By Marie Boyd, Executive Director of Healthy Harvest of North Iowa
The crisp air and changing leaves tell us that farmers market season will soon be coming to an end. When it does, there are still several options when it comes to buying local foods.
First, there is a database on our website (healthyharvestni.com) where you can search for local products such as meat, eggs, honey, storage crops (squash, potatoes, carrots, onions etc.) and purchase directly from the farms – sometimes for delivery!
Other options include Simply Nourished on Main Street in Clear Lake, and the Hy-Vee stores in Mason City who try to offer local products year-round.
Until then, shop the Clear Lake Farmers Market, through Oct. 17, and enjoy the bounty of the season!
KABOCHA SQUASH MASH
You can substitute any sweet winter squash for the kabocha here – like butternut or buttercup! Ingredients with an asterisk (*) are available seasonally right here in North Iowa!
1 large kabocha squash*
1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk + more for serving
2-3 tbsp honey* (to taste)
2 tbsp whisky (optional)
1/4 tsp to 1/2 ground cinnamon to taste
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt to taste
Optional toppings: pecans, roasted squash seeds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the pith and seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and cinnamon and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake on the center rack of the oven, 45-55 minutes, or until flesh is very soft when poked with a fork.
Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add the coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, and sea salt. Mash and stir until everything is well combined.Add more cinnamon, sea salt, and/or honey to taste.
Serve with additional coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, and pecans
Yield: 2 -4 servings
Adapted from The Roasted Root