All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Market Watch: Cherry Peppers (and Cheesy Hot Pepper Poppers)

by in Farmers' Market Finds, August 30, 2011
cherry pepper poppers
Find hot cherry peppers and grill cheesy, spicy pepper "poppers."

Green peppers just don’t get the love they deserve! This time of year you’ll find all different kinds at the farmers’ markets including sweet bell, mild frying peppers and these little babies – sweet and fiery cherry peppers.

These tiny peppers just scream “stuff me.” They’re not as hot as jalapenos, but they still have a bit of heat. Try this grilled appetizer, a take on japaleno poppers made with seafood, cream cheese and salty Manchego. They make deluxe appetizers but only take minutes to make.

Read more

10 Easy Tomato Appetizers

by in Uncategorized, August 28, 2011
tomato salad
#7: Tomato Salad

Tomatoes find their way on to salads and sandwiches without much consideration, but they deserve more attention for tomato week. Here are 10 fabulous nibbles where tomatoes are the star.

1.) Serve sweet and spicy tomato jam with whole grain crackers (or slices of toasted whole grain baguette) along with shards of sharp cheddar cheese.
Recipe: Tomato Jam

2.) Look for locally produced dried tomatoes at your local farmers market – it’s a great way to hold on to that tomato goodness for months.
Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Skewers

3.) Cherry tomatoes are the perfect size for skewers. Watermelon (also in season now) may seem like an unlikely match up, but the combo of flavors scream summer.
Recipe: Tomato, Watermelon, and Basil Skewers

Read more

Tomato Questions from Our Readers: Storing and Handling Fresh Tomatoes

by in Uncategorized, August 26, 2011
tomatoes
Don't you wish these guys grew all year long?

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate? When to peel and seed? Proper handling of fresh tomatoes is trickier than it might seem. Our readers asked tomato questions on Facebook and Twitter , here are our recommendations.

Shopping Tips
This is prime time for local produce so get out to your local farmers’ market or farm stand where colorful and plump tomatoes are abundant. Choose large tomatoes that are free of bruises and heavy for their size (heavy equals juicy). For smaller cherry tomatoes, look for ones that are brightly colored with tight skins.

Don’t look only for perfectly round or red tomatoes. Oddly shaped, bizarre-colored heirloom and other unique varieties are some of the tastiest kinds! Learn more about the various heirloom varieties.

Read more

Make Your Own Gazpacho

by in Uncategorized, August 25, 2011
gazpacho
You say tomato, we say gazpacho.

Between the backyard garden, CSA deliveries, and compulsive trips to the farmers’ market – my kitchen is bursting with tomatoes and other goodies like cucumbers, onion and herbs. What’s one of the most tasty and healthy ways to use up lots of veggies? When life hands you tomatoes . . . make gazpacho!

Step 1: Choose your ingredients
Take your pick of favorite fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs. The only other ingredients needed are olive oil, a source of acid, tomato juice, salt and pepper. If you’ve got some day old bread lying around, use it to thicken the soup (see recipe below).

Classic veggie options include tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, onion and celery. Then add a flavor punch with fresh garlic and herbs like parsley, basil, chives or cilantro. Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil and some acidity from fresh lemon or lime juice or vinegar like red wine, balsamic or sherry.

Read more

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread: Is it Healthy?

by in Is It Healthy?, August 20, 2011
nutella
Is this stuff actually good for you?

Clever marketing has attempted to convince consumers that chocolate-hazelnut spreads make a nutritious breakfast. Can this chocolaty delight be a healthy part of any meal?

Yes?

Manufacturers tout that this creamy spread contains wholesome ingredients like hazelnuts and skim milk — and it does. There’s actually not much else to it, only a couple of other ingredients make up the recipe — but that’s where things start to get messy.

No?
The first 2 ingredients listed on the label of chocolate-hazelnut spreads are sugar, followed by palm oil, which means these ingredients out-weigh all others. When you break down the numbers you’ll find it contains 100 calories per tablespoon and more than 50-percent of that comes from fat. While there are some heart-healthy fats from nuts, one-third is the artery-clogging saturated kind. As for the sugar, it’s not looking much better – nearly 5 teaspoons per serving!

Most brands also include thickeners such as soy lecithin. While this food additive is considered safe, folks with soy allergies should be aware.

Read more

One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Recipes, August 19, 2011
banana ice cream
One-ingredient banana "ice cream" and assorted toppings.

There’s been quite a buzz over this frozen treat, so we tried our hand at the one-ingredient wonder – homemade banana “ice cream.”

Go Bananas
Banana muffins and banana bread are classic go-to recipes for over-ripe bananas, but there are some cooler options. When you’ve got more bananas than you know what to do with, slice them into large pieces and place in freezer-safe bag in the freezer for at least 4 hours (overnight is better). These frozen fruit chunks make creamy and frothy smoothies and a surprisingly similar dairy-free alternative to ice cream.

One medium banana totals about 105 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. You’ll also get healthy doses of vitamins C and B6 and potassium. Bananas are also free of fat and cholesterol.

Read more

What is Glucomannan?

by in Food News, August 19, 2011
glucomannan
Have you heard of this stuff?

Weight Loss Supplement?
Often marketed for weight loss and type 2 diabetes, glucomannan (also know as “konjac”) is a root primarily composed of an indigestible fiber – which is why it can have a major laxative effect. While scarfing down this stuff in supplement form (it’s currently available in tablet, capsule or powder forms) may help increase fullness and curb appetite, there are smarter and safer ways to do this.

Because of its inability to be absorbed, it may also reduce the absorption of much-needed fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. When taken in combination with certain herbal supplements and diabetic medications, this supplement may also cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar.

Other safety risks include throat and gastrointestinal obstructions, so people that do choose to take this supplement are cautioned to use it in powdered or capsule form, instead of tablets.

Read more

Make Your Own: Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

by in Healthy Recipes, August 10, 2011
chocolate frozen yogurt
You asked for it: dark chocolate frozen yogurt. Customize it with your favorite mix-ins.

We’ve got frozen yogurt on our minds, so we polled our Facebook fans to find out what flavor they wanted to dive into. Introducing Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt (plus some fun ways to jazz it up).

Why Chocolate?
Why not – who doesn’t love a little chocolatey goodness?! It can be a tricky fro yo flavor to tackle because tart and tangy yogurt doesn’t always mingle with rich and smooth chocolate. The solution — use real chocolate and plus some whole milk to mellow things out.

Read more

Supplement Savvy: More Popular Supplements

by in Uncategorized, August 9, 2011

vitamins
We’ve been filling you in on the good, bad and ugly details about popular vitamin, mineral and herbal products but there are a lot of other supplements out there. Here are the facts on five of the most common – are they worth it?

Multivitamins
While they seem harmless, multivitamins can be a cocktail of dangerous ingredients including toxic amounts of vitamins and minerals, herbs and other substances that may cause side effects and interact with medications. If food allergies, dietary restrictions, or pregnancy warrant taking some extra nutrients from a multivitamin, look for one that only contains vitamins and minerals. Beware of bizarre herbs, “proprietary blends” and other ingredients you don’t recognize. Pass on products that have more than 500% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) listed on the label.

Read more

Market Watch: Black Raspberries

by in Farmers' Market Finds, August 3, 2011

raspberry granita
While black-raspberry ice cream may be the extent of your black-raspberry knowledge, these sweet and succulent berries (not to be confused with blackberries) do exist in the primitive form – you just won’t find them in most grocery stores.

Scout out your farmers’ market for deep violet raspberries hiding among the typical red varieties. While blackberries (a completely different variety of berry) are easy to come by, I only know of one local farm that grows black raspberries in my area. They’re only available for a short time (usually mid-June to late July). Use them for any raspberry recipe – trifle and salad dressing are just a few favorites. They make an incredibly special and refreshing granita.

Read more