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Happy August Everyone!  Yes, I know! It's already August!!!   Let's make the most of this month so rich with harvest and community eating! 

(Some of you might have noticed there was no Foodsoulutions July post...my apologies, the July post was eaten by my two-week adventure on a Permaculture farm in Norther California!  It's certainly a better excuse than "the dog ate my homework" because learning permaculture on this farm left me inspired to make more ecologically wise changes in my life.  And I'm also excited to share some of these permaculture gems with all of you!)

Back to community eating... When I think of community eating, I usually think of a summertime bbq where the weather is warm and people are enjoying the food, the day, and each other (hopefully).  Nothing says community food to me like summer melons and summer corn.  Why? Because to me, melons just beg to be shared, they're too big to be eaten solo (although I've done it), and corn is one of those foods that's just more fun eaten in community, especially when it's corn on the cob and everyone is enjoying it one moment, and then trying to get it out of their teeth the next.  That's just fun community eating, if you ask me.

So, in the spirit of community food and August, I'm sharing three super easy recipes with you to inspire your summertime celebrations. With all the craziness going on in the world, I'm all for more community and food as a way to stay connected to each other and to our bountiful earth.

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Corn is a nostalgic food for many of us.  My memories of corn on the cob reach way back into my childhood and the main question was always, "Do you eat your corn around the cob or in along row?"  As an adult, the main question now is, "Is that GMO or non-GMO corn?!?" Corn, one of America's subsidized crops, has been so hijacked by industrial farming and GMO food production.  While I won't get too political here, a few years back, it was actually very difficult to buy organic corn because the crops were failing in comparison to the GMO varieties. The struggle organic famers have to produce non-GMO corn caught my attention. I gained a greater respect for corn, both the plant itself and its historical and cultural significance, as the backbone food staple of native peoples and current American culture (in its own oversized gmo-ized way).  So if you are a longtime corn lover like me, I would invite you to buy that corn organic, or better yet, from a farm you trust. Even in our small food choices, we shape food culture, and how we grow our food shapes our relationship to our land.

 Here's a fun, vegan version of Mexican Street Corn. Enjoy!

Here's a fun, vegan version of Mexican Street Corn. Enjoy!

Grilled and Smothered Corn on the Cob with Vegan Chipotle Crema

Ingredients

4-6 ears of corn, silk and outer husks removed & inner husks left on (optional)

1/2 C cilantro, chopped

Fresh lime wedges 

for the Smoky Spicy Rub:

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ancho Chile powder

1/8 tsp cayenne (optional) 

for the Vegan Chipotle Crema:

Yield: about 2 cups

1 1/2 C cashews (soaked 4-6 hours)

2 T miso (yellow or light brown)

1 T olive oil

Juice of 1-2 limes

Zest of 1-2 limes

Slice of preserved lemon (optional)

1-2 dried chipotle peppers soaked in

1/3 C water

Procedure for the Vegan Chipotle Crema:

  1. Place soaked cashews in high a speed blender. Add miso, lime juice, lime zest, (preserved lemon), Chipotle peppers (seeds included) and their soaking water. Blend on low and increase to high speed until cashew cream is silky and smooth.

  2. Adjust taste as desired. Store in a glass jar for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat cast iron skillet or grille over high heat. 

  2. Coat corn with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and place on cooking surface. 

  3. Turn corn as kernels turn golden brown to build up the flavor, approximately 10 minuets. 

  4. Rub ears with the Smoky Spicy Rub. Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes. 

  5. Remove corn from heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. 

  6. Smother with the Vegan Chipotle Crema, add more Smoky Spicy Rub, garnish with cilantro and serve with additional lime wedges as desired. Enjoy! 

 Here's a great addition to a BBQ meal -and another way to enjoy the Vegan Chipotle Crema!

Here's a great addition to a BBQ meal -and another way to enjoy the Vegan Chipotle Crema!

Gluten-free Dairy-free Almond Flour Olive Oil Corn Muffins

Yield: 6-8 muffins

1 T olive oil

shaved Corn kernels from 1 ear of corn (approximately 1/2 C)

1 poblano pepper, sliced thin, seeds removed

sea salt and black pepper

1 1/2 C blanched almond flour (I used Trader Joe's brand)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1/4 C olive oil

1 T raw honey (optional) 

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat oil in skillet.  Add in corn kernels and poblano pepper and sprinkle with sea salt.  Sauté over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes until kernels and peppers turn golden and crisp just a bit. Add black pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. In medium sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt and baking soda. Set aside. (You can do this step while the corn is cooking in the skillet.

3. In small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil and honey.

3. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine gently with a fork. Do not over mix.

4. Fold the roasted corn mix into the bater and gentle combine.

5. Spoon batter into oiled muffin tins and bake for about 25 minutes.

6. Enjoy the muffins warm with the Vegan Chipotle Crema!

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Summer Honeydew Melon Pops with Chili Salt and Lime

Yield: 12 popsicles

Ingredients

2 1/2 C Sharlyn melon, chopped

2 1/2 C Orange Honeydew melon, chopped

1tsp-1 T raw honey (optional)

1/2 tsp sea salt

juice of 1 lime

1/2 C diced orange honeydew (set aside to add to the blended melon mix)

zest of one lime

for the Chili Salt (optional garnish):

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ancho chili powder

Procedure

  1. Place melon, honey, salt and lime juice in blender.  Blend on high until smooth. Stir in diced honeydew and lime zest.  Pour mix into popsicle molds and freeze.

  2. Mix salt and spices in a small mixing bowl and set aside until popsicles are ready.

  3. Roll popsicles in Chili Salt when serving as desired. Enjoy! 

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