Vitamin filled and nutrient-rich—beets are a good source of folate, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. Fortunately, juicing these fine root veggies still ensures 100% of the nutritious phytonutrients! Beets, and most importantly beet juice, are a low-calorie, heart- healthy superfood that may also help lower blood pressure and protect our livers.
For all my Nor Cal readers, I wanted to spread the word that my old work place, LolaBee’s Harvest has been expanding into the East Bay. That being said, all you local food lovers, keep your eyes open, they may be delivering to your area soon!!
And in the spirit of LolaBee’s, I wanted to share a little something I wrote for them back in August 2012.
Olive oil …
is one ingredient that is a “must-have” in everyone’s kitchen – not only is it delicious but it’s also nutritious.
Photo credit: Lolabees.com
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, commonly thought of as “good” fats. These good fats can lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. In addition, virgin and extra virgin olive oils are full of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that are great for your heart, skin, and immune system. Olive oil is also packed with other great antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Olive oil can be used in cooking, as a salad dressing, for dipping bread, for pasta, for fish or chicken, and for drizzling over soup, eggs, tomatoes, or cooked and raw veggies. Olive oil can really be used in and on just about anything! That’s why we love this essential ingredient.
With the varieties available, choosing an olive oil can be as daunting and expensive as choosing a bottle of wine. Keeping some basics in mind can help:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: comes from the first pressing of the olives by the use of physical methods with no added chemicals. This oil has 1% or less acidity and is considered the most flavorful oil. Extra virgin olive oil also contains the strongest concentrations of phytonutrients that are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Virgin Olive Oil: like extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing but has up to 3% acidity and a milder flavor because of the use of riper olives.
Cold Pressed: means no hot water has been used in the pressing process. Extra virgin oils are cold pressed.
Light: refers to the color and flavor of the olive oil, it does not refer to the calories. Light olive oil goes through an extensive refining process that uses heat and chemicals.
Extra virgin olive oil is the most commonly used version for cooking. With more flavor and health benefits, what’s not to love!
Storage Tip: keep your olive oil in the dark (like the pantry), since heat and light can damage the oil and cut its healthy properties. Do not store in the fridge, as condensation can cause it to spoil.
… read the rest of the article at http://lolabees.com/online-market-olive-oil
Found this great poster on WineFolly.com!!! Check it out!!!
Fish is an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids– good for your heart and brain! However, some fish is also high in methyl mercury, a neurotoxin. But, thanks to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), there is a guide for selecting the best fish for your diet!
“Stop eating the cookie dough!!”
I know lots of you love, love, love cookie dough, but you also know it’s bad for you … why?? Because you put yourself at a higher risk of Salmonella poisoning.
Salmonella is one of the three most common forms of food-borne disease in the United States.The most common sources of this bacteria are undercooked meat and poultry, raw milk, and raw eggs. However, other foods if contaminated can also carry Salmonella (Hint: contamination can occur when the food is handled by someone who has intestinal salmonellosis or if the food comes in contact with another food containing Salmonella).
The key to controlling Salmonella is adequate cooking. It’s safest to cook meat to 165 degrees F at home or 155 degrees F in restaurants. It is also very important to keep other foods away from raw meat … this means please, please, please use separate cutting boards!!
It only takes a few cells to make you sick and it can last up to a week.
I have a “less-risky” alternative for you to try!!! Use any of your favorite cookie recipes but replace the eggs with coconut oil! And if you don’t like the subtle taste of coconut oil you can also try apple sauce, but coconut oil is my favorite! (Tip: you can also replace the butter)
Want to know what’s in your tap water?
Check out your water supply with EWG’s National Drinking Water Database. Visit this link and type in your zip code to see your city’s drinking water quality report! Then … investigate all the contaminants found in your tap water. Warning … pesticides and/or other toxins may exceed the health or legal limit in your area!
For example, in Davis, CA, 11 chemicals, such as manganese and arsenic, are found in levels that exceed health guidelines.
Hey guys, here’s a much needed …
Keep grains, nuts, and cereal in a cool and dry place. Widespread mold, known as Aspergillus flavus, can grow in many grains, nuts, and cereals–especially in warm and damp conditions. This mold produces a toxin known as aflatoxin before and after harvest. Thankfully, you need to ingest high concentrations of this toxin to get aflatoxin poisoning. However, this poisoning has been linked to causing liver damage and tumors. It’s the most potent natural carcinogen because it intercalates into DNA. In addition, this toxin is highly heat stable and low doses of it over many years may lead to cancer. Eeeek … we have to be careful peanut butter lovers!
That’s it for today!
Hey Guys, here’s another article that I wrote for LolaBee’s a few weeks ago! Enjoy!
Extra, extra read all about it—persimmons are now in season!
Although native to China, persimmons have since spread to Japan and California…and for a good reason too—persimmons are rich vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! More specifically, persimmons contain the nutrient catechin, which is known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic properties. In addition, fresh persimmons contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin-C, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin—together these fight oxidative stress, which plays a vital role in aging and disease. And lastly, persimmons are rich in B-complex vitamins, potassium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus.
Although this fruit resembles the beauty of a tomato and provides nutrients to compete with many other healthy fruits, most of you have probably never tried a persimmon, and some of you may have tried one and had a bad experience. But fear no more, you simply have to know the difference between the persimmon varieties to really enjoy this lovely fall fruit.
First, persimmons should only be eaten when ripe and soft. If eaten before its ripe stage, the fruit will be very bitter. When the fruit is ripe, the skin will appear transparent and should be smooth with an overall orange coloring; if not, let it ripen on the counter until it reaches a bright coloring overall. The two varieties in market are Fuyu and Hachiya. For those of you who have had a bad experience with persimmons it was probably because you bit into an unripe Hachiya persimmon…so, let’s get to know these varieties a little more closely.
Fuyu Persimmons (Sharon fruit) are short and firm. They’re crisp and sweet with a pleasantly firm, mango-like flesh, and the skin can be eaten or peeled just like an apple. It’s a non-astringent variety, unlike other persimmon varieties. Fuyu tastes great in fruit salads, salsas, or baked in a coffee cake. These tomato-looking persimmons are the better variety to eat fresh.
Hachiya Persimmons are longer and more “peach-shaped.” They need to be eaten when very soft and very ripe—“smooshy” to the touch. They are best when eaten chilled or scooped with a spoon. However, this variety is an astringent variety and if eaten before it’s completely ripe, you will have one of the most mouth puckering experiences of your life—it’s bitter and chalky and tastes similar to industrial strength cleaner. It can actually numb your lips and tongue for a short moment. But, this can all be avoided by waiting for the fruit to become super ripe, by soaking the persimmon in salt water or by freezing it. Furthermore, this variety is most commonly used for cooking as opposed to eating fresh. They make great persimmon cookies, coffee cake, chutney, jams, and puddings.
Second, you need to know…
Step 1: Wash. Step 2: Cut off leaves, in the same way you would if you were cutting off the leaves of a tomato. Step 3: The skin can be eaten but if you want to peel, immerse in hot water briefly. Step 4: Cut the persimmon into any shape you desire for serving, or eat whole. Step 5: Persimmons can be consumed fresh or cooked. Persimmons can be cooked as a jam, marmalade, compote, and makes a delicious sorbet.
Hey everyone… here’s another newsletter article I wrote for LolaBee’s a few weeks ago. Don’t forget to go to lolabees.com to read more!!!!
But for now… let’s discuss how to make sure your fruit is enjoyed exactly the way you like it!
Everyone likes their fruit a different way, some like them ripe and sweet, while others like them not-so-ripe and crunchy… did you know that you can actually manipulate the ripening process of your fruit to make sure it’s the perfect taste and texture!
Let’s start with understanding the process of fruit ripening… it’s time for some toxic science!!
Fruit ripening is caused by a ripening signal, a burst of simple hydrocarbon gas known as ethylene gas (H2C=CH2). Picking the fruit causes a rapid production of ethylene, which signals it to ripen. Ethylene “turns on” processes that develop and alter the characteristics of fruit. Chlorophyll (the stuff that makes fruit green) is broken down and new pigments are made so that the fruit skin changes color; acids are broken down bringing the flavor from sour to neutral; the degradation of starch produces sugar; and the “glue” between fruit cells is broken down, resulting in a softer fruit. Other enzymes also break down large organic molecules into smaller ones, releasing a sweet fruity aroma.
Now let’s go over how to store our fruit in order to keep it fresh…
There are two main types of fruits, climacteric (continues ripening) and non-climacteric (does not). When storing your fruit, you need to know which type it is. Climacteric fruits such as apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, figs, guava, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes, all continue to ripen after being picked, which is accelerated by ethylene gas. Non-climacteric fruits such as, cherries, grapes, citrus fruits, pineapples, and berries (all kinds) ripen only while still attached to the plant.
Non-climacteric fruits will not improve in flavor, so it’s best to keep them in the fridge in order to extend their life. In other words, your berries will not get sweeter with age, but your nectarines might! Thus, climacteric fruits, like nectarines, can be stored at room temperature to continue ripening (for your liking). Some climacteric fruits produce a lot of ethylene, and others are very sensitive to exogenous ethylene, so don’t store different fruits together, especially not in a closed container.
So, the good news is, you can store your fruit depending on how you like it. Don’t keep your fruit in the produce bag if you don’t want the fruit to ripen too fast–keeping the fruit in the bag will increase the concentration of ethylene gas thus causing the fruit to ripen faster. Refrigeration will also slow ripening, but if you take your fruit out of the fridge a few hours before you eat it will increase sweetness–letting the fruit get to room temperature on your counter will make it be sweeter, more aromatic, and better tasting or in my words, yummier.
You can also use heavy ethylene producers to your advantage. If you bought pears, apples, or avocados that are too unripe for your liking, you can put them in a closed paper bag with a banana to help them ripen faster. The paper bag helps stagnate and build up the ethylene concentration from the banana in order to induce ripening for the other fruit!