Wednesday, June 9, 2010

on the grid

one of the nicest things about summer is surely all the deliciously fresh produce in abundance almost everywhere. last summer, i got really into farmers markets, and this year, i'm looking forward to the same, starting with today on my lunch break! i'll report any interesting finds in the next couple of days.

in addition to farmers markets, whole foods is my favorite source for retail produce because it's all so beautifully selected and displayed. plus, i really love shopping in a store where so much attention is paid to health and wellness. i just feel better shopping there. can you relate?

my favorite development at whole foods (or whole paycheck as i've heard it called) is the display of the ANDI score on all the produce signs, part of whole foods' "health starts here" initiative. ANDI stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, and the score is determined by evaluating a range of micronutrients including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities. the higher the concentration of these elements per calorie, the higher the score.

i love it that they display this because it makes it easy to make educated choices about something that so many of us find important. i mean really, it could be a full time job to keep updated on all the nutritional research out there, so i love that whole foods gives you clear, valuable information at a key moment - when you're making your selections.

of course, pretty much any fruit or vegetable we're buying is generally a healthy choice, but i think it's great to know that strawberries rate a 212, while peaches only score a 73. although they're both quite healthy, if i don't feel a strong preference that day, the ANDI score would guide my choice.

you can bet i'm printing out this little grid and putting it in my wallet. first stop - farmers market! for a listing of farmers markets in your area, check out local harvest.

update: thanks to a honey living reader, i'm pleased to share a recipe for kale chips, an amazingly tasty way to eat the highest rated food on the ANDI scale! bon appetit!

rebecca's kale chips
-roughly cut 1 BUNCH CURLY KALE (with thick stems removed) into 2-3" strips and place on large cookie sheet (use parchment paper to avoid having to clean the sheet!)
-drizzle about 2 TBSP EVOO and SALT AND PEPPER to taste on the pile of kale, tossing to coat
-roast at 375-400 for about 13 minutes, checking once after about 8 minutes to make sure they're not burning and are roasting evenly
-enjoy, and definitely make more than one bunch if you plan on serving it to more than a couple people!

some honey living farmers market posts you might have missed:
local harvest
good and green

andi grid from fooducate


Rebecca said...

I've been going to the Dag Hammarsjkold (sp?) farmer's market because of your recommendation, Carla, and because I live just 2 blocks away. I resumed my visits to the farmers market about a month ago, and i've tried to make an effort to go every Wednesday morning before work, and I'm really enjoying it. The asparagus, kale, strawberries, rhubarb, sugar snaps, etc. have all been fabulous. And I'm cooking a lot more now too. I made a really delicious strawberry rhubarb cobbler a couple of weeks ago, and I've been making kale chips (addictive, super healthy potato chip alternative) weekly. Next week, I'd like to try some of the fish from the Montauk fish vendor - their stuff looks so beautiful and is as fresh as you can get.

J.J. said...

God, Carla. I never knew about this index! Thank you for posting it. The most amazing thing for me is that the first five things are among the most abundant items from my CSA every year. This actually makes me more motivated to get the kale and collards into my kids. Which will never happen, but at least I know this now.

honey living said...

Rebecca - so glad you're enjoying that market - it's a great one. could you tell us how you make the kale chips?

JJ - do you ever do any of the jessica seinfeld-esque recipes of hiding veggies in tasty kids' food? Maybe Rebecca's kale chip recipe will be a hit in your house...

Rebecca said...

Here's how I make the kale chips - it's definitely not scientific:
1 bunch of kale, with the thick stems removed and the leaves torn into 2"-3" size pieces
EVOO - i just drizzle it over the whole pile of kale on a big cookie sheet - probably ends up being around 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste - i like a generous amount of both
Toss the kale around so that each piece is coated with evoo, s & p and roast in the oven(~375-400 degrees) for about 8 minutes, then check on them to make sure they aren't burning and to toss them a little to make sure that all of the leaves get access to the heat. Continue roasting for another 5 minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

I've tried these with curly kale (which i guess is the most common) and the red russian kale that i've seen at the farmers market. The curly kale definitely works better - i think it's a lot sturdier and holds up better to the heat, whereas the red russian kale was more delicate - almost like spinach - and wilted more than it crisped. The red russian variety would probably be good raw or sauteed instead.

Also, 1 bunch of kale doesn't go very far. The first time i made these, i didn't even get to serve them to my guests because Mike and I just ate them all off of the cookie sheet as we were preparing everything else. And for my husband to eat something this healthy, and to say that he would eat these rather than potato chips, they have to be good!

honey living said...

sounds great! i'm adding it to the post!

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