1.    Enjoy the thrill of the grill!  Summer provides an opportunity to eat more local fresh foods with an abundance of hearty veggies and stone fruits.  Grilling is a great way to enjoy those summer fruits and vegetables.  Here are some tips for grilling and exploring exotic oils and reductions to compliment your veggies and fruit.

  • Fresh Vegetables: Be sure to grill fresh veggies over medium heat in order to cook evenly and retain some moisture.  Because a lot of the moisture is evaporated during the grilling process, the sugars become more condensed and the flavors become more concentrated.  Add a drizzle of walnut, macadamia nut, or sesame oil to create a more exotic array of tastes.  Top with fresh ground pepper and Celtic sea salt.
  • Fresh Fruit: Grill fresh fruit over indirect heat and remember that a large majority of fruit is water-based, so be sure to let it cool slightly before serving as it’s internal temperature will be quite hot and could burn your mouth!  While grilling, reduce 1/4c of balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat to a syrup-like consistence. Drizzle over fresh grilled fruit for savory-sweet candy-like finish.

2.    Experiment with new greens! Spinach, asparagus, and broccoli are plentiful and pretty common veggies across cultures.  But what do you do with kale? Fennel? Both are excellent additions to grilled, poached, or plank wild salmon or halibut.  Kale is a superfood famous for it’s high content of Vitamin A, which is fat-soluble.  Therefore, Kale requires cooking or finishing in fat in order for the Vit.A to be absorbed.  Fennel is an excellent digestive aid and a natural treatment for anemia.  Here are some tips for cooking Kale and Fennel.

  • Kale is bitter when raw. But once rinsed, stripped of its center spine, and massaged with course sea salt, it is a beautiful base for a salad.  Mix with roasted almonds or pecans, raw goat cheese, dried currants, and raw mushrooms for a nutty summer salad.
  • To enjoy fennel, cut off the frawns and trim the outer layer.  Slice thin, and toss in coconut oil (virgin, unrefined), half-butter/half olive oil, or bacon-fat, with garlic, shallots, carrots, and celery or cabbage and cook over a medium-high heat.  Add salt, pepper, and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar and enjoy the candied flavor of your veggies!

3.    Learn the art of canning.  Take a little time to preserve your extra summer produce for the fall and winter months ahead.  Plan a day with friends and family sharing the labor and the food!  Be sure to separate the various types of foods prior to the day of canning to ensure the equipment and/or food does not get contaminated.  Want to learn how to preserve?  Ask our friends at Happy Girl Kitchens (www.happygirlkitchen.com) .
For more info or to share your own superfood recipes and ideas, please email analisa@focusedtrainers.com.   Look for our selection of exotic oils, fresh canned goods, and hand-made snacks among F.I.T.’s artisanal food products.