Is there anything so satisfying as the first bite of a fall apple? One crunch and you know summer if officially over, but that apple is going to be your sweet companion through the long winter months, so you resign yourself just a bit…
Late September is truly the apex of the harvest season – a time when many summer crops are still available (hello, everbearing strawberries), but the goodness of fall is rolling in with all the gorgeous squash, grapes, and crisp apples appearing at the markets. We’ll be celebrating the bounty at our annual Fall Fair, which takes place this Sunday, October 1st at Mt. Pleasant Market.
How about them apples: Looking for heirloom apple varieties? VFM farms such as Klippers Organics, Harvey’s Orchards, and Stein Mt. Farm pride themselves on their selection, which include (but aren’t limited to) Ambrosia, Aurora Golden Gala, Belle de Boskoop, Black Oxford, Braeburn, Bramley, Early Gold, Gala, Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, Granny, Honey Crisp, Macintosh, Mutsu, Newtown Pippin, Orange Cox Pippin, Pink Lady, Red Delicious, Spartan, Sunrise, Winter Banana, and no less than six varieties of Russets!
Baking 101: Most apples are great for eating straight off the tree, but some are ideally suited for baking. While the sour and flavourful Granny Smith tops most lists, some cooks covet the Braeburn for its tart sweetness, or the Honey Crisp for its unbelievable crunch and structure that holds up well in pies and tarte tatins.
This week’s In Season Recipe comes from local food educator and self-described kitchen ninja Krista Ettles, whose Instagram feed @realfoodrealsimple abounds with beautiful pics of market-sourced meals. She suggests Granny Smith or Golden Delcious apples for her Apple Almond Cake, but we’ll let you decide…
Apple Almond Cake
1/4 cup butter
2 cups apples, sliced into 1/2 inch 4 medium sized (granny smith or golden delicious)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place butter in a 9-inch round cake pan. Place pan in oven for 5 minutes or until butter melts. Remove pan from oven. You can also use a cast iron pan and heat on the stove until the butter is melted. Arrange apples over almonds in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the sugar and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, stir together almond flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar, almond extract and vanilla with an electric mixer on high for 2 minutes or until light and thickened. Stir in flour mixture. Spoon batter over fruit mixture in pan, spreading evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan. Invert onto a serving plate, replacing any apples that stay in pan.
Serve warm or cool.
Nada Grocery have a mission to bring 100% package-free recycling to the people of Vancouver. They pop-up at events and businesses around town, bringing their mobile grocery markets to shoppers who are looking to reduce food and packaging waste.
In anticipation of opening their first retail store at 675. East Broadway in early 2018, Nada was recently onsite at our Mt. Pleasant Market to share some useful recycling tips with market shoppers. If you missed them, check out their 5Rs of Market Shopping:
Refuse packaging you don’t need. Most farmers are happy to sell their product with little or no packaging, as that is one less cost they have to take on. Simply bring your own cloth bag (those mesh laundry bags work great for this!) and ask to have your produce put there instead of in plastic bags.
Reduce packaging you can’t refuse. Of course not all products will be available package-free all the time (think cheeses, eggs, and those lovely seasonal preserves that are popping up all over the place). When you’re looking for these items, choose the ones with the least packaging, and consider how the packaging might be reused, recycled, or composted down the line…
Reuse what you can. One of our favourite zero waste discoveries was when we realized we could give back packaging to our friends at the farmers market! Many stands are happy to reuse empty egg cartons, berry containers, elastics and twist-ties! You can either return it right at the source (for example by emptying berries into your own bag and giving the berry carton back), or take it home with you and bring it back next week for reuse. Products like pickles or jams are often sold in glass jars, a zero-waster’s best friend. Reuse these for storage of dry goods, as drink containers, or to freeze batches of soup
Recycle what’s left. Once you’ve followed the tips above, there shouldn’t be too much left to recycle. If you think your packaging can be given another useful life, try to do so, or send a message to the Zero Waste Vancouver Facebook group to see if anyone will take it off your hands. Once your options are exhausted, make sure it goes in your recycling container rather than the trash can!
Rot (compost) everything else. We always say that the best packaging of all is nature’s packaging. Egg shells, cherry stems and pits, avocado skins… once these have done their job keeping your product nice and fresh, send ‘em over to the compost, where they can nurture the next generations of fruit and veg.
We’re thrilled to announce that SFU City Conversations will visit Downtown Farmers Market on Thursday, September 21st! This special edition of City Conversations takes place at 12:30 PM as part of SFU Market Day, an event to convene SFU students, staff, and the broader downtown community around a celebration of local food.
Locally grown and produced food is fresher, often better tasting, and sometimes even more nutritious than produce that has been shipped from around the world. But what does it take to get this fresh local produce, meat and seafood to your table? Want to grow your own food but aren’t sure how to begin? Wondering if our exceptional agricultural land is being used to its full potential? Interested in how Vancouver is protecting itself from international food disruption and increasing food prices?
Joining us for the conversation is Richmond Councillor Harold Steves, co-founder of the Agricultural Land Reserve; and Lisa Giroday, co-founder of Victory Gardens. They will help us frame the issues, and then it’s time for you to ask your questions, express your opinions, make your observations. It’s a conversation!
City Conversations runs from 12:30 to 1:30, but we recommend showing up early to take in all the market has to offer and guarantee yourself a seat.
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
Sweet Pepper + Cherry Tomato Panzanella
By: Danica Studio
3 sweet peppers
Red wine vinegar
2 –4 slices bread (depending on size)
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup small mozzarella balls (or quartered medium mozzarella balls)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Handful torn basil
Salt & pepper
- To toast the bread, drizzle olive oil onto the bread slices and place in the oven to toast.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and drizzle with some olive oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
- Slice the peppers into 1-inch pieces and sauté in a pan with olive oil until softened. Drizzle with red wine vinegar when done.
- Toss all of the salad components together and let sit for 10 minutes before serving so the bread can absorbed some of the juices. Add a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.