This post discusses the many Benefits of Joining A CSA Program. It also includes a delicious recipe for Baked Parmesan Kale Chips using local produce!
’tis the season for fresh produce
I don’t know about y’all, but I just love summer so much. It’s definitely my favorite time of the year, and it’s going so fast! Per usual.
I love summertime. It’s sunny & warm (okay, in KC it’s freaking HOT), but nonetheless, I get to hang out next to a large body of water occasionally, and I really dig that. Most importantly, there is so much delicious and fresh produce to be had during this season!
what is a CSA program?
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. In other words, fresh and locally produced food that is delivered right to you, the consumer!
I got to partner up with a local supermarket, Hen House, to participate in their CSA program for the summer!
how do csa programs work?
Each week I would go to Hen House to pick up our bag and I was always so excited to see all of the delicious food! They would include everything from fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and sometimes even local bread, jams, and other miscellaneous items.
Every CSA participant would receive a weekly email with the list of items to expect. They would even tell you the farm/location the food came from. For example, one week our cucumbers came from Brad Hall Produce in Sibley, MO!
I think it’s pretty cool knowing where your food came from, especially when it’s right around the corner!
All photos shown throughout this post were made using some of my fresh, local CSA food!
Disclosure: I was provided with a free membership to the Hen House CSA program for in exchange for social promotion. All opinions expressed are my own.
details on hen house’s CSA program
This part is only relevant for my Kansas City followers, but the following info will be applicable to anyone with a CSA program near them!
The Hen House CSA went from June 2nd to September 5th. They allow you to join in at any time.
You get a bag of food weekly, and you can choose which pick-up location is most convenient for you. You can also pick it up on either Wednesday or Saturday, depending on your preference. Weekends are when I like to grocery shop and meal plan, so I chose Saturdays.
what is the cost of csa programs?
The cost of the Hen House CSA program might be the best part. It’s only $10 to join, and then $25 per week!
what kinds of foods are included in CSA programs?
You get a variety of items every week. They included a combination of the following: milk, eggs, meat, bread, tons of local produce and other various items (i.e. apricot jelly, locally made hand soap, etc.). $25 is a great deal for all of that!
what are the benefits of a csa program?
There are so many benefits of participating in a CSA program, other than the low price.
Since the food is locally produced, there is a shorter time from farm to table. This means that it is likely going to be more nutritious. In addition, you are supporting your local farmers and it’s an opportunity to connect with others participating in your community.
Join with a friend and swap recipe ideas based on the items you get each week!
My favorite thing about participating in the CSA was the fact that it pushed me out of my cooking comfort zone. We all have our “go-to” recipes and foods that we buy over and over, right?
When you get unique items in your bag it inspires you to branch out and try new things, which I really loved!
recipes i made with my CSA items
My biggest adventure was roasting a whole chicken; something I had never even considered doing, but I’m so glad I did! I made a yummy Asian salad with grilled cabbage, used beefsteak tomatoes on flatbreads, and had some amazing toast with the fresh bread every week.
We even whipped up fresh salsa a few times using the peppers, onions & tomatoes from the CSA! I rarely buy kale (I’m more of a spring mix gal), but I got it in a couple of the bags, which ultimately led to these baked Parmesan kale chips! Now I want to start grabbing kale on a regular basis now. These make such a delicious snack!
are kale chips good for you?
Absolutely! Kale is a nutrition powerhouse. It is loaded with Vitamin A and K, manganese and several other vitamins and minerals. Each cup has only 33 calories, plus 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.
Kale is also a good source of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants are believed to help fight off diseases, including cancer.
Kale chips are great for you because the heart-healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil or avocado oils) allow your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in those leafy greens!
Does kale taste good?
If you’ve never had kale before, you might have the preconceived notion that it’s gross. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not, BUT how you prepare it definitely makes a huge difference.
Kale chips are an easy and delicious way to get some healthy greens in your (or your kid’s) diet! Bonus: this recipe is super easy to make.
Hopefully this will inspire you to try kale if you never have before!
Baked Parmesan Kale Chips
- 1 bunch kale washed and thoroughly dried
- Fresh cracked sea salt
- 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1-2 Tbsp grated or shredded Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Wash kale and dry well by patting it with a paper towel.
- Remove kale leaves from stems and tear into bite-sized pieces using your hands.
- Place kale pieces in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Massage the kale using your hands until the pieces are evenly coated with oil.
- Transfer the kale to the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until kale is crispy. (Check around 8 min to see if it needs more time or not; you don't want to burn it!)
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.
I hope this helped explain the many benefits of joining a CSA program! Please look into the program at Hen House in Kansas City if you are local! I hope you give these Baked Parmesan Kale Chips a try, too!
Feel free to comment here, or DM me anytime on Instagram at @wellnessforthewin, and as always, tag me in your posts/stories if you make this recipe!