by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, In Season, September 9, 2011
by Toby Amidor in Back to School, Healthy Recipes, August 17, 2011
Grapes are in season right now. Get them fresh off the vine and try some of our favorite ways to prepare them.
When, Where, & What?
Grapes (Vitis spp, Vitaceae) are edible berries grown in clusters on small shrubs or vines. They grow best in temperate zones such as Italy, France, Spain, Mexico and Chile. New world settlers found that grapes brought over from Europe didn’t survive the winter cold and were prone to fungal diseases. They developed the hybrid varieties found in America today. Today California is the largest producer of “table grapes” – the kind for snacking.
There are thousands of varieties of grapes. Some are grown for wine production while others are grown to be eaten as-is. Concord grapes are used to produce grape juice, jams and jellies. They’re blue in color, with a thick, chewy skin and contain seeds. They’re sold as table grapes along with other varieties like Interlaken, Lakemont, Einset Seedless and Venus. Muscat grapes are turned into raisins while Riesling grapes are used to produce wine. Dana found fun varieties when she scouted her local farmers market including Mars and Juniper grapes.
Grapes are typically round or oval, smooth skinned and juicy. Some varieties contain seeds while others are seedless. Some are “slip skin” where the skin can easily be removed while other varieties have skin that is tough to remove. Grapes are divided into categories by color: white or black (or red). White grapes range in color from pale yellow-green to light green, while black varieties range in color from light red to deep purple. In the U.S., peak season for grapes is August through October.
by Michelle Buffardi in Uncategorized, July 20, 2011
Ellie Krieger’s Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad, part of a well-balanced lunch.
To get you off to the right start with our September Brown-Bag Challenge, we’ve put together a one-week menu of quick, tasty and nutritious lunches. To make things even easier, pre-plan your meals, make a shopping list and have all ingredients ready-to-go. Are you up for the challenge?
Monday: Tuna Pockets
- Stuff tuna salad into a large whole wheat pita
- 1 medium banana
- Sparkling water
Tuesday: Pasta Salad
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, In Season, July 12, 2011
- Stay cool as a cucumber with Ellie Krieger's no-cook soup.
Week three of our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2011 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we’ve delved into eggplant and peaches. This week we’re getting creative with: cucumbers.
With temperatures reaching 90 degrees in many areas of the country, it’s just too hot to cook. But it’s never too hot to eat right, so mercury rising is no excuse to roll through the drive-through. Ellie Krieger’s Cool Cucumber Soup is just the solution. It’s perfect for the height of summer because:
- You won’t need to turn on the oven or stove to make it.
- It’s done in 20 minutes.
- It’s a great way to use up the cucumbers growing like crazy in the garden.
- It clocks in at just 130 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, so makes a waistline-friendly light lunch or appetizer.
- Per Ellie, it’s a good source of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium.
What are you waiting for? Get out the blender and whip up this super-cool, creamy-yet-good-for you cold soup.
- Plums in many colors.
Finally…plum season has arrived! This juicy stone fruit is only in season a short period of time. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.
What, Where, When
The plum (Prunus domestica, Rosaceae) belongs to the rose family with cherries, peaches, and apricots. There are hundreds of plum varieties grown throughout the world. Common varieties include French, Italian, Imperial, Greengage, Long John, Castelton, and Fellenburg.
Plums grow on trees in clusters, have smooth skin and a pit in the center. Plums can be oval or round in shape. The skin can be deep purple, red, green, blue, or multicolored. The flesh can be orange, red, purple, yellow, or white. Plums also vary in taste—some are sweet while others are tart. They’re available from July through October.