Have You Tried Fiddleheads?

fiddlehead recipes feature

I’ll be honest, I had never heard of fiddleheads until I moved to Nova Scotia. I would see them every spring in the produce aisle of the grocery store, but just kept on walking by and hadn’t purchased them, until now. I finally decided to try them and see what this seasonal delicacy is all about.

Quick Overview

Fiddleheads are edible ferns. They are immature fern fronds harvested in spring, during the early stage of their development when they are tightly coiled and resemble a fiddle’s scroll (the upper end of the instrument), hence the name fiddlehead.

scroll

Fiddlehead season is extremely short, usually April and May.wild fiddleheads

fiddlehead coiled

It only takes a few days before the fronds start to unravel and the plant develops into a mature fern.

fiddlehead unravelling

There are many varieties of ferns, but the ones harvested on the East coast are the ostrich ferns, which fan out to resemble ostrich feathers once fully grown.

mature fern

Nutritional Value

Fiddleheads offer a lot of nutritional value.

They are rich in

  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • omega-6 fatty acids
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • potassium
  • iron
  • fibre

fiddlehead clean

Safety Precautions

Not all wild ferns are edible. Some types are toxic. Although ostrich ferns can easily be spotted in woodlands, unless you can identify them with absolute certainty, best not to harvest them yourself.

Even edible fiddleheads can cause food poisoning when eaten raw or undercooked.

Always cut browned ends, remove the husk, rinse thoroughly and then boil or steam the fiddleheads for at least 10 minutes before using them in recipes!

Even if you plan on sautéing them, cooking them, frying them, incorporating them in a soup recipe, adding them in a salad or in a smoothieALWAYS boil or steam them first! And NEVER eat them raw!

fiddlehead prep

Fiddleheads can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

You can also freeze them and enjoy them year-round. Simply boil or steam first, then blanch, dry and place in freezer bags.

Some grocery stores carry them in the frozen section too.

frozen fiddleheads

Easy Recipes

1. Fiddlehead Salad

Fiddleheads have a unique taste. In order to enjoy their full flavour try eating them as a salad. Delicious!

  • Rinse a handful of fiddleheads thoroughly
  • Boil or steam for 10 minutes
  • Drain
  • Blanch for 2 minutes
  • Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Add 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Season with salt & pepper

Fiddlehead salad

2. Fiddlehead Omelette

You can really get creative when it comes to cooking with fiddleheads. For example, you can incorporate them in your breakfast.

  • Rinse a handful of fiddleheads thoroughly
  • Boil or steam for 10 minutes
  • Drain
  • Blanch for 2 minutes
  • Sauté fiddleheads in 1 tbsp butter, for 1 minute
  • Add 4 whisked eggs over top
  • Cook until ready
  • Top with bacon bits and cheese
  • Season with salt & pepper

fiddlehead omelette omelette bite

3. Fried Fiddleheads With Sweet Hummus Sauce

For picky eaters… this recipe is sure to please.

  • Rinse a handful of fiddleheads thoroughly
  • Boil or steam for 10 minutes
  • Drain
  • Blanch for 2 minutes
  • Beat 1 egg
  • Dip the fiddleheads in egg one by one
  • Coat them with breadcrumbs
  • Fry fiddleheads for 2 minutes in hot oil
  • Place on paper towel to remove excess oil
  • Serve with sweet hummus sauce

Sweet hummus sauce

  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Mix hummus and honey together until smooth

fried fiddleheadsfried fiddleheads with sauce

If you haven’t tasted fiddleheads yet, then I hope these recipes will encourage you to try them out!

Happy cooking 😀

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Antigonish Farmers Market New Building

vegetables antigonish farmers market

by Michael Dickson

Hello Everyone! If you haven’t heard yet the Antigonish Farmers Market is growing and we need your help. We currently have $211,572.15 of our goal of $700,000. We recently held a very successful Gala fundraiser which consisted of amazing food donated by our very generous vendors, entertainment of the highest quality from local musicians with unrivaled passion for performing and of course the community that came out to show support to the Farmers Market and the local businesses that they love so much!

 

The support from the community has meant the world to the Board members of the Antigonish Farmers Market and to the vendors who’s business has continued to grow. We are so excited with how the fundraising is going and are inspired to work even harder to make this new building become a reality for everyone. We are also working on something very exciting for when the Special Olympics make their way to Antigonish.

 

Why is this new building such an important project for the community?

The amount of customers that the market has seen this year has grown so much over previous years that in order to effectively serve the consumers we need to expand! We need:

♦ More space for new and exciting vendors to serve the customer base that has been constantly growing

♦ A year-round Market for everyone and a second market day during the week to support the amount of people that we have coming into the market!

 

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Michael Overmars, Overmars Garden

 

marthas new garden

Mac Brown, The Martha’s New Garden

 

♦ To remain the hub for healthy eating and to support local producers which will benefit not only the overall health and wellness of the community, but will help the Market to serve as an incubator for more small businesses. This will in turn encourage the development of more small farms, local artisans and food vendors to provide the community with products of the highest quality.

 

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Angela Bowles, Food Matters Catering

 

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Wild Flour Bakery

 

♦ A provincially inspected, commercial kitchen available for a broad-based community usage to help support projects outside of the market. And of course with adding all of these positive things together, the economical impact this new building will bring is going to be massive.

 

With additional focus being put on the economy, it is now important more than ever to support home. With a growing number of people leaving, we need to do more to encourage people to stay here in our humble community of Antigonish, and being the number one Farmers Market in Nova Scotia is one of the best ways to not only create more local jobs to support people living in our community, but we will also continue to support a healthier lifestyle for everyone!

 

antigonish farmers market produce

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How can you donate to make this building a reality?

 

♦ You can click on this image:

antigonish farmers market

♦ Or go to www.antigonishfarmersmarket.ca, then click on the Donate tab at the top of the page.

♦ You can donate in person at our Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:30 to 1pm.

♦ You can also contact the market manager Michael Dickson by email at manager@antigonishfarmersmarket.ca or call at 902.867.7479.

antigonish farmers market new building

Show your support, Like us on Facebook at Antigonish Farmers Market Association and Instagram @Antigonishfarmersmarket

 

Thanks again everyone for supporting your local Antigonish Farmers Market!

Mike Dickson Antigonish

Michael Dickson, Antigonish Farmers Market Manager

Beeswax Wraps

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Recently, I came across reusable beeswax wraps at the Antigonish Winter Market. Sandra Swinkels, the owner of Swinkels Bee Products, started making them as a natural alternative to plastic wrap.

I was thrilled to find them locally and was looking forward to trying them out. So, in case you were wondering…

 

 

What are they made of?

The wraps are made out of 100% organic cotton infused with beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil. All three substances are known to be natural preservatives and have antibacterial properties. The combination of the cotton fabric and the above ingredients result in a breathable storage solution.

beeswax wrap ingredients

 

How big are the wraps?

The general use wraps come in two sizes: 8″ x 8″ and 11″ x 11″. The sandwich wraps measure 14″ x 14″ unfolded and 5″ x7″ folded.

 

How do you use them?

The wraps can be used to cover bowls, jars, plates, etc. They are very malleable and simply require the warmth of your hands to adhere to the rim of containers.

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They are very versatile too. You can turn them into snack bags by moulding them into a desired shape or simply use them to wrap leftover bread, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and more.

beeswax wrap bread

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beeswax wrap pepper

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How well do they work?

I compared the two methods of food storage by wrapping two halves of an avocado, one with cling wrap and the other one with beeswax wrap.

beeswax wrap avocado

Cling wrap vs Beeswax wrap

 

Twenty four hours later…

beeswax wrap avocado 2

Not bad, eh?

 

As for the sandwich wraps, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first… I wasn’t sure if my sandwich would remain fresh until the next day, but it did!

An added bonus was the sweet aroma of beeswax. A little aromatherapy during lunch break is always a good thing!

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beeswax sandwich wrap 6

 

What about care and storage?

The wrappers come with a sheet of instructions for use & care. It’s recommended to wash them with cool water and mild dish soap, otherwise the beeswax and resin might lose their adherence. And, since they cannot be cleaned with hot water, they should not to be used for storing meat.

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beeswax sandwich wrap 12

 

The large wrap can be stored flat, folded or rolled. I like to roll mine up and place it in a drawer to minimize storage space. The sandwich wrap can easily be stored as is.

beeswax wrap storage Kent building supplies island cart

 

How much do they cost?

The small wraps cost $7.00, the larger ones cost $9.00 and the sandwich wraps, $12.00. They are reusable and can last up to a year, so it’s well worth the investment.

And, although I love the bumble bee print, there are many other beautiful and colourful prints to choose from. Here are just a few:

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You can find Sandra and her line of Swinkels Bee Products, including the beeswax wraps, every Saturday at the Antigonish Winter Market or you can purchase her products online.

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Eco-friendly  Sustainable  Reusable  Biodegradable

 

Food for thought…

If you use 1 sqft of plastic wrap for one sandwich per day, then this adds up to 260 sqft per year. For a family of 4, this number translates to 1040 sqft per year. Now say you were to switch to beeswax wraps only twice per week, this automatically cuts down your plastic wrap usage by at least 40%! Not bad, considering film plastics (which include plastic wraps) have such a negative impact on the environment and, now more then ever, we are strongly encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic we use; think of the recent plastic bags ban implemented in Montreal and possibly in Nova Scotia in the near future.

So, if you use plastic wrap daily for your sandwiches and snacks, why not try using beeswax wraps instead? Even once a week can make a huge difference!

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