Delightfully Healthy! Sweet & Spicy!

Tasting Friday, 2/24, 4:30 -6:30pm

Mangos

Mangos have been around for ages and were first cultivated in India several centuries ago. Interestingly enough, this oval-shaped fruit belongs to the same family of plants as pistachios and cashews! Pistachios and cashews also stem from fruit-bearing trees that can grow up to 100-feet in the tropics.

This juicy fruit is loaded with antioxidants and are packed to the brim with over 20 different vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and copper. All of these nutrients play a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Mangos also contain flavonoids like betacarotene, alphacarotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin which help out our special friend, vitamin A, in maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes. Giving us 12% of our daily value of dietary fiber from one cup of mango, mangos surely keep us in check with our colon health!

A quick guide to checking the ripeness of mangos includes gently pushing your thumb against the skin. If it’s squishy, it’s too ripe. If it’s too hard it’s not quite there. It’s a green flag when it gives slightly to pressure.

Besides being delicious mangos serve great versatility in the kitchen! Mangos can be used in dishes like salsas, kabobs, sorbets, and desserts! You’ll find a sweet vegan and lactose-free mango dessert tart below—a perfect end to any dinner!

Spice Lettuce Mix

Mustard greens? Cressida lettuce? Arugula ? Often dismissed as “too bitter” or made into a monotonous side dish, these versatile greens deserve more time in the spotlight! They can easily be combined and transformed to create a delicious entrée, condiment or side, not to mention they pack a nutritional punch. Kale may have stolen the superfood spotlight lately, but this spicy mixed green combination is pretty super too! Just the mustard greens alone contain a sizeable amount of iron, massive doses of vitamin K and lots of antioxidants.

One of the most commonly deficient minerals in the American population, iron is needed for the oxygenation of red blood cells which helps fight off fatigue. Looking to wean off that coffee? Iron is your friend! This amazing mineral also helps the body extract energy from the foods we eat by acting as a co-factor in many metabolic reactions. Right about now you may be thinking, “but I eat steak”, so I’m already getting enough iron from red meat! Well, consuming at least half of your required daily value of iron from plant sources will result in the consumption of less saturated fat and therefore help to prevent the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease! Not to mention it also puts less strain on the environment as plants consume far less resources than cattle do. So switching up your diet a few days a week and munching on some dark leafy greens is a win-win for everyone!

Isorhamnetin is quite a mouthful to say, but this tongue twister of a word is actually a phytochemical found in astringent greens, mainly mustard greens, which acts as an antioxidant and helps to reduce free radical damage and prevent inflammation within the body . In a recent study, isorhamnetin was actually shown to decrease the risks of developing both cancer and heart disease! These leafy green marvels also contain vitamin K, an important component in bodily blood regulation and is essential in the body’s blood clotting and bone formation mechanisms.

Another cool thing about this spicy greens mix? It was sustainably grown and harvested right here in New England at Lēf Farms!

With their peppery and unique flavor, spicy greens add some zing to traditional pesto when used to replace basil. This gluten free and vegan recipe features both spicy greens and Brussels sprouts, vegetables that are often underestimated! Hearty potatoes and Brussels sprouts roasted to perfection are tossed with this unique pesto and topped with fresh apples to add some crunchy sweetness to the mix. This tantalizing combination of tangy and sweet flavors is perfect for heating up your insides on a cold winter day!

RECIPES

Mango Coconut Tart

Ingredients

For the pecan-date crust:

1 ½ cups pitted dates, coarsely chopped and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes

1 ½ cups chopped pecans

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

Pinch of salt

For the filling:

1 (13.5 oz.) can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

1-3 tablespoons maple syrup, depending on your taste

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ripe mangos

Directions

  1. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Make the pecan-date crust first by placing all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the pecans and dates are finely chopped. Press the mixture very firmly into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove can of coconut milk from the refrigerator and flip it upside down (this will cause all the liquid to be at the top). Open the can, and pour the coconut water into a separate bowl (you can save this for smoothies!).
  4. You will be left with the coconut cream in the bottom of the can. Scoop this out and transfer to another large bowl. With a hand mixer or whisk, whip the coconut cream until fluffy. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whip again until combined. Place in the fridge until ready to assemble the tart.

To prepare the mango:

  1. Peel the mangos with a vegetable peeler or a knife. Hold the mango upright on the counter with your fingertips. Position your knife to one side of the center stem and slice straight down, cutting as closely as possible to the seed. Turn the mango and slice off the other “cheek.” You will have two big pieces of mango and the flat seed.
  2. Slice the mango cheeks lengthwise into very thin strips.

To assemble:

  1. Remove the whipped coconut cream from the fridge. Spread it in an even layer over the crust.
  1. Starting with the longest strips of mango, place the slices around the edge of the tart. Repeat, working your way in, slightly overlapping the rows. When you reach the center of the tart, roll one mango slice into a curl and place in the center. Keep refrigerated until serving, and enjoy!

Adapted from: ohmyveggies.com/no-bake-vegan-pumpkin-cheesecake-with-pecan-date-crust and bakerita.com/mango-tart/

 

Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Green Pesto

Ingredients

½ pound potatoes (any small potato will work)

½ pound Brussels Sprouts

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper

½ cup chopped roasted pecans

¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds

6 cloves garlic

3 – 4 oz Lēf Farms Spicy Mix

½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt

1½ cups extra virgin olive oil

1 cup freshly chopped apple (or any other fruit)

Directions

  1. Place pecans, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and garlic into a food processor, pulse until combined.
  2. Toss in spicy greens and sea salt and pulse for a few seconds.
  3. Turn the food processor on and slowly drizzle in the olive until it forms a smooth and uniform paste (thus creating your pesto).
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F and cut potatoes and Brussels sprouts into bite size pieces.
  5. Toss vegetables in 1-2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange on a pan lined with tin foil, roast for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Take vegetables out of the oven and toss with the pesto until coated.
  8. Serve with fresh apple on top.

Recipe adapted from: nourishedkitchen.com/spicy-mustard-green-pesto and http://www.thekitchn.com/summer-recipe-roasted-fingerling-potatoes-with-pea-shoots-pesto-and-hazelnuts-171872

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