Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A nutrition trend...tasty vegetables for dessert!

A Chinese Cucumber from our local foods meal - what beautiful edges (and tasty too)!

I experienced something Saturday evening that I can honestly say I have never felt before.  Chris and I entertained a group of local food enthusiasts, each of whom brought a dish they grew or got from the farmers' market.  The food was incredible, tasty, amazing and often unique.  As I finished my plate, I thought, "This is so good I don't even need dessert." 

Whoa..."I don't even need dessert..."  I love sweet foods.  I look forward to my dessert, chocolate, pie, creme brulee, cheesecake, tiramisu...I love it all!  This thought from nowhere, much like an epiphany, caught me completely by surprise.  It also helped me understand what I heard in the past, that fruits and veggies don't taste as good because they are picked early, shipped across the country (or world), and land on our plate less tasty than if they had been picked at their peak from the region we live.  That we struggle to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies not because they don't like produce, but because what we serve doesn't taste like it's intended.

The next day Chris and I cut into a honeydew melon I got at the store, yep, from Mexico (hey, even us local food enthusiasts don't do everything right!)  Mexico City, ~1300 miles to Wichita.  With the cost in oil, this melon better be amazing.  No flavor...okay...a tiny bit of flavor, but nothing compared to the apricots we picked from my aunt's farm a couple weeks ago, or the blackberries and blueberries I got from the Chautauqua Hills Farm.  And again, the concept of succulent fruits and veggies vs. mediocre produce changing a culture's intake came back.

Saturday evening, one guest shared that when her sons came home from college they asked her to make vegetables - can you imagine!  They told her the vegetables they got at college were terrible, nothing like the home grown goodness their mom prepared all their lives.  Amazing...what a new perspective...vegetables for dessert, mmmm.  How's that for a new nutritional trend?  Somehow, I doubt that will take off in our country anytime soon.

Oh...and the apple mulberry pie my friend brought made with fresh milled wheat and lard, yes, lard from a home butcher, was amazing too - I still love my sweets!  But, I have a new found understanding of what to look for in produce to increase my own intake - not because I "should" for nutritional reasons, but because it tastes amazing.


  1. I can see I'm going to have to initiate you to the joys of vegetable ice cream! I've made beet ice cream and eaten carrot ice cream and sweet corn ice cream. I'm hoping to make sweet corn ice cream sometime this summer!

  2. Wow - would love a recipe for that, or all of them! My husband (a chef) said he's made beet sorbet before, says it was very good. He would have people guess what it was and they usually guessed raspberry. What a great idea - thanks for broadening my food awareness!