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Food Facts: Lemons

You’ve probably heard about the California Gold Rush of 1849, when prospectors flocked to the West Coast to seek their fortune in gold from the California hills. What you might not have heard is that gold wasn’t the only yellow thing they wanted. Lemons were a hot commodity for miners at that time because of their ability to prevent scurvy, a potentially fatal disease brought on by lack of vitamins and minerals from fresh foods. Miners looking to spend a long time away from town would pay about $1 for a lemon back then, which in 2013 (adjusted for inflation) is the equivalent of $30!

Today lemons are common and inexpensive to purchase, but no less valuable. The high vitamin C content of lemons has been prized throughout history for its ability to support the production of white blood cells, our body’s natural defense against disease. In lemons, the vitamin C comes in the form of citric acid, which also has natural antibacterial properties. Rubbing your cutting boards or scouring your sink with half a lemon is a great way to naturally disinfect and deodorize food surfaces in the kitchen. The amount of citric acid in a lemon is even able to conduct a mellow electrical current, enough to power a small light bulb (see lemon battery for a fun at-home experiment).

The realm of cooking is where lemons are truly invaluable. Lemon juice adds a bright, mild-flavored astringency to foods, more subtle and neutral than vinegar. A squeeze of lemon just before serving many savory foods, from roasted potatoes to stir fries, contributes vibrancy and perks up flavors without masking them. A perfect ingredient in marinades for meats, seafood, and fish, lemon juice tenderizes and infuses proteins, as in this delicious recipe for Lemon and Dill Salmon Kebabs or Lemon Garlic Chicken. Lemon also adds dimension to sauces and salsas, as in a traditional Hollandaise sauce, or this fresh, zippy Greek-style Cucumber Salsa with Feta. Whip up a batch and serve with warm pita bread for a tasty alternative to chips and dip. Lemon vinaigrette is one of the most versatile dressings there is and can be used to dress nearly any vegetable, from asparagus to zucchini.

Lemon is used differently in different parts of the world. In Italy, the zest and juice of the lemon is often used in pasta sauces or salad dressings, as in this easy Artichoke Parmesan Pasta dish. In Northern Africa, preserved lemon (lemon cured in salt) is a common ingredient in tagines and couscous. In India, a popular condiment called lemon pickle is made by fermenting lemon peels and juice in spices for weeks until tender and aromatic; then it’s eaten with rice, naan, or curry.

Of course, lemon is also at home in baked goods—you can find lemon versions of cookies, cakes, pies, candies, mousse, even soufflé. But perhaps the easiest, most beloved lemon dessert is the humble Lemon Bar, with its bright, tart punch and sweet, buttery finish. Lemon zest also infuses quick breads with great flavor and pairs well with a variety of fruits. Try these Lemon Raspberry Muffins for a quick, delicious brunch or breakfast treat.

When shopping for lemons, look for uniformly yellow fruits that are heavy for their size, and note that thin-skinned lemons will be juicier than those with thick skins. If you’re planning to use the zest, consider purchasing organic lemons, as conventional lemons are sometimes waxed to preserve freshness. Lemons used for zest should always be scrubbed well before use, and even if a recipe just calls for juice, consider zesting your lemons anyway, and seal the zest in a freezer bag to use later. If juicing lemons for a recipe, a good reference is that an average (medium) lemon contains approximately 3 tablespoons of juice.

 

This article originally appeared on the Co+op Stronger Together website: www.strongertogether.coop/fresh-from-the-source/lemons

Lemon & Dill Chicken

This recipe is from Eatingwell.com, via strongertogether.coop.

Lemon & Dill Chicken
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Fresh lemon and dill create a quick Greek-inspired pan sauce for simple sauteed chicken breasts.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Lemon & Dill Chicken
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Fresh lemon and dill create a quick Greek-inspired pan sauce for simple sauteed chicken breasts.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Units:
Instructions
  1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.
Recipe Notes

Serving Suggestions

Make it a meal: Serve with roasted broccoli and whole-wheat orzo.

See more at: https://www.strongertogether.coop/recipes/lemon-dill-chicken

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Beverage of the Week: Mionetto Organic Prosecco

One of our lesser known sparkling Italian wines is Mionetto Organic Prosecco. What Mionetto lacks in a marketing campaign they make up for with their quality wines.

Mionetto’s home is in picturesque Northeast Italy between the sunny Adriatic Coast to the East, romantic Venice in the South and the breathtaking Dolomite Mountains to the North. Tourists flock to this welcoming area where Italians have summer homes dotting the hills. True to its home, Prosecco is known throughout Italy as “The Welcome Wine.” The range of wines are refreshing, with a food-friendly low alcohol content (around 11%). For hundreds of years, the wines from the hills have commanded a premium, prized for their combination of refreshing lightness, yet complexity of flavor. Mionetto’s wines all reflect their hilly heritage.

So whether you are looking to pop a cork for NYE or making mimosas for your morning brunch, try Mionetto Organic Prosecco.

Beverage of the Week: Corsendonk Christmas Ale

We have a number of seasonal beers arriving for the colder months, and one of our favorites is Corsendonk Christmas Ale.

This Belgian Strong Ale is a rich, dark, joyous brew perfect for celebrating the season. This unique beer is 8.5% ABV and perfect for sipping. Smooth on the palate with an aroma of chocolate, malt, and spices, a touch of smoke and citrus, and a long finish.

Perfect for those long cold winter evenings, or leave a bottle out for for Santa, who is sure to need it to get through the longest night of the year. Available while supplies last!

Beverage of The Week: Congo Coffee Project

Equal Exchange founded the Congo Coffee Project as a means to bring Congolese coffee to market in the United States, and to raise awareness about the alarmingly high rate of sexual violence engendered by the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the sale of Congolese coffee, EE has raised more than $80,000 for survivors and the community.

Over the years, the funding has been dedicated to the vocational and skills training program at the Maison Dorcas Center at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, an aftercare center that supports survivors of sexual violence.

This week, Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi Hospital, received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize!

Dr. Mukwege’s leadership, dedication, commitment and strong voice are truly an inspiration. The Panzi Hospital has become known as a safe place for survivors of sexual violence to seek treatment and heal from their trauma, as well as providing support to hundreds of women in their vocation program.

Littleton Co-op proudly carries Congo Coffee Project on our shelves, alongside many other varieties of excellent fair trade coffees. By choosing to make your morning cup a fair trade one, you are helping make the world a little bit better every day.

To learn more about Equal Exchange, the Congo Coffee Project, and what Fair Trade means, visit their website at EqualExchange.coop.

2018 Littleton Food Co-op Holiday Gift Guide

By Jessy Smith, Co-op All-Star, Littleton Local, & Festive Guy

It’s taken me 26 years to admit it — and it’s absolutely not an easy pill to swallow but here it is: My name is Jessy, I’m a 26 year old Littleton native, and I’m a terrible Holiday Shopper.

I’m the kind of Holiday shopper people like my fiancée Erin, have nightmares about. You probably know my type — It’s Seven PM on Christmas Eve, and I’m frantically running around whichever store I’ve hurriedly run into, hoping with every fiber of my being something that screams “Gift for Dad, forged in the heart of the universe specifically for him, placed directly in my path today because it was meant-to-be” will jump from the nearest shelf and render me unconscious until January 2nd.

Speaking of Dads — This behavior, I’ve realized, is probably my Dad’s fault. Growing up, he was notorious for over-estimating the efficiency of early online retail operations. It wasn’t long before I learned that ordering something important on December 22nd, does not a recipe for success make. Should I take some personal responsibility for this holly-jolly procrastination habit I have? Probably. But we can just go ahead and blame my Dad for now. Love you, Dad!

Erin, on the other hand, is the Christmas Industry’s dream consumer. Her Holiday shopping season begins the moment we leave the family’s house on Christmas Day. There’s something mildly unsettling about coming home in the middle of July and finding the person you love most in the world squirreling away already-wrapped gifts for “Christmas, which by the way is coming soon, Jessy! Have you started shopping yet!? You’d better not wait until the last minute again!” Oh my love, if you only knew. We’ll get through this gift-laden tragedy.

This guide is designed to help the Jessys and Erins of the world. Do you wait until the very last second (maybe minutes before) the event to grab your gifts? Does your idea of rational human behavior involve hiding Christmas presents around your house in summer months? Either way, this guide is for you!

Littleton Food Co-op Original Canvas Boat Tote

By: Littleton Food Co-op. Coop Made, Local, Sleek as Heck.

These are trying times, friends. As my Grandfather used to say; “There’s nothing more comforting in trying times than a bag designed to be sturdy, classy, and fashionable — and if it also promotes a business you care deeply about, well that’s just great too, isn’t it?” Alright, my Grandfather never said any of that —but it’s still true. They’re affordable and built to last. Locally produced (Made by our friends at Enviro-Tote in Londonderry, NH).

Good For: Zero-wasters, Waste Reducers, #CoopPeople, People Whomst Need Bags, North Country Folks, Just Visiting.

La Riojana Wines

By: La Riojana Wine Cooperative, Argentina. Fair Trade, Coop Made.

Located in the beautiful Famatina Valley, deep in the heart of La Rioja province with a family of 500 growers, La Riojana is Argentina’s largest wine co-operative and is one of the country’s top 10 wine exporters, producing a wide variety of awardwinning Fairtrade and Organic wines for markets all over the world.

Good For: The Wine Connoisseur, #CoopPeople, Fair Traders.

Eddie’s Bakery Apple Cider Doughnuts

By: Eddie’s Bakery, Waterford VT. Local, Delicious.

Local Bakery Powerhouse, Eddie’s Bakery — a family-owned joint in continuous operation since 1956 — makes a mean doughnut. These aren’t your typical ‘donut’ style doughnuts, no. These are classic, ’59 Bel Airs, doughnuts made the way the great fried creator intended — fresh, homemade, and delicious.

Good For: Serial Snackers, Doughnut Lovers, 59 Bel Air Fans, North Country Folks, #LocalShoppers.

CACOCO Drinking Chocolate

By: La Riojana Wine Cooperative, Argentina. Fair Trade, Coop Made.

“We honor the ancient tradition of preparing cacao as a molten chocolate vitality elixir with wholesome herbs and spices. So, gather your friends and raise your cup to chocolate as it’s meant to be experienced! Rather than the standard processed cocoa powder, cane sugar, and milk, we add all organic superfood herbs and spices to our fair trade chocolate blends for an amazing vitality elixir with antioxidants, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as a pharmacopeia of bliss inducing compounds that are most present in heirloom cacao varietals from healthy soil. The result
is a euphoric, delicious experience that makes the perfect start to any day, supplementing your coffee and tea time with chocolate as it’s meant to be!” TL;DR Hot chocolate of the most-rad order, prepared like the ancients.

Good For: The Chocoholic, Fair Traders, Paleo Peoples, The History Lover, People of the North Country.

White Mountain Apiary Honey Sample Pack

By: White Mountain Apiary. Local. Littleton-made.

Save the bees! Janice and Joe Mercieri keep bees. They’re kind of serious about it, with Janice heading up the local beekeeper’s guild (see subheading “North Country Beekeepers,” Pg. 14). Janice and Joe Mercieri keep extremely happy bees that, among other things, make delicious honey. You can pick up a three-pack sampler and try a few of their delicious happybee-made honey selections.

Good For: Tea Junkies, Honey Lovers, #SaveTheBees People, #LocalShoppers, North Country Folks

White Mountain Forager 100% Pure Chaga Tea

By: White Mountain Forager, Gorham, NH. Local as heck.

“Synchronized with the public’s growing knowledge of the health benefits of “eating wild” White Mountain Forager has an ever expanding list of satisfied customers. And beyond simply enjoying the fruits of nature, White Mountain Forager customers can also rest assured that all their concerns regarding harvest techniques, source point pollution, and landowner ethics are being strictly adhered to. As a Conservation Officer Doug worked side by side with landowners for many years, with the goal of protecting and conserving our local habitats. White Mountain Forager embraces these same principles.”

Good For: Amateur Mycologists, Professional Mycologists, Tea Addicts, Locals, Just Visting, #CoopPeople, #LocalLovers.

Brewery Ommegang’s Mother of Dragons

By: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY.

How could anyone in the Seven Kingdoms possibly craft a brew fit for Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons? The Belgian-styled cool kids at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York are doing their best to find out with their entry in their “Game of Thrones” Royal Reserve Collection series — Mother of Dragons. “Brewed and blended for a leader who takes what is hers with fire and blood, Mother of Dragons is a blend of smoked porter and Belgian kriek, representing the smoke and fire that Daenerys has unleashed on her opponents. […] Mother of Dragons pours a deep ruby-tinted mahogany with a creamy tan head. Aromas of chocolate covered cherries intertwine with subtle smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is rich with tart cherry up front leading to a center palate of semi-sweet chocolate then resolving to subtle smoke and mild sweetness. The mouthfeel is luxuriously creamy and full, and the finish is semi-dry with lingering notes of smoke and cherry sweetness. Mother of Dragons is 6.5% ABV and pairs well with smoked gouda and charcuterie, braised meats, and rich desserts like flourless chocolate cake and cherry cheesecake.” You can grab a bottle of Mother of Dragons for the long winter ahead now at the Littleton Food Co-op. Please Enjoy Responsibly.

Good For: Beer Nerds, Jon Snow.

White Mountain Images Calendars or Puzzles

By: Chris Whiton, White Mountain Images. Local, beautiful, fun.

Full disclosure: Chris is one of ours, our Operations Manager, so we may be a bit biased — but, you can’t beat this guy’s eye. His calendars are a hot-ticket item locally, from here to Harmon’s. Twelve months of beautiful North Country scenery to light up your home or office space. The puzzles are a new venture &  well worth it — these puppies are handcrafted on wood by a local puzzlesmith.

Good For: #LocalLovers, Just Visiting, People Who Calendar, Puzzlepeople.

Burts’ Bees Facial Cleansing Towels

By: Burt and his Bees

I’m a shower face washer, some people like to wash their face twice daily. Some people use makeup and need to clean it off their face before bed. These are great for that — especially if you have super sensitive skin. No acid. Powered by cotton extract. Unscented or lightly scented with something natural.

Good For: People with faces that need cleansing, people with faces that may need cleansing sometime in the near future, stocking stuffers.

Angry Goat Pepper Co. Hot Sauces

By: Angry Goat Pepper Co, White River Junction, VT. Local. Spicy.

“We are the exclusive makers of 12 incredible flavors of hot sauces and 9 delectable flavors of pepper jams. Our pepper jams are what put us on the map, and once you try them, you will know why. We have flavor combinations that no body else has, and a few of our unique flavors came from our customers requests. New for 2017, we have introduced 2 new hot sauces and our first mustard. There is a heat level for everyone.” Delicious local heat for all.

Good For: #LocalLovers, Spice Junkies, Scoville Scalers, Sweet and Spicy People.

Sage Spirit Smudge

By: Sage Spirit, Lindrith, NM.

Native American Owned & Operated.

Good For: Friends dealing with ~*~bad vibes in their space~*~, Spiritual People, #CoopPeople.

NORPRO Stainless Steel Drinking Straws

By: NORPO. #ReduceReuseRecycle

Imagine this: you’re a turtle. A sea turtle. Swimming along in the ocean, minding your own turtle business. You don’t have any time to be assaulted by disposable drinking utensils. You’re a busy turtle. These rust-resistant stainless steel drinking straws from NORPRO keep your turtle-self safe from the dangers of straws floating aimlessly through the ocean. If you’re a serial straw-user but you’re starting to feel kind of icky about your disposable straw use, these are the solution for you! Includes a cleaning brush.

Good For: Zero-wasters, Waste Reducers, #CoopPeople, Straw People.

Maine Beer Company Single-bottle Craft Beer

By: Maine Beer Co, Portland, ME. Local. Beer-y. Delicious.

Two brothers, Everglades National Park, an off-mention about starting a brewery. The rest was history. Delicious Maine-made Beer. Crafted by two brothers and their love of beer.

Good For: #LocalLovers, Beer People.

Still Stumped? More Ideas!

  • Ines Rosales Wine
  • Winnipesaukee Chocolates
  • Kathy Shuster Animal Print Cards
  • Blake Hill Maple Onion Jam w/ Shelburne Farms Cheddar
  • Harbison TOGOWare Snack Stack
  • Bauderlaire Sisal Wash Cloth
  • Jarware Fruit Infusion Lid
  • Jarware Honey Dipper
  • Jarware Tea Infuser Bee’s Wrap
  • Moon Phase Calendars
  • Little Lad’s Popcorn
  • Krin’s Bakery Coconut and Honey Macaroons Dipped in Dark Chocolate
  • Elmore Mountain Farm VT Goats Milk Soap
  • Nutty Steph’s Themed Chocolate Bars
  • Sweet Baby Vineyard Amarone Red Wine
  • Still Thyme Holy Basil
  • VT Salsa Co. Salsa Verde
  • Valicenti Pasta Farm – Golden Grazy w Butternut & Parmigiano
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers
  • Bo’s Bones Gourmet Organic Dog Biscuits H
  • Honeymaker Blueberry Mead
  • Clementines!
  • Marcona Almonds
  • Unreal Milk Chocolate Gem
  • Unreal Crispy Dark Chocolate PB Cups
  • Maple Medicine: VT Maple Fire Tonic
  • The Wilderness Map Co. – Franconia Notch
  • White Mountains Waterproof Trail Map Explorers Guides – 50 Hikes in the White Mountains

Need help finding anything listed in the gift guide? Visit the Service Desk! They’d be happy to help connect you with whatever you’re looking for 🙂

The original version of this article appeared in the Fall / Winter Print Edition of The Radish. Read the rest here!