“Farm-to scoop” edibles abound

You’ve heard about farm-to-table and farm-to-fork dining. Now a “farm-to-scoop” movement is underway—referring to desserts that are made from fresh, natural or organic ingredients.

Summer is the best time to make the natural treats because of all the fruits and veggies growing in the foothills. Think rhubarb ice cream or ice pops, for example.

The fresh treats are being churned out by small, family-run businesses that are popular with visitors and locals.

At Treats in Nevada City, the owners are making Treatsicles and selling them at their store and the Nevada City Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

Their plan: buy Riverhill Farm’s strawberries, Chaffin Family Farm’s apricots, Living Lands’ rhubarb and Earth Farm’s cherries and turn them into frozen treats.

Other specialties include homemade goodies, such as strawberry shortcake with fresh organic strawberries and topped with crème fraîche gelato or vanilla bean ice cream.

Treats specializes in ice cream, sorbet and other desserts made from fresh, local and natural ingredients.

In Grass Valley, Carolines Coffee Roasters—an “old school” roaster—has a stellar selection of house-made iced drinks: Iced Coffee, Iced Latte, Iced Mocha, Iced Chai, Italian Soda, Fruity Frappe, Mocha Freeze, Vanilla Latte Freeze and more.

The drinks are made with organic or fair-trade coffee. The family-run business still roasts coffee five days a week in downtown Grass Valley on a Diedrich IR24 machine.

As with Treats in downtown Nevada City, we like to grab an iced coffee drink from Carolines and stroll the streets of historic Grass Valley, enjoying the store’s window displays.

In Newcastle, an easy exit from I-80, Newcastle Produce offers pastries and desserts made from fresh, local ingredients and local produce. The homemade desserts include turnovers (cherry, blueberry and apple), pies and gourmet brownies. Scones feature the flavors of the season.

Organic non-dairy ice cream called Coconut Bliss is offered at the new Pine Street Burgers in Grass Valley, along with all-natural burgers, fries and Dreyer’s natural ice cream shakes.

Ike’s Jam
Ike’s Quarter Cafe specializes in cuisine made from fresh, local organic ingredients. This includes local jams, which are delicious on toast, flapjacks or ice cream.

One of the jams is made with cherries from Dinner Bell Farm. Ike’s will be making local jams all season. They’re also for sale in the restaurant. IkesQuarterCafe.com

(painting of Treats in Nevada City by Kathryn Wronski)

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