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6 Fresh Ideas For Your CSA

A healthy cooking guide to make that box of produce less intimidating.

At the same time you're switching your closet from winter to spring, local farmers are beginning to harvest the first warm weather produce, such as leafy greens, juicy berries and bright vegetables. Get a standing order for what's just come out of the ground (and support sustainable agriculture in the process) by joining a CSA, or community-supported agriculture.

As its popularity has grown, so too have the options for purveyors, plans, and pick-up locations, such as a farm or local restaurant, or opting for home delivery. It also means you'll never have to show up at the farmers' market first thing in the morning to avoid getting the leftovers.

Equinox Tier 4 Trainer, holistic health coach and nutritionist Bethany Snodgrass encourages her clients to join up, as she's found that embracing the CSA ideals surrounding health and environmentalism shows in their performance. “CSA shares are like summertime Christmas presents,” she says. “They deliver such a variety of nutrients, plus the fruits and veggies look and taste so much fresher.”

The complaint about CSAs is sometimes you're faced with an overflow of a certain item, possibly one you've never cooked before. Below, a few ideas to use up every last root, stem and leaf. If you're faced with a vegetable that makes you wary, remember: A touch of healthy fat, like coconut and olive oils and grass-fed butter, helps with satiety and nutrient absorption, Snodgrass says. Also, cooking methods that use the whole vegetable and short cooking times tend to maintain the highest level of nutrients. 

Here, a few ideas to get you started: