Honey Boo-Boo Should Have Eaten Honeydew

Honeydew Melon picture

Intro

  • We all know what a honeydew is…that green thing over by the cantaloupe…but do you know what nutritional benefits it offers and what health benefits arrive from eating it?
  • Let’s take a look…

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Nutritional Value

Even though a honeydew is 90% water, the melon still packs a great punch…

  • Calories…64 calories per cup
  • Carbohydrates…16 grams
  • Fiber…1.4 grams
  • Fat…0 grams
  • Protein….1 gram
  • Vitamin C…excellent source…one cup offers 56%RDV.

Health Benefits

  • Blood Pressure…Eating honeydew can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. The fact that honeydew is a low-sodium and potassium-rich fruit…one cup providing 12%RDI…makes it well worth grabbing while you are in the produce section.
  • Bone Health…Eating honeydew can help repair and maintain strong bones because it contains several nutrients—including folate, vitamin K and magnesium—that are vital for keeping the cells that are responsible for building and breaking down bone tissue functioning properly.
  • Diabetes…Eating honeydew promotes healthy blood sugar levels. Adding fresh fruit to your daily diet can reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes by about fifteen percent. Not only that, eating fruit at least three times per week can lower your risk of diabetes-related health complications if you already have diabetes. Even though honeydew contains carbs that can raise your blood sugar temporarily, the melons also provide fiber and other nutrients that help improve blood sugar control over time.
  • Digestion…Eating honeydew helps support healthy digestion because the melon contains the fiber needed to slow blood sugar response, promote bowel regularity, and grow healthy gut bacteria.
  • Hydration…Eating honeydew effectively and properly hydrates your body more effectively that water along because it also contains electrolyes and other nutrients—such as potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium—that make eating honeydew great for keeping you hydrated.
  • Immune System…Eating honeydew helps support your immune system because it is loaded with vitamin C. Eating as little as one cup of honeydew helps prevent and treat respiratory problems such as pneumonia and the common cold…(how about this stupid coronavirus thing?!)
  • Skin…Eating honeydew helps keep your skin healthy because it contains a large amount of vitamin C content….an antioxidant that is important for producing the collagen needed to repair and maintain your skin tissue and for protecting your skin from sun damage. A single cup of honeydew contains 53%RDI vitamin C.
  • Vision and Eye Health…Eating honeydew can help protect your vision and eye health because it contains two potent antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin…that are well known for supporting eye health and preventing the development of age-related vision loss.

Can’t Put a Cantaloupe Into an Envelope

Cantaloupe - Cucumis melo var. Cantalupensis

We all pretty much know what a cantaloupe is by now…in fact, the melons that I am going to be talking about in the next few posts are all very familiar to us by now—cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon.

But I’m gonna ramble on about these types of melons anyway…starting with the cantaloupe.

Cantaloupes are easily recognizable, with their netted green and beige skin…and we all know that when you slice into your cantaloupe you will find orange fresh that is deliciously sweet…(as long as you’ve picked a decent cantaloupe…more on this later).

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Nutritional Value…The typical cantaloupe is actually 90% water and provides…

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Types of Cantaloupe

And did you know that there are actually several different varieties of cantaloupe…

Let’s take a look at these different types.

American cantaloupe…This is the cantaloupe that most of us think of whenever we think about cantaloupes…and the one that can be found in almost all grocery stores everywhere. These round melons have a rough “net-like” outer peel. The flesh is typically firm, orange, moderately sweet…assuming that you haven’t let it sit on your counter for a year or so…

Asian Cantaloupe…Asian cantaloupes differ from your typical cantaloupe in several ways. First of all, their outer skins can range in color from pale green to yellow and are not as deeply netted as your typical cantaloupe. The fruit is more oblong also. As far as the flesh goes, Asian cantaloupes have a pale orange flesh that is more delicate and crispy…instead of  being soft and pulpy.

Charentais Cantaloupe…Charentais cantaloupe are the pride of France…having been first produced in the Poitou-Charentes region in Western France. These cantaloupe are much smaller than the other types of cantaloupe…being about the size of a grapefruit and weighing about two pounds per melon. The rind is smooth and a creamy-graywith faint green ribs. The flesh is a bright salmon-orange color. Nutritionally speaking, these cantaloupe are great source of beta-carotene, folic acid, and dietary fiber.

Crenshaw Cantaloupes…Crenshaw cantaloupes are a hybrid of the Casaba and Persian cantaloupes and possibly the best tasting cantaloupes out there. They weigh anywhere fom eight to ten pounds per melon and have a buttercup-yellow rind and are said to be one of the sweetest melons there. Nutritionally speaking, crenshaw cantaloupes are packed with vitamins A, B6 and C,

  • European Cantaloupe…
  • European cantaloupes have a lightly ribbed gray-green skin without any netting…quite different from what we normally expect. They have a orange, juicy, sweet and aromatic flesh.
  • Galia Cantaloupe…Galia cantaloupes are smaller than your typical cantaloupes that originated from Israel and are extremely popular in Southeast Asia. They have a sweet, pale yellow, or green flesh…often said to look like a cantaloupe from the outside, but a honeydew melon from the inside.
  • Japanese Cantaloupe…Japanese cantaloupes have a very smooth smooth rind, a perfectly round shape, and a pale yellow-orange flesh.
  • These melons sell for anywhere from $100.00 to $250 per melon. They are extremely valued by the Japanese. In fact, they are often gift-wrapped and given as gifts because they show the status symbol of people who can afford it.
  • These melons are so expensive because they are rare…They are only cultivated in the small town of Yubari, Japan…where they are grown with the extremely labor-extensive care and consideration, such as making sure that the stems are pruned to the exact same lengths, pollinating the seeds manually, and massaging the fruits by hand.

Let’s Take a Peep at Pepos

The fourth category of fruit, the pepo category, consists of those fruits have multiple seeds throughout the flesh or grouped together in the center….mostly melons.

So I thought that this would be a good time to talk about the menagerie of  melons that you might see as you are hitting the fruit aisle with great style.

One more thing…yes, I do know there are several other varieties of melon…but I only listed those found at my local Sprouts store…after all, our main goal is to not look stupid when we go in there.

Orange You Glad You Bought An Orange

Pretty much all of us already know what the citrus fruits are…lemons, limes, and oranges…duh…

But do you know why you should be sticking them in your grocery cart and actually eating them instead of simply setting them out on your counter because they look pretty.

First of all, what makes a citrus fruit a citrus fruit.

Citrus fruits are those fruits that have a thick rind and a soft juicy interior flesh that is filled with tiny liquid-filled carpels—such as

As far as nutritional value, citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

As far as health benefits, the benefits of eating citrus include…

  • helping to prevent cancer
  • helping you to lose weight and control your appetite
  • killing off free radicals
  • protecting cardiovascular health
  • helping to fight inflammation conditions

As far as uses, citrus fruits are not only used as food and beverages, but also to make essential oils.

The list of citrus fruits includes…

  • bergamot
  • clementine
  • grapefruits
  • kaffir limes
  • kumquats
  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges
  • pomelo
  • yuzu

We will be looking at each of these fruits in later posts…but for right now our goal is to simply finish making out our grocery list so that we can get out of the door and out of Whole Foods or Sprouts as quickly as possible.

And while you’re in the citrus aisle, you might want to go over to the kitchen gadge aisle and grab you a lemon zester so that you can use the entire orange…except the seeds…actually perhaps you could even thinking about planting them yourself and growing your very own.

 

 

A Poem About Pomes

This is a poem…a poem about pomes…another type of fruit…that I can’t wait to bring home…

Sorry, the words “poem” and “pome” are too similar that I couldn’t resist.

But what are pomes?

Pomes are those fruits that have a relatively hard flesh surrounding a central core of seeds, fruits such as apples and pears.

As far as the nutritional value of fruits classified as pomes, pomes provide as much as 15% of the amount of vitamin C and 17% of the amount of fiber that your body needs each day in only one medium-sized apple….Pomes also contain many types of strong antioxidants.

As far as the health benefits of fruits classified as pomes…they can help you lose weight, improve your digestive system,and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and other chronic health conditions.

Examples of pomes include apples, pears, nashi and quince. We will be looking at more of fruits classified as pomes in future posts. Right now my main goal is to finish a Master List of Clean Food Eating and get you thinking about your next trip to Sprouts or Whole Foods so that you don’t appear lost.

Brisk Breakfasts to Brag About

I feel like I have gone on so many tangents while writing this blog that they couldn’t possibly be counted.

 

I have gone all the way from learning to live a cruelty-free lifestyle and clean eating…to making scones with lots and lots of sugar and butter.

This latest tangent has been a result of “the resident five year old” going back to school.

Realizing that he never eats his lunch at school, I have learned the importance of making him a good breakfast instead.

So I have wanted to build myself an arsenal of breakfast recipes to keep him well fed…and hopefully well behaved at school.

 

So before we go on, let’s give our “breakfast cookbook” a Table of Contents…

 

 

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Table of Contents

Don’t Berry Your Head in the Sand About Berries

  • My goal in this series of posts is to break the Raw Foods Master Grocery List into as many specific subgroups as possible…
  • So let’s take a look at several different kinds of berries that may be available in your local produce aisle or farmer’s market so that we will be able to make smarter choices as to which we stick into our carts…and eventually into our mouths…

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Acai

  • Nutritional Benefits…high antioxidant, fiber, and calcium content…One half cup of acai berries contains seventy calories and five grams of fiber…one of the best sources of antioxidant polyphenols
  • Source…grow on acai palm trees native to the Brazilian Amazon region
  • Taste…Bitter, rich and mildly sweet
  • Uses…smoothies, juices, breakfast bowls

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Bilberries

  • Description…dark blue berries, similar to blueberries that are found mainly in Europe
  • Nutritional Benefitseffective at reducing inflammation….can lower your risk of heart disease…increases “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Usesjamsfoolsjuices, pies, liqueurs, sorbets, crepes, and other desserts

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Blackberry

  • Nutritional Benefits…high content of manganese, vitamin K, fiber, and vitamin C…amazing source of healthy antioxidants and vitamins…compared to berries such as blueberries, cranberries, and red raspberries, blackberries are one of the healthiest berries you can eat.
  • Uses…delicious eaten fresh, but also work well frozen or cooked…popularly used in jams, pies, sauces, and desserts

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Blueberries

 

  • Health Benefits…lowers the risk of heart disease…helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels…may lower the risk of diabetes…can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 26%…slows the rate of cognitive decline…reduce blood pressure…protect against aging and cancer…weight loss and anti-aging effects.
  • Nutritional Value…great source of vitamin K…contain good amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants…renowned as a superfood…low in calories yet high in nutrients…powerful combination of vitamins and minerals
  • Uses…jams, muffins, sauces, and desserts…breakfast foods such as cereals, muffins, and pancakes…common in salads and desserts…pieturnovers, shortcake, or cobblers…sorbet or ice cream

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Cranberries

  • Health Benefits…help reduce plaque build-up in your arteries…help with weight loss….help prevent urinary tract infections…support post-menopausal health…improve digestion…have anti-aging properties…drinking cranberry juice can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and “stiffness” of arteries
  • Nutritional Value…rich in vitamin C…packed with fiber and antioxidants
  • Uses…syrups or other preserves….cranberry juice…jams and sauces….traditional accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner

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Goji Berries

  • Nutritional Value..contain high levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin
  • Health Benefits…reduce the decline in eye health due to aging…can give you a much-needed energy boost
  • Uses…traditionally used as food as well as medicine
  • particularly rich in nutrients that contribute to eye health…also contain important antioxidants.

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Gooseberry

  • Health Benefits…boosts bone strength…often used medicinally for their anti-inflammatory properties
  • Nutritional Value…particularly high in vitamin C and fiber
  • Uses…cobbler, jams, pies, and other highly sweetened dishes…can also be used to make sauces that go well with duck and game

Grapes

  • Uses…juice, wine, raisins, vinegar
  • Nutritional Value….excellent source of antioxidants
  • Health Benefits…can help lower both blood pressure and heart rate…can help reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes…can also help reduce blood cholesterol and oxidative stress…may even benefit brain health and improve your memory

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Huckleberries

  • Huckleberries are teeny tiny deep purple-blue berries that are remarkably sweet. They are
  • Uses…great sprinkled on ice cream…pies, tarts, jams, and sauces…perfect addition to baked goods, drinks, and even barbecue sauce
  • Nutritional Benefits…were harvested by Native Americans, who used them both as food and to treat pain and infections…has antibacterial properties

Note…this post is a work in progress…will be adding more berries to the list in the days ahead before finishing out Raw Foods Master Grocery List…thanks for being patient…

 

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Raspberries

  • Varieties…There are three different types of raspberries—back, red, and purple. Red is typically the first color that comes to mind when you mention raspberries, but actually black raspberries provide the most health benefits.
  • Health Benefits…can reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol…help ward off inflammation…can help fight wrinkles
  • Nutritional Value…full of fiber and antioxidants…high concentrations of Vitamin C
  • Uses…suitable for fresh eating, sauces, and preserves.

 

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Strawberries

  • Nutritional Value…one of the best sources of vitamin C….top-ranked for antioxidant content
  • Health Benefits…help fights cancer and boosts immunity…lower the risk of heart attack and protect against heart disease…good for lowering inflammation…help blood pressure
  • Uses…delicious on cereal, as a shortcake, in a smoothie, or baked into muffins…match up nicely with other berries, melons, and tropical fruits in a simple fruit salad…jams and jellies…dipped in chocolate
 

    The ABC’s of Strawberries

    Before we jump ahead and talk about more interesting things like berry picking and berry recipes that will make you merry, I thought that it might be helpful to look at the benefits of including berries in your diet…

    So let’s look closely at the ABC’s of strawberries…

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    A…Antioxidants…Berries are a great source of antiIoxidants. Antioxidants are important for helping to prevent heart disease, cancer and age-related blindness. The berries that contain the most antioxidants are blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

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    B…Blood Pressure…Berries contain antioxidants that help prevent high blood pressure.

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    D…Diabetes….Berries are a good option for diabetics because they typically have less sugar than other types of fruit.

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    F…Fiber…Berries are a good source of fiber, particulary the soluble fiber that helps slow down the movement of food through your digestive tract so that you are less hungry and feel full faster. Here are the fiber and carb contents for a cup of different types of berries…

    • Blackberries: 10.2 grams of carbs, 5.3 of which are fiber
    • Blueberries: 14.5 grams of carbs, 2.4 of which are fiber
    • Raspberries: 11.9 grams of carbs, 6.5 of which are fiber
    • Strawberries: 7.7 grams of carbs, 2.0 of which are fiber

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    H…Heart Health…Berries can reduce your chances of having a heart attack.

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    I…Insulin Levels…Berries may protect you from having high blood sugar levels and improve your insulin response.

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    M…Mental Health…Berries contain anthocyanins, the flavonoids that give them their color. These flavanoids help keep your mind sharp as you age. People can postpone mental decline by about 2 ½ years by eating berries. Berries can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease because berries protect you from the damaging build-up of toxins over time.

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    P…Parkinson’s…Eating at least two servings of berries per week can decrease your chances of developing Parkinson’s disease by twenty-five percent.

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    P…Potassium…Berries, especially currants and gooseberries, are great sources of the mineral called potassium that helps lower blood pressure.

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    V…Vitamins and Minerals…One cup of strawberries contains an entire day’s worth of heart-healthy vitamin C …in fact one cup of strawberries provides 150%RDI for vitamin C….as well as a high content of the vitamin B, which is important for helping keep arteries clear.

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    U…Urinary Tract Infections…Berries, especially cranberries, can help prevent urinary tract infections.

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    W…Weight Control…Berries help make you feel fuller faster.

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    Have a Berry, Berry Christmas and a Happy New You

    • We all know what berries are…those small, soft, round, brightly colored fruits that make the produce section actually seem more inviting…juicy
    • The varied taste, colors, and textures of berries makes them one of the most popular fruits. The gamut runs from black currants to grapes…blueberries to gooseberries…cranberries to gooseberries…grapes to goji berries…and so on and so forth.
    • Some fruits that we typically think of as berries actually are not berries according to the “smart people”…including raspberries and strawberries…
    • While other fruits that we would think shouldn’t be classified as berries actually are… such as 
    • The most popular berry is the strawberry. In fact, twice as any strawberries are produced around the world as the sum of all other berries combined.
    • In the next few posts, we will be talking about the reasons that you should include berries in your diet, the different types of berries that might be adding color to your local produce aisle, and a few basic recipes to get you in a berry, berry good mood.  

    The Scoop on Drupes

    I debated whether or not to jump to another category or talk about the different types of fruit in this post, but I think that breaking the fruit category into smaller categories will help you as you plan your grocery list and hit the store.

    So let’s begin by talking about the scoop on drupes…

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    What is a Drupe?!

    • One type of drupe is the stone fruit, those fruits that are composed of a skin that surrounds a fleshy fruit part with a hard seed or pit in the middle.
    • There are two different types of stone fruits—freestone fruits, those where the seed can be taken out with no problem—such as nectarines, peaches, plums, prunes, and cherries.
    • And then clingstone fruits, those where the seed is a pain in the butt to take out—such as peaches, plums, cherries, olives, apricots, and mango. 
    • Another category of drupes is the tryma. These are nut-like drupes that actually grow within an outer husk—such as walnuts, coconuts.almonds, and cashews.
    • Finally there are bramble fruits—such as the blackberry and the raspberry—fruits that consist of what are known as drupelets, small or large clusters that have a small hard seed inside.
    • Nutritionally speaking, drupes are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The nutritional value will vary from fruit to fruit. We will look at these fruits and their nutritional value in future posts…right now I just want to break down our shopping list for our next road trip to Sprouts or Whole Foods into as many little categories as possible.

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    Which Fruits are Classified as Drupe

    Almonds

    Apricot
    Avocado
    Bayberry
    Blackberry
    Cashews

    Cherry
    Coconut
    Coffee
    Damson
    Date
    Hackberry
    Jujube

    Loquat

    Mango
    Nectarine
    Olive
    Pecans

    Peach

    Pistacho

    Plum
    Raspberry

    Walnuts

      •