Tag Archives: fruit

flora’s seasonal recipe: pondering persimmons

7 Jan

6290086996_8e25c56234Sitting on the train one day, a father, mother and their two daughters entered my car toting orange shopping bags filled with fresh produce. They were caught up in lively conversations, while each one of them was biting into a ripe persimmon.

It was inspiring to watch a family all enjoying a fresh and unique fruit together on their train ride. The sheer happiness emanating from their faces was a true testament to the importance of sharing family meals and moments.

What also stood out to me was their conscious decision to pick persimmons as their snack. Perhaps the persimmons brought back childhood memories for their parents, and they wanted to share those memories with their children? Maybe their children chose the fruit and enlightened them on how delicious they are? Or maybe they all walked into the store never having tried persimmons, and the shop keeper was giving out tastings?

Whichever way the persimmons made it onto the train with this sweet family, they were in my car for a reason. While I watched them, I was able to reflect on the value of food memories, the ways in which food connects us to place, grounds us in flavor and promotes health and wellness.

Hopefully this sweet family has inspired you to pick up a persimmon or two, and share the experience with someone you love on your very own road to making food memories together.

46422626_c4691b75e5How to eat a persimmon? There are two main types: Fuyu (tomato shaped – eat with peel on) and Hachiya (acorn shaped – remove peel).

Fuyu:

  • Wash it first.
  • Once ripe (should feel soft, not squishy), cut in half then cut into wedges, like you would a tomato.
  • Or simply bite into one like an apple!

Hachiya:

  • Wash it first.
  • Once ripe (should feel squishy in your hand) cut open the top, and spoon out the fruit.
  • Eat with abandon!

For more persimmon recipes and inspirations click here.

Photos courtesy of sleepyneko and Beyond Forgetting

homemade fruit soda

14 Jun

64080481_8decafc3baDoes all of this talk about soda leave you feeling thirsty for something more homemade?  Try making a delicious berry spritzer to enliven your taste buds! Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of berries
  • 4 cups of seltzer
  • 4 slices of lemon
  • 1 sprig of mint

Directions: 

Rinse your berries, place in a bowl or a tall glass, and smash them up with a muddler or mortar and pestle, until there are no more large pieces. Split berries up evenly into 4 glasses, add seltzer water. Mix it up with a spoon so that the berries mingle with the seltzer, then finish it off with a squeeze of lemon and a few mint leaves. Makes 4 delectable drinks.

Curious to know how to brew your own soda, with roots, yeast and all? Check out this link, a fun food experiment for the whole family!

Photo courtesy of dano

Shopping matters

16 May

slide01For those 501c3’s looking to help educate the public on how to eat healthy on a budget, you should take a look at these available grants. Grant applications end on June 13, 2012, and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to cookingmattersgrants@strength.org

In order to cook at home it’s important to shop well, and wisely. Here are some tips for eating healthy on a budget from Cooking Matters:

  • Compare unit pricing: This is an important step in deciding what goes in your cart and why. By choosing the more affordable option, you can save a lot of money! For example, if you have the option between a 32oz bag of brown rice for 4.3 cents per ounce, or a 16oz bag of brown rice for 7.3 cents per ounce, what would you do? To save money you would chose the first option, as you would get more rice for your buck.
  • Practice reading food labels: Comparing nutritional information can help you make healthier choices. Here is some general information that may help guide you when looking at the nutritional value of foods, and here is some more specific information that will help you learn the percentages of these nutrients that your body needs.
  • Identify whole grains: Whole grains provides us with fiber, iron and B vitamins. Make sure to read food labels, and try to buy products with the least amount of ingredients. Also, when buying breads take a look to make sure that whole wheat is the first on the ingredient list, which means the bread is made up of mostly that ingredient.
  • How to buy fruits & vegetables on a budget: Chose frozen fruits and vegetables with no sugar, salt or fat added. The ingredient list should list the vegetable or fruit only. Look for canned fruit that is only packed in it’s own juices, and make sure to rinse them before eating. Rinse canned beans or vegetables to remove some of the sodium that is added for preserving the food. When buying local, try heading to the farmers market or stand at the end of the day for reduced price items. Even better, if you have access to a garden plot, back or front yard, patio, or even windowsill, try planting your own vegetables and herbs!

For our readers out there, feel free to share your money saving tips for healthy eating all year round.

Photo courtesy of cooking matters

our Earth Day celebration

24 Apr

This past weekend we celebrated Earth Day at the Hilltop Hanover Farm with the Speyer Legacy School and Health Barn USA. We were invited to teach a class on the difference in taste, texture and nutritional values of processed and unprocessed foods, and we had a lot of fun!

We brought in a sample of jarred tomato salsa, and packaged fruit cups, and took a good look at their ingredients. Then we brought in fresh ingredients to make homemade salsa and fresh fruit salad from scratch. We reviewed the nutritional properties of the fresh veggies and fruits we were using, and identified what parts of our bodies they benefit. Our class culminated in a taste test of the two different salsa’s and two different fruit salads. It turned out that half of the children liked the jarred salsa better then the fresh, and we talked about why that might be (because of the added sugar), and all of the children preferred the fresh fruit salad over the packaged one. Since we made such a big batch of both dishes we were able to serve it at the potluck picnic, and the children (and adults) completely devoured it!

To read more about our Earth Day on the farm click here