Lychee…

It’s a small fruit with its origin in Asia around 1059 A.D. This fruit can now be found internationally but does best in tropical climates. It is originally red until the sun turns the skin to a brown color with a leathery outer shell. Most of the inner fruit is taken up by a large seed which should not be eaten regardless of the fact that it resembles a nut. It is a white fruit similar in texture and taste to the inside of a grape and very sweet when ripe. If dried it resembles a large raisin and can also be consumed just as any other dried fruit. Very perishable, it can only be stored in a refrigerator for a few days. The fruit grows on trees that reach a height of 30 ft. At 5 ft. the tree will produce about 500 fruits at 20 ft it will produce as much as 5,000. Lychee provides a dose of vitamin C which is 40% higher than an orange. It is also a good source of copper and potassium for heart health.  It is now being studied for its potential to prevent liver cancer. Many people enjoy combining them with pistachio ice cream.

Arugula Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese and Basil

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: 

¼ cup pine nuts

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs. champagne or white vinegar

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

4-5 ounces baby arugula

2 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into ¼ inch slices

½ cup julienned fresh basil leaves

2 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumpled (about ½ cup)

 

Directions:

  1. In a small saute’ pan, toast pine nuts until golden brown (about 3 minutes)
  2. In a small cup, whisk olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper
  3. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl, poor dressing to moisten and coat greens, add peaches, basil, goat cheese and pine nuts, toss again

 

Compliments of NYT Cooking at nytcooking.com

Cicadas and a 17-year Gestation Period…

Their sound is so much a part of an August evening. A gradual hum that breaks out into a roar. They break through the ground and head in groups for the nearest tree. The nymphs remain underground for 17 years feeding on tree roots. Their number is so great that they provide an unending meal for turtles, racoons and birds. Every year a new group emerges in some area of the US, which is the only country where they are found. Only the males are capable of their unique sound which is used to attract females. Eric Day, an entomologist, recommends frying them in sake and garlic because of their high protein content. They are not poisonous and will do no harm to humans. They are a bit clumsy and will slam into you when you least expect it. Cicadas are extremely vulnerable to predators while they are waiting for their wings to dry after they emerge, but in spite of this, billions manage to survive, mate and die off leaving their nymph eggs to settle underground for another 17 years.

Should we Squat more?

Do we spend more hours lounging than our ancestors the hunter gatherers? Actually, we don’t, so what is different about how we spend our off hours that makes us more vulnerable to sickness? It seems that although our ancestors spent only a few hours hunting and gathering foods their off hours were not spent in the sitting position. They would actually rest in a squatting position. In study after study it is becoming more obvious that it is sitting that is a major contributor to sickness and inflammation. In studying the Hadza tribe of Tanzania, scientists noted that although they are very active for a number of hours hunting and digging up tubers, they wondered if how they spent their down time was the reason why they were in such perfect health. In a study published by The National Academy of Sciences, scientists placed fitness trackers on tribespeople ranging from age 18 to 61. What they found was that they were inactive for almost 10 hours every day. This is equal to the population in the modern world. What they also found was that the Hadza spent their off hours either squatting or with knees bent and butt to the ground. As a result, tests showed that the activity in leg muscles remained constantly high. It is believed that sitting reduces the activity of certain enzymes that could possibly contribute to serious illnesses. Maybe we should look at our children and remind ourselves how easy it was to take a break by simply squatting.