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Ready, Set, Grill! Summertime Grilled Vegetables

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Health, Local Ingredients, Paula Martin, Recipes

Summer grilling is in full swing!  Local vegetables are ready to join the picnic.

Here are our favorite vegetables to throw on the grill:

squash Carrots
 Cauliflower
 Corn
 Eggplant
 Garlic
 Green Beans
 Mushrooms
 Onions
 Peppers
 Summer squash & zucchini
• Potatoes
• Asparagus

Grilling vegetables is a good way to meet your daily vegetable intake goals or event go meat free at the next family barbecue. Find these veggies at a farmers market near you.

The National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, has identified that a high consumption of well-done, barbecued meats is associated with an increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer due to the formation of harmful chemicals when they are cooked.  Fruits and vegetables do not pose the same risk when grilled as long as you avoid charring by:

• Soaking wooden skewers in water to prevent burning kabobs;
• 
Using a grill basket to prevent small pieces from falling, which may cause flare-ups; &
• 
Staying attentive to the grill while cooking.

One of my favorite things to swap into the menu during the summer is this easy grilled sandwich when I’m ready for a break from the traditional BBQ fare. It’s high in dietary fiber,  Vitamins A & C, and good source of protein- PLUS it is filling & tastes great!

Grilled Vegetable Sub Sandwich: (makes one serving)

½  sweet bell pepper (green, red, yellow) ¼ purple eggplant, skin on

¼ small summer squash, like zucchini, skin on 1 tbs. balsamic and olive oil dressing

¼ small onion, peeled 1 large Kaiser Roll or sandwich bun

1 slice provolone cheese (optional) olive oil, for lightly brushing  

Cut the vegetables in uniform sizes. Lightly brush with olive oil. Place in a grill basket. Grill on low to medium heat until wilted or fork tender. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, toss with the TLD recommended The Redhead’s balsamic vinaigrette. Place vegetables (as many as can fit) on the Kaiser Roll and top with provolone cheese. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: Cal 442 , Fat 23g, Sat Fat 5g, Carb 46g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Pro 14g, Vit A 40% DV, Vit C 136% DV, Calcium 17%

Paula Martin is the Community Health Coordinator for TLD and a registered dietitian. Contact here at health@localdifference.org

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Lady Jane Gourmet Seed Co.: Hemp & Health

Find Local Food, Guest Post, Health, Laura Noble, Specialty Producers

In an era when many food products are processed and modified, Lady Jane Gourmet Seed Co seeks to provide better access to healthy, whole food options. Based in Metamora, Michigan, this artisan, gluten-free food manufacture focuses on making products from nutritionally dense hemp seeds.

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Berry Sweet: Fragaria ananassa (aka strawberry)

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Health, Kelly Wilson, Recipes

Strawberry season is here! Strawberry season is here! In Michigan, farmers produce over 46,000 pounds of these juicy berries between early June and, weather depending, mid-July. Some growers are extending the normal strawberry season by planting into hoop houses (aka high tunnels or passive solar greenhouses) and by growing everbearing varieties.

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Lady Jane Seed Co.: Understanding the Hemp Plant

Environment, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Health, Kelly Wilson, Laura Noble, Specialty Producers

Hemp is a plant we’re hearing more about these days. However, there is a lot of confusion around this delicious and versatile plant. Many people wonder if hemp and marijuana are the same plant or are concerned they may fail a drug test or get high from eating hemp. An internet search can lead to even more confusion! This article sheds light on hemp history and clarifies a few of the common misconceptions regarding this important plant.

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Healthy Habits Sprouting at Platte River Head Start!

Find Local Food, Get Involved, Health, Marissa Natzke, Recipes

The Head Start classrooms over at Platte River in Benzie County are instilling healthy habits in kids with help from Taste the Local Difference (TLD). Through the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) grant, this partnership is using funds to incorporate nutrition education into the Head Start curriculum. Kim Micham and Debra Rafferty at Platte River Head Start are working closely with Paula Martin, Registered Dietitian and Community Health Coordinator at Taste the Local Difference. Together, they’re creating healthy snack options that have less sodium, less sugar, more fiber, and more fruits and veggies. But, they’re not just serving up healthier options – they’re also empowering kids and their families to make healthier choices.

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Move Over Chia…there is a New Superfood in Town!

Farmers Markets, Guest Post, Health, Laura Noble

Move over chia, step aside quinoa, it’s time for hemp seeds to take center stage! These small but mighty seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. They contain all 9-essential amino acids which means that, unlike most grains or seeds, hemp is a complete protein. Pair that with hemp’s high rate of protein digestibility and you have a fabulous source of plant-based protein. Just 2 Tb of hemp protein powder contains 11 g of highly-digestible protein.

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Healthy Kids Week: April 23-27

Find Local Food, Get Involved, Health, Paula Martin

TLD would like all Michigan kids to have access to fresh, tasty and local foods.  Over the last year we’ve been inspired by the level of engagement we’ve had making these goals a reality at worksites, schools and other community organizations across Michigan.

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Is Your Farm FSMA Compliant?

Economy, Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Health, Kelly Wilson, Learn More

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. The goal of this legislation is prevent contamination of food produced in the United States before foodborne illness outbreaks occur. The Produce Safety Rule of FSMA has huge implications for many growers across the state. This year, compliance of the full rule will be enforced for farms grossing $500K or more. Smaller farms have until 2019 or 2020 to comply with rule, depending on their income.

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Kick off a Healthy Summer with the YMCA

Bailey Samp, Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Health

When kids are inspired, they can do anything, which is why the YMCA hosts a national event each year to do just that! Healthy Kids Day is a national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids and families, awaken their imagination, allow them to explore new activities and choose healthier habits.

The FREE event on April 21st  will be an opportunity for kids and families to explore local vendors, take part in educational activities and learn how to keep their minds and bodies active as they gear up for summer vacation.