Have you tried a pomegranate?
History of the Pomegranate
Believe it or not, the pomegranate’s history began 4,000 years ago. In North America, it’s hard to imagine that a fruit growing currently in southern California began in various countries of the Middle East, then the Mediterranean Basin, then Asia and Europe.
The pomegranate’s popularity over more than 4 centuries is likely based on its tangy-sweet flavor as well as its health benefits. A powerful antioxidant, pomegranates are also felt to be anti-inflammatory and, as such, may help protect all organs and systems of the body.
The pomegranate’s seed/fruit sacs are called arils. Half of one cup of these tasty bits contain 70 calories, 15 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 15% Daily Value for vitamin C.
Pomegranates in the Kitchen
At holiday time, the pomegranate adds a festive flavor and look to green salads, fruit salads and desserts. Or, try experimenting with them in your favorite savory recipes using chicken, lean pork, veggies or fish. For some help learning how to open the pomegranate, enjoy this very entertaining video.
How to Open a Pomegranate in Six Movements from POM Wonderful on Vimeo.
There's more to pumpkins than making jack-o-lanterns!
Fall, Pumpkins & Kids!
There’s nothing more fun than carving a beautiful, orange pumpkin into a fun jack-o-lantern. Kids love the funny faces while watchful parents guard the sharp knife. Everyone enjoys pumpkin season ~ picking one out ~carving it ~ cooking with it in the kitchen!
Pumpkins Offer Great Nutrition!
If you’re looking for a vegetable that’s low in calories and high in health-promoting antioxidants like vitamin A, then pumpkin is the answer. Pumpkins are a hard, Fall squash that offers powerful nutrition with tasty flavor. In seasons of the year when fresh pumpkins are not available, though, a can of solid-pack pumpkin fills in nicely. Use it for kitchen creations with similar nutritious results.
Pumpkin in the Kitchen!
There are many ways to use pumpkin to make yummy, family-friendly recipes. Here are a few:
Roasted pumpkin: Bake bite-size chunks of pumpkin in the oven at 425 degrees with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt.
Pumpkin chili: Add some canned pumpkin to your favorite veggie chili recipe.
Pumpkin pancakes: Add a scoop of canned pumpkin to a simple pancake batter, along with some pumpkin pie spice.
Toasted pumpkin seeds: Roast the rinsed seeds of your pumpkin on a baking sheet in the oven until golden and crispy.
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Fresh blueberries are easy to grow & fun to eat!
Blueberry Nutrition is Awesome
No doubt about it – there is a ton of good nutrition in blueberries. Fresh ones from your backyard or the local Farmer’s Market taste best; however, even the frozen store brand at your grocery store are loaded with awesome nutrition. In one cup (fresh or frozen), there are only 85 calories, 4 grams fiber and 1 gram protein. All this comes without any fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol or sodium. Sound good? What’s even better is that hiding beneath its great nutrition is powerful antioxidant value in every serving of blueberries. To learn about selection and storage, click here.
Now, on to your kitchen…
Simple & Delicious Recipe for Blueberry Pancakes
Heart Smart Bisquick – 3 cups; Whole wheat flour – 1 cup; 1% Low fat milk – 2 1/2 cups; Large eggs – 2; Blueberries – 1 cup. Mix all ingredients together , adding blueberries last. Do not over-mix. Heat a flat skillet to medium and spray lightly with vegetable oil spray. Add batter to heated skillet using a soup ladle or large spoon. Cook about 3 – 4 minutes per side until pancakes are golden. Top with a little syrup or powdered sugar.
Shopping List for Blueberry Pancakes
Heart Smart Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix + Whole wheat flour + 1% Low fat milk + Large eggs + Blueberries + Syrup
Shake on a little spice/herb for fabulous flavor!
Let’s face it…bland food is not very exciting for anyone. The good news is that a simple sprinkle can make things better. In fact, dried spices and herbs can add fabulous flavor and great nutrition to your favorite dishes.
Flavors to Try
Being adventurous with food is a great approach for everyone. Here are a few shake-on options to sample:
1. Ground cinnamon goes deliciously with hot or cold cereal or a baked sweet potato. Sprinkle it on.
2. Ground cumin jazzes up a breakfast egg and cheese burrito or a lightly buttered ear of corn-on-the-cob. Sprinkle and enjoy.
3. Basil and/or oregano boosts flavors of pita bread pizza or mixed bean salad or soup. Sprinkle away.
While boosting flavors of your favorite foods, dried spices and herbs have a hidden nutritional surprise – antioxidants for good health! This is a powerful reason to stock your spice/herb cabinet and make them a part of every day.
Fruit is sweeter than candy!
Good nutrition is all about enjoyment and variety. Fruit is a crowd pleaser as it offers variety, healthy carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. A big bonus in fruit is the natural sweetness as well as an abundance of antioxidants. These natural plant elements can strengthen all your health and help guard against heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and inflammation– a sweet deal!
Grocery Store Tips
1. Enter the store with a list of at least 3-5 fruits for your shopping cart. Choose 2 fruits that are in-season and then add 1-3 more colors to the mix. Remember, fresh, canned and frozen fruits all count so store them properly at home.
2. Try a new fruit often. Perhaps you will explore tropical mangoes or papaya, or an appealing apple variety like Cameo or Honeycrisp. Being adventurous means enjoying fruit every day.
3. Learn what’s local and ask for a taste at the store. Flavors are superior when fruits are in season. Check with your local agricultural experts, too.