This week we proudly present Roni, our neighbor from Kfar Bin Nun, and her outstanding “Wooden Spoon Granola Bars.” Roni is a cook who makes “food with its two feet on the ground” – connected to earth, nutritious, delicious and healthy. She will be launching her first product with us! Excellent granola bars that you can nibble on when you skipped breakfast or when you feel like something sweet in the afternoon. You can send it to school with the kids and rest assured that you both will be happy with the product. They are yummy and filling, with a crunchy homemade flavor. Roni has written a few words of introduction. We are pleased to give her the floor:
I am Roni, and my love for cooking and food have been with me from a very young age. I grew up on a farm up north where fresh fruits and vegetables were never scarce, thus my cooking is based on the seasonal components around us – on trees, in the vegetable garden or in the field. After completing a degree in design and working as a fashion designer, I realized that I wanted to start out on my own in my favorite area – cooking.
Two years ago I started my own business, “The Wooden Spoon,” first with a food-related blog and then developing beyond. Over the past year I initiated and managed a community restaurant project in “Ma’ale Tzvia,” taught courses, and cooked to order.
I now live in Kfar Bin Nun with my partner Assaf, and we work and live in the food forest in Meshek Yechieli.
I cook tailor-made organic and vegan meals for special occasions of up to 50 people. In addition, I prepare home products by request: seasonal products, sourdough breads and natural granola.
You are welcome to find out more about my work on my Facebook page.
A few words about my Granola Bars: These are crunchy, thin granola snacks with refined sweetness, made from only natural components– homemade with lots of love. They can be eaten whole or crumbled easily into yogurt or milk. Wooden Spoon Granola contain oats, whole oatmeal, organic dates, coconut oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, organic date honey, golden flax, and cinnamon. It is available in 200 gr packages.
“Wooden Spoon” Granola can be ordered via our order system. Bon Appetite!
At the Meshek 42 goat farm (and olive grove), our wonderful partners from Tal Shachar, lots of good stuff is happening—whelping, calving and an abundance of excitement and new life. Puah has written some words accompanied by a heartwarming photo:
Dear Chubeza clients,
It’s whelping season here at “Meshek 42” (right after the olive harvest). The first group of mature goats began to give birth this past Thursday. The pen is filled with the high-pitched bleats of baby goats suckling their mama’s milk. These are beautiful days for us.
So we’re taking a little break… from Monday to next Wednesday (you can keep tabs via our order system) in order to make time for these pressing matters… The milk flow will be renewed soon and we will be able to fill your orders once again. In the meantime, we extend a sincere invitation to come share this exciting time with us. Give us a call at 054-7605196 (Puah) or check out our Facebook page for further details.
Till we meet, two of our own little “kids” and a brand new one in a photo taken recently:
The “Meshek 42” staff
Mysterious Secrets of the Underworld
Our field is almost entirely “wintery.” A tour of the beds reveals that over the past month, since the close of the New Year festivals, we also parted from most of the summer beds. The dried-up look of the beds at their finale made way for chocolaty, loose earth and rows of little sprouts or young plants beginning their new lives in the fields. But at the outskirts of the field, there is still a jungle-like area with tall, entangled plants in fading green. Their yellow flowers dried up and most of the leaves are already growing longer and browner. But underneath it all, there is a bustle of life thickening, filling out, ripening….
Over the past few weeks they have been accommodating your boxes, at least some of them. Meet the star of this week’s Newsletter, the incredible sunroot, aka Helianthus tuberosus or, better yet, by its very confusing moniker: the Jerusalem Artichoke. But first, a clarification: the sunroot does look like ginger, but it certainly is not ginger!
We waited for them over six months, till the bushes dried up and wilted. Only then could we chop them down and begin pulling out the secret treasures buried below – delectable, satiating bulbs that will upgrade every soup, quiche, antipasti or salad. And you don’t need a lot — they can be used just for seasoning. Here in Chubeza, sunroots are one of our younger products. After an experimental crop four years ago, we were pleased with the outcome. Actually, more than pleased. And ever since then, they have been steady autumn tenants.
This great photo from Gal’s blog, Ptitim:
In America, they’re commonly known as “sunchokes,” but actually the title “sunroot” is an accurate description, for the Jerusalem artichoke is in fact a species of sunflower which develops an edible root bulb. The origins of this delectable bulb are in the North American East Coast from Georgia to Nova Scotia, where it has been both growing wild and cultivated in Native American vegetable gardens for years on end. Here the bulb fully enjoys the American sunshine and rich, fertile earth, yielding farmers and gleaners its rich roots that abound with energy and sweetness.
The Europeans, who came to visit and stayed to conquer, tasted it and loved it. The first to describe the bulb was French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who noticed it in a Cape Cod vegetable garden in 1602. He sent some sunroots to France from where they meandered to England, Germany and Italy in the 17th century. The Italians termed it girasole, Italian for “sunflower.” Somehow the pronunciation was distorted to “Jerusalem,” and it stuck. The “artichoke” part came from the fact that it somewhat resembles the artichoke in taste.
Like any sunflower, it adores the sun and thrives during the summer. For Chubeza, this is the fourth summer we’ve watched its growth. I say “watch,” because from the moment we placed the bulbs in the earth until we plunged the pitchfork in to remove them, we really did not have much to do (aside from occasional weeding and watering). We were rather amazed at the beautiful strength of its growth, at its ability to joyfully grow wild and dare the weeds to even think of coming close. In our field, the Jerusalem artichoke is free from pests (moles and rats are their natural nemesis), which is why we could just step aside and simply watch it grow. Patiently.
Here it is going wild, blooming, growing. The Jerusalem artichoke in Chubeza:
And yes, it required much patience. The plant took its sweet time for at least seven months, growing, wilting and clandestinely swelling up its unique roots. In the middle of October when the foliage had dried up, we inserted the pitchfork to examine the situation, only to discover that we needed more patience. So we waited a bit longer, regularly sampling some to gobble up for lunch. Now, a month later, we are finally beginning to pull out all these yummy, distinctive bulbs. Welcome, gals!
Though it grows underground like the potato (even if it is more stubborn and recalcitrant than the latter) and has a similar caloric value, the Jerusalem artichoke is low in carbs. Instead of starch, it contains inulin, a fruit sucrose carbohydrate, soluble in water (which is how it stores its energy in the root bulb). Inulin aids in lowering blood sugar levels, making it recommended for diabetics (contrary to potatoes!). Inulin feeds the friendly microbes in the intestines and reduces the threat of a variety of diseases. On the other hand, it may cause gas, so if you’re first beginning to eat Jerusalem artichokes, start slowly to get the body accustomed. These bulbs are an excellent source of thiamine, iron, niacin, Vitamin B3 and potassium. Chinese medicine classifies the Jerusalem artichoke as a warming vegetable which strengthens the digestive system. A great winter vegetable!
If you wish, you may peel it. If you don’t like peeling the knobby bulbs, here are some tips from Phylis Glazer:
The Jerusalem artichoke turns black quickly after being peeled, so it is recommended to place it in a bowl filled with water and two tablespoons of lemon juice, or simply drop into milk and cook away. Soaking in water causes the vegetable to lose the B vitamins, which are soluble. Thus it’s best to peel them and give the artichokes a quick soak, or soak from time to time in a water and lemon juice solution while peeling. You can also scrub them well and cook them unpeeled (a young Jerusalem artichoke can be eaten with peeling) and then use the soaking water for soup or other type of dish. If the bumps make it hard to peel, steam the roots for several minutes to remove the peeling with ease.
Check our Recipe Corner for a variety of suggestions for cooking and serving the amazing sunroot, but feel free to add it to other familiar and favorite recipes in your own creative way. It really enhances the flavor in almost every dish. Bon appetite!
Wishing us all a quiet, peaceful and healthy week,
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?
Monday: Lettuce/bok choy, coriander/dill/parsley, potatoes/broccoli, daikon/turnips/ radishes, tomatoes, Swiss chard/muctard greens (Chinese cabbage), cucumbers, sweet potatoes, carrots. Small boxes only: Thai long beans/Jerusalem artichokes, celery. Special gift: mizuna/totsoi.
Large box, in addition: Eggplant/bell peppers, slice of pumpkin, leeks, arugula/mustard greens, fennel.
Wednesday: cucumbers, coriander/dill/parsley, slice of pumpkin, kale/Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach, tomatoes, daikon/turnips/ radishes, celery/leek, carrots/potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce/bok choy/tatsoi. Small boxes only: Jerusalem artichokes
Large box, in addition: broccoli/cabbage/Thai long beans, bell peppers, red beets, arugula/red mizuna.
And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products and goat dairy products too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. Our order system also features a detailed listing of the products and their cost. Make an order online now!
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE RECIPE CORNER:
Tal sent me this vegan recipe of Chef Yossi Shitrit from the “Kitchen Market” Restaurant:
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP
3 cups Jerusalem artichokes (around 1 – 1 ½ kilo), peeled and sliced into cubes
½ cup sliced leeks (only the white part of one medium-sized leek)
4 whole garlic cloves
1 spring of lemon thyme (or regular)
2 T chopped lemongrass (or grated rind of half a lemon)
1 container of coconut milk
2 T. chopped ginger
3 T olive oil
1 T coconut oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- In a wide pot, melt the coconut oil. Add the leeks and steam lightly while stirring 2-3 minutes, till leeks are transparent.
- Add the garlic cloves, the lemongrass and ginger. Sauté for around two minutes. Add the Jerusalem artichoke and enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a light boil and cook for around 30 minutes, or till artichokes are completely soft.
- Add the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper. Blend soup well together with liquid in food processor or hand-blender till smooth. If desired, press soup through fine-meshed sieve till completely smooth. Return to pot until served.
sautéd jerusalem artichokes with garlic and bay leaves