Jicama Is a Fiber-Rich Powerhouse

Jicama Is a Fiber-Rich Powerhouse

As you may know we belong to Misfits which has been great help during these times. * If you decide to try use this code we both get a discount. COOKWME-FG1DCQ and when I saw the Jicama as a choice this week In grabbed it. It had been awhile since we discovered so i tried the ole faithful slaw and then tried chips and fries. I recently had made sweet potato chips so figure what the heck.

Jicama (HEE-kah-ma), sometimes referred to as yam bean, Mexican turnip, or Mexican potato, is an edible root vegetable native to Mexico.

The vines of the jicama plant can grow up to 20 feet in length, but the leaves and seeds are actually toxic. The root is the only edible portion of the entire plant—the tough brown skin that gives way to juicy, white flesh on the inside. The flavor is sweet and starchy—think of a cross between a water chestnut and an apple.

Many call jicama a superfood, equating it with kale, acai berries, and quinoa. Jicama, along with sunchokes, packs a prebiotic called inulin, a big contributor to a healthier gut. In addition, jicama is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Lastly, jicama is naturally low in calories, making it a smart starchy substitute for those watching their weight.

Salad or slaw depending on what you want to call it

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large jicama (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, then julienned or cubed (easiest to work with if you cut the jicama in half first)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 a large cucumber, seeded, chopped (optional)
  • 1 navel orange, peel cut away, sliced crosswise, then each round quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt

How

Toss together the jicama, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, orange, and cilantro in a large serving bowl.

Pour lime juice over all. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne and paprika. Season generously with salt.

2 Let sit a half an hour before serving.

Fries and Chips

Tried these in oven and Air-Fryer watch closely they will burn quickly

Air-Fryer
Oven
Air-Fryer

These are best served warm but did reheat nicely. You won’t get them super crispy but they good.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Jicama, peeled and cut into medium sized fries (1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Paprika
  • How
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a small bowl, combine spices. Gently toss the jicama fries with the oil and lime juice, then sprinkle with the spice blend.
  • Spread fries evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until fries are golden.
  • Serve immediately – they taste best hot out of the oven. 

Air-Fryer

same as above but watch closely and I turned half way through both methods. Oh the oven I made on a rack and used convection

What a difference an hour make

What a difference an hour make

I went out on the deck this morning  and thought the the passion fruit vine looked ready so I too a few snap shots1

Then  about an hour later I noticed this, it looked liked it was just starting to do something

2

Then about an hour later

3

Then again another hour

4

we got one a few weeks ago but never saw this happen like today, here is the one from a few weeks ago

 

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we had combine two separate plants last fall so I guess that is why two different colors.

They only last one day

Passion Fruit

PASSION FRUIT

B/W sketch

Passiflora edulis / P. edulis flavicarpa

Passifloraceae

Common Names: Passion Fruit, Granadilla, Purple Granadilla, Yellow Passion Fruit

Related Species: Fragrant Granadilla (Passiflora alata), Red Granadilla (P. coccinea), Maypop (P. incarnata), Yellow Granadilla (P. Laurifolia), Sweet Granadilla (P. ligularis), Sweet Calabash (P. maliformis), Banana Passion Fruit (P. mollissima), Giant Granadilla (P. quadrangularis).

Origin: The purple passion fruit is native from southern Brazil through Paraguay to northern Argentina. It has been stated that the yellow form is of unknown origin, or perhaps native to the Amazon region of Brazil, or is a hybrid between P. edulis and P. ligularis. Cytological studies have not borne out the hybrid theory. In Australia the purple passion fruit was flourishing and partially naturalized in coastal areas of Queensland before 1900. In Hawaii, seeds of the purple passion fruit, brought from Australia, were first planted in 1880 and the vine came to be popular in home gardens.

Adaptation: The purple passion fruit is subtropical and prefers a frost-free climate. However, there are cultivars that can take temperatures into the upper 20’s (°F) without serious damage. The plant is widely grown in California as far north as San Jose, the Monterey Bay Area and the San Franciso Bay Area. The vines may lose some of their leaves in cool winters. The roots often resprout even if the top is killed. The plant does not grow well in intense summer heat. The yellow passion fruit is tropical or near-tropical and is much more intolerant of frost. Both forms need protection from the wind. Generally, annual rainfall should be at least 35 inches. Passion fruit vines make good container specimens but require maintenance. They perform well indoors.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: The passion fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. It can grow 15 to 20 ft. per year once established and must have strong support. It is generally short-lived (5 to 7 years).

Foliage: The evergreen leaves of passion fruit are alternate, deeply 3-lobed when mature and finely toothed. They are 3 to 8 inches long, deep green and glossy above, paler and dull beneath and, like the young stems and tendrils, tinged with red or purple, specially in the yellow form.

Flowers: A single, fragrant flower, 2 to 3 inches wide, is born at each node on the new growth. The bloom, clasped by 3 large, green, lifelike bracts, consists of 5 greenish-white sepals, 5 white petals and a fringelike corona of straight, white-tipped rays, rich purple at the base. It also has 5 stamens with large anthers, the ovary and triple-branched style forming a prominent central structure. Purple passion fruit is self-fruitful, but pollination is best under humid conditions. The flowers of the yellow form are perfect but self-sterile. Carpenter bees are the most efficient pollinator, much more so than honey bees. Wind is ineffective because of the heaviness and stickiness of the pollen. The flowers can also be hand pollinated.

Fruit: The nearly round or ovoid fruit, 1-1/2 to 3 inches wide, has a tough rind that is smooth and waxy and ranging in hue from dark purple with faint, fine white specks, to light yellow or pumpkin-color. Within is a cavity more or less filled with an aromatic mass of double walled, membranous sacs containing orange-colored, pulpy juice and as many as 250 small, hard, dark brown or black, pitted seeds. The unique flavor is appealing, musky, guava-like and sweet/tart to tart. The yellow form has generally larger fruit than the purple, but the pulp of the purple is less acid, richer in aroma and flavor, and has a higher proportion of juice (35-38%). Numerous hybrids have been made between purple and the yellow passion fruit, often yielding colors and other characteristic intermediate between the two forms. The vine, especially the yellow form, is fast-growing and will begin to bear in 1 to 3 years. Ripening occurs 70 to 80 days after pollination.

CULTURE

Location: Plant passion fruit vines in full sun except in very hot areas where partial shade is preferable. The vine can be rather rampant, so it is important to plant it next to a chain link fence or install a strong trellis before planting. The plants can also be trained into an attractive arbor.

Soil: Passion fruit vines grow on many soil types but light to heavy sandy loams with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 are the most suitable. Excellent drainage is absolutely necessary. Also, the soil should be rich in organic matter and low in salts. If the soil is too acid, lime must be applied. Because the vines are shallow-rooted, they will benefit from a thick layer of organic mulch.

Irrigation: Regular watering will keep a vine flowering and fruiting almost continuously. Water requirement is high when fruits are approaching maturity. If the soil is dry, fruits may shrivel and fall prematurely.

Fertilization: Passion fruit vines are vigorous growers and require regular fertilizing. A good choice is 10-5-20 NPK applied at the rate of 3 pounds per plant 4 times a year. Too much nitrogen results in vigorous foliage growth at the expense of flowering. Passion fruit vines should always be watched for deficiencies, particularly in potassium and calcium, and of less importance, magnesium. Plants that have been damaged by frost should receive a generous fertilizing after the weather has warmed

Pruning: Pruning is necessary to keep the vines within bounds, to make harvest easier and to keep the plants productive by maintaining vigorous growth. In warm winter climates prune immediately after harvest. In areas with cool winters prune in early spring. As a a general rule remove all weak growth and cut back vigorous growth by at least one third. In very hot climates allow a thick canopy of foliage to grow around the fruit to prevent sunburn.

Frost Protection: Because of their mass, passion fruit vines are difficult to cover when freezes threaten, but the layers of leaves help protect the inner branches from frost damage. The plant will also usually come back even when frozen to the ground. The best strategy is to grow the vines against a wall or deck or in a patio. Any kind of overhead protection provides additional benefits.

Propagation: Passion fruit vines are usually grown from seeds. With the yellow form seedling variation provides cross-pollination and helps overcome the problem of self-sterility. Seed planted soon after removal from the fruit will germinate in 10 to 20 days. Cleaned and stored seeds have a lower and slower rate of germination. Seeds should be planted 1/2 to 1 inch deep in beds, and seedlings may be transplanted when 10 inches high. If taller (up to 3 feet), the tops should be cut back and the plants heavily watered.

Plants can also be propagated by layers or cuttings of matured wood with 3 to 4 nodes. Rooting may be hastened by hormone treatment. Cuttings should be well rooted and ready for setting out in 90 days. Grafting is an important means of perpetuating hybrids and reducing nematode damage and diseases by utilizing the resistant yellow passion fruit rootstock. Scions of healthy young plants are grafted to seedlings, making sure the diameter of the scion matches that of the rootstock. Either a cleft graft, whip graft or side-wedge graft may be made.

Pests and Diseases: In tropical areas passion fruit vines are attacked by a host of pests and diseases. In these areas the purple passion fruit is particularly susceptible to nematodes, while the yellow passion fruit is more nematode resistant. In California the problems are much less severe, although the plants can be afflicted with nematodes and viruses as well as Fusarium and other diseases that thrive in cool soils. Nematodes are partially responsible for the short life of many passion fruit vines. Snails can also be a serious problem in California, often completely stripping a vine of leaves and bark, killing young plants or predisposing them to disease.

Harvest: The fruit will quickly turn from green to deep purple (or yellow) when ripe and then fall to the ground within a few days. They can either be picked when they change color or gathered from the ground each day. To store passion fruit, wash and dry them gently and place them in bags. They should last 2 to 3 weeks at 50° F. The fruit is sweetest when slightly shriveled. Both the fruit and the juice freeze well. The flavor of passion fruit blends well with citrus and many other fruit flavors, and is quickly appreciated by many people as they become familiar with it.

CULTIVARS

Purple form

Black Knight
Developed in Massacusetts for pot culture by Patrick Worley. Fragrant, dark purple-black fruit, the size and shape of large egg. Flavor excellent. Vigorous, compact vine, self-fertile, very fruitful. Handsome glossy foliage. Excellent for containers.
Edgehill
Originated in Vista, Calif. Similar to Black Knight, but more vigorous, larger growing and with larger purple fruit. One of the best outdoor cultivars for Southern California.
Frederick
Originated in Lincoln Acres, Calif. by Patrick Worley. Kahuna X Brazilian Golden. Large, nearly oval fruit, greenish-purple with reddish cast. Slightly tart flavor. Good for eating out of hand, excellent for juicing. Extremely vigorous, self-fruitful vine. Very productive, more compact than P. edulis flavicarpa.
Kahuna
Very large, medium purple fruit. Sweet, subacid flavor. Good for juicing. Vigorous, productive self-fertile vine. Produces over a long season. Large, attractive foliage.
Paul Ecke
Originated in Encinitas, Calif. Medium-sized purple fruit of very good quality. Suitable for juicing and eating out of hand. Compact, very productive vine.
Purple Giant
Very large fruit, dark purple when mature.
Red Rover
Originated in Lincoln Acres, Calif. by Patrick Worley. Kahuna X Brazilian Golden. Medium to large, roundish fruit. Rind an attractive clear red color. Sweet, notably rich flavor with tart overtones,. Good for eating out of hand or juicing. Vine very vigorous, compact and self-fertile.

Yellow form

Brazilian Golden
Large, golden-yellow fruits, larger than standard forms. Flavor somewhat tart. Extremely vigorous vine, requiring cross-pollination. Extra large, fragrant flowers, white with a dark center, blooming during mid-summer. Produces one large crop beginning in late August or early September.
Golden Giant
A large yellow-fruited cultivar that originated in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

100 cherries pitted and ready

100 cherries pitted and ready

We grabbed a couple of bags, now they are pitted and ready what to do, what to make. I have to step away or there won’t be any left, though it would make the decision easier.

IMG_20140713_131402832

 

5 Health benefits of cherries

Cherries help ease arthritis pain

For those who suffer from arthritis and gout, you will be relieved to find out that adding cherries to your diet can greatly decrease the intense pain associated with those ailments. Excess uric acid in the blood is the culprit behind the excruciating pain that causes swelling, tenderness and inflammation.  A study done by the USDA found that uric acid can be reduced by as much as 15 percent by eating 2 cups of Bing cherries. Cherries can also help reduce painful inflammation by decreasing the amount of C-reactive protein produced. So add a little zing to your diet by choosing Bing (cherries).

Cherries help fight cancer

The distinctive deep red pigment cherries are known for comes from flavonoids; powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. Cyanidin is a flavonoid from the anthocyanin group found in cherries that helps keep cancerous cells from growing out of control. And, for cherries with the most anthocyanins go for sweet cherries with the deepest pigment; crimson-purple rather than bright red.

Cherries help you sleep

If sipping a cup of chamomile isn’t enough to induce restful sleep try having tart cherry juice before bed. Tart cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps make you feel sleepy. Two tablespoons of tart cherry juice has been shown in studies to be just as effective as a melatonin supplement. So, pour yourself a little cherry juice nightcap for a tasty bedtime sleep aid.

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure by getting rid of the excess sodium in our body. Eating cherries helps keep potassium and sodium in balance, and can prevent hypertension from occurring. One cup of cherries has the same amount of potassium as a banana

 

Cherries

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

I picked the first of what I hope of dozens of cherry tomatoes yesterday. I have one plant in a container on the deck and two other grape varieties in the bed. I am hoping there is not a repeat of the chipmunk and ground-hog war that we suffered last year there don’t seem to be as many this year. Famous last words. Anyway I love this fruit and when they first start to ripen they very seldom make it into the house Pop Pop oh what a treat they are.

Here it is, isn’t she a beauty? This one made it in to the house but did not last long, I blinded it with the camera flash grabbed it and popped. Oh that what Lyn I blinded not the tomato.

Growing Trouble-Free Cherry Tomatoes

KitchenGardener Magazine, archive

Cherry tomatoes are easy-going fruits, which, if grown right, will yield basket after basket of flavorful harvests. They are less prone to many of the problems that plague larger-fruited varieties and they often produce fruit early.

My 96-year-old grandmother, Jinx, when asked the secret to her longevity, advises: “Never say can’t, try everything once, and make one new friend each year.” She should add growing cherry tomatoes to her litany. Other than walking the dog or taking a language class, I’ve found that the best way to increase my circle of friends is to grow cherry tomatoes. When they start ripening in late July, I place small baskets of these multicolored sweets around the office. Without fail, people I’ve never met before approach me to say how much they enjoyed a particular variety, and I invite them to visit my garden for more.

Wild cherry tomatoes are the grandmothers of most tomato varieties we enjoy today. Native to the South American Andes, they traveled north through Central America to Mexico, where they were domesticated and cultivated before the arrival of Columbus. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors returned from Mexico with the seeds of small-fruited tomatoes, as well as those of larger, irregularly lobed cultivars.

According to Andrew F. Smith, author of The Tomato in America, many European varieties were derived from crosses between these different forms. A related species, the tiny-fruited currant tomato (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium) is native to the western coastal areas of Peru and Ecuador, where it grows as a sprawling weed.

Because of its resistance to diseases like fusarium and bacterial wilt, as well as its habit of producing fruit in long trusses, the currant tomato has been cross­bred with other tomatoes, producing many modern cherry tomato varieties.

Chose varieties for your region
At a market garden I worked for in Germany, we would sprinkle a few gold tomatoes in each box of Sweet 100s, just to highlight their glowing red color. Imagine what you could do with today’s  array of cherry tomato colors and shapes…. Read more

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

So its lunch time and every day I bring a salad for lunch. Usually on Sundays make one huge base salad and store in a container that you can give CPR to the top and it pushes the air out of it.freshvac

I don’t put in things like cucumbers or other things that tend to spoil quickly just the base salad. Then in the morning I grab a bunch put it in my container and add my condiments if you will. saladshakerThe condiments are things cukes, tomato, whatever I had left over from dinner last night.  My handy little container has a compartment for dressing which for me is just plain ole 18 year old balsamic vinegar.

 

Ingredients

  • Base salad
  • Organic Strawberries cut in chunks
  • Fresh pineapple cut into chunks
  • ½ avocado slices
  • Cumber cut into chunks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  •  18 year old Balsamic Vinegar (you could add oil but why dilute the vinegar.)

 

How

Place all in your handy take to work container along with an orange and banana maybe some celery or carrot sticks.

Release vinegar, shake or toss and eat!

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Related articles

4 Healthy Reasons to Eat a Salad Today

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

WebMD Feature

 

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Have you had your salad today? Eating salad almost every day may be one of the most healthy eating habits you can adopt — and one of the simplest, experts say.

 

Eating salads is a super-convenient way to work in a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit. Green salads are on the menu of almost every restaurant. You can even buy a side salad (with Romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes, available with fat-free or reduced-calorie salad dressing) for a buck at many fast food chains these days. And you can make a green salad at home in 5 minutes, armed with a bag of pre-washed salad greens, a few carrots or other veggies, and a bottle of light salad dressing.

 

Not only that, but salads are cool, crunchy, and fun to eat (lots of textures, colors, and flavors). Most people enjoy eating salads–even kids! You can customize them to include the fruits and vegetables that appeal to you the most, and whichever ones you have on hand.

 

Here are four health reasons to reach for a salad today:

 

1. Eat Salads for the Fiber

It’s hard to believe that something we can’t even digest can be so good for us! Eating a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.

Read more…

Not only that, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, eating more fiber can help you feel fuller, eat less, and ultimately lose weight.

 avacoda about

Avocado Health Benefits: The World’s Most Perfect Food?

It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive — but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

The avocado (Persea gratissima or P. americana) originated in Puebla, Mexico and its earliest use dates back to 10,000 years B.C. Since AD 900, the avocado tree has been cultivated and grown in Central and South America. In the 19th century, the avocado made its entry into California, and has since become a very successful commercial crop. Ninety-five percent (95%) of U.S. avocados are gown in Southern California.

The avocado, also called the alligator pear, is a high-fiber, sodium- and cholesterol-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.

Read more here

My California Burger, I guess

My California Burger, I guess

I already express my delight with the official start of Avocado season and in celebration I will try to use avocado in at least one meal a day until the 5 I bought are gone. Anyway last night I had a burger and Lyn took a look at it and said that’s a California burger. I don’t care what you call it, it sure was tasty.

avacado

Ingredients

  • 1 ground sirloin patty
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 3 grape cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 piece of ROMAIN lettuce
  • Some cheese
  • 1 all natural organic bun

How:

Cook the burger to your doneness, melt cheese on top

Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes and avocado on top.

Important note: you can pile up the avocado

You can top with any condiments you want, I choose none.

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Shhhhh don’t tell anyone I also took a potato pancake out of the freezer it became my giant tater tot.

avacoda about

 

Are you up to speed on your avocado nutrition knowledge?

This creamy, delicious fruit packs a punch! Read on for the tastiest top five facts about avocado nutrition:

  • Avocado nutrition fact #1: Avocados are naturally cholesterol free!
  • Avocado nutrition fact #2: When used instead of other fats, avocados can be a satisfying addition to a calorie-reduced diet.
  • Avocado nutrition fact #3: The avocado is virtually the only fruit that has heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
  • Avocado nutrition fact #4: Avocados are included in dietary programs from some of the world’s leading nutrition organizations.
  • Avocado nutrition fact #5: California Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit.

As you can see, avocados have more to offer than just great taste! Add California Avocados to your diet today.

It’s Avocado Season!!

It’s Avocado Season!!

When I was younger so much younger than today I lived in Temecula California doing under the table asphalt work for Rich McDonnell’s uncle I think. We lived in their country house so to speak and whenever he had a job down our area we were readily available   workers. It was a tough life we had to take care of the 2 horses a dog, got   the old Willy jeep working and explored the area. It was what they called mud flat desert and it went on for miles and miles. We once found a small town somewhere out in the middle of nowhere with the sing Welcome to “sorry Can’t remember the   name” 12 happy and 3 grumpy residents. Temecula was not a huge town and in   fact if you remember the Clorox commercials away from…. well Temecula was one   of those towns. We made 104 people in the town and maybe 8 of them used   Clorox. It was in the height of the gas rationing odd even days and we never   knew it since the gas station was only open 1 day a week. Anyway when a crew came in to build hydroponic I struck up a friendship with the contractor a fellow Yankee but from NJ and was soon working there.  What has this got to do with avocados, my god when he said he was a flow of thought writer he was not kidding here it is….I love avocados whether in everybody’s favorite guacamole or sliced with a drizzle with 18 year old balsamic vinegar, mixed in a tuna melt, in salads and am always looking for new ideas. Temecula is next door in desert terms the Avocado capital of the world or at least California, Fallbrook CA. I used to joke playing with the old wives tale that a lobsterman could legally shot you for pulling up his trap that the same was true with avocado ranchers and picking from their trees.I got this notice from California Avocado Commission.

Ah, April! The month that brings us   spring also means the start of the other season we’ve been waiting for all   winter-California Avocado season has begun! Starting this month, you can find the premium, hand grown fruit at your local market. Look for California on the avocado label to make sure you’re selecting this fresh, California-grown fruit. If you are unable to find them, let your produce manager know of your preference!

avacoda season

No matter the meal, the occasion or the flavors you’re craving, California Avocados consistently deliver the fresh and creamy taste that makes any dish a delight. Refresh your palate with this chilled soup recipe from one of our growers: Abbott Family Gazpacho with   California Avocado. Try the simple, yet elegant Fresh California Avocado Crepe Wrap for lunch. Or, find a new love for springtime salads with this hearty and flavorful Fried Chicken Breast Salad with Avocado, Corn, Basil & Housemade Ranch Dressing from Chef Hugh Acheson. The season is ripe for the tasting-start now!By the way I met someone recently that tells me Temecula is now a booming retirement community.

 

avacoda about

Is avocado a fruit or a vegetable

I’ve always been fascinated by avocado. It is such a delicious, creamy and rich treat that’s pretty versatile. You can enjoy it savory as well as sweet dishes. It’s rather healthy but also incredibly rich and fatty. One of the questions that often comes up is this: Is avocado a fruit or a vegetable?

Since it grows on a tree (the avocado tree) and is part of the reproductive organ of the plan that also carries the seed, it is technically / biologically a fruit. We do tend to think of it more as a vegetable though because of the way we use it in the kitchen.

Most of the time we use it in savory dishes and salad. And since avocado aren’t naturally sweet, we don’t think of them as fruit. We add it to salads, make cold soups from it or use it as a sandwich spread. Of course then there’s the ever popular guacamole, a simple avocado dip. Here’s my favorite recipe.

 

Mixed Berry Shortcake

Mixed Berry Shortcake

When midsummer rolls in just before the birds and chipmunks decide that their buffet is ready we grab what we can and make one of our old time favorite’s deserts, snack sometimes even breakfast. This has been one of our staples since 1991 the good thing is you choose the berries to change it up. I have tried nets and sprays but nothing really helps so with the berries, as with my garden the year before, I decided to share. If only they understood the concept. This year I only did a deck garden leaving the ground level for my herbs.

You can make this shortcake with any combination of fresh berries.  Use 8 cups of your favorite mixture.  10 servings

 

Ingredients

  • 2 pints strawberries
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 10 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

How

1.  Wash and hull strawberries.  Mash 1/4 of them with 3/4 cup of the sugar.  Cut the rest in half or quarters.  Combine mashed and cut up strawberries with raspberries and blackberries.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter and flour baking two 9″ cake pans.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and orange zest.  Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.

3.  Stir in milk.  Divide dough in half and put into pans with floured fingers.

4.  Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Turn out onto racks.

5.  Whip the cream with the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar until it holds soft peaks.

6.  Just before serving put one shortcake layer on a serving plate.  Top with about 3/4 of the fruit mixture, letting juice trickle down sides.  Spread with about 3/4 of the whipped cream.  Top with second layer.  Spoon remaining

Dried Kiwis like really good gummy bears

Dried Kiwis like really good gummy bears

Nicole at work pointed me to a Groupon for Water Fresh Farm in Hopkinton, MA. (BTW Hopkinton hosts the starting line for the Boston Marathon) that had fresh hydroponically grown vegetables.  Lyn and I are always looking for new shopping experience and in my younger years while living in the mud flat desert in Temecula CA. I worked on a construction site that was building hydroponic greenhouses and then moved right into the growing end after they were completed. Back then Temecula boasted 101 residents, a one salon, one gas station town.  I hear it has grown quite a bit since my days there a Willy jeep, two horses and miles and miles of open land. We were there during the big gas shortage but never realized because our gas station was only open 2 days a week. Anyway that is a story for another day, but I should tell you this one story which probably dates me but do you remember the commercials we took the Clorox away from XYZ town? Well Temecula was one of those towns and from what I understand only about 20 people used it so it was not such a hard task.

Back to Water Fresh Farms, a nice little grocery store hidden away on route 85 is actually a small group of vendors nestle together in a little cul-de-sac anything from ice cream, gift , crafts  to  gifts. One of the many items we picked up on our first visit was dried kiwi. The only way I can describe them is like a really good gummy bear. So we decided to give it a shot.

Ingredients

  • 9-10 Kiwis

How

Peel Kiwis
Slice in ¼” slices – don’t go thinner gets to dry. Lay them out on dehydrator trays. Turn on and wait. The length is tricky it depends on the dehydrator and the Kiwis but maybe around 3 hours Doneness is up to you. Let cool and store in airtight container or bag.

The picture of finished product is not ours, do not do what we did, we forgot and went to see Batman and some food shopping at Whole Food, they are very good but were dried a little too long. Next time we stay around and I will post the pictures and time.

 1/4" thick

 

 

 

Kiwi and its Many Health Benefits

By: Alexandria Hardy, RD

What’s in a Name?

For this fruit, quite a lot! The kiwi, originally called the Chinese gooseberry and later the “sunny peach”, was renamed the kiwi by New Zealand natives after their national bird. There are over 400 varieties of this fuzzy fruit, which grows off of vines on a trellis, much like grapes are cultivated.

Quintessential Kiwi Research

Researchers exploring the potential positive features of the kiwi fruit have conducted several studies involving children and adults. A study in Italy indicated that children had less trouble with wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing in the night when they consumed 5-7 servings of kiwi or citrus fruit a week. Asthma sufferers were found to derive the most benefit from the kiwi, even when eaten as few as 1-2 times a week. Adults can also benefit from eating the jewel-toned fruit! Another study demonstrated that eating 2-3 kiwi fruits a day can reduce the potential for blood clots and decrease triglycerides. Yet another study cited the kiwi’s ability to protect and repair the body from DNA damage, which could protect against cancer.

Nutritional Nods

From disease prevention to an abundance of vitamins and minerals, the kiwi provides a wide array of nutrition benefits. According to a study at Rutgers University, the kiwi is the most nutrient dense fruit, ounce for ounce. Below is a list of the different ways that the naturally fat-free kiwi can help our health:

•Disease Prevention

Fiber: Kiwi provides 16% of the RDA for fiber and has a role in the prevention of constipation and some cancers.

Phytonutrients: Kiwis have phytonutrients, which repair DNA, act as the body’s protection against some cancers, and function as antioxidants. Learn more about phytonutrients plant powers.

•Vitamins

Folic Acid: Kiwi provides 10% of the RDA for folic acid, which is important for expectant mothers and works to produce red blood cells.

Vitamin C: One serving of kiwi gives the body 230% of the RDA for Vitamin C, which helps heal wounds, increase iron absorption, and boost the immune system.

Vitamin E: Kiwi provides 10% RDA for Vitamin E and decreases the risk of heart disease.

•Minerals

Calcium: Kiwi provides 5.5% of the RDA for Calcium.

Chromium: Kiwi aids in regulating heartbeats.

Copper: Kiwi provides 8% of the RDA for Copper.

Iron: Kiwi provides 4% of the RDA for Iron.

Magnesium: Kiwi provides 6% of the RDA for Magnesium, which  can enhance your energy level.

Potassium: Kiwi aids in fluid maintenance.

Zinc: Kiwi helps keep hair, skin, teeth, and nails healthy.

Selecting, Storing, and Eating a Kiwi

How do I choose a kiwi?

•Look for a fruit that is plump and fragrant with no visible bruising or wrinkles and a slightly firm feel

What if I chose a fruit that isn’t yet ripe?

•Kiwis ripen quickly when placed in either a paper or plastic bag with a banana. However, once they are ripened, store them away from other fruit or they will decompose more quickly!

How long are kiwis good for once I buy them?

•Ripe kiwi fruit can last in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Can I eat the skin?

•You can, but wash carefully to remove unwanted pesticides! Rub it a bit to minimize the fuzz. The skin actually provides more fiber to your sweet snack. If you’re not fond of the fuzzy exterior, simply “sloop” it out by slicing the kiwi in half horizontally and spooning out each end to enjoy.

What is a serving size?

•A serving of kiwi fruit is ½ cup, or 1 medium-sized kiwi.