Locally Grown Superfood – Hemp

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Hemp is the current superfood that is on everyone’s lips this year – and we are lucky enough to be regionally self-sufficient enough to have one of the country’s few licensed crops. Industrial hemp is grown from the same Cannabis Sativa plant but is bred to have virtually no THC (the psychoactive element that gets you stoned). Yet, it is still only grown under licence in the UK (and these are few and far between) and is illegal to grow in America.  Crazy considering the health and economic benefits of this bountiful crop.

Why hemp is good for you

Nutritionally speaking, it is pretty amazing, for its anti-inflammatory properties via the cannabinoids (CBD) and has been suggested that it can help with anxiety and depression.  The essential fats found in hemp are said to reduce food cravings and help to improve circulation and contribute towards reducing cholesterol.

A great plant-based athletic protein

Hemp seeds and oil have a high protein content and contains the lowest level of saturated fats compared with other oils.  The powdered seed has higher protein levels than soy and provides essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 as well as being a source of gamma linolenic acid.

Why grow hemp?

Hemp has been used for centuries in rope-making, fabric, boat sails, paper as well as the edible uses.  Hemp is a tough crop and can grow well in any soil type and needs less spraying or watering than other similar crops – wheat or soy, for example. So is really an economical and ethically sound crop.

A little strange that we are not acquainted with one of our most ancient crops, don’t you think? Apparently, one of the oldest relics of human industry is a piece of hemp fabric dating back to approx 8,000 BC.

Hemp_Leaf


Recipe

We made this loaf and it is absolutely delicious – so well worth taking the time.  Slather with butter and served with creamy cheese and raw honey.  A perfect combination to match the earthy flavours of hemp, rye and nuts with the richness of the topping.

 

Walnut_Hemp

Hemp and Walnut Bread

Ingredients

  • 450g Strong wholemeal bread flour
  • 200g Stoneground Rye flour
  • 30g Hemp protein powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 x 7g Sachet dried yeast
  • 1½ tbsp raw honey
  • 200g walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • In a large bowl,mix together the flours, hemp protein powder and salt. Make a well in the centre.
  • Re-activate the yeast by mixing it in a small bowl with the honey and 230 ml warm water.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the well of the flours and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  • Add another 230 ml of water to the bowl and gradually mix in the flours, making a soft but not sticky dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  • Add the walnuts and knead for another 2-3 minutes then return to a greased bowl, cover and leave to rise for 2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Knock back the dough, knead again for 2 minutes and then divide into two portions.
  • Shape each one and place on a baking sheet. Cover and again leave to rise for 1 ½ hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas Mark 7.
  • Slash the top of each loaf three times and bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 190°C (375°F)
  • Gas Mark 5 and continue to bake for 20-30 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Visit us at

www.finandfarm.co.uk

 

 

 

Locally Grown Superfood – Hemp

Sussex St George’s Day – Celebrate with a Greek Roast

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Happy St George’s Day

Today is St George’s Day (23rd April).  Over the years, the flag has been sadly tarnished with racist symbolism.  But, subdued celebrations are actually not new – since the Reformation, the English apparently became slightly fed up with Saint’s Days (big mistake – we now have fewer bank holidays than pretty much all other European countries).

Who was St George?

St George was a busy guy.  He is the patron saint of soldiers, cavalry, farmers, field workers, boy scouts, saddlers, archers and many countries and cities world wide. He displaced the less exciting original Patron Saint, St Edmund, who didn’t slay dragons (shame, we could have drunk mead for breakfast).

St George was said to have been born in Capadoccia, Turkey of Greek parents and was a Roman soldier, eventually being executed for his faith in either Palestine or Syria (depending which account you read).  He became the English patron saint after apparently appearing in battle to the troops at Agincourt in 1415, where they had a stunning victory against the French – and further immortalised in Shakespeare’s play, Henry V – so we have him really to thank for the enduring patriotic saint.

His name means ‘earth-worker’ – ie farmer, and the date of 23rd April is symbolic of the time of year when crops are starting to grow….and given his widespread appeal, we think the traditional roast could reflect some of the wider cultural references.


Recipes

There are so many recipes for roast lamb floating arount, but the Greeks pretty much have the recipe to perfection.  Crunchy skinned, tender fleshed lamb on sticky roast potatoes.  This recipe is pretty straightforward.

If you’re not planning a roast, then this recipe for slow cooked lamb with aubergines and tomatoes is also a wonderful recipe if you’re also looking to cater for vegetarians, as you won’t be caught up making extra tomato sauces alongside the gravy.

Vegetarian roasts can also be stunningly rich with a simple variation of ingredients in this Aubergine, Tomato and Feta Baklava.

Less heavy than traditional roasts and a wonderful time to make the most of our fantastic tomatoes.


Our Sussex Saltmarsh Lamb

If you are cooking a roast, then the quality of the lamb is the most important element.  We will only sell our high welfare, organic Saltmarsh Lamb from Pevensey.

Saltmarsh Lamb roam freely on land which is regularly covered by the sea and hosts salt tolerant plants such as samphire, purslane and mineral rich grasses.  The lambs are leaner and the flesh a little darker and denser than regular lamb – a little gamier.

Read more about our Pevensey lamb here.


Come and visit us at

www.finandfarm.co.uk

Sussex St George’s Day – Celebrate with a Greek Roast

Sussex Biodynamic Rainbow Chard and Spinach

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Grown by Toos near Cuckfield

Toos Jeuken grows delicious rows of biodynamic veg and fruit over at her feast of a farm near Cuckfield, at the foot of the South Downs.  Toos is from Holland where she started her biodynamic farming career alongside her siblings – who are all now biodynamic farmers.  Toos has been farming in Sussex for over 40 years and is a dedicated and inspirational farmer – it’s not often you meet someone who loves their job as much as she does.

Toos_Cropped
Toos on her farm in Cuckfield

Big Leafed Spinach and Rainbow Chard

Big leafed sturdy varieties of greens are often associated with winter cooking.  But in the spirit of eating seasonally, we need to embrace what we can grow in our soil and adapt cooking when we are lucky enough to have such delicious fresh ingredients to play with.

So, at this point in the season, the big leaves are on the smaller, more delicate size but in a week or so will be flourish and flesh out.

 


How to store

The greens are super-fresh and will last a little longer if kept in the fridge in a plastic box (not bag) with a paper towel to absorb the excess moisture.  This, apparently, should keep sliminess at bay, if you can’t use the leaves immediately.

Another method, which has received good reviews (although we haven’t tried it yet – we will do and let you know the results!) – is to put your greens into a plastic bag and blow into it to inflate.  Seal the bag and keep in the fridge.  This allows the leaves enough carbon dioxide to keep them fresh.

This only extends the life of the greens for a few days – eat fresh for maximum flavour and nutrition!


How to cook

How_to_cook_Chard

Spring greens, chard, spinach and all greens work with simple cooking and flavours.  Here are some cooking tips from Great British Chefs.

Throughout the continents, there is nearly always a meal which combines tomatoes, greens and eggs.  The Middle Eastern dish, Shakshuka is a perfect way to combine the flavours in this rich Shakshuka with Swiss Chard (or Rainbow, in our case).

If you’re cooking for gluten free diners, then this richly nutty flavoured Chard Tart is both practical (great for breakfasts) and tasty for picnics.

If you’re using the leaves, don’t discard the bright stems.  Keep a jar of Pickled Rainbow Chard Stems to hand to eat with salads or in a Buddha bowl…or with rice.

Pickled_Chard_Stems
Pickled Rainbow Chard Stems

Canapes, snacks, brunch, barbecues – there is always a place for mini-pizzas and this recipe is one we will be trialling over and over again with different toppings.  A crunchy base is the perfect texture to bite into with rich toppings.  Here’s the recipe for Mini Polenta Pizza with Rainbow Chard and Caramelised Onion.

Finally, chard and pasta go hand in hand like Sausage & Mash or Fred & Ginger.  The flavours make a tasty mouthful, especially combined with a soft melted cheese.  The Italians famously use Taleggio but in Sussex, we have our ripe, creamy Sussex Brie to use in this gorgeous recipe for Chard Penne Pasta Bake.


 

Come and visit us at

www.finandfarm.co.uk

Sussex Biodynamic Rainbow Chard and Spinach