When it comes to fruits and veggies, my friends lovingly refer to me as a "grippie," aka green hippie, because of my steadfast rule of only buying organic fruit and vegetables. I used to be part of a CSA, but now I visit various farmers markets around the city a few times each week. Seasonal produce is full of flavor, I want to support small nearby farms, and of course there's the issue of pesticides. And because the produce I'm buying is seasonal and in abundance, it's pretty affordable too. I also think that organic, seasonal fruit is more nutritious, which a new study backs me up on — at least when it comes to strawberries. In the study, organic strawberries were more flavorful, nutritious, and had a longer shelf life. Another reason to add my growing list of sticking to organic produce. How about you . . .
Last week, YumSugar had a box of kiwis up for grabs, but she was having trouble finding any takers. Kiwis are a polarizing fruit, but they're definitely a healthy food worth trying.
This fuzzy-skinned fruit is packed with vitamin C: one medium kiwi contains about 70.5 mg of C, just slightly less than one medium orange. Better yet, buy organic, and vitamin C and polyphenol levels are even higher.
With just 50 calories per kiwi, the green flesh is also high in vitamin E, potassium, and dietary fiber. You can peel them or add a bit of texture by leaving the skin on (vigorously washed of course). They're good in fruit salads and green salads. Can't convince your friends to eat kiwi? Perhaps you'd have more luck serving up a kiwi cocktail.
YumSugar Community member skigurl wanted to make guacamole, and wrote in to ask us a burning question about it: "What do I do if I need to make guacamole today, but all the avocados in the store are hard?" I reached out to the California Avocado Commission to find the answer. "The majority of stores carry avocados that are ripe and ready to eat today or tomorrow," Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing explained. "Many consumers purchase enough avocados for weekly consumption, so they always have some ready to use." She suggests shopping at stores that have ripe avocado programs for immediate use, or, if you have a few days to spare, placing avocados in a bag with an apple or a banana at room temperature to expedite ripening. (Apples and bananas emit a ripening agent called ethylene gas.) Conversely, ripe avocados can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two to slow down the maturation process. If all else fails, take a tip from mokba43, who recommends using a potato ricer to create fluffy, small grains. What's your advice?
YumSugar Community member Lauren picked up a bunch of purple asparagus at the market, and her beautiful bounty reminded me of a San Francisco Chronicle article about violet-hued vegetables such as artichokes, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower. Turns out a dazzling color isn't the only selling point: purple produce also contains anthocyanin, an antioxidant. I happen to love fuschia baby carrots and indigo-colored cauliflower. Where do you stand on purple produce or, for that matter, any vibrantly-colored vegetables?
"I've been obsessed with avocados lately," I said to a co-worker while digging into a bowl of guacamole at lunchtime. Now that I've finally learned how to prevent them from browning, I can do nothing short of dreaming up which awesome avocado recipe to make next. One of my colleagues, however, doesn't feel the same way; she thinks they're slimy and have a fatty taste. Where do you stand when it comes to the green fruit?
One sure sign that Summer is nearing is the appearance of fava beans, also known as broad beans, at local farmers markets. These light green beans, which almost look like an oversized version of edamame, are prized for their buttery, nutty flavor. They're also high in fiber, iron, and protein; low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol; and one of the easiest vegetables to grow. They are an early harvest vegetable, with roots in the Mediterranean that date back as far as biblical times. If you can get past their labor-intensive preparation, these creamy beans have the potential to become a regular at the table. Broad beans, demystified, when you keep reading.
Freshway Foods and Imperial Sysco brands are recalling romaine lettuce in at least 23 states east of the Mississippi. The romaine has also been sold in salad bars and delis in stores like Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores.
I'd been optimistic about the Obama administration's promise to establish more stringent food safety guidelines, but this demonstrates that, sadly, nothing has really changed. I'll be steering clear of raw greens for a while — what about you?
Berry season begins! The arrival of strawberries at the farmers market heralds the arrival of Summer, and blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries won't be far behind. For such a tiny fruit, berries deliver an outrageous amount of nutritional benefits, and they're a tasty addition to sweet and savory recipes. Find out how much you know about this seasonal treat.
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I have a thing for Star Wars spoofs, and trust me there are a ton of them out there. I don't think any of them are quite like Grocery Store Wars though. Watch as Obi One Cannoli, Cuke Skywalker, Princess Lettuce, Ham Solo, Chewbroccoli, C3 Peanuts, and Tofu-D2 join the organic rebellion to overcome the dark side and its leader Darth Tater. The dark side has taken over the universe with genetically modified and chemically treated foods; Cuke Skywalker and his team must use "The Farm" to restore order, organic produce, and all that is natural in the world.
Do you think they will succeed? Their hope lies in someone closer than you know . . .
Love the message that this video sends, but are any of you as confused as I am that Obi One is a cannoli?