Go ahead, look below and explore past classes taught by Ranelle:
Class: Beans & Pulses
They are filling- sustaining and fortifying the body- as well as good for the heart because they lower cholesterol. Beans and pulses are terrific sources of protein, iron, B vitamins, and high-quality fiber. Besides adding nutritional value to a meal, dry beans bring a variety of colors, textures and flavors to the table. Because there are so many bean varieties available, each with it’s own unique characteristics, they are versatile and can be used in virtually any type of cooking. The following chart gives a brief overview and cooking suggestions for some of the most popular bean varieties.
Legumes (from the latin legere, meaning “to gather”) are a family of plants that produce somewhat fleshy pods that contain several seeds that can be eaten as a vegetable before they dry. Technically, beans are any seed or pod, whether fresh or dried in the legume family. But in culinary terms, the word refers especially to those that at oval and kidney-shaped, such as lima, black, kidney, and cannellini. Pulses are also from the legume family, specifically dried legumes, and refer especially to lentils and peas.
Whole, unpeeled lentils come in three basic varieties: green are the largest, then brown, and then tiny grey French lentils. Peeled lentils include large red lentils (also called Egyptian lentils), small red lentils, and peeled brown lentils, which range in color from pink to yellow. Peeled lentils cook faster than whole lentils and are best for dahl (a spicy Indian dish) and soup, since they don’t hold their shape well. Whole lentils are better for salads.
To find out more about the different types of lentils, check out this website (pictures included): http://www.foodsubs.com/Lentils.html
French Lentil Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing Tapioca Bean Pudding Garlic Naan Falafels with Tahini Dressing White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Matar Paneer
Class: Spring in Minnesota
Cream of Asparagus Soup Minted Pea Frittata Minnesota Market Salad Hot, Sour Rhubarb and Pork with Noodles Ginger Ice Cream Sablés
Class: Fall Harvest
Apple Celery Salad Cauliflower Parmesan Soup Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage Garlicky Greens Whole-Wheat Walnut Scones Mexican Hot Chocolate
Class: squish, squish, SQUASH
Pumpkins and winter squash are among the most popular vine crops in the garden. The terms pumpkin and squash can be confusing. Pumpkin pie is often made from squashes, and some large squashes are used ornamentally. Scientifically speaking these plants are all very closely related members of the cucurbit family, which also includes summer squash, zucchini, and cucumbers.
Pumpkins come from two different species Cucurbita pepo (most jack o’lantern and some pie pumpkins) and C. maxima (extremely large pumpkins grown for competition and decoration). Make sure to check variety descriptions carefully when purchasing seed. Pumpkins grown for jack-o’-lanterns are usually not eaten, as the flesh is bland and stringy, although the roasted seeds are good to eat. Pie pumpkins often have smaller, sweeter fruit. Some pumpkin varieties produce “naked” or hull-less seeds especially nice for roasting, since there is no hard shell to crack from the seeds. These seeds have lower germination rates, particularly in cool soil, so they are more difficult to grow.
Edible winter squash belong to three different species: Cucurbita pepo (acorn, delicata, and spaghetti types), C. moschata (butternut types), and C. maxima (Hubbard, kabocha, and buttercup types). Some varieties produce small squashes the right size for individual servings, while others produce enormous fruits of fifteen pounds or more, suitable for soups, pies, mashing, or freezing. Some can be stored through the winter; others should be used within a few weeks after harvest. Choose varieties that suit your tastes as well as your ability to handle and store the squash. While a giant Hubbard squash may be attractive as an autumn decoration, a small household may be unable to utilize it as food. Note the days to harvest for the varieties you are considering. Longer-season varieties may be difficult to ripen properly in parts of Minnesota.
Winter squash should be stored in a cool but not cold place, ideally around 55°F, with good air movement. Relative humidity between 50% and 75% is best. Check squash in storage frequently and remove any that are soft or show signs of spoilage. Remember to treat them gently.
If appropriate storage is not available, squash can be cooked and mashed, then frozen. Canning of mashed or pureed squash is not recommended because of the density of squash in the jars; it’s nearly impossible for the heat of the canning process to penetrate to the center of the jar.
*Another option: cut into thin rounds and dehydrate for chips
Many varieties have separate sexes in flowers. This characteristic is referred to as a monoecious flowering habit. Blossom drop of male flowers is, to some extent, normal because only the female flowers produce fruit. Female flowers can be identified by the swollen ovary at the base of the flower.
Information from: College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and University of Minnesota Extension Logos