When I think of July, I think of traveling by foot. Lots of long, beautiful sunset hikes. Maybe if you're lucky a beach day or two. But, hand in hand with movement is energy. Guess what gives you energy? Protein. Guess what has perfect plant based protein? Beans eaten with corn. We're dreaming of delicious ayocote bean tacos, and black bean tamales on summer evenings. Perhaps a breakfast of left over black beans with a friend egg and salsa eaten with a freshly made tortilla. Never made tortillas yourself? You are in for a real treat! This month, we are introducing Chef-Grade Masa Harina from Masienda to our bean and grain club members. Use this white masa to make your own tortillas. Who doesn't love summer tacos?

July Heirloom Bean and Grain Club

FAMILY SIZE CONTAINS:

Organic Ayocote Morado Beans, Organic Alubia Beans, Organic Black Tepary Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Masa White

REGULAR SIZE CONTAINS:

Organic Ayocote Morado Beans, Organic Alubia Beans, Masa White

BEAN ONLY CONTAINS:

Organic Ayocote Morado Beans, Organic Alubia Beans, Organic Black Tepary Beans

ORGANIC AYOCOTE MORADO BEANS

This ancient heirloom bean is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the Americas. In Oaxaca it is used in everything from soups to tamales. We love the amazing flavor and dense, creamy texture. The Ayocote Morado is a gorgeous purple color that becomes a chocolate brown when cooked. It's a fairly large sized bean and has a meaty quality making it ideal as a vegetarian main dish.

Join The Heirloom Bean and Grain Club

WHAT TO DO WITH THEM

This bean pairs well with earthy flavors like greens and mushrooms and it's an excellent alternative to the Christmas Lima in this delicious heirloom bean, carmelized onion and mushroom recipe. The first time we had these beans we cooked them simply with just salt and water and the broth was simply mouthwatering. We addedmole sauce and served with a fried egg and cilantro on top for a deeply satisfying meal. They are also an excellent choice for thishearty bean soup recipe.

ABOUT THE  FARMER

When it comes to ancient grains and farming, Larry Kandarian is legendary. Meeting Larry at the Santa Monica farmers market feels like meeting an agricultural prophet. He can talk to you all day about varieties of beans and grains you've never heard of and how going beyond just organic to fully sustainable and regenerative farming creates better tasting food. His deeply weathered hands from over 50 years working in the fields, let you know that he's the real deal. Unlike others, Larry doesn't just own a farm, he is a true farmer. He is passionate about growing better tasting food that is also better for us and the planet. His incredibly diverse array of grains, legumes, herbs and spices grown in Los Osos, California are all carefully chosen heirloom varieties that work together to create a self-sustaining eco-system that requires no fertilizer, pesticides or weed killers. All of this leads to better soil health, and when you grow food in better soil it just tastes better.

ORGANIC ALUBIA BEANS

Also known as white kidney beans, these tiny, smooth beans have a beautiful firm texture which allows them to easily absorb flavors. When cooked, the beans hold their shape perfectly even after long periods of time. Alubia beans are packed with fiber and protein, but are low in fat and glycemic index. They are also an excellent source of polyphenol antioxidants which help you handle stress. 

WHAT TO DO WITH THEM

Try Alubia beans with fatty meat or garlic to absorb some amazing flavors. Alubia beans would be good in just about anything. The ability to hold shape allows lots of flavor absorbstion from long, slow cooking or a great salad.  

Check out this Three Bean Salad. Substitute the cannellini beans for Alubia beans in this light, refreshing salad. The recipe also calls for garbanzo beans, which is perfect if you have the family size. It’s a super easy summer dish, make it a few hours or the night before, pop it in the fridge to soak, and then bring to room temp to serve. We love it! 

ORGANIC BLACK TEPARY BEANS

These Non-GMO heirloom black beans are a very rare variety of the Native American tepary bean. They are a delicious and more nutritious alternative to traditional black beans. Born of an ancient tradition of separating the black seeds before planting the white or brown teparies, the black seeds were selected, planted, grown, and harvested over several years to bring out the hidden traits of this unique tepary bean. 

The remains of the tepary have been found in archeological sites in Mexico that are 5,000 years old and it has been grown in what is now California and Arizona for thousands of years. Tepary beans are the original superfood of the Sonoran Desert having sustained Native American people for countless generations. This incredibly hearty bean was a staple food source for Native American tribes who cultivated it to survive in the incredibly arid conditions.  An ingredient in the Slow Food Ark of Taste, the tepary bean is believed to be the world’s most drought tolerant bean, and higher in fiber and protein than most other beans with a low glycemic index and superior taste.

The s-chuuk bavi (black tepary bean) has a firm, meaty texture and a distinctive flavor with a hint of lime that makes it perfect for Mexican cuisine.

ABOUT THE MAKER

We are honored that Ramona is sharing with us the food traditions of her tribe, the Akimel O'Odham (Gila River Pima) Community. Ramona's father, Francisco ‘Chiigo’ Smith, an O’dham farmer, grew many traditional crops on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona. Her mother was an herbalist and traditional healer. Together they taught Ramona the value of their traditional foods  and way of life. She continued the traditions with her own family, farming on this ancestral land with her husband.

Ramona Farms

In the late 1970’s, some community elders asked Ramona and her husband to grow the Bafv (tepary bean), which had nearly become extinct due to the lack of water that put many of the local subsistence farmers out of business. They discovered that her father had left a few seeds of the white and brown tepary beans in glass jars in a trunk in the old adobe house that she grew up in. They knew that it was to become their mission to ‘bring the bafv back’ to the community.  

It is through Ramona's tireless efforts that we can now enjoy this delicious part of our American cultural heritage and honor the traditions of the Akimel O'Odham people and their ancestors that have cared for the land for generations.

heirloom bean and grain club

GARBANZO BEANS

Also known as chickpeas, this classic bean is a major part of European, Mexican, and Middle Eastern foodways. Although not traditionally new world beans, Rancho Gordo’s new crop beans don’t require any preparation like soaking and this new crop harvest ensures quicker cooking and fresher flavor. They make a wonderful contrast to other ingredients with a mild, nutty flavor. You can eat them canned, dried, roasted, hot, cold, and the list goes on. 

Check out this instagram-worthy Lemony Roasted Beat Hummus. This may be the most beautiful hummus you have ever seen. Bright colors and great food are on our radar this summer and be sure to tag us on Instagram if you try this one out! 

ABOUT RANCHO GORDO

Rancho Gordo beans by Steve Sando are kinda a big deal.  It started as a hobby of growing heirloom beans and figuring out different ways to cook them and quickly led to farmer’s markets.  When the people started loving all the varieties he grew, as much as Steve did, he knew he was onto something good. Read More... 

MASA WHITE

Non-GMO, Gluten free and made from the best, traditional heirloom corn in Oaxaca, Mexico. Once you try Masienda corn flour, you won't go back. The deep flavors are made from the highest quality ingredients and grown in the same environment for hundreds of years. In small batches, the heirloom corn is cooked, slow dried, and milled to perfection with no genetic modification. With a trace of lime and the natural, traditional maize flavor, this masa will change your life. 

WHAT TO MAKE

This White Corn Masa is amazing for tortillas, tostadas, tamales, pupusas, arepas and more. Masa can be used like a blank canvas, there is so many possibilities! Each bag makes 86 6" tortillas. 

Check out this video from Masienda on how to make a tortilla that puffs.  I have to warn you, it is definitely an art. Keep your eyes open for Lisa's tortilla tutorial video this month! 

ABOUT THE MAKER

Masienda started on the pursuit for the perfect tortilla. The journey for flavor landed Jorge Gaviria, founder and CEO in Oaxaca, Mexico, the birthplace of heirloom corn. In Oaxaca, he experienced his first perfect, real tortilla cultivated from traditional maize farmers and their families have been cultivating for centuries. The corn that is used in these traditional tortillas go through a Mesoamerican process called Nixtamalization which mineralizes the corn and excretes nutrition. This is what keeps in the flavor and nutrients that tortillas in the U.S. lack. 
Jorge discovered that there are three principles that build the best tasting corn, biodiversity, sustainability, and small farmers. Masienda pairs with hundreds of traditional farmers to curate the highest quality ingredients. Masienda continuously focuses more eyes to the beautiful flavors of heirloom corn and gives farmers a way to sell their product. In Oaxaca, Masienda's investments stay with the residents, farmers, and families. Donaldo Cruz Escamilla, a Masienda farmer, says it best.
"Corn is not a culture, it's the foundation of the family."
Masienda sources many single origin ingredients besides corn like spices, beans, and coffee. They also offer many kitchen tools and home goods, specially created together with craftspeople. Masienda is making it their mission to connect more people to the cultural and culinary wonders of Mexican kitchens. 

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