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August 2017

Dig in to Fall with Red Beets

Red Beets

One of the more or less “standard” Beets, the Red Beet features a dark ruby red bulbous root topped with 10-12” red and green leafy stems (also edible). And while as a rough-shod root vegetable they may not appear particularly glamorous or sweet, Beets actually have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, making them both a healthy and absolutely delicious addition to your veggie arsenal.

In your kitchen, you’ll put the Red Beet to best use by either slow roasting or steaming them (they’re also great grilled). In addition to other beets, they pair great with citrus fruits and cheeses – especially Goat and Feta – along with most proteins, particularly fish. Red Beets are also great for pickling (check out Simply Canning for info on How To Can Your Own Pickled Beets).

Beet Nutrition – The Red Beet is low calorie, low in fat, and gluten free and is high in fiber, folate, and manganese, as well as Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. The Red Beet gets its coloring from Betalain pigments, anti-oxidants which aid in the bodies detoxification process. And don’t forget those edible greens, they contain twice the potassium of the beet root itself along with additional folic acid, beta carotene, fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron, riboflavin, magnesium, manganese, and copper.

 

In terms of Web Resources Martha Stewart’s site is one of our favorites for Creative Recipes for using Red Beets:
(Clockwise from upper left)

Beet Chips:
http://www.marthastewart.com/312807/beet-chips

Beet, Cheddar and Apple Tart:
http://www.marthastewart.com/331822/beet-cheddar-and-apple-tarts

Beet Ravioli Stuffed with Ricotta, Goat Cheese, and Mint:
http://www.marthastewart.com/338282/beet-ravioli-stuffed-with-ricotta-goat-c

Beet Tomato Salad:
http://www.marthastewart.com/907476/tomato-beet-salad

Check out all the great Beet Recipes gathered on Martha Stewart here:
Beet Recipes:
http://www.marthastewart.com/274226/beet-recipes

Just In – Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet Runner Beans

 

The long and large bright green pods of the Scarlet Runner hide a deceptively unique and beautiful bean within. The kidney shaped beans inside range in color from purple to violet to light pink to almost vibrant fuscia – and are often a speckled blend of the two. Once cooked the starchy beans are creamy with a strong nutty savory flavor. Both the bean pods and their striking (often scarlet) flowers are edible as well, with a mild bean flavor.

Because of their large size and heartier skin, Scarlet Runner Beans take a little longer than your average bean to cook. Shelled beans should be booked before eating, and if using dry ones they’ll benefit from an overnight soaking before cooking. Their large size and starchiness also make them a popular source of protein in vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Dragon Fruit – Get Creative with this Tropical Favorite

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Dragon Fruit

Easily recognizable, the Dragon Fruit (or Pitaya as it’s called in its native environs) has a very defining characteristic – its thick bright red skin has pronounced green spines curving up and off the surface, giving it a wild and slightly “out of this world” appearance. It comes from a surprising source as well, as it actually grows on a climbing Cactus. Filled with a spongy white (sometimes pinkish) and soft flesh containing numerous edible tiny black seeds, the flavor of its juicy flesh is sweet and fruity, but with a more mellow flavor than many other fruits. Hint: if you want it at its most deliciously sweet wait until the spines start to dry up and the skin softens and reaches a bright deep red.

Even though the Dragon Fruit’s flesh is soft and juicy it still holds it shape when cut, and so in addition to fresh eating, it also makes a viable and delicious addition to fruit salads (especially those with other tropical fruits), desserts, or on top of your favorite breakfast selection, whether that’s yogurt, oatmeal, or even waffles. Juice it and add to a fruity cocktail – or puree for a frozen twist. You can also puree the flesh and combine with sugar and freeze to make your own sorbets and sherbets – perfect for cooling off on these hot days!

If you’re an “Acai Bowl” fan try making your own “Dragon Fruit Bowl” with your pureed flesh. Its high levels of Vitamin C (one cup = 190% of your recommended daily amount), Calcium, Fiber, and both Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (contained in the seeds) make the Dragon Fruit a great immunity boosting, nutrient rich and filling ingredient to add some light sweetness to your daily juicing and smoothie concoctions.

You also might try renowned New York Chef David Bouley’s intuitive twist with Dragon Fruit. He takes a perfectly prepared piece of wild caught salmon – places medallion cube Dragon Fruit and delicately sliced avocados on top with a zest of lemon – it’s so delicious!

Dragon Fruit Nutrition: In addition to it’s high water content and ample Potassium, Dragon Fruit shows up on some of your Super Food lists as the red fleshed varietals get their coloring from Lycopenes, anti-oxidants known for their cancer fighting properties as well as lowering blood pressure and helping protecting against heart disease.

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Try some Creative Ways to Prepare Your Dragon Fruit – Like Two of our Favorite’s – Salads and Salsa:
(Clockwise from Upper Left)

Dragon Fruit Salad:
http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/dragon-fruit-salad-recipe/

Dragon Fruit Waldorf Salad:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/healthy-dragon-fruit-waldorf-salad-3364401

Dragon Fruit Salad:
http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/dragon-fruit-recipes-a-la-alkaline-sisters/

Dragon Fruit Salsa:
http://mamalikestocook.com/dragon-fruit-salsa/

Seared Tuna with Dragon Fruit Salsa:
https://beyondmeresustenance.com/seared-tuna-with-dragon-fruit-salsa/

Shrimp Tacos with Dragon Fruit Salsa:
http://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2014/05/12/fajita-spiced-shrimp-tacos-with-dragon-fruit-salsa/

For some more cool and creative ways to use the Dragon Fruit in your Kitchen check out the Daily Burns 9 Healthy and Creative Dragon Fruit Recipes

Getting Creative with Grapes!

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Glorious Grapes

Most people wouldn’t say “no” to a handful of grapes but here’s why you should be making that “yes” a resounding “YES” – and make grapes a part of your weekly diet and culinary arsenal (and lucky for you the ways in which you can consume grapes are as numerous as those health benefits):

For starters grapes contain Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants which aid in slowing and preventing several types of cancers – as well as Resveratrol, a type of Polyphenol found in the red skin of grapes and responsible for the heart health benefits of that “glass of red wine a night.” In addition, their Flavonoid, Fiber, and Potassium content all help contribute to heart health by protecting against cholesterol, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and lowering blood pressure.

Grapes have a high water content – helping keep your Electrolyte levels up and you hydrated – as well as lots of good fiber which aids in creating regular bowel movements and minimizing constipation. The Flavonoid Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory agent, and in addition to helping protect against damage caused by cholesterol it can also aid your body in fighting off allergy symptoms like swollen sinuses.

Grapes also contain Resveratrol which has been linked in aiding against diabetes related visual impairment, the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s, and alleviating symptoms of menopause.

And finally both red and green grapes contain Vitamins A, C, and K – making them a great immunity booster as well!

Getting Creative with Grapes in the Kitchen:

We’ve compiled another list of recipes for you this week – this time in your quest to take the grape beyond its standard consumption as a fresh snack – so before you delegate those grapes to snack, raisin, or jam status, we urge you to read through and find a new home for them in this weeks menu!

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For appetizers, breads, and baked goodies try these elegant and eclectic takes on these classics:
(clockwise from upper left)

Rosemary Flatbread with Blue Cheese, Grapes, and Honey:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/rosemary-flatbread-blue-cheese-grapes-and-honey

Roasted Grape and Burrata Crostini:
http://www.marthastewart.com/1009029/roasted-grape-and-burrata-crostini

Grape Pico De Gayo:
http://www.marthastewart.com/1124577/grape-pico-de-gallo

Grape Harvest Cake:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/harvest-cake-grapes-and-sangiovese-syrup

Olive Oil Cake with Red Grapes:
http://www.marthastewart.com/345543/olive-oil-cake-with-red-grapes

Concord Grape Jam Tart
http://www.marthastewart.com/355342/concord-grape-jam-tart

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For a dreamy dinner or lunch with an eclectic twist try these entrees:

(clockwise from upper left)

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