Tag: produce

Hydrating Foods

by in Uncategorized, July 18, 2016

Most people could do a better job of staying hydrated. Counting glasses of H2O is important, but so are the foods you eat. Here’s the lowdown on some in-season foods to perk up your hydration.

Assess Your Hydration
The best way to tell if you’re getting enough fluids is to pay attention to your body. Urination should be frequent and light yellow to clear in color. The more fluid you lose in sweat, the more you should replace. Aim to take in half your body weight in fluid ounces as a baseline – that’s 75 fluid ounces for a 150-pound person. If you exercise, drink more — especially when working out in the heat and humidity.

Fluid-Boosting Foods
In addition to drinking plenty of water, reach for these seasonal foods to help stay hydrated this summer.

Iceberg is low in calories and has one of the highest water contents of any food. Other leafy varieties like romaine and green leaf are also good options.

Get more from: salads and lettuce cups

You can feel the hydration pouring from this melon; it also contains plenty of the antioxidant lycopene. Read more

What’s in This Week’s CSA Box?

by in Healthy Tips, In Season, July 6, 2016

We in the Food Network Kitchen got our first box of CSA (community supported agriculture) produce from Mountain View Farm in Easthampton, MA. And probably like many of you at home, unpacking the box had us wondering, “What are we going to do with all this stuff?”

CSAs aren’t exactly a new idea. After all, farmers selling directly to the consumer is the original business model. But the locavore trend is one way to buck the industrial agricultural system (or skip the hassle of the produce aisle), with members buying “shares” in a farm’s annual harvest.

This is the most-exciting box of produce you will ever receive — your own mystery basket to keep you on your culinary toes week after week. So sign up, get to know your local farmer and keep reading to find out how to use even the most alien-looking produce in the box. We’ll give a glimpse at our CSA box and share tips on how to use the produce every other week throughout the summer and fall.

Bok Choy
Bok choy is a mild-flavored member of the cabbage family you’ve probably enjoyed at your local Chinese restaurant. Whether steamed, stir-fried or tossed in a saute pan with minced garlic and oil, it is a delicious dinner table addition.

You might not know it from looking at this vegetable, but it comes from the same family as carrots. Slice your fennel bulb for adding crunch to salads, roasting for a side dish, or steaming and serving with fresh dill. Read more

Farmers’ Market Finds: Scapes and Rabes, Beyond Broccoli and Garlic

by in Farmers' Market Finds, May 28, 2016

If you haunt your farmers market looking for signs of spring, you’re probably familiar with garlic scapes and broccoli rabe…they’re some of the first greens you’ll find. But scapes and rabe come in more varieties than garlic and broccoli. Here’s the skinny on what they are and what other varieties to look for.


What Are Scapes?

These shoots are one of the first edible greens to crop up in spring. Scapes are simply flower stalks that grow out of the bulbs of garlic, onions and leeks. At the top of each is a bulb that will flower if left unplucked. For eating, though, scapes are picked when the green stalk is sturdy and the bulb is still a bulb. Scapes taste like the alliums they grow from, and you can use them in places you would use chopped onion.


How to Use Scapes

To cook scapes, remove the bulbs and use the stalks. Chop them finely and saute to soften. Add them to omelets or quiche, blitz them into a pesto or preserve them by pickling. Read more

The Truth About Baby Carrots

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, May 23, 2016

Tiny smooth carrots – which are perfect for snacking and dipping – don’t actually grow that way. Find out how they’re made, and why it’s OK to munch on them.

The History
Baby carrots were invented by a California carrot farmer, Mike Yurosek. In the early 1980s, Yurosek found that many of his carrots were not saleable because they were “ugly” — they weren’t the size or shape that could be sold at the grocery store. Instead of tossing these “ugly” carrots, he used an industrial bean cutter to shape them into what are now called “baby carrots.” The success of baby carrots was overwhelming. By 1987, carrot consumption had increased by 30 percent. Today, baby carrots consist of 70 percent of total carrot sales. Read more

4 Tips for Planning an Edible Garden

by in Healthy Tips, May 21, 2016

It’s the time of year when home gardeners begin to set a game plan for the season. Their excitement begins to build, as they know that what starts out as small seeds and plants will turn into a backyard bounty of edible goodness over the course of a few short months. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a horticulture newbie, use these tips to get off to a fruitful start.


  1. Find the right space.

The best place to start digging is one with lots of sunshine and plenty of soil. If you have a designated garden spot, try to rotate the main area every couple of years to help prevent depleting nutrients from the soil. If a new spot isn’t an option, plant items in different spots than the year before — tomatoes on the opposite side of the garden and so on. Also, consider using a combo of raised containers and in-ground beds so you don’t take up your entire lawn. If you live in a wooded area, consider how to set up protection from hungry squirrels, rabbits, deer and other four-legged friends. Read more

Nutrition News: Healthiest Veggie-Cooking Methods, Pregnancy Obesity Risks, Silk For Fresh Fruit

by in Food News, May 13, 2016

Healthier veggie prep

We all know vegetables are healthy, but some ways of preparing them are healthier than others. In general, cooked beats raw, CNN reports, noting, “Studies show the process of cooking actually breaks down tough outer layers and cellular structure of many vegetables, making it easier for your body to absorb their nutrients.” And while the ideal method may differ slightly for different vegetables, the news site reports, as a rule of thumb it’s often best to steam (don’t boil) or microwave your veggies and “keep cooking time, temperature and the amount of liquid to a minimum.” Then throw in a wee bit of olive oil and you’re good to go. Read more

Veggie Gardening 101

by in Healthy Tips, May 11, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow? Tips for Beginning Vegetable Gardeners

You see all the beautiful fresh produce at your weekly farmers market and think, “How hard could it be to grow some of this myself?” The short answer: not that hard, provided you choose low-maintenance veggies and follow a few simple rules. We asked Kevin Karl, farm manager at Growing Gardens, a nonprofit in Boulder dedicated to building community through urban agriculture, to help would-be gardeners start to dig in.

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The Health Benefits of Tart Cherries

by in Healthy Tips, March 9, 2016

I know you’re asking: How is March tart cherry month? Tart cherries are different than the sweet cherries that are in season during the warm summer months. These sweet-sour cherries aren’t eaten fresh; rather they are enjoyed year-round dried, frozen, canned and as concentrated juice. Research has also shown that these delicious cherries contain numerous health benefits.

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7 Things NOT to Do with Summer Produce

by in Healthy Tips, July 20, 2015

It’s the height of the season for fresh summer produce. To help keep fruit and vegetables tasting their best, avoid making these common mistakes. Read more

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

by in Food Safety, September 2, 2012

bananas in bowl
Do pesky fruit flies hover around your fresh produce? Find out how you can get them out of your kitchen.

Fruit Flies 101
Adult fruit flies (Drosiphila melanogaster) range in size from 1 to 2 millimeters, have red eyes and tan or brownish body. They like to lay their eggs on fruit that’s getting ready to be harvested; that’s how they make it into your home, though they can come in through open doors and windows. Once in your home, these small flies will hang out near rotting fruit, especially old bananas hanging out on your counter. These flies reproduce quickly—they can lay up to 500 eggs over the course of their 1-week lifespan.

Other common breeding grounds for these bugs include decaying meat, large spills of sugary soda or alcohol, sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash receptacles, wet mops and dirty rags.

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