Say Goodbye to 2015 — But Not to Local Produce
If your farmers market is still going, it's probably down to the hardiest cold weather crops — root vegetables, some greens, potatoes, cabbage and winter squash. What fresh produce there is requires farmers to use protective growing methods, such as high tunnels with covers on raised beds to extend the growing season, and proper cold weather storage techniques.
3 Tips to Embrace Winter Produce
- Potatoes can keep for many months in a cool, dark place (such as a corner of an unheated basement). Be sure to keep them away from onions and other vegetables that could cause them to ripen quickly.
- Root vegetables such as carrots, beets, turnips and cabbage store very well over the winter in cold and humid conditions. Trim the tops of the vegetables short, and store them in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator.
- Winter squashes can stay fresh for months at temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and moderate humidity.
OK, but what to do with that winter squash? Try this recipe for Butternut Squash Dinner Rolls! I substituted one cup of roasted, pureed squash for some of the liquid in a roll recipe. While not enough to count as a serving of vegetable, the butternut squash does add vitamin A — and just look at the inviting color!
Butternut Squash Dinner Rolls
- 1 butternut squash
- ¼ cup buttery vegan spread
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup corn flour, divided
- 1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup warm water (125°F)
- 1 egg
- Olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut squash in half, remove seeds, wrap in foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
- Scoop squash from peel. Place 1 cup of squash into food processor (refrigerate the rest of the roasted butternut squash for another purpose) and puree. Mix in buttery spread.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer with dough hook, mix ½ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup corn flour and ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour with dry yeast, sugar and salt.
- Gradually add warm water to flour mixture in bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Mix in egg and squash puree. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes.
- Gradually add remaining flours, kneading after each addition until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer dough into a bowl sprayed with olive oil spray. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Divide into balls made with ¼ cup dough. Place balls in a 9-inch round springform pan sprayed with olive oil spray. Dough balls will touch each other, as seen in the photo above.
- Let rise again until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Makes 13 rolls.
Cindy Gay, RD, LD, recently retired from her job in health care. She serves as historian for the West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and blogs at Cindy's Health Meals. Connect with her on Twitter and Pinterest.
(Photo: Cindy Gay, RD, LD)