Apple Pickin’ Time — June 30, 2020

Apple Pickin’ Time

 

 

 

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There’s an App(le) for That — June 27, 2020

There’s an App(le) for That

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    • How Apples Can Differ

      • Color…Although you typically think of apples as being either red or Granny Smith green, you  can also find yellow, pink, gold, pink, scarlet extremely dark crimson/ purple, and white.
      • Size…Commercial growers typically try to grow apples that are anywhere from 2″ to 314″ in diameter.
      • Taste… sweet or sour…“bold” versus “hints” of tartness…such as tart and astringent cider apples
      • Use…Some apples are made for cooking…while other are best for either making cider or eating fresh.

     

     

     

     

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    Where Apples are Grown

    Apples are grown in all 50 states….but the state of Washington reigns as the leader of the pack…growing about half the apples grown in the United States.

    As far as countries other than the United State, the top producers are China, Turkey, and Poland.

     

     

     

     

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    Where to Store Apples

    • The expression that “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch” is true.
    • Apples that are bruised or damaged release ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening of nearby apples that have not been damaged…meaning that the entire group of apples ripens too quickly. So it is important that you remove any damaged apples from the group.
    • The one thing that I have learned that I have been doing wrong for decades is not storing my apples in the fridge…more specifically store them in the fridge at temperatures of about 35°–40°F.
    • If you store apples in the fridge, your apples will last for a couple of weeks.
    • Add a damp cheesecloth to the crisper bin of your fridge. This will help maintain moisture and keep your produce fresher longer.
One Apple Up on Top — June 25, 2020

One Apple Up on Top

Okay, so now we know the nutritional value of apples, let’s talk about the different things that eating apples and these nutrients can help prevent or make better, for lack of a better word.

In other words, how apples can keep you on top of your game.

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Cancer

Apples are a good source of antioxidants…which may help lower your risk of getting cancer….as well as prevent new cancer cells from forming and keep existing cancer cells from forming.

 

 

In fact eating apples can lower your risk of getting colorectal and breast cancers by about twenty perfect.

 

 

Adding more apples to your diet may help prevent the oxidative stress that causes cell damage and leads to the development of certain cancers—including lung cancerbreast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cancer of the digestive tract.

Perhaps If Eve Had Read the Nutrition Label of Apples to Adam, They Would Have Dared to Eat Two of Them — June 22, 2020

Perhaps If Eve Had Read the Nutrition Label of Apples to Adam, They Would Have Dared to Eat Two of Them

apple on a tree

  • We’ve all heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but do you know where this expression came from..what nutrients this nutritional powerhouse contains that are so good for you, what ailments this “miracle food” can help either prevent or help manage.

 

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  • An Apple a Day
  • This expression supposedly originated in 19th-century Wales, where the original phrase was “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread….then changed to “an apple a day, no doctor to pay”…”an apple a day sends the doctor away”;
  • Funny how certain words can mean different things during different timeframes…kinda like the word “gay” meaning joyful and glad back in the Roaring Twenties to what the word means today, right?!
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    Nutrition

     
    Calories 100
    25 grams
    Sugars 10.39
    Dietary Fiber 4 grams
    0.17 g
    0.26 g
    Vitamins Quantity%DV
    Vitamin A equiv.

    0%

    3 μg

    0%

    27 μg

    29 μg
    Thiamine (B1)
    1%

    0.017 mg

    Riboflavin (B2)
    2%

    0.026 mg

    Niacin (B3)
    1%

    0.091 mg

    Pantothenic acid (B5)
    1%

    0.061 mg

    Vitamin B6
    3%

    0.041 mg

    Folate (B9)
    1%

    3 μg

    Vitamin C
    6%

    4.6 mg

    Vitamin E
    1%

    0.18 mg

    Vitamin K
    2%

    2.2 μg

    Minerals Quantity%DV
    Calcium
    1%

    6 mg

    Iron
    1%

    0.12 mg

    Magnesium
    1%

    5 mg

    Manganese
    2%

    0.035 mg

    Phosphorus
    2%

    11 mg

    Potassium
    2%

    107 mg

    Sodium
    0%

    1 mg

    Zinc
    0%

    0.04 mg

    Other constituents Quantity
    Water 85.56 g

    Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

     

     

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    Fiber

    Apples are high in fiber—both insoluble and soluble. A single medium-sized apple contains about four grams of fiber…17%DV.

     

     

     

    Fiber helps manage blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, helps you stay “full” and as a result helping you lose weight, lowering blood sugar levels and boosting digestive function.

     

     

     

    Insoluble fiber provides bulk in the intestinal tract and helps food move quickly through the digestive system…soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessels, meaning that it can help prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Vitamins and Minerals

    The two key vitamins and minerals in apples are vitamin C and potassium.

     

     

     

    Vitamin C, which as we already know, can really boost the immune system and help defend the body from infections and diseases…as well as protect the health of your heart.

     

     

     

    Potassium, which may benefit heart health when consumed in high amounts.

     

     

     

    Apples also provide 2–4% of the RDI for other vitamins and minerals—including manganese, iron, copper, and the vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6.

    Antioxidants

    Apples contain many different antioxidants, including…

     

     

     

    Catechin…a natural antioxidant also found in green tea that has been shown to improve brain and muscle function.

     

     

     

    Chlorogenic acid…another natural antioxidant also found in coffee that has been found to lower blood sugar and cause weight loss.

     

     

     

    Quercetin…an antioxidant also found in many other plant foods that has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, and antidepressant effects.

 

An Apple a Day — June 19, 2020

An Apple a Day

Okay, so getting back to the Raw Foods Pyramid and more specifically  the lessons that ROYGBIV taught us about nutrition, we’re gonna start looking at these foods by color…starting with red…and working through the alphabet because I’m obsessive-compulsive like that.

 

 

 

We all know what an apple is…(even though many of us are confused by the enormous variety of apples lurking in your local grocery store’s produce aisle since they can be found in different shape, color, and texture….(more of apples to actually buy for cooking what later)…

 

 

 

We’ve all heard the story of Adam and Eve in the garden eating the “forbidden fruit,”…perhaps an apple…

 

 

 

And apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including NorseGreek and European Christian tradition….

 

 

 

And we probably have all seen Renaissance paintings with apples…

 

 

 

But do you know the history of apples in America?

 

 

 

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As American as Apple Pie

Apples were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century,

 

 

 

Before Christopher Columbus and all of the other Europeans started invading America, the only apples native to North America were what we know as crab apples…(pretty crappy…would probably make me crabby…how about you?!)

 

 

 

As Europeans began moving into America, they brought apples and apple seeds with them….and began planting them in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

 

 

 

 

 

The first apple orchard in the United State was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625.

 

 

 

Today apple farming is a multibillion-dollar industry.

 

 

 

 

Apples are crunchy, bright-colored, and one of the most popular fruits in the United States.

ROYGBIV Taught Us How to Live — June 17, 2020

ROYGBIV Taught Us How to Live

So now that we know what beta-carotene is and why we need it, we get to the fun part…learning which fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices have the most beta-carotene.

 

Actually the best way to make sure that you are getting the most nutrients in your diet…and the easiest way to shop for these foods…is to “eat the rainbow.”

 

Red/Purple fruits and vegetabls include…

  • beets
  • black olives
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • cranberries
  • currants

  • dark cherries

  • dates

  • eggplant
  • passionfruit
  • prunes
  • plums
  • purple carrots
  • purple figs
  • purple grapes and grape juice
  • raisins
  • raspberries
  • red (purple) cabbage

 

Beta-Carotene…The Why — June 13, 2020

Beta-Carotene…The Why

 

 

 

 

Age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD, an eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults…There has been much debate as to whether or not adding beta-carotene to your diet will help prevent vision loss and lessen the effects of AMD. Some researchers believe that  taking high doses of beta carotene…in addition to other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper…may reduce the risk of advanced AMD by twenty-five percent.

Cancer...According to the National Cancer Institute, the antioxidants found in beta carotene may help lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in post-menopaulsal women.
Cognitive functionBeta carotene also may slow down cognitive decline. Studies have shown that those who have been taking beta carotene supplements regularly, for at least fifteen years, are much less likely to experience cognitive decline.
Lungs…High levels of beta-carotene can also help precent damage to the lungs because of its antioxidant content. Research has shown that those with higher beta carotene blood levels help reduce the decline of FEV1, a measurement how much air you can breathe out at one time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin…Beta carotene has been shown to help prevent skin damage and contribute to maintenance of skin health and appearance because of its antioxidant properties.

Veggie Tells — June 11, 2020

Veggie Tells

But this is supposed to be a blog that slowly crawls up the Raw Foods Pyramid one tier at a time…and here I go talking about frying stuff and baking stuff and grilling stuff.

Bear with me…I obviously have ADHD, right?!

So let’s go back to where we left off in our crawl up the Raw Foods Pyramid and begin talking about fruits and vegetables, shall we?

The most important fruits and vegetables that you must include in your diet are those that are brightly-colored…such as those fruits and vegetables that are bright orange, yellow, red or green.

This is because these fruits and vegetables contain high levels of beta-.carotene…(and no that is not a fraternity or sorority as far as I know)…

Certain fruits and vegetables such as these contain carotenoids,,,this is what gives these fruits and vegetables such bright colors.

Personally I didn’t want to get all wrapped up in caretenoids and the chemical interactions..instead just know that these fruits and veggies are antioxidants…

And if you’re reading my blog because I’m supposed to be blogging about raw foods, clean eating, and so forth, then you probably already know what anioxidants are…

So what are antioxidants?

may protect cells from damage from the free radicals that can do terrible things for your body—such as causing chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, or weaking your immune system,

Making the Perfect Avocado Salad — June 10, 2020

Making the Perfect Avocado Salad

Making the Perfect Avocado Salad — June 9, 2020

Making the Perfect Avocado Salad

 

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The Ingredients

Avocado...4 large, ripe avocados…about 2C cubed…peeled, pitted, and  cubed or chopped about the same shape and size of the cucumbers

 

 

Cilantro and Other Herbs.…Any tender fresh herbs are great additions to your avocado salad—such as cilantro, dill, oregano, cumin, parsley, chives, and basil. If using fresh herbs—such as  fresh cilantro, parsley, basil, dill or a combination—use 1/2C chopped. If using dried herbs, use 2Tbsp chopped

 

Cucumber...1 cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise and then slicedChoose thin-skinned, seedless cucumbers—such as English, hothouse, or Persian cucumbers—instead of regular garden cucumbers. If you are using garden cucumbers, peel off some or all of the tough skin and scoop out some of the seeds before adding to the salad.

 

Garlic…Garlic is an optional ingredients, but if you do decide to use garlic, use either a small garlic clove or 1/2tsp minced.

 

Jalapeño…This is another optional ingredient, but will add some zip to your salad. If you are going to use jalapenos in your salad, make sure to first remove the seeds and white membrane from the pepper.

 

Lemons or Limes…The lime dressing is what makes or breaks this simple salad. You can use either limes or lemon. If using limes, use 3Tbsplime juice or squish a couple of small limes. If using lemons, use 2Tbsp lemon juice or the juice of one medium lemon.

 

Olive Oil…Using 1Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil makes the salad dressing well-rounded and luxurious.

 

Onion...1/2C red onion…could also use ½Vidalia onion, if available…very thinly sliced…Soak the sliced onion in water for a few minutes before adding to the salad. This will preserves the flavor but get rid of the harsh, lingering aftertaste.

 

Tomatoes...You can use either a pint of cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half, a large ripe beefsteak tomato that has been chopped, or 1# Roma tomatoes that have been seeded and chopped. Cherry or grape tomatoes will probably be the best choice because they are almost always sweet—even when out of season. The important thing is that the tomatoes you choose are juicy and ripe.

 

Other Options...Along with these “expected” ingredients, feel free to experiment with other veggies and cheeses also…such as bell peppera oe feta.

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The Instructions

Combine avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, and whatever produce or cheese that you have decided to use in a large serving bowl.

 

Whisk together the dressing ingredients—lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, herbs or spices—in a small bowl.

 

Pour the dressing over the top.

 

Toss everything together gently until the  avocado and cucumber are well coated in the dressing.

 

Sprinkle feta on top.

 

Taste to see if you need to season the salad even more…by drizzling more olive oil or lime juice on top of it, sprinkling salt and pepper on top, or adding your favorite hot sauce.

 

Since avocados brown so quickly, it is best to serve the salad immediately.

 

You could also cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day.

 

In fact, you may want to wait and add the avocado right before serving the salad.

 

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one day. Even though the avocado will brown slightly and the vegetables will become more liquidy, the salad will still taste delicious.