3 Delicious and Wholesome Ways to Enjoy Autumn Apples (other than straight from the tree)

Want a sweet but wholesome treat? We’ve got just the thing for you!

It’s the time of year to enjoy apples. Truly – they won’t taste as good as they do now. Local, fresh, heritage and bursting with flavour, our Sussex apples are the best of the bunch.

We’ve got a plethora of varieties to choose from this season – so take your pick! Charles Ross, Lord Lambourne, Laxton Fortune... have you even heard of these before? Granny Smith can take a backseat and let Limelight steal the… well, limelight.

So don’t miss out! Here’s three scrumptious and wholesome ways to enjoy apples this October:

1. Apple-Almond Breakfast Bread

Get a healthy and thoroughly delicious Sussex start to the day with this apple-almond breakfast bread…

You’ll need:
5 Sussex apples
3 free-range Sussex eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of organic, unwaxed lemon zest
70g ground almonds
2 cups of wholemeal flour
1/4 cup Mesto olive oil
1/4 cup of Sussex raw runny honey
2 tsp baking powder
1 apple, sliced, a drizzle of honey and slivered almonds to garnish.

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180c.  Finely cop the apples and place in a food processor with eggs, spices, lemon zest, oil, sweetener, flour, almonds and baking powder. Blitz until very well combined.

Pour the mixture into a lined baking tin and even out. Place the sliced apples, slivered almonds and a drizzle of extra sweetener on top. Bake for approx. 50 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Enjoy for breakfast with fresh fruit, yogurt and nut butter for a wholesome start to the day!

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Recipe adapted from My Lovely Little Lunch Box

2. Cinnamon Comfort Apples

This seasonal skillet apple recipe is a fabulous way to easily enjoy the tart sweetness of cooking apples, while also offering you a wholesome dessert.

 You’ll need:
1 tsp butter
2 Sussex organic bramley apples, sliced or diced.
1 tbsp raw Sussex borage honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch of organic, unwaxed lemon zest
80g of slivered roasted almonds or roasted crushed hazelnuts
Water or autumnal elderberry liqueur.
Creamy yogurt and honey to serve.

Method:
In a skillet, heat the butter, and add in the honey, zest and cinnamon. Throw in the apples (and a little water/ a splash of autumnal liqueur to help cook) and simmer until soft, stirring regularly.

When soft and fragrant, place onto beautiful serving plates. Top with a serving of toasted nuts, and generous dollop of yogurt, and a swirl of raw honey if desired!

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3. The Ultimate Apple Pick-Me-Up

Whether on the go, or need an energy boost, this recipe is the ultimate and easiest way to get in that Sussex apple goodness (other than just eating an apple, that is…). Yep, a Sussex apple smoothie!

You’ll need:
1 cup of Sussex hemp milk
1-2 Sussex green Limelight apples
2-3 tbsp of creamy Sussex yogurt
2 tbsp oats
1 tsp raw Sussex honey
A pinch of cinnamon
A few ice cubes
(Sussex matcha – optional)

Method:
In a blender, combine the ingredients and pulse until smooth and creamy. Throw in 1/2 tsp of matcha for a superfood boost. Enjoy immediately for the most enjoyment!

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How do you like to eat and cook your autumn apples? Let us know in the comments! Tag us in all of your Sussex apple social media posts… (@finandfarm)


Image 1: Basket of Apples by Mathias Erhart/ Flickr (CC) Image 2:  Fresh Apple Cake Slice 2 by Jessica and Lon Binder/ Flickr (CC)/ Image 3: making apple filling by yoppy/ Flickr (CC)/ Image 4: pre-Strength stills by Yum Evoke/ Flickr (CC)

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3 Delicious and Wholesome Ways to Enjoy Autumn Apples (other than straight from the tree)

Purple Potatoes: What’s the Deal?

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Potatoes comes in many, many varieties – much more than a glance of a British supermarket would have you believe. But none could be more distinct than the Vitelotte. With it’s deep purple-black skin and bright blue-violet flesh, this potato has a stunning vivid colour, and distinctive, chestnutty taste.

What makes them purple?

Purple potatoes are packed full of anti-oxidants – and, primarily, the anti-oxidant ‘anthocyanin’, the flavinoid that gives red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. Revered for both it’s use as a dye and for it’s health promoting benefits, purple-hued plants have been cultivated for thousands of years for this wonderful antioxidant.

Did you know that purple produce was one of the predicted trends for 2017? With the health and wellness movement taking the world by storm – we’re not surprised! (Plus, purple foods are delicious…)

Why is this so good?

Antioxidants are essential to counter the effects of oxidants (i.e. ‘free-radicals’) in the body. In an antioxidant scarce diet, oxidants are free to cause cell damage, increase inflammation and contributing to disease progression. Purple potatoes, fortunately, have much more than antioxidants than their paler potato cousins – hence the vivid hue.

Anthocyanins are, in fact, antioxidant superheroes and are a potent force of health in the body, as demonstrated by a plethora of in-vitro and participant studies. For example, one study found that adding purple potatoes to the diets of overweight, middle aged subjects reduced their blood pressure by five points within a month. Just by adding potatoes! (And who doesn’t love the idea of eating more potatoes for health?) And, the purple cherry on top: despite the calorie increase, none of the subjects gained any weight. Purple potatoes truly are superior…

What to do with them?

Purple potatoes definitely taste different to your usual supermarket yellow and white varieties – and that’s a good thing! With their nutty taste and magnificent colour (even when cooked), you can use these delicious potatoes in any potato recipe you desire for a twist. Whip up a salad and add vitelottes for a striking visual element; slice, drizzle with olive oil and herbs and roast for some truly spectacular and flavoursome french fries, or how about this recipe for a striking autumn gratin?

Recipe:

You’ll need:
5 medium vitelotte potatoes, sliced
1 festival squash, peeled and cubed.
1 leek , sliced
A generous bunch of spinach
A handful of sage
A handful of thyme
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 good tsp black pepper
1 cup of Sussex cream
5 oz Sister Sarah cheese

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180c. In a baking dish, layer the leeks, spinach, squash and potatoes, finishing with a layer of purple potatoes for the top layer. Sprinkle each layer with garlic, herbs and pepper. When layered, pour over the cream and top with the Sister Sarah cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for about an hour and half – or until the potatoes and squash are cooked.

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Want to try some interesting, unusual and downright delicious potato varieties, grown in Sussex? Take a look at our range now! 

Have you tried vitelotte potatoes? What do you think? What’s your favourite heritage potato? Let us know in the comments or on our social media! (@finandfarm)


Recipe inspired by Autumn Potato Gratin by Better Homes and Gardens.
Image 1: Luscious Potato Plant Flowers by Laura Ferreira/ Flickr (CC)
Image 2: Purple Peruvian Potatoes by Pim Techamuanvivit/ Flickr (CC)

Purple Potatoes: What’s the Deal?

Seasonal Spanish-Style Stew

pumpkin

Pumpkin season is finally here! This delicious and colourful season only comes about once a year – so don’t miss out. There are a million delicious pumpkin recipes to play with, but we love this Spanish inspired chorizo-pumpkin stew for it’s punchy flavours. Oregano, chilli, chorizo and sweet pumpkin combine for a meal that won’t fail to please family and friends. Hearty, bright and warming, this seasonal stew is the perfect thing to ease you into this grey and stormy October…

Recipe

You’ll need:
2-3 tbspoon of Mesto extra virgin olive oil
1 can of chickpeas
1 can of butter beans
2 cups of fresh diced tomatoes
1 tbspoon tomato puree
1 medium pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 generous handful of red kale (or any seasonal veg you care for)
2 medium onions
1lb of spicy chorizo
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp of dried oregano or a handful of fresh
1/2-1 hot chilli (according to taste)
2 tsp paprika
A pinch of saffron
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
Stock

To serve:
Slivered almonds
Parsley
Fresh crusty bread

Method:
In a large pan, saute the onions, garlic, spices and chorizo in the olive oil until the onions are translucent and the spices fragrant. Add the pumpkin, oregano, fresh tomatoes and stock and simmer until the pumpkin is tender and flavours have melded. Towards the end of cooking, add in the beans and kale, continuing to cook for 3-4 minutes until the kale soft, but not overcooked. Finally, add in the tomato puree to thicken.

Garnish with a swirl of olive oil, seasoning, slivered almonds and fresh parsley. Enjoy with friends and family, and good crusty bread!

casserole

Using the whole pumpkin

Don’t forget that the seeds and the skin are edible – and, more importantly, delicious! Scoop out the seeds and rinse, and toss with the pumpkin skin in some olive oil, salt and spices. Bake in the oven at 180c for 20-30 minutes (Keeping an eye on the pumpkin skin to make sure it doesn’t burn!). These make for a tasty, healthy and zero food waste snack!


Recipe inspired by GourmetGents.Blogspot.Co.Uk/ Image 1: Pumpkin by Michael Brown/Flickr (CC)/ Image 2: Cuddle in a Casserole by Manipa Mandal/Flickr (CC)

Seasonal Spanish-Style Stew

7 Delicious Things To Do With Squash

squashes

Cozy jumpers, golden leaves, crisp sunny days and the first pumpkins appearing in shops and on doorsteps: autumn has officially arrived. And, what better way to dive into autumn delights than by eating the colours of the season with mouth-watering, locally grown squash.

With their warm, earthy colours perfectly fitting with the season and sweet, starchy flesh, these gourds are the ultimate healthy comfort food to carry you through the cooling season.

And, if you think squash varieties are limited to butternut and pumpkin – think again!  From crown prince to red kuri to sweet dumpling, there are so many delicious varieties to enjoy…

But, what to do with them? Well – we’ve got a few ideas!

1. Roast.

This is the most simple, fool proof way to cook squash. Simply roasting allows you to truly enjoy the unique flavour of each squash variety for the ultimate veggie appreciation. There’s no need to peel (thank goodness, as peeling a squash can prove laborious!), as the skins become tender and tasty with cooking.

Whole, sliced in half, diced, cut length ways – any shape will do. Drizzle with Mesto olive oil, a good sprinkling of herbs (how about rosemary, cumin and crushed garlic?), seasoning, and bake for approximately 45-90 minutes (or until the squash is tender and golden).

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You can add roast squash to any number of dishes for a more intense, sweet squash flavour. But we love to eat roast squash accompanied by other  winter foods for a sweet-savoury accompaniment to a weekday dinner. Cut into lengths, roast squash even makes a healthy alternative to fries!

2. Add to curries and stews.

Peel, deseed and dice, and add to your hearty and wholesome stews and curries. You’ll be amazed at the sweet, delicate dimension squash will add to your dishes. Why not try an easy and aromatic red lentil, squash and coconut curry?

3. A delicious twist to a classic quiche

Did you see Muir’s Easy #EatSussex Quiche recipe? Use whatever vegetables and squash varieties you like – and we promise it will still be delicious! How about using butternut for a classic?

4. Step up your pasta

Squash and pasta might just be the most heavenly combination. The sweet creaminess of seasonal squash can lighten and enhance the flavour of a comforting pasta dish. Try Pumpkin Pasta, or even add to macaroni and cheese to revel in the true magic of these scrumptious winter veg (a plant-based version here).

Want to take it to the next level? You can leave out the pasta altogether and have actual squash-pasta! Spiralized butternut squash makes a surprisingly tasty spaghetti alternative. How about a herby goats cheese butternut-noodles? In lieu of a spiralizer, nature has provided us with spaghetti squash – simply roast and scoop out the flesh for a pasta alternative.

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5. Mash

A flavoursome side dish, mashed squash and be as simple or elaborate as you like – from simply steaming and mashing with whatever seasoning you care for, to dishes such as this garlic and sage squash mash.

6. Cool weather soups

A fail-safe ingredient for a delicious, sweet, naturally creamy soup to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters. How about trying this superb squash soup by Jamie Oliver?

7. Desserts

Yes, really! Winter gourds are so versatile. Step out of the box of using veg only for savoury dishes and add a little wholesome sweetness to your life. How about a Japanese kabocha squash pie? Or fragrantly spiced squash-molasses cookies?

squash pie

Any of our unusual squash varieties can replace the squash used in these recipes. Let us know your favourite way to each squash in the comments! Don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed this cooking inspiration.


Feeling inspired to cook with this magical veg? Check out the local, unusual varieties of squash that we sell! More varieties are on their way as we head deeper into Autumn…

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #EatSussex so we can see your divine seasonal squash pictures and home-cooked treats on social media…

 

7 Delicious Things To Do With Squash

V and H Café’s #EatSussex Seasonal Specials (guest blog!)

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Harry from V and H Cafe shares his seasonal specials…

August and September have been plentiful, busy months. The weather this summer has been kind to us (despite what many cynics may say) and this has reflected in the quality and the abundance of produce. Trying to make the most of every seasonal miracle is near enough impossible for this very reason: there’s too much of it and too many varieties to try and squeeze onto the menu! By the time we find space, it can already be too late and you have to wait until next year – but that’s all part of the fun!

We said at the beginning of the #EatSussex campaign that the real challenge would be using all of the available produce, not struggling with what to cook. So we gave it our best shot, and here are some of our favourites…

Caprese Salad

One of our earliest and fondest dishes. So simple but only excels when the highest produce is used. There is little to hide behind.

Ingredients:

· Coeur de boeuf tomatoes (or a ripe mixed variety)
· Mesto extra virgin olive oil (New Harvest)
· Buffalo mozzarella
· Arundel bail pesto (recipe below)
· Toasted hazel or pine nuts
· Fresh basil to garnish

Slice the tomatoes as you wish. Coeur de boeuf tomatoes a better sliced but the mixed varieties are best chopped randomly. Season lightly with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Arrange in layers slices of mozzarella, basil leaves and tomato onto on a base of homemade pesto. Garnish with crushed nuts, more olive oil and smaller tips of basil leaves.

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Arundel Basil Pesto

This pesto is a staple at the café. It varies slightly every time depending on the time or who is making it so is always unique.

Ingredients:

· Large bunch of Arundel basil leaves
· 2 cloves garlic
· Extra virgin olive oil 50ml
· 50g Nuts (Hazel, walnut or pine depending on season)
· Pinch of salt
· 5 drips of lemon

In pestle and mortar, start by crushing the garlic with the salt. Followed by crushing in the basil and nuts, and gradually pouring in the olive oil to create your desired pesto texture. Season to taste.

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Stuffed Tomatoes

If you have ever been to Greece you will be familiar with these ingenious lunchtime staples. Batch cooked and kept warm, they sell out fast as a wholesome, delicious and seasonal lunch. They’re also dead simple to cook. We made pork stuffed tomatoes using our recipe below. However, we’ve also made veggie ones using pearl barley and cranberry risotto with Grana Padano – but I have no measurements or quantities for that one. We made it up as we went along!

Ingredients:

· Coeur de boeuf tomatoes x6
· 900g Sausage or seasoned Pork mince
· 20g Dry Oregano
· 3 cloves garlic
· 150ml Mesto extra virgin olive oil

Carefully slice off to tops of the tomatoes with the stalks on, about an 8th of the way down. They will be lids. Using a spoon and a small knife if necessary, scoop out the inner membrane and seeds of the tomatoes doing your best to retain the structure of the tomato. Cook the innards of the tomatoes with 50ml of olive out and a clove of garlic, nice and slowly. Meanwhile we can mix the pork mince with the remaining oil, garlic and oregano, a good pinch of salt and pepper then roll it into six 150g balls to stuff into the tomatoes. Place the lids back on and bake for 1 hour at 180 degrees Celsius.

To serve, blitz the tomato innards in a food processor to form a rich sauce and sit the baked tomato on top, serve warm, not hot.

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Tibbs Farm Raspberry Ripple Yoghurt & Granola.

I didn’t know the real taste of a raspberry until the punnets arrived with Nick, just picked from Tibbs farm that day. We had to immediately reorder them. Such was my excitement about these dark, blood red, sweet, juicy flavour-bombs, that I shared them out to every customer and member of staff we had. Do yourself a favour: eat raspberries that are LOCAL and IN SEASON and NOTHING ELSE! The kind you buy in the supermarket are not even from the same planet as far as I’m concerned…

Granola is great, you can keep it in the dry store to be sprinkled on all sorts.

Ingredients:

· 500g jumbo oats
· 150g South Downs honey
· 70g soft dark brown sugar
· 250g mixed Sussex nuts (cobnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, sweet chestnuts)
· 50ml Mesto olive oil
· 1 tbsp cinamon
· 1 tbsp sea salt
· Dried fruit (optional depending on season)

To Serve:

· Northaim Dairy natural yoghurt
· Tibbs Farm Sussex raspberries
· A squeeze of lemon
· 1 tbsp unrefined sugar

Making the granola is simple. Combine all of the above granola ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and, when combined, spread onto a large baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes crudely break up the granola to form large nuggets. Leave out to dry out, turning every 5 minutes or so. If it’s still a bit moist afterwards either bake it again for another 5 minutes or leave in a warm dry place such as the airing cupboard!

The raspberry ripple component is make by a simple maceration process. In a mixing bowl place your fruit with the sugar and a few drops of lemon. Toss gently just using the bowl and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will intensify the flavour and create a wonderful natural syrup.

To put the dish together, combine a spoonful of the macerated raspberries with a portion of yoghurt and loosely marble. Top with as much granola as you like, some fresh raspberries and extra honey if you wish. (We also love sprinkling on some bee pollen!)

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Butterhead Lettuce & Smoked Chicken Salad.

We love butterhead lettuce. Big leafy multi-textured ears of crunchiness, bitterness and sweetness. It’s also beautiful to look at. We tend to keep them whole, retaining the natural structure and contours. They’re so perfect.

As for smoked chicken, it’s a wonderful ready-to-go ingredient with so many uses and is an interesting alternative to regular chicken. Ensure it’s a naturally smoked free-range bird. We buy ours from Springs Smokery, Edburton. You can put all sorts with salad – so go wild!

Ingredients (Serves 2):

· 1 head of Butterhead lettuce
· 200g smoked chicken
· 1 avocado
· 2 shallots
· Handful of radishes
· 50g walnuts
· Bunch chives
· 50ml Mesto extra virgin olive oil
· Tspn Dijon mustard
· 20ml red wine vinegar
· Tspn Sussex honey
· Salt/pepper

For the dressing, combine the oil, mustard, vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper using a whisk or in a food processor and taste. Using a minute splash of boiling water will help to emulsify the mixture. Add more acidity, salt or sweetness depending on personal taste. Throw in an inch or so of finely chopped chive stems from your bunch.

The rest is self explanitory really! Tear the chicken, half the butterhead (washing and drying gently), thinly sliced radishes the remaining chives and scooped teaspoonfuls of the avocado all together and dress with the dressing.

Thinly slice the shallots and caramelise in a pan without busting them up too much. Toast the walnuts. Add to the salad with any spare chives.

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Bon Appétit!


Making you hungry? Check out the award winning cafe on Holland Road for delicious and seasonal eating. Visit their website, instagram and facebook for more mouth-watering and inspiring seasonal dishes.

Fancy contributing to our blog? Let us know! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #EatSussex in your seasonal, locally sourced and delicious creations this autumn…

V and H Café’s #EatSussex Seasonal Specials (guest blog!)

Medlars – What are they and what do you do with them?

Medlar

Turn back the clock to the beginning of the 20th century and any Sussex resident would know and cook with medlars and be a mine of information about bletting and the suchlike.

But, the fact that this fruit looks so disgusting and we are not accustomed to eating anything, bluntly, half rotten, then this has fallen out of favour.  But it’s really unfair, as it’s an exciting and delicious fruit that deserves it’s place at the table.

It’s not easy to come by now, as farmers weren’t able to sell crops, so sadly chopped down trees to make way for other more lucrative ways of selling fruit.  So this has become something of a delicacy and a bit more unusual – and therefore more expensive.

But the taste is a real sensation and most people, when you read articles, are amazed at the depth and sweetness of this peculiar fruit.

Bletting

You can’t get away from this term – you have to ‘blet’ your medlars.  This basically means letting them go brown and wrinkly.  When they look like they should be composted they are ready to eat.  More about bletting here.

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Or you could speed things up and try them roasted in this absolutely gorgeous recipe for Roasted Medlar and Walnut Bakewell Tart

A wintry twist on the classic Bakewell with rich walnuts and unusual medlars.

Ingredients

For the walnut Bakewell tart
For the roasted medlars
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. For the tart, line a deep 23cm/9in tart tin with the sweet shortcrust pastry. Place a sheet of baking paper or foil over the pastry and weigh down with baking beans or rice.
  3. Place the tart tin onto a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the paper or foil and baking beans from the tart tin, then return to the oven for a further ten minutes until the pastry is lightly golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
  6. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  7. Add the ground walnuts and breadcrumbs and fold together until well combined.
  8. Spread two thirds of the damson jam over the base of the pastry case. Cover with the walnut filling mixture and smooth the top using a wet palette knife. Place the walnut halves around the edge of the filling.
  9. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  10. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold in the remaining damson jam.Watch technique 0:48 mins
  11. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  12. For the roasted medlars, heat the butter in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the medlars for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Add the sugar and cinnamon stick, then transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until the medlars are soft and the skins have split.
  14. To serve, cut the tart into slices and place onto serving plates with a spoonful of damson cream and some roasted medlars.

BBC Food

Medlars – What are they and what do you do with them?

Sussex Pears – Conference, Comice and Concorde

This week Ringden are harvesting pears over in Sussex and we have our three favourite varieties – Conference, Comice and Concorde ready on our lists.  All are fabulous but the combination of pear and maple in this recipe is an inspired pairing

Continue reading “Sussex Pears – Conference, Comice and Concorde”

Sussex Pears – Conference, Comice and Concorde