Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rachel Holcomb: Go Organic!

Recently, I realized that I’m seeing the word “organic” every time I go to the grocery store. When I see something that is labeled organic, I think, “Does it matter? What does it mean if I buy organic?” I want to know that it’s better for the planet or, at least, better for me to do so. I found two definitions on freedictionary.com that make sense:

1) Of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin

2) Raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals

I think of generations ago, when farmers would go out into their fields and grow their own food. Simple online research brings up lists of fruits and vegetables that have been tested, and very high percentages of these are found to contain pesticides. Why would anyone want to eat celery when 94.5 percent of the tested ones contained pesticides? Organic farmers do not use anything that has been genetically modified. That means even the seeds are natural. And what stops all the weeds from overgrowing the gardens is the farmer, pulling them out. It’s so easy to find all the information online. Now I know when I should get organic blueberries for Blueberry Coffee Cake or organic strawberries for Strawberry Short Cake. Both recipes are from
The Healthy College Cookbook and are perfect for the summer. The cookbook offers so many recipes with vegetables and fruits; it’s nice to know now what I should be buying.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Serve this cake for dessert, then enjoy the leftovers with your morning coffee.

Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon water
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups blueberries
1 egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a pie plate with cooking spray. Cream together the butter and ¼ cup of the sugar in a small bowl. Beat the egg in a large bowl, then add the water. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the butter and sugar mixture. Spread the batter in the prepared pie plate. Top with the blueberries. Beat together the egg yolk and the remaining ½ cup of sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the blueberries. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition per Serving
Calories 190 • Fat 6 g • Fiber 1 g • Protein 3 g • Carbohydrates 35 g

Rachel Holcomb is a University of Massachusetts–Amherst student majoring in art history. She has been cooking all her life and helped choose and test the recipes for the newest edition of The Healthy College Cookbook. She works in the pastry and baking department of the UMass Dining Department and when not on campus lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

Preview The Healthy College Cookbook


Mattenylou said...

Yum, that blueberry cake sounds good! I like a recipe that has more berries than the other ingredients, you know it's a winner. Thanks for posting this!

Melanie Jolicoeur said...

We've been really into blueberries around here this year ; ) Enjoy!