Eating seasonally for maximum benefits - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eating seasonally for maximum benefits

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It's officially fall – the leaves are starting to change, and some people say you should be changing the way you eat too in order to reap maximum nutrition from foods and save on grocery bills.

"[Eating seasonally] does cut costs during the peak of the season. When everything's ripe you get really good prices on what's available," said Batch Bakehouse's co-owner Susan Detering.

The Near East Side business is incorporating fall ingredients into their everyday baked goods by making an Italian-style bread called Schiacciata con l'uva, which is dotted with freshly-harvested grapes and sprinkled with anise seed, for the fall season.

"It's all about flavor. You can get a much fuller flavor from any of your vegetables or fruits when they're in season," said head baker Dan Mullins. "Once in a while you have to use an apple in the winter, and you can get by with it, but you certainly have to give up on flavor."

Researchers say produce picked before it ripens, like much of our grocery store goods, means fewer vitamins. More, food that has to travel long distances can equal added preservatives.

"It's going to be treated, and it's not going to be good for your local food economy. You're not supporting farmers in your neighborhood when you're buying food from across the world," Detering said.

Other fall foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, Brussels sprouts, pears, and apples. The grape crop is nearly at the end, according to Detering. Also near the end of their season are plums.

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Batch Bakehouse's Schiacciata con l'uva

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

1/8 t active dry yeast

2 T warm water (110 degrees F)

1/3 cup warm water

1 cup bread flour

½ t active dry yeast

2/3 c warm water

2 c bread flour

1.5 t salt

2 T olive oil

2-4 T granulated sugar

2-4 t anise seed

½ lb fresh red grapes

2 T powdered sugar

 

To make the sponge:

In a small bowl stir together 1/8 t yeast with 2T warm water, mix and let stand until creamy (5 minutes). This activates the dry yeast.

In a bowl, stir together the yeast mixture, 1/3 c water, and 1 c bread flour.  Blend until smooth, cover bowl and let rest for 4 hours at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

To make the bread:

In a small bowl stir together 1/2 t yeast with 2T warm water, mix and let stand until creamy (5 minutes). Using a mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix: sponge, flour, water, and yeast.  Blend at low speed until just moistened; add salt and mix until smooth and elastic, about 8 min.  Scrape dough into a bowl and cover.

Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk.  Dough will be sticky and full of bubbles.  Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half.  Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form an irregular loaf.  Do not overwork dough.  Cover loaves with a floured linen.  Let loves rise at room temperature until doubled in size.

If using a baking stone, pre-heat stone for at least 45 minutes.  Heat oven to 450-475 degrees F.

Brush each loaf with 1T olive oil, sprinkle with 1-2t anise seed, sprinkle with 1-2t granulated sugar.  Press individual grapes into surface to loaf, 15-20 per loaf.  The grapes do not need to be placed evenly, as the dough will expand when baking.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and the grapes have just wilted.  Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar. 

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