Serving the community: Hospital café partners with local farm |

Serving the community: Hospital café partners with local farm

Mary Beth TeSelle
Special to The Union

Café hours

The public is always welcome at the SNMH Miners Café.

Current hours:

Breakfast: 7:30-10 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Dinner: 4-7 p.m. (Monday – Friday, dinner service is currently in a trial period and may become permanent based on response.)

As part of its ongoing effort to care for the community while also being a positive community partner, Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has begun serving fresh produce from local farms in its café.

The move toward locally grown fruits and vegetables is just the latest step in a revamping of the hospital’s Miner’s Café, which is open daily to hospital visitors and staff.

“By purchasing local agricultural products, money stays in the hands of our local farmers, rather than with a distribution company or brand name,” explains Noël Slaughter, RD, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at SNMH. “This keeps revenue circulating in the community, creating new opportunities for growth and development. Not only do we want to use the highest quality produce we can in our café, but it is also really about community partnerships.”

The move toward locally grown produce is good for the local economy and also good for the health of those eating at the café, according to Slaughter. She says the benefits to eating locally sourced food are plentiful.

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“It simply tastes better and it’s better for you,” she says. “Since locally picked fruits and veggies travel less distance, you can enjoy them at their peak of freshness and nutrition. Studies have shown that produce can lose up to 50% of some vitamins as early as three days after picking. We are very fortunate to live in an area where we have access to so many locally grown products.”

Starting this month, the Miner’s Café will be purchasing salad greens, kales, and broccoli from Mountain Bounty Farm in Nevada City.

“We plan to use the salad greens and kale for our freshly made grab and go salads,” explains Noël Slaughter, RD, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at SNMH. “We will feature broccoli and kale dishes on our hot food bar.”

Slaughter says additional seasonal items will be added as the produce becomes available – and as business at Miner’s Café continues to increase.

“This is just the beginning of our procurement partnership with Mountain Bounty,” Slaughter says. “We hope to increase our purchases from them, and other local farms, as the café business continues to grow.”

Slaughter encourages everyone in the community to try and use locally grown produce whenever possible.

Nevada County hosts several weekly farmers markets during growing season, offering an abundance of opportunities for locals to take advantage of the best agricultural products Nevada County has to offer. She recommends visiting to learn more about local farms, ranches, and farmers markets.

To taste the benefits of locally grown produce firsthand, stop by the Miner’s Café and enjoy a freshly prepared meal.

To help you enjoy local produce at home, Slaughter shares the following recipes.

Charred Corn and Peach Salsa

1 ear corn

1 red bell pepper

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 peach, diced

4 basil leaves, chopped

1 lime, juiced

3 green onions

1 teaspoon hot sauce

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Rub the corn and red pepper with olive oil and grill for about 25 minutes, turning each veggie about three times to char. Remove and let cool.

When cool, slice off the corn kernels. De-seed and chop the pepper and place both in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the peach, jalapeño, basil, lime juice, green onions, hot sauce and spices. Toss well and chill.

Delicious served on fish, chicken, and pork.

Parmesan Roasted Summer Squash

4 summer squash (zucchini or crookneck), quartered lengthwise

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place squash on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.

Sprinkle on garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.

Remove squash from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Roast for additional 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and squash is tender.

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