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February's product of the month - Cabbage

February’s product of the month is the cabbage, (I couldn’t find anything seasonally that we could like to Valentines Day, so cabbage it had to be) There are 3 main cabbage types, green, red and Savoy with lots of different varieties falling under those three headings. Cabbages are part of the cruciferous family (cauliflower and sprouts etc). You maybe surprised to know that the cabbage is the 2nd most consumed vegetable in the world, with potatoes knocking it off the number one spot. The cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C (ideal for this time of year with flu and colds doing the rounds) it is also high in fiber and low in calories on average one cup of cabbage has 25 calories (hence the cabbage soup diet). To reap the full benefit of the cabbage, experts recommend steaming, stir frying or eating it raw, as the best cooking methods.

It is thought that cabbages first derived from the wild leafy mustard plant mainly found in the Mediterranean region.  The cabbage season is mainly all year round, but for the best tasting cabbages they should be consumed late autumn early winter.

There are many stories of cabbage uses through out time…yes that’s right they have other properties other than keeping the hunger at bay.

The Romans/Greeks placed great importance on the cabbage for curing and disease or illness. Egyptian Pharaohs used to consume cabbage before a heavy night out on the alcohol, as they believed it allowed them to drink more, cabbage is still used to day as a cure for a hangover, not sure about this myself, but if there is anyone brave enough after a Friday night then let us know how it turns out.

Cabbages and cabbage patches have been used for generation to explain away the age old question ‘were do babies come from’ as mothers used to tell children they came from the cabbage patch.

Dutch sailor men used to eat fermented cabbage (saverbrout) as a way of preventing scurvy on long trips across the seas.

So help fight off these February colds, by checking out the Green Valley Grocer's selection of cabbages.

 

 

 

 

January's Product of the Month-Cauliflowers

The Cauliflower is one of many in the brassica oleracea species, the name cauliflower comes from the Latin words caulis meaning stalk and floris meaning flower. The cauliflower is an annual plant, which reproduces by seed. It has been well publicized recently that the price of cauliflowers may rise dramatically because of the harsh temperatures we have experienced this winter, and many fields of cauliflowers have been lost.

Cauliflowers are low in fat, high in fiber, water and vitamin C, they can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed or eaten raw, and they can be used instead of meatballs in a vegetarian pasta dish or as dips at a party.

Cauliflowers that are cooked in aluminium or iron pot will have a tendency to turn yellow as the cauliflower reacts with the compounds whereas in an iron pot the cauliflower is likely to turn a brown/blue-green colour. A top tip for if your cauliflower turns yellow while cooking add a teaspoon of either milk or lemon juice.

The cauliflower and broccoli are grown exactly the same way the only difference is why one turns green and one stays white so do you know why cauliflowers are white? While the plant is growing the head of the plant gets surrounded by heavy green leafs which shield it from sunlight. With out this exposure to the sunlight, photosynthesis can not take place, and therefore the plants production of chlorophyll can’t take place.

Cauliflowers can keep for up to a week in the fridge but make sure that the head is stem side up to stop the collection of moisture. For best taste it should be eaten as soon as possible. 

 

Meeting our producers

Peter Sargent

A big thank you to grower Peter Sargent (pictured), beekeeper Yvonne Kilvington and Rackel Liles of Longley Farm for hosting our first meet the producer event last Thursday at the Green Valley Grocer.

Lots of fun was had by all, as adults and children alike enjoyed asking questions and tasting the producers' delicious, locally made food.

This week we have two more meet the producer events at the Green Valley Grocer:

Wednesday September 5, 2-5pm, with Mike Shaw, producer of Scape Honey and Carl Warburton, who makes Pextenement Cheese in Todmorden

and,

Thursday September 6, 2-7pm, with Michael Blake, who grows on a Slaithwaite allotment, Matt Betts of the Handmade Bakery, Slaithwaite, and Rob North of Pure North Cider Press, Holmfirth

Please do come along, have a taste and find out more about the great local products available in the shop.

Spoon to be held...

Thank you to Alan Scully of Birch Forest Schools, who led the recent wild food walk for the Green Valley Grocer.

He is taking bookings for a spoon carving course, which will be held in Slaithwaite on September 23.

Please take a look at his flyer....

Spoon to be held...

Thank you to Alan Scully of Birch Forest Schools, who led the recent wild food walk for the Green Valley Grocer.

He is taking bookings for a spoon carving course, which will be held in Slaithwaite on September 23.

Please take a look at his flyer....

Product of the month - strawberries

Strawberries and cream or ice cream. Oh yes.

Strawberry cheesecake. Mmmmmmmm.

Strawberry crumble. Amazing.

But why not try something different with our prettiest fruit?

How about strawberry and spinach salad. It's easy. Just combine 500g spinach with 1 large punnet of strawberries, sliced finely, and a handful of toasted pecan nuts.

And dress with raspberry vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon of mustard powder, vegetable oil of your choice and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds. Season to taste (you don't really need any with this salad, bt it's up to you).

It may sound like an odd combination but it's addictive.

And for the grown ups, it's strawberry daquiri time!

Blend 4 ripe strawberries with 2 teaspoons of white sugar, 35ml of white rum, a teaspoon of strawberry liqueur or strawberry schnapps if you have it, the juice of a lime and an ice cube. When the mixture is well blended pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with half a strawberry.
Chin chin!

Growers and preservers, we want you!

Would you like to grow or make preserves for the Green Valley Grocer? If so we'd like to hear from you.

We're looking for new suppliers who grow or produce in the Colne Valley, or anywhere within 30 miles of the shop.

If you're interested, take a look at these advice leaflets, which are designed to answer frequently asked questions. To view them just click on the attachments below. If you're having trouble viewing them simply ask a member of staff for a copy in the shop on Carr Lane, Slaithwaite.

Tax advice for suppliers is also available from the shop or on this website (in the 'growers' section).

After you've read the leaflet and had a think, let us know that you're interested and we'll talk to you in more detail about your produce and how and when we'll buy it.

If you have any questions please ask shop manager Carol or local food co-ordinator Marie-Claire Kidd and we will do our best to advise you.

(If you'd like to come to the shop for a chat about local food Thursday afternoons between 1pm and 6.30pm are best - that's when Marie-Claire is working).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Product of the month - peas

Now is the time to buy the first of the season English peas, in the pod. The earlier in the season you get them, the more delicious, and expensive, they are, but they are worth it

They are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin and Manganese.

Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a pea flower. However, they are considered to be a vegetable in cooking.

They are delicious raw. They're a great treat for children instead of sweets, and much more fun!

They make a lovely salad. Try a simple garden pea salad, made with raw or cooked peas and a dressing of your choice - olive oil-based or creamy. Add boiled eggs, spring onions and, if you like, cheese. Reccommended is a fresh mix of peas, feta and mint with good olive oil, generously seasoned with salt and pepper, wiht just a splash of lemon or white wine vinegar.

Raw peas make a great hummus-style dip. Blend them with garlic, oilive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, to create a great dip or sauce.

Boiled or steamed they're a great accompaniment to any meal, but there's no reason they shouldn't be the star of the show.

Try this recipe for pea soup, from the Yes Peas website. You won't regret it:

30g butter

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 small leek, white only part, washed and chopped

1 stick celery, finely chopped

1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock

150ml double cream

Sea salt and black pepper

750g peas

1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped

Melt the butter in a large heavy based saucepan; add the onion, leek and celery and cook gently until the onion is soft, season with sea salt and black pepper. Stir in the stock and cream. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 - 8 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Add the peas and thyme and bring to the boil and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the peas are just tender. Do not overcook the peas. Remove from the heat and blend the soup until smooth, season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

New products, from down the road

We've expanded the shop, and we're still expanding our range to fill it!

The Green Valley Grocer is home to several new-to-us products, including authentic spice mixes from Linthwaite, handmade toiletries from Golcar and rapeseed oil from North Yorkshire.

We also have a new range of preserves from Lily Pickles of Holmfirth. Her top sellers include hot'n'smokey chilli jam, rhubarb and orange chutney, caramelised red onion and cranberry marmalade and pear and walnut chutney.

The spice mixes come from The Spice is Right, a small manufacturer based at Colne Valley Business Park, Linthwaite. The team there mix restaurant style curry spices into handy sized packs and.... this the best bit... there's a really easy to follow recipe on the back of each pack. Mixes include tikka masala, balti, vindaloo, dopiaza and bhuna. There are also dhal and bhaji mixes for simple side dishes.

We have expanded our range of Lily Bee products to include lots of different soaps, with delicious fragrances like rosemary and spearmint, lemongrass, olive, and chamomile and neroli. And we're still stocking her fantastic honey balms and creams. Look out for the new display next to the till.

Another new addition is Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil from Malton, North Yorkshire. As well as the original oil, which is great for both cooking and salads, we're selling their flavoured oils, mayonnaise and garlic mayonnaise. For a limited time only, 500ml original cold pressed rapeseed oil is £2.99 at the GVG.

As you may know, our aim is to make sure half of our stock is sourced locally - from within 30 miles of the shop - by 2015. Please help us reach this target by looking out for local products when you shop at the GVG.

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