The theme for this year’s Food Day is “Toward a Greener Diet.” In Napa, the day will be celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 24, with festivities beginning at the farmers market.

“Napa Food Day 2015 will be a celebration of the benefits of eating green,” says Franny Wong, Napa Food Day chairwoman. “Inspired by the belief that fresh, locally grown foods should be available to all, Napa Food Day will highlight the producers and vendors who offer locally produced, nutritious food to residents of Napa County.”

Napa Food Day will be an all-day celebration. In the morning, exhibitors will be at the market from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. offering cooking demonstrations, sharing gardening resources and tips on “greening” your diet. In the evening, the award-winning documentary “Ingredients” will air at Napa Valley College. The documentary contrasts America’s industrialized food system with the growing local food movement. (For more information, see ingredientsfilm.com).

Participating organizations include Nutrition Education Obesity Program, Napa Valley CanDo, Community Action, Napa Valley Food Bank, UC Master Gardeners of Napa County, Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, Connolly Ranch, Vintage High School’s CTE Culinary Arts program and Queen of the Valley Medical Center Community Outreach.

In its current form, Food Day was established in 2011 by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Officially falling on Oct. 24, the day is designed to encourage food that is healthy, affordable and produced with concern for the environment, farm animals and the people who grow, harvest and serve it. The event has become a way to recognize all who work to build a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system.

Food Day has been observed in Napa County since its inception and has always had a strong farmers market connection. Farmers market board member Karen Schuppert chaired the event the first two years; Elizabeth Skylar, one of the market’s most popular chef demonstrators, chaired the event in 2013. Elizabeth brought the festivities to the farmers market, inviting many of the organizations who will be involved again this year.

Napa County’s Food Day is all about food, the environment and nutrition, of course. But it is equally about community. “Working on Food Day was a lot of fun and a very rewarding experience,” said Danielle Niculescu, last year’s chairwoman. “It was amazing to see the community come together. The passion and love in Napa is amazing. It was truly a group effort and would not have been nearly as successful without every person who was involved.”

See you at the market on Oct. 24. The whole village will be there.

Vintage High School’s culinary students have signed up to participate in the Food Day Apple Crunch, which originated in New York in 2012. That year, more than 400,000 New Yorkers bit into New York State apples. By 2013, the Crunch had spread across the country, and by 2014, the number of “crunches” had grown past one million. We will be at the market with crisp local apples, sliced and ready for crunching, and with delicious raw-apple muffins for a softer crunch.

Raw-Apple Muffins

The recipe is adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham (Alfred A. Knopf).

2 cups diced apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten lightly

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

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1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup raisins

½ cup broken walnuts in large pieces

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tins with paper sleeves.

Combine the apples and the sugar in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla. In a third bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and whisk until blended.

Stir the egg mixture into the apples and sugar and mix well. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apple mixture and mix well. The batter will be stiff. Sprinkle the raisins and walnuts over the batter and mix until evenly distributed. Spoon batter into the prepared tins. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 1 dozen

Mike Cromwell is the culinary arts and hospitality management instructor at Napa’s Vintage High and a board member of the Napa Farmers Market.

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