Fresh Fruit without the Wax…

The challenge for fruit growers has always been, how can you leave fruit on the vine long enough to ripen and still be juicy when it arrives at market? This is the goal of ApeelWaxed fruit Sciences a company whose aim is to eliminate gas and wax used by most commercial farmers. We have grown accustomed to fruits and vegetables that are devoid of taste simply because of their ability to withstand time and transportation. In so doing most produce is picked before it is truly ripe. Crops can be dipped in a solution called Edipeel created by Apeel Sciences. It is a product that has been derived from totally organic sources composed of grape skins after wine-making, stems of broccoli that have been discarded, banana peels and other fruit and vegetable waste.  Edipeel creates an edible barrier that can repel pests and fungi during transport.

50 Shades of Red, Blue, Green & Yellow…

food dyes cakeWhy are we drawn to different colored foods? Does red velvet cake have a special taste because it is red or does it just look more luscious? Do green cupcakes on St. Patrick’s day or orange cupcakes on Halloween make that day more festive? Food that has been colored has now become a part of our way of eating. Food Dyes have been classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and now are offered as powders, gels and liquids. The origins of food dyes can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt when their sources were mainly vegetable or mineral and their use was purely cosmetic. However, we use food coloringfood dye makeup now as a visual to give the impression of quality by making an item appear richer and appeal to what a consumer might expect. Early pieces of legislation in France both in 1396 and in 1574 made it illegal to add color to both butter and pastries. In 1531 Germany went as far as calling for the death by burning of anyone who used saffron as a coloring agent. As we entered the Industrial Age around 1820 there is documentation of mercury, lead, copper and sulfates being used to color candy, cheese, pickles, lozenges and certain teas. Not only was this misleading the consumer by disguising poor quality but more food dye fabricimportantly, it proved to be poisonous and sometimes deadly. This practice continued until the middle of the 19th century when synthetic coloring was by accident discovered while making an anti-malaria drug. This led to a whole range of synthetic colors that proved to be cheaper and more stable than their predecessors. In turn, it opened the door for use in the textile as well as the food industry. By the turn of the 20th century restrictions on the use of color additives had become totally unregulated and were now being used in all of the popular foods throughout Europe and the United States. This became commonfood dye beets practice in ketchup, jellies, mustard and even wine. It wasn’t until 1906 that the government passed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the 80 colors in use were reduced to 7 which were considered less harmful. However, laws were loosely enforced and the number crept back up to 16 causing serious illnesses and adverse reactions. Although at present the number of artificial food dyes is under 10, there is also now in use more natural and safe substitutes. Everything from beets to carrots, grapes to paprika even insects are being used to add color. This is the result of the public demand for a greater say in what is being used in our food supply. In the future we can look forward to having a purple cupcake, a piece of green candy, a bowl of orange rice and most importantly red velvet cake without having to think about chemicals.

Moringa…

          

Moringa is a vegetable popular in Africa and Asia. It grows freely and easily in climates that Moringaare extremely hot and dry. Every part of the plant is used. Seeds are crushed and the oil is used for cooking and on the skin as a healing aid. The crushed seeds are used for water purification because they can lower bacterial content. Its roots are used for tea. The leaves contain a high amount of vitamins especially vitamin A which is necessary for eye health. It has one of the highest amounts of protein of any leafy green vegetable. Moringa also contains all of the 9 essential amino acids. The protein in Moringa is easy to digest which makes it non-allergenic.            

 

Baked Acorn Squash with Pistachios Pears and Herbs…

acorn-squash-and-pears

 

Ingredients:
-2 acorn squash
-2 tsp. canola oil
-1/4 tsp. sea salt
-1/4 black pepper
-1 cup unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled and diced
-1 Bosque pear, cored and diced
-2 tsp. olive oil
-2 tsp. maple syrup
-2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
-10 leaves mint leaves, finely chopped
 Directions:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
-Slice squash vertically and remove seeds
-Place squash, cut side down, in baking dish in 1″ water
   Bake for 40 minutes
-In medium size bowl, mix together nuts, pear, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper
-Fill the baked acorn squash halves with mixed ingredients
-Place under broiler for 3 minutes
(Serves 4)
Recipe courtesy of Spark Foods via Costco Magazine

Photosynthesis and Hunger…

A decade ago scientists started playing with the idea of manipulating the process of photosynthesis to produce more food. The Gates Foundation has been funding the research as a possible solution to alleviating world hunger. After years of research, vegetables-photosynthesisheadway has been made working with the tobacco plant. It is not that they are interested in increasing tobacco production but the fact that the tobacco plant is relatively an easy and fast plant to grow. Results of manipulating photosynthesis have shown an increase by as much as 20% growth. Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to produce oxygen and glucose. The thought behind the technique is that nature is more concerned with survival and reproduction of plants rather than maximum production. The process involved transferring genes from a common house plant known as mouse cress into a tobacco plant. This increased the level of a protein already existing in a tobacco plant. When plants take in more sunlight then is needed they often expel it in the form of heat. The goal is to turn off this heat producing mechanism sooner, have the production of glucose increased thereby producing larger plants.

Magnesium Rich Foods…

There are over 600 chemical reactions that depend on magnesium. Fatigue, anxiety,magnesium-foods muscle cramps and even respiratory problems can be caused by a deficiency. The daily requirement for adults and teenagers ranges between 310 to 410 milligrams daily. Addition of certain foods to your diet can provide you with an adequate amount of this mineral. 

–       Almonds 75 mg. 1 oz.
–       Banana 32 mg.
–       Dark leafy green veggies 157 mg. 1 cup
–       Avocado 58 mg.
–       Yogurt 47 mg. 1 cup
–       Pumpkin Seeds 325 mg. ½ cup
(enough to fill your  daily requirement)

 

Teff…

Great for endurance and contains a healthy vegetarian source of iron, Teff originated some 3,000 years ago in Ethiopia. North Africans consume about 15% of their diet from this teffgrain. It is the size of a poppy seed and provides slow burning energy especially for runners. Iron deficiency is especially high among female runners and Incorporating Teff into a diet may be the solution. This ancient whole grain has been showing up in pastas, protein bars and pancake mixes. It also has a high protein content and can be eaten by people who are gluten intolerant. Try substituting it for a hot cereal in the morning.

3 ways to Eat Healthier…

  1. Go Meatless more often-use beans as your replacement for a protein source at least 1 or 2 times a week. They are a fraction of the cost of meat and work well withBeans, nuts fruit whole grains, soups and salads.
  2. Snack Smarter-nuts compliment fruit. Together they make up a snack that contains a healthy amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Nuts can be bought in bulk which is more economical if you are on a budget.
  3. Shop in Season-Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season. Out of season produce is not only more expensive but it may prove to be less nutritious since it has to be picked earlier to enable it to be transported.

Too Hot To Cook…

Most people I have spoken with have found the heat waves of this summer to Too hot Puppyhave completely drained them. As a result, many have found themselves leaning on takeout, consuming too many calories and having absolutely no desire to take the time to prepare something healthy to eat. If you find yourself slowing down in the heat maybe it is better to consider eating lighter and preparing easier simpler meals. Cooled foods can have a beneficial effect on body temperature. Having a bowl of cold gazpacho, potato or borsch soup with a bean salad and a piece of whole grain bread can make a great lunch. Canned wild salmon or sardines with slices of avocado, a little mustard and a stem of grapes can work well as a light Too Hot Soupdinner. Shakes made from scratch should contain a healthy amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates and will taste more like a malted then a replacement meal. Consider left over chicken or baked salmon cold over a bed of lettuce and spinach with some cherry tomatoes, berries, pecans in an olive oil and vinegar dressing. Steamed veggies, beans, pignoli nuts and grain with lemon, olive oil and basil left in the fridge are great as a quick snack. Stock up on organic canned beans, frozen vegetables, and quinoa (15 minutes to prepare) for last minute hunger attacks. Granted summer is for Too Hot cafesitting in a café, relaxing and having a great meal outdoors and it should be. But if you find yourself just wanting to stay home and lounge on a comfortable chair these are simple ways to throw together a truly healthy and extremely tasteful meal. Most important stay hydrated. Dehydration will make you crave sugar. Incorporate melons, cucumbers, strawberries and tomatoes in your diet.  They are a few of the foods that contain over 90% water.  Most of all don’t stress out about maintaining a healthy diet. Preparing balanced, healthy meals and snacks does not have to be time consuming.

Weight Loss Tip-Add a Little Zest…

  wine vinegarCertain additions to your way of eating can prove to be less expensive, more flavorful and low calorie. Here are three suggestions.

1.Combine red wine vinegar with thyme and parsley, heat and saute’ your chicken.

2.Grate orange rind avoiding the white and add to oil and vinegar as part of your salad dressing.

3.Dried figs are a great addition to pancakes, omelettes and cereal.