Market Fresh: Local, healthy foods are sweet for valentines

Steve Edwards

Lots of people are thinking sweets this week.

But after a few pieces of chocolate, it's time to start thinking healthy again. And healthy can be sweet too.

The Center Market at The Mall at Sears will have several vendors again Wednesday. Among their offerings Alaska-grown carrots (very sweet), beets (pretty darn sugary too) and locally produced honey (can't get much sweeter than that).

For those who've already maxed out the sweet tooth, Alex Davis of A.D. Farm has some options.

"Back on the menu this week will be our sliced fresh side pork," he says. "We still have lots of the slab side for those of you who like it that way."

Additionally, Davis will have pork chops, roast, loin roast, steak, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, spicy sausage and ground pork. He also has those tasty Alaska carrots -- orange, purple and white -- along with golden beets, cabbage, parsnips, fingerling potatoes, peanut potatoes and blue potatoes. Davis will also have about 70 dozen fresh chicken and duck eggs, along with barley flour and barley cereal produced in Delta.

Other vendors at the market include Country Health Foods with locally produced grass-fed beef; locally raised chicken and duck; honey; and Alaska seafood, including shrimp, scallops and sockeye salmon. Northern Lights Mushrooms will be back at the market with locally grown oyster and shiitake mushrooms. Rempel Family Farm will have red, chioggia and golden beets; snow apple turnips; daikon radish; green cabbage; stripetti squash; sugar pumpkins; and nine kinds of potatoes.

The Center Market is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Mall at Sears.


Flowers for more than Valentine's Day

Visit www.thepersistentfarmer. com to check out what Rob Wells has available in his Alaska-grown dahlia catalog. "Some favorites are getting in low supply," Wells says.

There are specials for the holiday, if perfect-for-Alaska flowers are a better fit than roses. More information is also available by calling 907-745-2789.


Sweet recipe: Chocolate chip cookies

It is the season of sweets; why not make something tasty at home? Try this chocolate chip cookie recipe from "Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes From the Celebrated Spa." These cookies exude a classic chocolate chip cookie flavor but contain no animal products or refined sugars. You might even call them "healthy."


 Vegetable oil cooking spray

 ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

 1 cup whole wheat flour

 1/3 cup chocolate chips

 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

 ½ teaspoon baking soda

 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 ¾ cup maple syrup

 ½ cup applesauce

 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

w Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.

w Put the oats in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until ground into a fine meal, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. And the flour, chocolate chips, ground flaxseed, baking soda and salt. Whisk together the dry ingredients until well combined.

w In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, applesauce, grapeseed oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Pour into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together until just incorporated. The batter will be very moist, like muffin batter.

w Using a 3/4-ounce scoop or rounded tablespoonfuls, spoon the batter 11/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Use the back of a wet spoon to slightly flatten each cookie.

w Bake one sheet at a time until light golden brown, about 20 minutes turning the pan halfway through baking. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely. These are best eaten within 1 day of baking; store them at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Source: "Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes From the Celebrated Spa" by Dean Rucker (Clarkson Potter/Publishers)


Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at



Daily News correspondent