Friday, August 21, 2009

August Cooking Club-Fresh Fruits & Veggies

On August 13th Pam Henderson hosted our monthly Cooking Club. We were very fortunate to have a Lisette Marcotte of Farmer Fresh To You as a guest speaker. She shared her vast knowledge of produce with us and now we're going to share it with you.

As part of the fun evening we each entered our name for a drawing of a Small Box of fresh veggies & fruit that Lisette brought from her business. Linn was the lucky winner!

Did you know that the best way to tell if your watermelon is ripe is to feel the outside of it for ribbing. A ripe watermelon should feel "ribbed".

Small melons: they need to smell fresh and sweet. They should have some "give" to them to be ripe. Cantaloupe should have some "give" at the end where it has been cut from the vine. Ogen melons are a great melon. Try one!

Corn on the cob: Should be eaten within 2-3 days of being purchased. If you are not going to eat your corn right away, pull the silks out and store in your refrigerator. Keep the husks on. Pulling the silks prevents the mold from growing.

Purchase with heads on so that you know they are fresh. Then cut the tops off before storing as the tops will pull all the nutrients out of the carrot. Yellow carrots are sweeter than orange.

Never store in the fridge. Refrigerating causes the membranes to break down and they lose their flavor.

All bell peppers start off green. Yellow tend to be a little sweeter than the green and red even sweeter than the yellow.

Cauliflower: Did you know that orange cauliflower has a nuttier and sweeter flavor than the white?

Don't store apples with any other fruit as they give off ethylene which accelerates ripening.

Fresh Herbs:
VERY high in antioxidants. The flavor of fresh herbs is amazing. When cooking with fresh herbs, add them to the END of your cooking.

Garlic: Garlic has HUGE health benefits. It enhances your immune system, healthy heart, blood circulation, antioxidants, digestion, cuts cholesterol, and benefits your skin. It also has healing properties and contains allicin which is an antibiotic. Several women shared their success with using garlic and warm olive oil inserted into the ear for ear infections.

Onions: Spring onions are very good, they have a strong and sweet flavor. You can interchange chives, leeks, green onions, spring onions as they are all onions. Did you know that shallots are a combination of garlic and onion? You can cut off the bottom of a leek and replant in soil and it will regrow. You can also do the same with garlic as it is a bulb.

Turmeric: Best seasoning for everything. Huge health benefits: Anti-cancer, helps with memory loss, antioxidant, anti-diabetes, fatigue, anti-inflammatory, and many, many more uses.

Honey: Best to use honey that is locally grown because its produced by bees in your local environment. Because bees consume foods in your area they have immune stimulating properties that help you to better adapt to your environment.

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