This Native American Heritage Month, we’re grateful for climate-conscious native foods, which have naturally adapted to thrive in their local environments. We also honor the Indigenous farmers who perfected regenerative agricultural practices over thousands of years, like the brilliant companion planting of the Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash) which not only grow better together but also provide a complete meal.
The farmers behind First Field know a thing or two about working with native plants to create great-tasting foods. Their heirloom Maple Pumpkin Butter and Cranberry Sauce are better for both the land and the people.
“By using varieties of produce that have been grown in our area for generations, we know that those varieties are going to have the flavor, color, and profile that is going to work really well in our products,” explains First Field co-founder Theresa Viggiano. “They're also going to be the varieties that work best for our local soil and weather conditions. Small farmers are also family farmers, so just like consumers they don't want to have a lot of unnecessary inputs in their soil and on their crops.”
Beyond the Basics
While we love Fall Favorites as much as anyone, it’s also important to celebrate the abundance of other native foods. For inspiration, we look to Indigenous cookbooks like The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, New Native Kitchen, A Gathering Basket, and Tawâw, to name just a few.
Perfectly roasted turkey makes a beautiful centerpiece, but if you’re lucky enough to live by the Pacific Ocean, so does a fresh filet of wild salmon with a juniper berry rub. If you don’t have a local fish market, Scout sources wild-caught seafood from both coasts, and they also support RAVEN, an NGO defending First Nations’ rights. Fold in their Smoked Pink Salmon or Atlantic Lobster to heirloom potato gratin and turn your side dish into a main dish.
Great Lakes Dressing
For a gluten-free stuffing, swap out bread cubes for Lundberg’s Wild Rice Blend. The wild rice is harvested in Minnesota where it’s known as manoomin, or “good berry”, to the Anishinaabeg. If you like your stuffing sweet, mix in dried cranberries, roasted winter squash, pepitas, and a dash of Maple Syrup with Figure Ate’s Persimmon Vinegar. For a savory version, add wild mushrooms, pecans or pine nuts, fresh sage, and Regenerative Sunflower Oil.
Round out the evening with a cozy cup of Equal Exchange’s Dark Hot Chocolate. Cacao is native to Central America, and this hot cocoa comes from the Dominican Republic, but we think that’s close enough. After all, reciprocity, the mutually beneficial exchange between people, planet, and each other, is a Native tradition too.
Want more fall inspo? Check out our full collection of autumn favorites here.