Monthly Archives: August 2015

MI Peach Smoothies – NEW Recipes

Juicy, Michigan peaches are great in smoothies! They work well fresh or frozen. To freeze them for later, cut the peach into pieces and lay them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When the pieces are frozen put them into freezer containers for year-round use. Below are three peach smoothie recipes. Also, I’ve included instructions for how I make my vegan, almond yogurt. It’s pretty thin, which makes it really drinkable in a smoothie.

Michigan Peach with Ginger 
Blend together:
8 ounces of filtered water
1/8 cup sunflower seeds (with above makes a sunflower milk)
3 peaches
1 kale leaf
1 knuckle fresh ginger root (about 1 teaspoon), or to taste
Add chia and / or hemp seeds, optional

Ginger Peach with Kale

 

Michigan Peach and Sorrel smoothie
Blend together:
8 ounces of filtered water
1/8 cup raw cashews, soaked for one half hour; rinse and drain
Several sorrel leaves
2 peaches
1 teaspoon hemp seeds

Peach, Sorrel, Cashew

 

Michigan Peach Lassi
Lassi is a yogurt-based beverage often found in Indian restaurants. I’ve created my own recipe using my own almond milk yogurt. The almond milk yogurt and lassi recipes are below. But first, the lassi!

To make MI peach lassi, blend together the following:
2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups MI peaches, fresh or frozen
2 Tablespoons MI honey or other sweetener (or to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom, or to taste

Peach Lassi

To make almond milk yogurt follow these steps:
1. Soak 2 cups raw almonds overnight.
2. Rinse and drain the almonds
3. Put almonds, 5 medjool dates, and 3 cups of filtered water into a high-speed blender and blend until milky.
4. Strain it through a cloth nut-bag. It will yield 3 – 4 cups.
5. Divide into two one-quart mason jars.
6. Stir in 1 /2 teaspoon of probiotic powder into each jar. (I use Garden of Life  RAW Probiotics Kids.)
7. Cover the jars with cheesecloth and secure with a canning band.
8. Ferment in a place that’s 95 degrees (a dehydrator works well) for 18 – 20 hours.
9. Stop the fermentation when the yogurt is a sour as you like within the timeframe. Keep the yogurt refrigerated.

READY to subscribe??

Blast Bowls

peach banana collardsDo you want the benefits of a green smoothie without all of the trips to the restroom? I did! I would occasionally substitute an acai bowl, but acai is not grown in Michigan. First you need a base of fresh or frozen fruit and some greens. Frozen bananas work well, but again – not grown in Michigan. So, I’ve been playing around with some Michigan fruits that I have on hand. If you are using some frozen fruit, the result will be thick (this is the desired effect). If you are using all fresh fruit, add a sprinkle of chia seed and it will set up over ten minutes so you can eat it with a spoon.

I’ve named them Blast Bowls, because I blast them in the high-speed blender. I came up with the name while emailing a photo of one to myself. My Iphone auto-corrected my slang ‘bfast’ bowls into blast bowls. They are also a blast to decorate the tops with chopped fruit, nuts, and seeds. Give them a try!

Apple, peach, and collard greens base with blueberries, plums, walnuts, and hemp seeds.

Apple, peach, chia seeds, and collard greens base with blueberries, plums, walnuts, and hemp seeds.

Peaches, Swiss chard, and frozen strawberry base with blueberries, walnuts, plums, hemp seeds, and coconut.

Peaches, Swiss chard, chia seeds, and frozen strawberry base with blueberries, walnuts, plums, hemp seeds, and coconut.

Peach, apple, blueberry, and chia seed base topped with walnuts, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds.

Peach, apple, blueberry, and chia seed base topped with walnuts, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds.

 

Follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

 

Traverse City Hidden Gems

Old Mission PeninsulaMichigan is a popular place to visit during the summer months especially. That’s why all live here, right? We all have a favorite hiding place – away from the crowds. I’m sharing with you some of the fantastic foodie places that I’ve come across in the Traverse City area. These locally owned businesses are either brand new or a bit off the beaten path.

Northern Natural restaurant and cidery is on the east end of Front Street in downtown. The restaurant opened in a couple of years ago and supports 29 farms. They serve several flavored ciders made with Michigan apples. The food menu is small, but I always enjoy my meals in their casual atmosphere.

Harbor View Nursery and Lavender Farm has a stand on Center Rd. on Old Mission Peninsula. They sell lavender plants, dried lavender flowers, natural body products, and some food products. I took a mini- tour with Sonja Richards and also got some tips for trimming the lavender in my own herb garden.

The lavender ice cream at Harbor View is made by Buchans Blueberry Farm. Their stand is off on Nelson Rd. between Peninsula Dr. and Center Rd. They sell berries, vegetables, ice cream, baked goods, and blueberry confections and snacks. They have a nice play area for kids too.

While in the Traverse City area, I came across a unique product: grape skin flour. It was developed by Grand Traverse Culinary Oils in cooperation with Black Star Farms. According to the package, they start with spent pomace after wine fermentation. The seeds are separated out and cold pressed into grape seed oil. The skins and meal remaining are dried and powdered into flour. It can be used to supplement other flours (one-to-one ratio), and it’s loaded with antioxidants. I found it at the Black Star location in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

Over on Leelanau Peninsula, is the newly open (May 2015) Hoplot Brewery. Founded by two brothers who moved back, from Chicago, to their home state of Michigan. This business includes an actual hop garden onsite. They serve several of their own beers and are working out their menu.

There’s a new ice cream place on Front Street across from the State Theater. Last year it was Cherry Cone, and based on the layout, it had been a Cold Stone Creamery at some point. But, I think that Milk & Honey has it right. They are using locally sourced products for their farm to spoon ice cream; vegan products are available too. They also serve coffee and deli sandwiches.

Acoustic Mead tap room now has me hooked on mead. They use local honey from Sleeping Bear Farms to make several meads flavored with local fruit. They have a piano and other musical instruments for spontaneous music-making (surely inspired by the mead).

Rare Bird Brew Pub is located a bit away from downtown but is still walkable from there. They serve a handful of their own beers along with many MI favorites on draft. They have a small food menu.

You’ve probably heard of the Boathouse on Old Mission Peninsula. But did you know that owner Doug Kosch and his wife own 10 acres on the peninsula where they grow much of the vegetables, fruits, and herbs used in the restaurant? They also raise turkeys, ducks, and chickens – they are fed the raw vegetable scraps saved from the restaurant kitchen.

Many of the wineries in the Traverse City area are now tasting and selling hard cider made from MI apples. So, be sure to look for it on tasting menus. We tasted the one at Chateau Chantal, and it has a classic apple-y flavor. We also tasted a few at Bowers Harbor Vineyard; they were flavored with other fruits and drier. We enjoyed both types, and I think you will too.

I also checked out the new solar panels at Chateau Chantal Winery. Last year I went on their Sensory Treat Tour and blogged about it. There’s still time to travel around northern Michigan before ‘the snow flies’. But, really any time is fantastic in the Grand Traverse Area.

LEARN TO EAT LOCAL – all over Michigan!

Also on INSTAGRAM!!

Tasting hard ciders at Northern Natural.

Tasting hard ciders at Northern Natural.

Lavender garden at Harbor View Nursery and Lavender Farm.

Lavender garden at Harbor View Nursery and Lavender Farm.

078

Look for the Buchans Farm on Nelson Rd.

Grape Skin Flour - can't wait to bake with it when the weather cools off.

Grape Skin Flour – can’t wait to bake with it when the weather cools off.

Hoplot Brewery is in a beautiful setting on Leelanau Peninsula.

Hoplot Brewery is in a beautiful setting on Leelanau Peninsula.

My new go-to for treats.

My new go-to for treats.

I love the creative re-use at Acoustic Mead tap room.

I love the creative re-use at Acoustic Mead tap room.

Brew list at Rare Bird.

Brew list at Rare Bird.

The Boathouse on Old Mission peninsula supports the peninsula wineries.

The Boathouse on Old Mission peninsula supports the peninsula wineries.

Flipping the Switch

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you would have noticed that I add environmental issues to my foodie stories. Last week I visited with Chateau Chantal Winery president, Marie-Chantal Dalese to check in on how their new photo voltaic (PV) solar panels are doing. They’ve been running for two months now. It’s the largest solar agribusiness installation at a Michigan winery.

The 148.5 kilo Watt (kW) solar array was installed by Harvest Energy Solutions. It’s annual production of 172,351 kW is like saving the CO2 emissions for the electricity of over 18 homes per year. The PV panels are on track to meet the goal of providing 40% of Chateau Chantal’s electrical needs annually.

The panels are tilted not only for sunlight but also so the snow falls off to leave them open for the winter sun. (Yes, we DO have winter sun.)

Below are photographs from the day that the switch was flipped to turn on the panels! Senator Stabenow was on hand for the celebration. (Photos are courtesy of Chateau Chantal.)

Senator Stabenow Chateau Chantal Solar EventCropped

SolarSwitchFlip_June2015 (63)