How to Make Corn Syrup That’s Homemade & Healthy

How to Make Corn Syrup That’s Homemade & Healthy

I never really cared about how to make corn syrup until we started looking at all the processed foods we eat and eliminating them one by one from our diet.

 

Corn syrup is definitely one of those overly-processed foods that has ingredients I can’t pronounce, so it had to go.

 

And since most corn grown in the U.S. is a GMO (genetically modified organism) crop, you can bet store-bought corn syrup is cut from the same cloth.

However, there are recipes where corn syrup is necessary, particularly if you like to make candy, so knowing how to make a light corn syrup substitute at home is a good idea.

 

You should note that because this is a homemade corn syrup, it’s not the same as what you buy in the store, so it’s really an ingredient to use in place of corn syrup.

 

But it works well, and luckily, it’s really so simple to learn how to make a corn syrup substitute, and even a kitchen klutz like me can do it.

 

And while a homemade corn syrup version is still full of sugar, it’s still much healthier than what you’ll find on the grocery aisle.

 

(Even if you use GMO corn, this recipe will work. But if you want to avoid GMOs altogether, then learning how to make corn syrup at home is critical).

And believe me when I tell you, it tastes a hell of a lot better.

 

Think salty and sweet meets “fire-grilled on a warm summer eve” corn on the cob.

 

Honestly, that description doesn’t even cover it, but believe me, try this recipe once, and you won’t go back, especially since you can knock it out in about 30 minutes and have about 1 cup of corn syrup to cook with.

 

So without further rambling, here’s how to make corn syrup with sugar and water right in your own kitchen.

 

 

How to Make Corn Syrup from Scratch

 

So, for this recipe (printable recipe at the bottom of this page), you’re going to need ingredients you likely already have on your kitchen shelf.

 

Grab:

 

1 cup sugar

4 cups boiling water to dissolve sugar

2 additional cups lukewarm water

2 cups of soft corn kernels or 3 leftover corn cobs

 

If you have extra corn left over from dinner, or corn still on the cob that your kids took two bites out of, then this is a good way to use them up.

 

I prefer using loose kernels to make corn syrup, but if you have them, the cobs do make it easier to strain.

 

Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water by stirring water into sugar.

 

If you need more boiling water, then use it. What matters is the sugar is totally dissolved.

 

Pour into non-reactive pot once all the sugar is dissolved.

 

Add remaining 2 cups of water into the pot. (Make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate everything easily; the last thing you want is sugar water boiling over and making a sticky mess.)

 

Slowly heat, stirring to make sure the sugar stays dissolved. This is particularly important as the temperature rises, because the sugar can easily crystallize. Once everything starts to boil, I stir continuously.

 

Once boiling, add the corn kernels or cobs.

 

how to make corn syrup

 

At this point keep stirring. The water will start steaming. Effectively what you’re doing is heating the sugar so it melts, and boiling off the excess water.

 

As the mixture boils, the corn will heat, imparting it’s flavor into the syrup.

 

Keep stirring as the mixture boils. Eventually, the mixture will reduce to about half it’s size. Once the corn syrup starts to look yellow and get thick, you know you’re almost there.

 

Your homemade corn syrup is ready to remove from the heat when the top starts to bubble consistently over the entire surface of the corn syrup.

 

Remove from heat and immediately pour into a mason jar lined with a strainer to catch the corn kernels. It will be slightly runny, but that’s because it’s hot.

 

Allow to cool, placing something over the mouth of the mason jar to keep out bugs and curious children (it will be very hot) but that will still allow steam out.

 

Once cool, the corn syrup should be even thicker. You can store in your fridge, and it will keep for quite a while.

 

This looks like a lot of steps, but really, learning how to make corn syrup at home is very simple once you get started.

 

Learning how to make corn syrup is just a simple matter of using ingredients you already have on hand – and it’s not really that difficult is it?


Kiss your store-bought corn syrup good bye!

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you have a better idea of how to make corn syrup? Do you think you’ll try this? Leave a comment below!

More Kitchen Basics Tips:


You’ve heard apple cider vinegar is healthy for both humans and chickens…but do you know how to make it? If you’ve been dying to try and want expert guidance, you’ll love this 15-minute video.


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What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: Thanksgiving Edition

What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: Thanksgiving Edition

Can you believe that it’s almost November? I feel like this year has flown past!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I am so excited for this year! I love to find seasonal foods at my local farmer’s market for Thanksgiving. Eating local food tastes sooo much better and that makes it perfect for Thanksgiving!

In my area it’s still 80 degrees (can you believe it? ugh) so the growing season is a little bit longer here. But I know for many of you, especially those of you who live further north, the farmer’s market pickings are getting slim in November.

Because of the variety of climates in the United States this is farmer’s market guide is pretty general. If you want to know exactly what’s in season in your area you can head over to The Seasonal Food Guide. I love this website because you can put in your zip code and know exactly what’s in season throughout the year in your area!

So let’s get started! Here’s what you should be looking for at the farmer’s market in November!

Apples

I’ve said it many times before, but I LOVE fresh apples. And fresh apples are perfect for making apple pie for Thanksgiving! In my opinion, there’s nothing better than homemade apple pie. You can check out my favorite homemade pie recipes here: Homemade Pie Recipes For The Holidays

You can also use fresh apples to make homemade apple cider vinegar! I have a guide for how to make apple cider vinegar here!

Mint

If you’re lucky you might be able to find some fresh mint at your local farmer’s market this month. It’s still in season in my area at the beginning of November, so keep an eye out for it! Having mint around during Thanksgiving is a must have for me because mint soothes upset tummies. I like to chew on the leaves, or I’ll make mint tea if I have an upset stomach (from eating too much!)

Plus mint has tons of benefits for your chickens! I use dried peppermint in my hens’ nesting boxes! You can get dried peppermint in my shop here: Dried peppermint 

Potatoes

If you’re lucky you might still be able to find some local potatoes for your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. Since potatoes are fairly easy to store long term you can usually find farmers who have stored their crop from earlier in the season. When I lived further north I would go to a local farmer who stored potatoes in a massive root cellar! It was awesome because you could get local potatoes year round!

Check out my favorite recipe for Southern Style Mashed Potatoes and Gravy that you can make in your instant pot!

Sweet Potatoes

Yum! I love sweet potatoes! And good thing they’re in season in November, so you can make candied yams for Thanksgiving! This recipe for candied yams looks delicious (This recipe does call for sweet potatoes, not yams. Typically in the U.S. the words sweet potatoes and yams are used almost interchangeably which can be confusing!)

You can also try my favorite recipe for Southern Style Sweet Potatoes!

Winter Squash

I’m really looking forward to trying some recipes with winter squash this year! There are so many varieties of winter squash (spaghetti, acorn, butternut etc.) and I’m really looking forward to trying some out!

Some recipes I’m dying to try this year are:

Pumpkin

There are still fresh local pumpkins hanging around after Halloween, I promise! I love using fresh pumpkin to make pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice because it’s perfect for the holidays! You can find my recipe here: Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Spice. But my favorite thing to do with fresh pumpkin is make pumpkin pie! You can check out my favorite holiday pie recipes right here!

Carrots

Where I live, fresh carrots start showing up in October & November (since summers are so hot!) This recipe for Maple Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots would be the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving!

Mustard Greens

Yum! Mustard greens are perfect for salads and they would be great for a Thanksgiving side dish. Check out this recipe for Sautéed Mustard Greens With Garlic and Lemon!

Thyme

I love fresh thyme! Typically November is the last month there’s fresh thyme at the farmer’s market, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can! I just made a recipe for meatball orzo stew tonight for dinner, and the best part was it featured fresh thyme! You can find the recipe here: Slow cooker meatball orzo stew.

Well that’s all folks! If you’re looking for Thanksgiving décor ideas for your home, I’ve got your covered! Head over to this article here for my favorite fall themed décor! What are you going to buy at the farmer’s market this month?

 

Children’s Book Read-and-Bake Series: Chocolate Cookie Mice for “Frederick” by Leo Lionni

Children’s Book Read-and-Bake Series: Chocolate Cookie Mice for “Frederick” by Leo Lionni

Adorable Chocolate Cookie Mice are as much fun to make as they are to eat!

These cute little critters start out as rich chocolate cookies. The addition of just a few sprinkles magically transforms the cookies into mice.

Hi, I’m Wendy from The Monday Box, bringing you another Read-and-Bake recipe. This series links children’s picture books and baking. Whether you have children in the kitchen baking with you or you are baking goodies for a Read-and-Bake care package, the featured books and the companion baked goods are sure to generate smiles!

This month’s featured book is “Frederick” by Leo Lionni. A beloved children’s classic, “Frederick” won a Caldecott Honor in 1967!

The magical story and the enchanting torn paper illustrations have made “Frederick” a favorite for more than 50 years!

“Frederick” tells the story of a family of mice gathering supplies for the winter. While most of the mice scurry to stockpile food supplies, Frederick sits quietly observing the world around him. He isn’t being lazy. Frederick is gathering colors and words.

Toward the end of the long winter, when the food supplies have been used up, Frederick tells his mouse family stories of the colors in the world and the warmth of the sun. His words warm their hearts and feed their spirits.

“Frederick” teaches the power of words and imagination to transport us and bring us joy.

What better way to celebrate Frederick’s imagination, than with a batch of Chocolate Cookie Mice! Perhaps your little ones will want to be like Frederick and will tell the cookie mice a story before gobbling them up!

Chocolate Cookie Mice are easy to make, but do require planning. The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before using so that it will hold its shape in the oven. I suggest you make the dough one day (it takes only about 10 minutes) and create your batch of mice cookies the next day.

There are lots of possibilities for decorating the mice. I used nonpareil sprinkles in pink or red for the noses, candy eyes, ears made out of peanuts or cookie dough, and tails made out of chocolate licorice cut into thin strips.

Licorice whips that come in black or red are the easiest candy for making mouse tails. I used thin slices of chocolate licorice as an alternative for kids who don’t like the other flavors.

All of the decorating items can be found at most supermarkets or at a cake/cookie decorating store. If you can’t find any of these items, there are lots of other options.

Decorating ideas to consider for the noses:

  •        Mini M&M’s
  •         Red cinnamon candies
  •         A dot of melted pink or red candy melts added after the cookies are baked
  •         A dot of packaged tube decorating icing
  •         Pink or red heart sprinkles

Decorating ideas to consider for the eyes:

  •         Mini chocolate chips (white or chocolate) with the bottom facing out
  •         White or black nonpareil sprinkles (with or without a dot in the center made with edible marker)
  •        Dots of melted white/brown candy melts or chocolate added after the cookies are baked
  •         Dots added with packaged tube decorating icing
  •         Mini M&M’s

Decorating ideas to consider for the ears:

  •         Brown M&M’s
  •         Chocolate chips with the flat bottom facing forward
  •         Sliced almonds

Chocolate Cookies Mice are thick and chewy and have a deep chocolate flavor. They will most likely continue to be a family favorite even when the kids grow out of picture books!

It’s hard not to smile just looking at those cute little mouse faces and it’s impossible not to smile once you take a bite.

 

Chocolate Cookie Mice

Adapted from ImperialSugar.com

Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Black or chocolate licorice laces for tails
  • Pink or red nonpareil sprinkles for noses
  • Candy eyes (or white/black nonpareil sprinkles)
  • Optional: peanuts or almonds for ears

**NOTE: This dough requires chilling for at least 3 hours. May be chilled overnight.

Directions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually mix in the flour mixture, just until combined.
  • Form the dough into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours to overnight.
  • When ready to bake: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
  • Use a small (1 tablespoon) scoop to portion the dough. Roll the dough into a ball, then pinch one end of the ball into an elongated point for a nose.
  • Gently press in the candy eyes and nonpareil nose.
  • Ears: If using dough for ears, form two 1/8 teaspoon portions of dough into discs and press the discs onto the mouse head. If using peanuts or almonds, insert the nuts onto the mouse head.
  • Place each mouse cookie 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and immediately push a licorice lace tail into the back of each mouse cookie.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.

Chocolate Cookie Mice

Adapted from ImperialSugar.com

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Black or chocolate licorice laces for tails
  • Pink or red nonpareil sprinkles for noses
  • Candy eyes (or white/black nonpareil sprinkles)
  • Optional: peanuts or almonds for ears
  • **NOTE: This dough requires chilling for at least 3 hours. May be chilled overnight.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Gradually mix in the flour mixture, just until combined.

  4. Form the dough into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours to overnight.

  5. When ready to bake: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.

  7. Use a small (1 tablespoon) scoop to portion the dough. Roll the dough into a ball, then pinch one end of the ball into an elongated point for a nose.

  8. Gently press in the candy eyes and nonpareil nose.

  9. Ears: If using dough for ears, form two 1/8 teaspoon portions of dough into discs and press the discs onto the mouse head. If using peanuts or almonds, insert the nuts onto the mouse head.

  10. Place each mouse cookie 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

  11. Bake for 10 minutes.

  12. Remove from oven and immediately push a licorice lace tail into the back of each mouse cookie.

  13. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

  14. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.

What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: September

What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: September

It’s fall y’all! I LOVE fall especially at the farmer’s market!

I know all anyone can think about this month is pumpkin spice, but I’m over here dreaming about the yummy fruits and vegetables I’ll be able to buy at the farmer’s market in September.

In my area farmer’s markets are in full swing in September and all of the farmers start pulling out all the stops to satisfy everyone’s pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon needs.

I love the farmers market! But I’ve learned over the years that not everyone can navigate the farmer’s market as easily as others. Personally I think that shopping at the farmer’s market is a great experience as long as you go into it with the right expectations. Here are a few things to know before you head out to your local farmers market.

  1. Your food will not look perfect!

Many of us are used to the picture perfect produce we see at the grocery store. But most of the time the produce you pick up from the farmers market is not going to look perfect, and that’s ok!

2. You won’t find out of season produce.

When you shop at the farmer’s market you have to get used to eating seasonally. So if you live somewhere with cold winters, you’re probably not going to find fresh corn in January. But the great thing about eating seasonally is that it allows you to try out produce you haven’t tried before that’s available locally in your area!

3. You food will taste amazing!

Produce from the farmer’s market are typically picked when they are ripe because they don’t have to be shipped long distances. Because of this your food will taste amazing because it was picked at peak ripeness! Plus it’s fresher than produce you get from the grocery store, so it will taste so much better!

I could keep raving about farmer’s market products all day, but let’s get started. Keep in mind that this is a general guide and it could vary based on where you live. If you want to know exactly what to look for at the farmer’s market in your area check out this website called The Seasonal Food Guide!

So here are some products you should be looking for at your local farmer’s market in September!

Chives

I love chives because they are such a good garnish for food! They add a super yummy flavor to any meal! I am so excited to get some fresh chives so that I can try out this recipe for Chive Biscuits!

Tomatillos

Ok so I’ll admit to being obsessed with salsa. I just can’t stop myself from eating it! And tomatillos make the best salsa! This recipe is for a classic salsa verde made with tomatillos!

Sweet Potatoes

I’ve actually grown to love using sweet potatoes in my meals. I used to think sweet potatoes were disgusting, but now I’m really loving using sweet potatoes in soups like this one. Make sure you pick up some sweet potatoes at the farmer’s market this month!

Onions

Onions are in season in September! I love having fresh onions, but they make my eyes water like crazy! It’s worth it though for the delicious flavor it adds to all of my meals! Growing up we had onions and garlic in EVERYTHING, so it’s definitely a cooking staple for me!

Garlic

Personally, I love to store fresh garlic that I get from the farmer’s market, so that I can eat it all year long! You can read my post about How To Store Garlic Long Term here!

how to store garlic long term #garlic

Endive

I’ve never had endive before, but I’ll definitely be looking for it in September at the farmer’s market so that I can try it out! I’m super excited to try this recipe for goat cheese stuffed endive!

Celery

Celery is a classic snack for your kids and I love eating it too! It’s especially good when you get it from the local farmer’s market! Check out my favorite healthy snacks for kids for my favorite ways to make healthy eating fun (and delicious) for your kids!

Brussels Sprouts

I am not a fan of brussels sprouts. But I know there are some people who love them (y’all are crazy because they’re nasty!). If you’re a brussels sprout lover look for some at your local farmer’s market in September!

Grapes

Grapes are also an amazing healthy snack! Locally grown grapes are AMAZING, so see if you can pick some up at your local farmer’s market.

Radicchio

I have never tried radicchio before, but I’m so excited to find it at the farmer’s market! I love trying out new fruits and vegetables especially when I have fun, new recipes to try out like this one for radicchio risotto!

Winter Squash

There are all kinds of varieties of winter squash that I find in my area starting in September. Spaghetti, acorn, and butternut squash seem to be the most popular around here, but keep an eye out for different kinds! And don’t forget pumpkins are a winter squash too! Check out this yummy recipe for pumpkin bread!

 

Potatoes

I eat a lot of potatoes, especially if they’re fresh potatoes!!! I eat mashed potatoes almost every week and I love to make these southern style mashed potatoes you make in your instant pot!

Apples

I’ve said it before, but I love fresh apples! I always end up grabbing tons of apples when I go to the farmer’s market in September!

Apple Cider

Since I love apples so much, I’m always on the hunt for some good apple cider. In my area there is an amazing local company that makes AWESOME apple cider from their freshly grown apples. It’s not cheap (I’ve seen it as high as $8 a gallon) but I’m obsessed with it. I highly recommend that you look for local apple cider producers in September! It’s the perfect fall drink and it’s even better if it’s bought locally!

What products are you excited to find at the farmer’s market this month? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Here’s What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: August

Here’s What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: August

I love fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables. To me, there’s nothing better than eating delicious home grown produce. I love growing my own produce in my garden, but I know that’s not an option for everyone.

While I was in college and living in an apartment, I thought eating locally would be tricky, if not impossible because I couldn’t grown my own food. I craved the yummy, home grown produce I was used to having from my parents massive garden.

That’s when I discovered farmer’s markets and I’m telling you I’ll never go back to eating produce from the grocery store! Buying fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market supports local farmers, and it tastes AMAZING!

I loved shopping at the farmer’s market in college (and I still do!) but sometimes shopping there can be a bit different from shopping at the grocery store. In the society we live in today, many of us are used to having whatever produce we want no matter the season. But it’s not that way at the farmer’s market.

When you shop at the farmer’s market you have to eat foods that are in season locally because that’s all your local farmers are growing!! While it can be a bit of an adjustment to eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, trust me you will grow to love it! When you’re eating produce seasonally it tastes amazing and it’s fresh! Trust me, grocery store corn on the cob has NOTHING on fresh corn on the cob.

One of my favorite parts about eating seasonally is getting to try out new fruits and vegetables. I love experimenting with new recipes and learning how to cook different types of produce!

When I realized how many people don’t understand produce seasonality, I decided that I would write a monthly blog post to give a general idea of what produce is in season that month. Now obviously this will vary depending on where you live, you Californians can probably get pretty much any produce you want, but if you’re living in Michigan your local produce options could be slim depending on the season.

So keep in mind that this is a general guide. If you want to know exactly what produce is in season in your area check out one of my favorite websites called The Seasonal Food Guide. All you have to do is put in where you live and it will give you a list of produce that’s in season in your area!

So let’s get started. Here are some of the fruits and vegetables you might find at your local farmer’s market in August!

Bok Choy

So I’ve never actually had bok choy, but I am definitely heading out to my local farmer’s market this month to pick some up! One of my favorite things about the farmers market is getting to try new fruits and vegetables that are in season, so this year I’m going to have to try bok choy out! I love stir fry so when I pick some up I’ll have to try this stir-fried chicken and bok choy recipe!

Apples

Apples are quite possibly my favorite fruit, so I love late summer and early fall when apples are in season in my area! Personally, I love my locally grown honey crisp apples. And because I’m lazy I use this handy apple corer and slicer to cut up my apples:)

Cantaloupe

As a kid I HATED cantaloupe, but now it’s actually growing on me! I love eating it raw, but this year I will definitely have to try out this strawberry cantaloupe smoothie!

Chili Peppers

Oh chili peppers. One of the best things about August is that peppers and tomatoes are season, so I can make salsa! Check out my favorite salsa recipes here!

Cilantro

And speaking of salsa, here’s another salsa essential that’s in season in August. Not only is cilantro great for salsa, but it also makes some awesome salad dressing. Check out this recipe for my absolute favorite creamy tomatillo salad dressing.

Eggplant

Eggplant was on my list for last month, but I put it on the list for this month as well so that I would remember to pick some up! I’m dying to try some of this eggplant parmesan this month!

Grapes

Grapes are in season in August! I am a huge fan of grapes because they are such a great healthy snack!

Okra

One of my favorite things about farmer’s markets is they introduce me to new produce. I had never heard of okra until I was 19 and saw some at a local farmers market! It’s hard to find in my area because it isn’t well known, but I hear it’s a staple in the southern states. If I can find some I’m going to try this fried okra recipe!

 

Oregano

This herb is so good for your chickens and so I love that fresh oregano is in season this month. Check out my recipe for tummy treats for your chickens that includes oregano! I also sell dried oregano here.

Wheat Berry & Lemon Balm Happy Tummy Treats

Peaches

I look forward to peach season every years, so that I can have peach cobbler. I LOVE it! It tastes so good, and this is my favorite recipe here.

 

Snap peas

I love peas! Typically peas are in season in early summer, but there’s a farmer near me who occasionally does a fall crop of peas and they’re done in late August to early September. I love that I can have peas in late summer too! I preserve my fresh peas every year, so that I can eat yummy peas all year long.

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Yum, peas! What are you harvesting right now?

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Tomatoes

My favorite thing about July and August is that tomatoes are in season. Grocery store tomatoes have nothing on the locally grown tomatoes that I can pick up at the farmers market. And nothing compares to having a fresh tomato on your burger at a BBQ.

Kohlrabi

This is another vegetable that I had never heard of before going to a farmers market. This stuff comes into season in my area in late August and early September, but in other areas of the United States it isn’t in season until October. I’m definitely going to try out this roasted kohlrabi recipe this August.

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Kyssikset💜 #kasvimaalla #kyssäkaali #kohlrabi

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What foods are you going to get at the farmer’s market this month? Let me know in the comments below!