer-proof containers and freeze portions for the winter. I used a hot barbecue grill for this recipe, but you can hold them over an open flame on your gas range, or on a baking sheet under a broiler.  The main point is to use high heat to blacken and blister the skins of the peppers.  This flavors the meat of the peppers, while also allowing the skins to separate easily for removal.

Here's how:

Heat grill to a high heat (about 550 degrees) Place red, yellow, or orange sweet peppers on the grill, turning to blacken all sides.


Remove from heat and immediately place the peppers in a plastic or paper bag. Alternately you can put them in a bowl with a lid.  Allow the peppers to steam for a few minutes, or until they are cool enough to handle.


When the peppers are cool enough to handle, gently rub the skins away from the peppers and discard.  Remove seeds and stems as desired.  Use in recipes, or freeze.  Let cool completely before freezing.


How to Freeze Greens


With a box as full of broad leafy greens as we had this week, it's worth posting a basic how-to on freezing.  If you have ever bought a bag of frozen spinach or kale from the grocery store, you will know that frozen is not quite as nice as fresh.  But for soups, smoothies, or quick meals, having a stash of frozen kale is a real time-saver.  If you are struggling to eat all of your greens before the next box arrives, try this quick method of blanching and freezing to preserve your extras:


Fill a large soup or stock pot 2/3 full of water, and boil.  You can add salt to the water, but it's not absolutely necessary. Wash greens and cut or peel away the woody stems.  With a wooden spoon, push the greens into the boiling water and boil them for about 30 seconds.  Remove from the boiling water and place them in a colander under cold running water, or in a bowl of ice water until the greens are cold to touch.

Squeeze the excess water from the greens and place them loosely in a freezer-proof bag or container.  Separating the leaves somewhat and packing them loosely will allow you to take frozen portions from the container more easily.

Blanching and freezing is great for many vegetables, but this method is great for kale, collards, chard, and greens from beets, kohlrabi, and turnips.

Kale Smoothie Popsicles


Yes, popsicles are for kids in the summertime...but you might want to make a few extra of these for yourself.  They make a fantastic cool treat for snacks, dessert, or even a light lunch.  It's a tasty way to enjoy those luscious greens that are filling the CSA boxes this time of year!


About 6-10 dinosaur kale leaves (as a bonus, the kids love them even more because they are called "dinosaur")

1 cup of frozen blueberries

1 very ripe banana, frozen

1/2 cup raw almonds (or almond butter)

2-3 cups milk, or milk alternative like soy, almond or coconut

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of kosher salt

Local raw honey, to taste

Blueberry kale popsicle


Place all ingredients in a blender (I prefer to use a Vitamix for smoothies), and puree on high until very smooth. Adjust ingredients to taste.  Pour the smoothie into popsicle molds (available online and in many local shops). Freeze for 12-24 hours.

Preparation Tips

Fruits: You can adjust the fruit in this recipe to suit your taste, but blueberries are my first choice because they don't have coarse seeds and the smoothie won't turn brown when mixed with greens. Of course brown is not necessarily can always add some cocoa powder and give it a chocolaty taste.  Also, bananas are fairly essential for sweetness and texture, but hey it's a smoothie, make it the way you like it. You can also make layered popsicles with different flavor combinations.  Recently we tried a red-white-and blue popsicle made with the following layers: strawberry coconut, peanut butter banana, and blueberry kale. The kids keep begging for more.

Flavor & Texture: Nuts are also optional, but they add protein, as well as richness to the flavor and texture.  If you don't use nuts, add a little oil, coconut milk (unsweetened cold-pressed in a can), or cream to the mixture to balance the bitterness in the greens.  The salt, lemon juice and oils or nuts are all important ingredients to get the right balance of flavor, and counteract any bitterness from the greens.

Fresh v/s Frozen: You can use fresh fruit that has not been frozen, but the texture is more like ice cream when you start with frozen berries and bananas.  If you want a real time-saver, blanch your greens and freeze them as well.  Alternatively, you could puree them in a blender, then freeze portions in an ice-cube tray.  You can pop out portions as you need them for smoothies.

The Blender: A high powered blender like Vitamix is my first choice for making smoothies.  There are many blender gadgets available, even specifically designed for smoothies.  To get a truly smooth texture from high-fiber foods like greens and nuts, it's best to have a blender that can keep up with the demand.  You can still make smoothies in standard kitchen blenders, but it may take longer, or the texture may be less uniform and smooth.



Indian Summer Stew With White Beans, Chicken & Kale

For most chicken soups, I prefer to make them the day after I have made a whole roast chicken.  I use the bones to make homemade broth, and the leftover meat goes in the soup.  If I have any leftover gravy it goes in the soup as well.  No-waste cooking is great for the budget, and in this case, is the secret to getting the most flavor into  your bowl.  If you want to make a vegetarian version, or have not roasted a chicken lately, just remember to start with a good quality stock and make sure to roast the vegetables long enough to bring out the rich caramelized sugars.  When using homemade stock or gravy in this soup, remember to skim the fats from the broth or drippings as much as possible in order to keep the soup from being too heavy.

Ingredients: 4 small kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 medium sweet peppers, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces 2 carrots, trimmed and coarsely chopped Canola oil

3 stalks of celery, chopped 1 yellow onion, diced 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

1- inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 1 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/8 tsp white pepper

8-10 cups of chicken broth or stock 2 bay leaves

5 curly kale, kohlrabi, or collard leaves, (stems removed) washed and chopped About 2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped 1 lb white navy beans (dry), soaked, cooked until tender and drained Sea salt and black pepper Juice from 1 lemon Diced fresh tomato and hot sauce for garnish (optional)

Method: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the chopped kohlrabi, sweet peppers and carrots in a baking dish.  Toss with a little oil and season with sea salt.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to brown on the tips.  While the vegetables are baking, saute the chopped celery, onion and garlic with a little oil in a large stock pot.  When they are tender, add the paprika, cumin, white pepper, 6 cups of broth, roasted kohlrabi, sweet peppers and carrots.  Stir to combine, then remove from heat.  Puree with an immersion blender.  Add the bay leaves and lemon juice.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the chopped greens, beans and chicken.  Simmer until the greens are tender.  Serve with ripe diced tomatoes and your favorite hot sauce.