Why fruit and veg taste better straight from the farm?

Why fruit and veg taste better straight from the farm?

It’s the age old question really that we intuitively know but have just really forgotten along the way.  It seems that the supermarkets have forgotten as well but I don’t really claim to why fruit and veg titledknow the answer for the big chains as they struggle to keep up with supplying so many people.  It is relatively easy for them to provide produce in season, but when it is out of season, that is when we need as consumers savvier.

However as consumers there is a huge move now towards knowing and understanding where our food comes from, how it is processed and what is the best option for our families.

The simple answer and reality if that fruit and veg is picked fully ripe fresh off the trees, ready to sell to customers.  Supermarket produce is generally picked green to last on the shelf or stored in cool rooms for long periods. Produce can undergo additional processes such as waxing, fungicide treatments or gas ripening.

What you get when you buy directly from the farmer is as fresh as you can get it without having to grow it yourself.  The time from picking to purchasing is minimal and you as a consumer can then be more confident that the fruit has had time to develop flavour and retains its nutrients.  It’s super fresh, naturally ripe, naturally coloured, hand picked and packed and presented the way it is supposed to be.

This is optimal for farmers as well as they can control how their produce is handled and appreciated.  Let me tell you farmers grow produce because they love it and generally have enormous pride in what they grown.  It is very rewarding for them to see customers enjoying their produce, trusting them and coming back for more.

My final tip would be check out what is seasonal and try and stick to purchasing that produce only if you have to shop at the big stores.  Make sure you check out where the produce is sourced from when it is out of season as we found out with the frozen berry scandal, produce that is sourced from other countries can go through different criteria to what our stringent standards are here in Australia. Discover where your local markets are and make your way there.  You will quickly get to know your favourite store holders that you love and trust so the process becomes very quick each week.

For some great recipe ideas on what to use your fruit and veges for have a look at the cookbooks in our bookshop.

Pantry Organization: Alternative Baking Essentials

Pantry Organization: Alternative Baking Essentials

Most baking recipes call for ingredients from four major food “groups”: dairy (butter and/or milk), flour, eggs, and sugar. For those of us with allergies or intolerances, and for thosePantry organisation titled who choose not to eat some or all of these ingredients, baking can seem like a complicated process. Here are a few alternative baking essentials for your pantry to save time and help bring out your inner star baker.

Dairy

Okay, so this one isn’t technically kept in the pantry, but it’s an essential part of baking recipes so it ought to be included. The most common dairy free options for baking are replacing butter, so the best vegan friendly butter alternatives are:

  • vegan margarine
  • avocado
  • coconut oil
  • banana
  • nut butters

There are also many common milk alternatives on the market, so don’t forget that you can use these instead of cow’s or goat’s milk in your recipes:

Alternative milks (soy, almond, rice, oat, etc.)

Flour

If you need or want to replace the white flour found in your baking recipe with a gluten free or unprocessed alternative, try one of the following:

  • whole wheat flour
  • spelt flour
  • gluten free flour
  • almond meal
  • coconut flour
  • cashew meal
  • black beans

Eggs

Replacing eggs in baking can be difficult, since they serve so many purposes (binding and rising to name a few). It’s important to distinguish what function they have in a particular recipe before choosing an alternative.

When a recipe calls for eggs as a binding agent, then the best replacements are:

If you want something more “eggy” and vegan or allergy free, consider something like:

  • flax egg (egg replacer)
  • fruit and veg purées

Sugar

Sugar alternatives in baking are actually very easy to find these days. Many people are steering away from standard granulated sugar and choosing a healthier, more natural option like those on this list:

  • Stevia
  • honey
  • coconut palm sugar
  • maple syrup or molasses
  • dates
  • agave syrup

Other alternative ingredients

If you want to get really creative with your alternative baking recipes, try making your own thickening agents from ingredients such as:

  • agar
  • guar gum
  • xanthan gum
  • tapioca
  • kuzu
  • arrowroot

Last but not least, who can forget chocolate? If you need or want to replace your chocolate in a recipe, try:

  • cacao nibs
  • carob

When you’ve got all your ingredients together, make sure to set them up together in your pantry in an accessible box or Tupperware so you’re more likely to get them out and use them. Now the only thing left to do is to get baking!

(Check out this fantastic chart for alternative baking ingredients if you need more specific advice and for conversions.)

For more pantry and kitchen tips and tricks (for alternative bakers and for everyone else!), check out Modernize.com.

For all your alternative baking products visit What Can I Eat

Kaitlin Krull

via Modernize

 

7 Vital Reasons to add Red Food to the menu this Valentines Day

7 Vital Reasons to add Red Food to the menu this Valentines Day

Ramp up the passion with red foods

Not only will adding red foods to your diet make your plate more colorful and aesthetically pleasing, it can also help keep you incredibly vital in the bedroom.7 valentines day

Red Fruits and vegetables are power packed with nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, just to name a few. These nutrients can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.

But they can also fire up the system just where you want it to.

1. Red foods like tomatoes, cherries and red cabbage are fabulous for speeding up a slow circulatory system and putting a bit of vibrancy in your step.  We could probably all do with a bit more energy .

2. Red capsicum, radish or chilies or course will create heat or fire in your body especially in your hands and feet.  If you are someone who runs with a lower body temperature, then eating hot foods will help fire up your reproductive system.

3. Cranberries for instance will assist with preventing bacteria from sticking to the urinary track walls and causing those nasty UTI infections.  So definitely put this ingredient on the menu.

4.  Rhubarb helps strengthen your bones and teeth with abundant sources of calcium.

5. Red Wine or Red Grapes are a wonderful source of Resveratrol.  The benefits of which neutralizes free radicals and may inhibit inflammation.  Apart from the other benefits of relaxation and improving your mood on the day.

6. Red foods such as red grapefruit, bell peppers, watermelon and red guava are rich in carotenoid called lycopene, which makes the food look red, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 35 percent according to at least 5 studies.

7. Finally Red Meat, being a beef farmer’s daughter, a bit of beef is always a favourite on the menu for me.  A great source of protein and iron for sustained energy.

So stock up the Red foods this Valentines Day from any of the suggestions above or some the following delicious choices.

Raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, red cherries, red grapes, pomegranates, beets, red apples, red plums, rhubarb, pink grapefruit, watermelon, guava, tomatoes, red peppers, radishes, radish, red capsicum and red onions.

How about red quinoa, nuts, kidney beans or red lentils.

I’m sure the choices are endless

Kylie Hollonds is the founder of the Whatcanieat.com.au Network for the past 6 years.  She has been making it her mission to source products and services available to consumers in Australia, who are searching for food and personal care to suit their specific dietary, personal and lifestyle choices.   Kylie also refers her clients to her Bio Compatibility Hair Test 500 protocol for those who have health challenges, which are generally related to food and toxic exposure.  Once we identify what foods and products are friend or foe we can then refer individuals to products and services through the online directory.  Kylie is also a partner in GK Gluten Free Foods, the national importer of GF Oats in Australia.

Sources:

http://www.gaiahealthblog.com/2012/06/10/eating-the-reds/

 

http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/healthy_eating/eat-a-rainbow/lycopene-red-food.htm

 

 

http://www.sharecare.com/health/nutrition-diet/what-benefits-eating-red-foods

 

http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/fruits-vegetables.shtml