Hi there CSA folks!
We can’t believe week 15 is already here. Though the cold is definitely shutting down and slowing production at the farm, we still remain pretty busy pulling all the last of our produce out from the field long before the first hard freeze appears on the forecast – and there’s still quite a bit out there!
Just today, we pulled in several cases of kale and DELICIOUSLY sweet carrots, plus daikon radishes, parsnips (!), and more that you’ll be enjoying at some point in these coming weeks before CSA ends. By the end of next week, the fields should be empty – but our walk-in cooler will be stocked quite full for the winter with plenty of variety to deliver to you up until Thanksgiving!
This week for you, we’ll have:
- Oyster Mushrooms New!
- Black Spanish Radishes New!
- Carrot Bunch
- Baby Beets
- Kennebec (White) Potatoes
- Sweet or Green Peppers
- New England Pie Pumpkin New!
- Oregano Bunch
We like to keep every share exciting and fresh with some new items each week, and we have a good handful of brand-new veggies for you. Most exciting of all: you’ll be getting oyster mushrooms this week! They’re both beautiful and delicious, needing only light heat and a short time cooking, with flavor similar to oyster and chicken combined. Very tasty…
With the recent cold temperature dips, our oyster production has been going crazy. So we hope you enjoy these!
Also new in your share are some veggies we’ve had harvested and stored for a while due to the cold, and which are finally available in rotation: namely, Black Spanish radishes and pie pumpkin!
In the true spirit of autumn and Halloween this week (and with Thanksgiving not too far away), we thought pie pumpkin would be perfect. Yes, it looks like a pumpkin you could carve into a jack-o-lantern – but it’s actually a variety that’s better for eating (and making into pumpkin pies especially) rather than carving!
And, last but not least, no– they’re not beets. They’re black Spanish radishes! We’ll tell you a bit more about them below…
Black Spanish Radishes | Explanation and Wellness Info
Just like the watermelon radishes and purple daikon radishes you’ve received in CSA shares prior, black Spanish radishes are also a type of “winter radish.”
This means that, unlike spring radishes, you can store them for a long period of time without perishing under the right conditions – in a dark, cool place, preferably your refrigerator (or a root cellar if you have one). You can even keep a few throughout the entire winter if you like, not unlike a turnip, rutabaga, beet, or potato.
Not sure how to use them? We recommend using them much like watermelon radishes (discussed here in last week’s CSA newsletter) or like purple daikons (from CSA week 12 here). To summarize quickly, they can be sliced and eaten raw (on salads, etc.) or roasted much like a turnip or rutabaga. (Try pickling them – they’re incredibly delicious that way, too!)
What stands out most about Black Spanish Radishes, though? Their very unique health benefits. Studies show this root vegetable has heavy duty detoxification capabilities (it can even remove heavy metals!), it has tons of antioxidants and protects the liver, and may even greatly reduce cancer risk, boost immunity, help you fight the common cold, and lots more (some basic benefits are outlined here at CureJoy).
A warning: when eaten raw, it is quite spicy! Not as spicy as a daikon radish, however – but again, roasting and cooking it will turn it into a mild and tame veggie with similar taste to a turnip.
For those who don’t mind spicy foods though (and also for those of you who are interested in home herbal remedies), my herbalist recommendation? Try using it in a homemade Fire Cider recipe. (For reference, here’s a really good one from the original maker herself.)
This concoction is a vinegar-filled (and sometimes fermented) combination of horseradish, garlic, hot peppers (usually cayenne), other cold-fighting herbs, sometimes ginger, and lots more, all geared towards keeping colds, flu, symptoms, and bugs at bay when taken a tablespoon at a time. Black Spanish radish was apparently a classic cold-fighting remedy back in the day, and I think its spicy, pungent flavors could be the perfect compliment to this creation (especially as a replacement for or compliment to horseradish).
Need more ideas for eating Black Spanish Radishes (or anything else, for that matter)? Want more health info? Have your own recipes to share?
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