This summer, I have enjoyed picking up my weekly CSA basket from Amber Waves Farms located in Amagansett. As a participant in the 100-member Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) program, each week I’m able to pick up a basket of fresh seasonal organic produce.
Two inspiring women, Amanda Merrow and Katie Baldwin found the farm and are now in their sixth season. They started with an empty field, 18 CSA members and a combined savings of $5,000. Since then, Amanda and Katie have transformed that field into a farm that continues to give back to the local community.
Last week, 1,000 pounds of squash (a summer superfood!) was delivered to local food pantries and another 1,000 pounds went to the Long Island food bank for distribution. The farmer-food pantry partnership provides more than 300 low-income families with weekly supplies of fresh produce.
If you would like to join the CSA or donate to Amber Waves Farm, please visit their website. It’s a wonderful organization that provides a green option and is also committed to helping all members of our community eat well.
Squash, tomatoes and eggplant are three Summer Superfoods that recently arrived in my Amber Waves CSA basket.
Summer squash is low in carbs and calories — always a good thing! Zucchini and yellow squash are both are excellent sources of key antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps eyes stay sharp and prevents the onset of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Adding summer squash to your diet can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes. The potassium found in summer squash is good for providing muscle energy and reducing high blood pressure. The manganese mineral helps the body to process fats, carbohydrates, and glucose. Manganese has also been known to reduce menstrual cramps.
Steaming summer squash is the best way to preserve and retain nutrients. And you can also add squash to a summertime pasta salad or throw on the grill with a little garlic and olive oil. It’s quick, easy and delicious. Enjoy!
Plump juicy tomatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch. Whether red, yellow or orange, tomatoes act as wonderful antioxidants (vitamin A and C). Researchers have found that the lycopene found in tomatoes strengthen bone health and help fight off osteoporosis.
Tomatoes protect your body against high blood pressure, heart disease and are a natural cancer fighter. The anti-inflammatory agents found in tomatoes are pain busters and help to reduce chronic arthritis or back pain.
And these delicious gems help protect your skin and hair against sun damage. So before heading out for a stand up paddleboard session, toss a few tomatoes into a salad, add slices to a sandwich or drizzle with extra virgin Kalamata olive oil. Yummy!
Eggplant is loaded with essential body nutrients, including iron and calcium, making it beneficial to your health. It also contains phytonutrients, which improve blood circulation and nourish the brain. The fiber found in eggplant aids the digestive tract and offers protection from colon cancer. Eggplant is high in bioflavonoids, which controls blood pressure, prevents blood clots and relieves stress. Try baking eggplant at 400 degrees — it brings out the flavor and is healthier than frying.