Author Archives: Judi

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens 101 – The Basics

Mustard Greens 101 – The Basics

About Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are members of the Brassicaceae (or “Brassica”) family of plants. This same family of plants is also known as the Crucifereae (or “Cruciferous”) family of plants, and may also be called the “mustard family.” They are all one and the same. Other familiar plants in this family include cabbage, kale, collards, turnips, cauliflower, radishes, and horseradish, among other.

There is no consensus on where the mustard plant originated. It is possible it came from parts of Europe. Wherever it originated, it quickly spread around the world and is now commonly found throughout Europe, Northern Africa, India, Asia, and North America.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Mustard greens have a lot to brag about regarding nutrient contents. They are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They are an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, copper, manganese, and calcium. They are a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, Vitamin B6, protein, Vitamin B2, and iron. They are considered to be a good source of potassium, Vitamin B1, magnesium, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate. One cup of raw mustard greens has a mere 15 calories!

Interestingly, the utilizable amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and copper in mustard greens increases when they are cooked. However, some (but not all!) of the Vitamin C and Vitamin E are lost during cooking.

Mustard greens are also a valuable source of an array of phytonutrients including glucosinolates, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. With all things considered, mustard greens are an extremely healthy food to eat and we should all eat them as often as we can!

Rich in Antioxidants (Disease Prevention). Mustard greens are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. These are compounds that fight against oxidative stress caused by an excess of harmful free radicals in the body. Such molecules can cause cellular damage leading to serious, chronic conditions, like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune disorder, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Eating mustard greens and other leafy greens in the Brassica family on a regular basis can help us avoid these conditions.

Very High in Vitamin K (Blood Clotting and Bone Health). As mentioned earlier, mustard greens are extraordinarily high in Vitamin K. One cup of raw mustard greens provides 120% of the daily value, whereas one cup cooked provides a whopping 690% of the daily value.

Vitamin K is important in proper blood clotting function and is essential for heart and bone health. Inadequate Vitamin K has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Recent studies have also suggested there is a link between Vitamin K deficiency and impaired brain functioning, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. All the more reason to be sure you’re getting enough Vitamin K!

Important Note! If you are taking blood thinning medications such as Warfarin, check with your doctor before increasing your intake of Vitamin K-rich foods. The boost in Vitamin K may alter your prothrombin time and your medication dosage may need to be adjusted.

Immune System Support. With mustard greens being high in Vitamins C and A, there is good reason to determine it provides valuable support for the immune system. Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system. Research has shown that a Vitamin C deficiency weakens the immune system making us more prone to getting sick.  Vitamin A is also important for proper immune functioning because it promotes the growth and distribution of T cells. These are a type of white blood cell needed to help fight off potential infections.

Supports Heart Health. Mustard greens are high in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and beta-carotene (a Vitamin A precursor), which have been associated with a reduced risk of developing and dying from heart disease. A study reported in 2016 in the journal JRSM Cardiovascular Disease found that a high intake of leafy green vegetables in the Brassica family was associated with a significant 15% reduced risk of heart disease.

Anticancer Effects. Glucosinolates are among the powerful phytonutrients found in mustard greens. These compounds have been shown to help protect cells against DNA damage and prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Observational studies have shown a link between overall intake of Brassica vegetables and a reduced risk of certain cancers, including stomach, colorectal, and ovarian cancers.

Eye Health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are among the strong antioxidants found in mustard greens. These specific compounds have been shown to protect the retina from oxidative damage, reducing the risk of eye diseases such as macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the world.

How to Select Mustard Greens
Choose mustard greens that are free of blemishes, yellowing or brown spots. They should look fresh and crisp with a bright green color.

How to Store Mustard Greens
To store mustard greens, wrap them in paper towels or a clean cloth. If they are wet from being in the produce display at the grocery store, simply place them in a plastic bag after wrapping them and store them in the refrigerator. If the leaves are dry, after rolling the leaves, slightly dampen the cloth or paper towels with up to ¼ cup of water. Place the rolled leaves in the dampened cloth inside a plastic bag and store that in the refrigerator. Storing them with some dampness allows them to maintain crispness in a humid, but not wet environment (within the plastic bag). Wait to wash the greens until you’re ready to use them. Enjoy your greens within four days.

How to Prepare Mustard Greens
Simply wash mustard greens under cold water. Then roll the leaves and slice them into ½-inch ribbons. There is no need to remove the stems unless you prefer to do that. Cook as desired.

How to Freeze Mustard Greens
Freezing mustard greens is a simple procedure of blanching, cooling, draining and freezing your greens. This is necessary to stop enzyme activity that would cause them to further age while being stored.

Simply wash your greens very well. You may remove the stems if desired, but it’s not mandatory. Slice the washed leaves into ½-inch ribbons. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place the prepared leaves in the boiling water and immediately set a kitchen timer for 2 minutes. As soon as the timer is up, transfer the greens to a bowl of cold water. Allow them to cool down completely, then drain them very well. Place the blanched leaves in freezer bags or containers and remove as much air as possible. Label with the current date and use them within 12 months.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Mustard Greens
* When cooking mustard greens in liquid, always add them to boiling liquid rather than cold, which would “set” the bitterness.

* To help neutralize the strong flavor of mustard greens, combine them with miso or with other milder-tasting vegetables.

* If mustard greens are too strong or bitter for you, here are some easy ways to tame them down: Blanch them first and discard the blanching water; pair them with strong-flavored ingredients (such as bacon, sausage, or garlic); add something sweet (such as roasted squash or dried fruit); add some acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar) at the end of cooking time; add some salt or a salty ingredient (such as bacon or ham); or braise them (slow cooking in a liquid helps to cut bitterness as it softens the leaves).

* Try stir-steamed mustard greens with walnuts.

* Add young mustard green leaves to a smoothie for a spicy flavor.

* Young mustard greens will be more tender than large, mature leaves. Try adding young mustard greens to a green salad for a flavor boost. Mix them with other greens to balance flavors.

* Try adding chopped mustard greens to a pasta salad. Combine cooked pasta with chopped tomatoes, pine nuts, goat cheese, and young mustard greens. Toss with olive oil and serve.

* If a recipe calls for mustard greens and you don’t have any, broccoli rabe, arugula, turnip greens, radish greens, collards, escarole, kale, mature spinach, or green chard may be substituted.

* One pound of fresh mustard greens = 6 to 7 cups raw, or 1-1/3 to 2 cups cooked

* Ten ounces of frozen mustard greens = 1-1/4 cups cooked

* Try adding mustard greens to soups, stews, and casseroles.

Herbs and Spices That Go Well with Mustard Greens
Capers, cayenne, chili pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, curry powder, dill, garlic, ginger, pepper (black), salt, thyme

Foods That Go Well with Mustard Greens
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Bacon, beans (in general, esp. kidney), beef, black-eyed peas, cashews, chickpeas, eggs, fish (and other seafood), lamb, peanuts, peanut butter, pine nuts, pork, sausage, sesame seeds, tofu, walnuts

Vegetables: Carrots, celery, chiles (and chili pepper paste), greens (other, milder greens such as dandelion, spinach), kale, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, scallions, shallots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, vegetables (in general, milder and/or sweeter), yams

Fruits: Lemon, olives, oranges, pears, raisins

Grains and Grain Products: Bread crumbs, farro, grains (in general), millet, noodles, rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Cheese (i.e., goat, smoked Gouda, Parmesan, ricotta)

Other Foods: Miso, molasses, oil (i.e., chili, mustard, olive, peanut, sesame, sunflower seed), soy sauce, stock, tamari, vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, red wine, white wine), wine (i.e., rice), Worcestershire sauce

Mustard greens have been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
African cuisines, Asian cuisines, Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine, Japanese cuisine, salads (i.e., pasta, potato), sandwiches, sauces, soups (i.e., bean), Southeast Asian cuisines, Southern (U.S.) cuisine, stews, stir-fries, tofu or egg scramble

Suggested Food and Flavor Combos Using Mustard Greens
Add mustard greens to any of the following combinations…

Capers + Lemon
Chiles + Cumin + Garlic + Olive Oil + Vinegar
Cider Vinegar + Molasses + Peanuts
Garlic + Ginger + Soy Sauce
Garlic + Peanuts
Lemon Juice + Olive Oil + Walnuts
Onions + Tomatoes
Scallions + Sesame Oil + Tamari

Recipe Links
Simple Southern Mustard Greens with Bacon https://www.thespruceeats.com/mustard-greens-3060133

10 Ways to Use Mustard Greens https://www.foodandwine.com/vegetables/greens/10-ways-use-mustard-greens

3 Quick Meals You Can Make with Mustard Greens https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/g20506296/3-quick-meals-you-can-make-with-mustard-greens/

Sautéed Mustard Greens with Garlic and Lemon https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/sauteed-mustard-greens-garlic-lemon-recipe

Coconut Creamed Greens https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/coconut-creamed-greens

Soba Soup with Shrimp and Greens https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/soba-soup-with-shrimp-and-greens

Sake-Braised Mustard Greens with Sesame https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/sake-braised-mustard-greens-with-sesame

The Greatest Creamed Greens https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/the-greatest-creamed-greens

Greens Eggs and Ham https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/greens-eggs-and-ham

Spiced Chickpeas and Greens Frittata https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spiced-chickpeas-and-greens-frittata

Mustard Greens https://www.bonappetit.com/ingredient/mustard-greens

Asian-Inspired Mustard Greens https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/218501/asian-inspired-mustard-greens/

Vegetarian Mustard Greens https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-mustard-greens/

Mustard Greens https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mustard_greens/

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/07/balsamic-glazed-chickpeas-and-mustard.html

15-Minute Mustard Greens Recipe https://plantbasedandbroke.com/15-minute-mustard-greens-recipe/

Curried Mustard Greens and Garbanzo Beans with Sweet Potatoes http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=41

Instant Pot Mustard Greens https://spicecravings.com/sarson-ka-saag-spiced-mustard-greens#recipe

 

Resources
https://www.thekitchn.com/5-ways-to-tame-bitter-greens-214850

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=93#preptips

https://www.glad.com/food-storage/protection-pointers/how-to-store-mustard-greens/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mustard-greens-nutrition

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973479/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-mustard-greens#2

Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia. (1993) So Easy to Preserve. Third edition, Bulletin 989. Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Joachim, David. (2010) The Food Substitutions Bible. 2nd Edition. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Robert Rose, Inc.

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Berries

Anthocyanins 101

Anthocyanins 101

What are anthocyanins?
Anthocyanins are a very large group of water-soluble colored pigments found in various plants, especially flowers and fruits. They are also found in the leaves, stems, and roots of assorted other plants, including foods.

Anthocyanins are types of flavonoids that are formed when their related compounds, anthocyanidins, are coupled with sugars. Sugars can bind at different places on the anthocyanidin molecule. With assorted types of sugars and different binding sites available, many different types of anthocyanins may be formed. In fact, over 600 different anthocyanins have been identified in plants.

The color and stability of the pigment is affected by pH, light, temperature, and its own structure. Acidic conditions make the pigments red, whereas alkaline conditions turn them blue. Diversity of anthocyanins is further increased by the chemical combination of sugars with organic acids. So, from the various potential molecular combinations, the different types of anthocyanins are vast.

Anthocyanins have a variety of functions for the plants that contain them. They serve as antioxidants, protectants from UV-light, and defense mechanisms. They are also used in pollination and reproduction. The colors help attract pollinators, such as bees and hummingbirds. Some anthocyanins also protect plants against some destructive larvae.

Anthocyanins are what makes many foods red, purple, or blue. The amount of anthocyanin found in a food is generally proportional to the depth of color of the skin of the food. The compounds are found mostly in the skin, except for some fruits such as red berries and cherries, which also contain anthocyanins in their flesh.

Plants containing these compounds have been traditionally used as medicine, and natural food colorants, and dyes. More recent research has uncovered various important health properties of these colorful compounds.

Health Benefits of Anthocyanins
Anthocyanins have been found to have potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, improve eye and neurological health, and also provide protection against various diseases. Some anthocyanin-rich foods, such as black carrots, red cabbage, and purple potatoes have been considered as functional foods, and are often eaten for the prevention of specific diseases. Anthocyanins have been shown to help ward off diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and inflammation.

Antioxidant Effects. Most of the health benefits of anthocyanins are attributed to their antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are critical for health by neutralizing harmful free radical molecules. Free radical molecules are generated in the body through normal metabolism, and also when we’re exposed to toxins of any sort, infections, high blood sugar levels, alcohol, cigarette smoke, excessive or intense exercise, radiation, and more. They are missing an electron and are very unstable. In an effort to gain stability, a free radical will steal an electron from a nearby molecule making themselves stable, while damaging the other molecule in the process. That “robbed” molecule then becomes a free radical, and the process continues until an antioxidant comes along. The antioxidant is able to “donate” an electron to the unstable molecule without itself becoming unstable and turning into a free radical. An antioxidant stops the damaging process.

Free radicals can serve important functions that are essential for health. For instance, immune cells use free radicals to fight infections, destroying viruses, bacteria, and damaged body cells along the way. Then, antioxidants are used to neutralize the free radicals, stopping further damage in the body. The body strives to maintain a balance of free radicals and antioxidants. When free radicals outnumber antioxidants, it leads to a state of oxidative stress, which invites disease.

Excessive free radicals in the body can damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells. They have been linked to many illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye diseases, atherosclerosis, senile dementia, asthma, inflammatory joint disease, and more. Antioxidants stop harmful free radical molecules by the means detailed above. Antioxidants are critical in the body for health and well-being.

The body makes its own antioxidants. However, since the body needs so many antioxidants, it’s also important to obtain them from foods to help the body in its neutralizing efforts. Antioxidants may also be obtained from various foods (especially plant foods), certain vitamins (such as Vitamins C, E, and the Vitamin A precursor, beta-carotene), and minerals (such as zinc and selenium). It is important to note that it is best to obtain antioxidants from food sources, rather than taking very high dosages of supplements because in some cases, such high dosages may actually promote oxidative stress and the formation of free radicals. Foods that are high in antioxidants should be included as a regular part of the diet to help ward off many diseases.

Cardiovascular Disease. Researchers have found that anthocyanins help to relax blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure. They also help to prevent excessive blood clotting. Anthocyanins have also been found to improve the blood lipid profiles of healthy subjects by increasing the formation of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), while decreasing the formation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Anthocyanins have also been found to lower the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction (heart attacks). So, including anthocyanin-rich foods in the diet can be an important part of helping to ward off heart disease.

Anticancer Effects. Anthocyanins have been found to suppress tumor growth, inflammation, and angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels that feed tumors). Such effects have been seen in the deterrence of esophageal, breast, colon, and prostate cancers, as well as leukemia.

Antidiabetic Effects. Anthocyanins have been found to increase insulin sensitivity (reducing insulin resistance), thereby reducing blood sugar levels. The improved lipid profiles, enhanced antioxidant capacity, and reduced insulin resistance promoted by anthocyanins all work together to help ward off Type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanins have also been found to improve kidney function by reducing oxidative stress, lipotoxicity (the accumulation of fats in non-fatty tissue such as the kidneys, liver, heart and skeletal muscle), and angiogenesis in the kidneys of diabetics, helping to protect them from the damaging effects of diabetes.

Visual Effects. Anthocyanins have been found to improve the visual function in patients with glaucoma. They have also been found to improve blood flow to the eyes without increasing intraocular pressure. In another research project, anthocyanins reduced inflammation in photoreceptor cells, helping to improve their functioning. Anthocyanins have been found to improve dark adaptation, so this may be helpful in people with poor night vision. They have also been found to prevent the formation of cataracts in diabetic subjects.

Antimicrobial Properties. Researchers found that anthocyanins protected cell walls from damage due to invasive microbes. Antibacterial activity was demonstrated against a variety of gram-negative bacteria, including Escherichia choli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas hydrophilia, and Listeria innocua. Therefore, anthocyanins can help to protect us from the diseases caused by these harmful bacteria.

Antiobesity Effects. Anthocyanins have been found to slow weight gain and suppress the formation of fatty tissue, while improving the lipid profiles of obese subjects. Researchers also found that anthocyanins reduced blood and urine glucose concentrations in obese subject. So, if you are striving to lose weight, it would be in your interest to include as many anthocyanin-rich foods in your diet as possible.

Neuroprotective Effects. Anthocyanins have been found to protect against inflammation and degeneration of nerve fibers in mouse models and cell studies. These effects offer protection against Alzheimer’s Disease by preserving memory and synaptic nerve transmission function. The enhanced antioxidant effects of anthocyanins were found to provide extra protection against free radical damage and oxidative stress, improving the functioning of nerve pathways. Anthocyanins were also found to provide protective activity by suppressing dopamine-producing cell death commonly found in Parkinson’s disease.

Foods That Contain Anthocyanins
Deeply colored foods with red, purple or blue hues contain anthocyanins. They are particularly high in berries (such as elderberries, chokeberries, bilberries, black raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries).

Anthocyanins are also found in black currants, black olives, goji berries, red cabbage, black plums, cherries, red and black grapes, strawberries, red raspberries, cranberries, black rice, wild rice, purple corn, red onions, red radishes, pomegranates, purple cauliflower, blood oranges, rhubarb, black beans, eggplant, black or purple carrots, and other foods in lesser amounts.

Although they have high nutritional value in their own way, grapefruits, nectarines, peaches, apples and pears contain some, but not appreciable amounts of anthocyanins.

How to Protect Anthocyanins in Foods
Fresh vs Frozen. Researchers have found that anthocyanins in fresh food degrade relatively quickly after being harvested. When fresh and frozen foods were analyzed, they found that frozen foods, such as berries, contained higher amounts of anthocyanins than their fresh counterparts that spent three to ten days in refrigeration after harvest. Since foods are usually processed and frozen quickly after being harvested, if you want to obtain the highest level of anthocyanins in berries, unless you are picking your own or purchase them freshly harvested at a farm market, frozen berries may be a better choice.

Cooking. In a meta-analysis study published in 2014 in Food Research International, researchers compared the anthocyanin levels in foods that were cooked with various methods, including pressure boiling, pressure steaming, conventional steaming, microwaving, and baking. They found that foods cooked with moist heat methods tended to lose the most anthocyanins. The greatest loss of anthocyanins occurred when foods were pressure-steamed.

Dry-heat methods of cooking, such as microwaving and baking, tended to increase the concentration of anthocyanins in the foods tested. Anthocyanins were increased the most when foods were microwaved.

Based on the results of the above studies, if you must cook a food that is high in anthocyanins, baking or microwaving the food may be your best options for preserving as many anthocyanins as possible. When consuming fresh anthocyanin-rich foods, such as berries, use them as quickly as you can after purchase. When consuming frozen foods such as berries, to obtain the most anthocyanins, use them frozen, or allow them to thaw naturally or very briefly in the microwave.


Resources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613902/

https://www.healthline.com/health/gram-positive#vs-gram-negative

https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400525/articles/jafc54_4069-4075.pdf

http://www.food-info.net/uk/colour/anthocyanin.htm

https://pediaa.com/difference-between-anthocyanin-and-anthocyanidin/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-antioxidants

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained#free-radicals

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7619452/

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Anthocyanin-contents-in-foods-of-plant-origin_tbl2_44609005

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278599/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055

https://drannwellness.com/foods-highest-in-anthocyanins-in-order-from-most-to-less/

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-are-anthocyanins-and-why-are-purple-foods-so-healthy

https://content.iospress.com/download/journal-of-berry-research/jbr022?id=journal-of-berry-research%2Fjbr022

https://www.tuscany-diet.net/2014/05/06/anthocyanins-fruits-vegetables-cereals/

https://foodandnutrition.org/november-december-2016/colorful-truth-anthocyanins/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996914004074

https://www.healthline.com/health/oxidative-stress#effects

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf104724k

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0570178314000025

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11853511/

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrients-purple-cauliflower-5633.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815309/


About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Vegetable Bean Chili

Vegetable Bean Chili

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious vegan bean chili recipe, you found it! It’s full of vegetables, and the variety of beans can be adjusted to your personal preferences. Add ingredients to a big pot with a lid, bring to a boil, then allow it to simmer for an hour, and supper is ready! Adorn it with any garnish you choose and it’s fit for company. There is a video demonstration below, followed by the written recipe.

Enjoy!
Judi

 

Vegetable Bean Chili
Makes About 7 Servings

1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic

2 cups vegetable broth
1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp chili powder (to taste)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt, or to taste
1 large (28 oz) can OR 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
3 cans beans of choice, rinsed and drained (i.e., black, kidney and/or pinto beans)
6 Tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Optional garnishes:
Grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream

Place the first five ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped.

Place all ingredients except the red wine vinegar in a large pot with a lid. Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow the vegetables to cook for about 1 hour, until the vegetables are soft and flavors are blended. Stir occasionally, and taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. When the chili is finished cooking, remove from heat and add the red wine vinegar. Stir to combine. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish, as desired.

Tip: If you want a smoother, more blended chili, remove some of the finished chili and blend it until smooth. Return it to the pot, stir, and serve. Or, if preferred, an immersion blender could be used to blend the chili in the pot to the desired texture you want.

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Turnips

Turnips 101 – The Basics

Turnips 101 – The Basics

About Turnips
Turnips are round root vegetables often associated with potatoes or beets. However, they are in the Brassicaceae (mustard) family of plants, cousins with kale, broccoli, cabbage, collards, rutabagas, and many more popular cruciferous vegetables. There are over 30 varieties of turnips, differing in size, color, flavor, and usage. The purple-top turnips are the most common variety.

Both the bulbous taproot and the leafy greens are edible. Turnips have been eaten for thousands of years. They appear to be native to Siberia, where they originally took a lot of space to grow. Since World War II, different turnip varieties that need less space to grow have been developed. This has led to greater production around the world with increased consumer acceptance. Currently, turnips grow from Siberia to the northern United States.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Turnips are an excellent source of Vitamin C, with a 1 cup serving providing 30 percent of the daily recommended intake. They are also a good source of copper, and also contain lesser amounts of fiber, manganese, Vitamin B6, potassium, pantothenic acid, folate, Vitamin B1, choline, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B2, niacin, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, iron and selenium. One cup of cubed turnip has only 36 calories.

With their wide array of nutrients, including a variety of antioxidants, researchers have found that turnips offer a variety health benefits, including:

Relieving Intestinal Issues. Fiber is important for moving the contents of the intestinal tract forward, reducing pressure and inflammation in the colon. This reduces the risk of developing diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal tract issues.

Lowering Blood Pressure. In a study reported in a 2013 issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers found that foods such as turnips and collard greens, may reduce blood pressure and inhibit platelet stickiness. Compounds within such vegetables can be converted into nitric oxide that helps blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure. Keeping blood pressure under control helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Reducing Cancer Risk. A high intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as turnips, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, has been associated with a lower risk of cancer. Such vegetables contain compounds that have been shown to have protective effects against cancer. Sulforaphane, a compound famed for being abundant in broccoli sprouts is one of those compounds. However, broccoli sprouts are not alone in being high in sulforaphane. In fact, all cruciferous vegetables, including turnips, are high in sulforaphane. So, be sure to include other cruciferous vegetables (besides broccoli sprouts) in your diet to get your fair share of sulforaphane.

Aiding Weight Loss and Digestion. Turnips and other cruciferous vegetables that are high in fiber help to make you feel full for a longer period of time, and helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Adequate fiber also helps to promote regular bowel movements, removing toxins from the body and helping us to feel more comfortable. Also, turnips are low in calories. All factors combined help to improve digestion and ward off hunger.

How to Select Turnips
When buying turnips, look for brightly colored ones with creamy-looking bulbs. Mature turnips may have a purple-hued ring around the top, whereas baby turnips will look more like large, white radishes. Choose ones that are firm, feel heavy for their size, and are without blemishes. Avoid any with signs of rot. In the fall and spring, you may find turnips with their greens still attached. During winter months, turnips will have been stored, so their leaves will have been removed.

Turnips are available year-round, but are at their best in the fall, when the mature vegetables are fresh. They are also good in the spring, when they are still small and sweet. Larger, older turnips have tough skin, which can have a bitter aftertaste if not peeled away. Older, larger turnips have a stronger flavor than the younger, more tender ones. However, the larger turnips are great for mashing or adding to soups and stews.

How to Store Turnips
If you buy turnips with the greens still attached, remove the greens when you get them home. The greens should be wrapped in a clean cloth or paper towel and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They should be used as soon as possible.

The turnip roots should be loosely wrapped in a container or plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator. Try to use them within a week.

If you have a root cellar, they may be stored loosely there. Any very cool, dry place will be suitable. When stored properly, they may keep for months, if freshly harvested shortly before being purchased.

How to Prepare Turnips
Turnips may be eaten raw, but are more often served cooked. They can be cooked in a variety of ways. First, cut away any attached greens and trim off any remaining roots. Rinse them well and peel, if the skin is thick and tough. Peeling small turnips with more tender skins is optional. Cut them as needed for your recipe (left whole, cut into large chunks, diced, or sliced into sticks).

Smaller turnips may be eaten raw and diced or shredded into salads or slaws, or sliced and added to an appetizer tray and served with a dip.

Turnips may be roasted, which mellows and sweetens their flavor. They may also be mashed, baked, added to soups or stews, or cut into sticks and baked as fries. The greens may be prepared as you would any deep, leafy greens.

How to Preserve Turnips
Freezing Turnips. Select small to medium, firm turnips that are tender. Wash, peel, and cut into ½-inch cubes. Bring a large pot of water to boil and place the prepared turnip cubes in the water. Set the timer for 2 minutes. When the timer is finished, immediately transfer the turnip cubes to a bowl of cold water. Allow them to cool for about 2 minutes, then drain well. Pack the blanched cubes in freezer bags or containers and freeze. Alternatively, if you want to freeze them so they don’t become one frozen clump of turnip cubes, spread the blanched, cooled, and drained turnip cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread them into a single layer, if possible. Place the baking sheet in the freezer long enough for the cubes to freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Label it with the date and return them to the freezer. Use them within 1 year.

Dehydrating Turnips. To dehydrate turnips, wash, peel, then cut the turnips into ¼-inch thick slices. Bring a large pot of water to boil, then place the prepared turnip slices in the boiling water. Set a timer for 3 minutes. When the timer is finished, immediately transfer the turnip slices to a bowl of cold water. Allow them to cool for about 3 minutes, then drain well. Arrange the prepared turnip slices in a single layer on a mesh dehydrator tray. Try to leave about ½-inch of space on all sides between slices. Place the trays in the dehydrator and turn it on with the temperature set at 150 F/65 C and allow them to dry for one hour. Then reduce the temperature to 135 F/57 C and allow them to dry for another 3 hours, or until they are crisp and dry. Remove the trays from the dehydrator and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes. They should crisp up further during this cooling process. (If they are not crisp after being cooled, they are not completely dry. Return them to the dehydrator to finish drying.) Transfer your dried turnip chips to clean, dry containers. To help preserve them, it is helpful to place an oxygen absorber inside the container. Label them with the date they were dried and store them in a cool, dry place. They will keep indefinitely, but for best quality, use them within one year.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Turnips
* Raw turnips can be a good addition to a green salad and/or slaw. Treat them like you would a radish.

* Try using turnips in place of potatoes for a low-starch alternative to French fries and other potato dishes.

* Roast turnips with other root vegetables like sweet potatoes as a flavorful side dish.

* Try raw turnip sticks for dipping on an appetizer tray.

* Add turnips to your favorite soups or stews.

* It is not mandatory to peel turnips, but the larger ones will have a thick, tough skin, sometimes with a bitter aftertaste. So, it is often recommended to peel the larger ones.

* One pound of turnips = 3 to 4 medium turnips = 2-1/2 cups chopped and cooked.

* Although the flavors may be somewhat different, if a recipe calls for turnips and you don’t have any available, you could substitute rutabaga, kohlrabi, parsnips, or broccoli stems in place of the turnips.

* Turnips may be eaten raw, steamed, roasted or boiled. They are best when not overcooked.

* When buying turnips, choose smaller ones if you prefer a sweeter, milder flavor. The larger turnips will have a spicier flavor and their texture will be woodier and the peel will be tough.

* Roasting turnips brings out their sweeter flavors. Try adding the herb thyme for a good flavor combo.

* Try boiled and mashed turnips for an alternative to mashed potatoes.

Herbs and Spices That Go Well with Turnips
Allspice, anise seeds, basil, bay leaf, caraway seeds, chili pepper flakes, cilantro, cinnamon, curry powder, dill, lemon thyme, mustard powder, nutmeg, parsley, pepper, rosemary, salt, savory, star anise, tarragon, thyme

Foods That Go Well with Turnips
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Almonds, bacon, beef, chickpeas, eggs, lentils, peas, pecans, pine nuts, poppy seeds, pork, poultry, salmon (and other seafood), sesame seeds, tofu, walnuts

Vegetables: Beets, broccoli, broccoli rabe, cabbage, carrots, celery, celery root, chives, garlic, ginger, greens (turnip), kale, kohlrabi, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, root vegetables (in general), rutabagas, squash (winter), sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watercress

Fruits: Apples, apple cider, apricots (dried), citrus (zest), lemon (juice, zest), orange (juice, zest), pears, pumpkin

Grains and Grain Products: Bread, bread crumbs, couscous, rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, cheese (i.e., blue, cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Parmesan), cream, ghee, mascarpone, yogurt

Other Foods: Honey, maple syrup, miso, mustard (prepared), oil (i.e., grapeseed, nut, olive, sunflower, walnut), soy sauce, stock, sugar, vinegar (esp. balsamic, red wine, rice, sherry, white wine), wine (red, sherry)

Turnips have been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
French cuisine, gratins, mashed (like potatoes), purees, salads, soups (i.e., creamy, minestrone, potato, turnip), stews, stir-fries, vinaigrette

Suggested Food and Flavor Combos Using Turnips
Add turnips to any of the following combinations…

Almonds + Balsamic Vinegar
Basil + Black Pepper + Lemon
Caraway Seeds + Carrots
Carrots + Greens
Carrots + Lentils
Carrots + Potatoes
Garlic + Leeks + Rutabagas + Thyme
Ginger + Orange + Rosemary
Greens + Lemon + Pine Nuts
Leeks + Miso
Maple Syrup + Parsley
Pasta + Turnip Greens
Potatoes + Rutabagas
Potatoes + Tarragon + Tomatoes

Recipe Links
Easy, Delicious Mashed Turnips https://www.thespruceeats.com/easy-delicious-mashed-turnips-2217302

Roasted Turnips https://www.thespruceeats.com/roasted-turnips-2217054

Creamy Turnip Soup https://www.thespruceeats.com/creamy-turnip-soup-recipe-2217429

25+ Turnip Recipes That Prove Just How Delicious the Veggies Can Be https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g4640/turnip-recipes/

Raw Turnip Salad https://www.mariaushakova.com/2015/03/raw-turnip-salad-recipe/

Root Vegetable Hash Egg Skillet https://naturallyella.com/root-vegetable-hash-egg-skillet/

Roasted Potato and Turnip Mash https://fashionablefoods.com/2015/12/14/roasted-potato-and-turnip-mash/

Herb Roasted Sweet Potato and Turnip Skillet https://www.jessiskitchen.com/herb-roasted-sweet-potato-and-turnip-skillet/#tasty-recipes-9679-jump-target

12 Turnip Recipes for Main and Side Dishes https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/turnip-18-recipes-underrated-root-vegetable

Crunchy Turnip, Apple, and Brussels Sprouts Slaw https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/crunchy-turnip-apple-and-brussels-sprout-slaw

Simple Roasted Turnips https://www.spendwithpennies.com/simple-roasted-turnips/


Resources
http://www.healthiestfoods.com/healthy-foods/vegetables/turnip/

https://www.producemarketguide.com/produce/turnips

https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-turnips-4772271

http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-turnips/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruciferous_vegetables

https://www.britannica.com/plant/turnip

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284815

https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrition-facts/170465/wt1/1

https://www.wakemed.org/assets/documents/childrens/nutrition-notes-understanding-nutrition-labels.pdf

https://www.thespruceeats.com/drying-turnips-in-a-dehydrator-1327548

Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia. (1993) So Easy to Preserve. Third edition, Bulletin 989. Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Joachim, David. (2010) The Food Substitutions Bible. 2nd Edition, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Robert Rose, Inc.

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Apples

Apples 101 – About Ambrosia Apples

Apples 101 – About Ambrosia Apples

Origin
Ambrosia apples were discovered as a very young stray tree in an apple orchard in British Columbia, Canada in the 1990s. They are believed to be a cross between Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples. The tree was allowed to grow and develop fruit so it could be tested. The original owners of the tree found the apples to be of exceptional flavor and characteristics, so they decided to grow them commercially. They chose the name “Ambrosia,” which in Greek mythology means “Food of the Gods.” Today, Ambrosia apples are grown according to strict guidelines in licensed orchards in the United States, Canada, Chile, Europe, and New Zealand.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Ambrosia apples have a lot to offer nutritionally. They supply a lot of fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, Vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, biotin, pantothenic acid, and Vitamin E. They also contain a lot of water, which is important in helping to hydrate us, improving digestion, and maintaining healthy skin. In addition to the list of vitamins and minerals, Ambrosia apples also contain a variety of antioxidants that help to boost our health and fight disease. Many of the nutrients found in apples are in the skin, so it is important to eat the whole apple with the skin, if at all possible.

Brain Health and Cognitive Function. Focus, concentration and memory all benefit from eating an apple a day. The fiber and Vitamin B6 found in Ambrosia apples, can help support brain function. Magnesium, as found in Ambrosia apples, helps us to concentrate and retain information more effectively. Studies have even found that drinking apple juice may help keep neurotransmitters working optimally while slowing the aging of the brain.

Better Digestion and Heart Health. Like other apples, Ambrosia apples are also a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Insoluble fiber is notable for moving the contents of the intestinal tract forward, preventing constipation. The water in apples works with their fiber to help prevent constipation, and make us feel full longer, providing greater satiety. This also helps to reduce the risk of assorted bowel diseases, including cancer. Soluble fiber is known for helping to keep blood cholesterol managed by binding with bile and removing it from the body through the feces. This forces the liver to make more bile from existing cholesterol, in turn reducing blood cholesterol. This helps to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Immune System Support. Ambrosia apples contain a variety of antioxidants, such as quercetin, that help to boost the immune system. This helps the body fight viruses, bacteria, inflammation, and various diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Studies have shown that obtaining antioxidants from whole foods is more effective than obtaining them from processed foods or isolated supplements. So, eating a whole, fresh apple each day is a valuable and easy way to help maintain your health.

Other Health Benefits. Apples (in general, including Ambrosia apples) have been attributed to a variety of health benefits, in addition to the ones mentioned above. These include blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention, weight management, mood control, dental health, and sustained energy. It is important to remember that a lot of the nutrients in apples are found in the peel, so eat the skin if you possibly can!

Characteristics of Ambrosia Apples
Appearance. Ambrosia apples are medium to large, with a conical shape. The skin is smooth and glossy with a golden yellow base covered with a red to pink blush. The flesh is light yellow to cream color. The apple has a small fibrous core with a few small seeds. Unlike most apples, Ambrosia apples are very slow to turn brown or oxidize, which makes them an excellent choice for any fresh fruit application. They are low in enzymes that promote oxidation after being cut.

Flavor and Texture. Ambrosia apples are firm, crisp, and juicy with a sweet, honey-like flavor. They are very low in acid, so they are sweet with only a hint of tartness. They are sweeter than many other apples, which can allow you to use less sugar in baking or cooking applications when using Ambrosias. The dense flesh holds up well in any cooking or baking application. The skin of Ambrosia apples is not thick nor tough, like some apples. Instead, it is thin, tender, and easy to bite into, so there is little need to peel Ambrosias. Since the skin of an apple contains a lot of nutrients, this makes Ambrosia apples advantageous for people who have a hard time chewing apple peels.

Storage/Shelf-Life.  Ambrosia apples have a long storage life when kept cold, like in the refrigerator. In fact, they can still taste crispy and fresh months after harvest when kept in cold storage. Ambrosia apples are excellent options if they are available to buy in bulk, as long as you can keep them in cold storage. Ambrosia apples are harvested in the Fall, but since they store so well, they can be found in many grocery stores through Springtime.

Best Uses for Ambrosia Apples
Fresh. Ambrosia apples are an excellent choice for eating fresh. They stay fresh tasting, crispy, sweet, and juicy for months after harvest, as long as they were kept in cold storage. They are also very slow to oxidize or turn brown after being cut, so they can be cut early when served on appetizer trays or included in salads or slaws. There is no need to treat them with lemon water when used in this way. Thin slices of fresh Ambrosia apples can be added to burgers or sandwiches. They also pair well with sharp cheeses.

Baking. Ambrosia apples hold their shape well when baked, so they are also a perfect apple for any baking application. They are excellent when roasted with root vegetables. They will add sweetness and moisture to baked goods like cakes, muffins, and dough nuts. Because they are so sweet, added sugar in a recipe can often be reduced (sometimes by up to one-half) when Ambrosia apples are included in the recipe. Since they hold their shape well when baked, they are excellent to include in pies, tarts, and served as baked apples.

Cooking. Ambrosia apples will compliment any sweet or savory food preparation. They hold their shape and flavor well when cooked, so they can be used in any recipe calling for apples, whether sweet or savory. Try adding diced Ambrosias to polenta, couscous, or rice. Ambrosia apples can even be made into applesauce.

Drying.  Ambrosia apples can be dehydrated or baked into chips. Because Ambrosia apples are so slow to brown, they can even be dehydrated without being treated with lemon water. Here is a link from the AmbrosiaApples.ca website, giving detailed instructions on how to dehydrate Ambrosia apples without using special treatment to preserve color, while retaining the natural flavor of these special apples… https://ambrosiaapples.ca/dehydrate-delicious-ambrosia-apples-oven/

Here is a link to a page on the AmbrosiaApples.ca website, giving a detailed recipe on how to make baked Ambrosia Apple Cinnamon Chips… https://ambrosiaapples.ca/make-ambrosia-apple-cinnamon-chips/

Recipe Links
Ambrosia Apple Pico De Gallo https://www.maebells.com/ambrosia-apple-pico-de-gallo/

Ambrosia Apple Upside Down Cake (Gluten Free) http://www.nutritiouseats.com/ambrosia-apple-upside-cake/?utm_content=bufferf2db9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Healthy Ambrosia Apple Dessert Nachos https://www.dinner-mom.com/ambrosia-apple-dessert-nachos/

Fish Tacos with Ambrosia Apple Slaw http://www.bctreefruits.com/recipes/category/1/Entrees/fruit/0/Apples/recipe/141/Fish_Tacos_with_Apple_Slaw/

Cinnamon-Spiced Quinoa with Apples and Sweet Potato https://farmflavor.com/recipes/cinnamon-spiced-quinoa-apples-sweet-potato/

Ambrosia Apple Granola Bar https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-apple-granola-bar/

Roasted Cauliflower and Ambrosia Apples https://ambrosiaapples.ca/roasted-cauliflower-ambrosia-apples/

Slow-Cooker Apple Maple Pork Tenderloin https://ambrosiaapples.ca/slow-cooker-apple-maple-pork-tenderloin/

Ambrosia Apple Kale Salad https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-kale-salad/

Dips for Ambrosia Apples https://ambrosiaapples.ca/dips-for-ambrosia-apples/

Ambrosia Apple Muffins https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-apple-muffins/

Vegan Ambrosia Apple Slaw https://ambrosiaapples.ca/vegan-ambrosia-apple-slaw-recipe/

3 Ambrosia Apple Smoothies Perfect for Spring https://ambrosiaapples.ca/3-ambrosia-apple-smoothies-perfect-for-spring-recipes/

Ambrosia Apple Baked Beans https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-apple-baked-beans-recipe/

Ambrosia Applesauce 5 Ways https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-applesauce-5-ways/

Ambrosia Apples and Tomato Gazpacho Recipe https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-apples-and-tomato-gazpacho-recipe/

Ambrosia Apple and Pumpkin Soup https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-apple-and-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Ambrosia Apple Breakfast Bowl https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-apple-breakfast-bowl-recipe/

Crustless Ambrosia Apple Pie a la Hasselback https://ambrosiaapples.ca/crust-less-ambrosia-apple-pie-a-la-hasselback-recipe/

German Apple Cake https://ambrosiaapples.ca/german-apple-cake/

Ambrosia Apple and Feta Salad with Roasted Almonds https://ambrosiaapples.ca/ambrosia-apple-feta-salad-with-roasted-almonds/

Easy Homemade Applesauce https://www.runningwithspoons.com/easy-homemade-applesauce/

Resources
https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/ambrosia_apples_238.php

https://ambrosiaapples.ca/6-mistakes-people-make-with-ambrosia-apples/

https://www.fitbit.com/foods/Apple/747239326

https://ambrosiaapples.ca/10-health-benefits-eating-ambrosia-apples/

https://minnetonkaorchards.com/ambrosia-apples-an-apple-as-sweet-as-honey/

https://www.homefortheharvest.com/ambrosia-apples/

https://www.bcfarmfresh.com/5-ways-ambrosia-apples-boost-energy/

https://www.runningwithspoons.com/easy-homemade-applesauce/

https://fitforthesoul.com/everything-about-ambrosia-apple/

https://ambrosiaapples.ca/what-you-need-to-know-about-antioxidants-and-ambrosia-apples/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/quercetin#what-it-is

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=15#healthbenefits

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Radicchio

Radicchio 101 – The Basics

Radicchio 101 – The Basics

About Radicchio
Radicchio is a perennial plant usually grown as an annual. It is a member of the Asteraceae family, which is a subspecies of chicory. Radicchio originated in northern Italy in about the 16th century. It is a low-growing plant that is normally grown in cooler weather. Radicchio is mostly grown in Italy, followed by southern France, and lesser amounts in some parts of California, New Jersey, and Mexico.

Radicchio looks similar to a small head of red cabbage with variegated dark burgundy leaves with white ribs. There are a variety of types of radicchio plants that grow in various shapes, colors, and sizes. The most commonly grown variety is what we usually find in supermarkets, with a round shape and variegated burgundy leaves. It has smooth, crisp leaves with a somewhat bitter flavor and a hint of spice. When cooked, the burgundy color changes to a deep brown hue, and the bitter flavor mellows and takes on a subtle sweetness.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Radicchio is rich in Vitamin K, with a 2-cup serving of raw radicchio providing 170% of the daily recommended intake! Radicchio also supplies copper, Vitamin C, zinc, potassium, Vitamin B6, iron, and phosphorus, along with a little fiber and protein. Two cups of raw radicchio have only 20 calories.

High in Antioxidants. The color of radicchio gives us a hint that it contains a lot of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. Antioxidants are known to help fight cellular damage from harmful free radicals. Such damage can lead to cancer, heart disease, digestive issues, and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, in the July 2015 edition of the journal Molecules, researchers found that the antioxidants in radicchio fought a common liver cancer cell known as Hep-G2. Also, they found that radicchios that were grown organically, without being exposed to pesticides at the time of fertilization, had more of those antioxidants than those that were grown conventionally. If you are battling liver cancer, opting for organic radicchio may be helpful to you.

Brain Health and Memory. Vitamin K appears to play a role in cognition, especially as people age. In a review of current evidence reported in 2019 in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, researchers found that higher blood levels of Vitamin K were associated with better memory in healthy older adults. In adults age 65 years and older, there was a direct correlation between low Vitamin K intake and deteriorated cognitive ability.

In another study involving 320 individuals, aged 70-85, researchers found those with higher Vitamin K levels performed better in memory tests than those with lower levels. It appears that including Vitamin K-rich foods, such as radicchio, in the diet on a regular basis can help to preserve memory and brain function as we age.

Bone Health and Blood Clotting. Since radicchio is high in Vitamin K, including it in your diet regularly can help to promote bone health by regulating the use of calcium in the body. Vitamin K is also an important factor used in blood clotting. So, including Vitamin K-rich foods in the diet regularly can help maintain our bones and teeth, while also helping to also maintain our cardiovascular system.

Important Note! If you are taking blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin, it is important to consult with your doctor before increasing your intake of Vitamin K-rich foods. Since such foods can affect blood clotting, they may interfere with your medication, altering your prothrombin time. Your medication dosage may need to be altered when increasing your intake of such foods on a regular basis.

Blood Pressure Management. Potassium is an important electrolyte in the management of fluids throughout the body, including the cardiovascular system. With radicchio supplying a good amount of potassium, including it in the diet as often as possible can help the body to lower blood pressure, reducing strain on the cardiovascular system.

Eye Health. Radicchio has an abundant amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, two of its many antioxidants. These two compounds have been widely researched for their effects on eye health, especially in preventing macular degeneration and the development of cataracts. So, eating radicchio on a regular basis can help to preserve your eye health, especially as you age.

How to Select Radicchio
Choose firm heads that are crisp, fresh, and full-colored. Avoid those with brown or wilted leaves, cracks, or damage of any sort. Since radicchio is a cool-weather plant, it is at its best in the cooler months.

How to Store Radicchio
Store unwashed radicchio wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If it becomes wilted, soak the leaves in a bowl of cold water to crisp them back up. Depending upon how long the radicchio has been harvested, it should keep anywhere from 3 days to three weeks in the refrigerator. So, it’s best to use it as soon as you can.

How to Prepare Radicchio
To prepare radicchio, wash it well under cold water. Then remove the core by cutting it out in a cone shape. The head may then be cut in half or quartered, shredded, or separated by removing individual leaves. Alternatively, you could simply remove the leaves individually if you just need a few for a salad or a similar recipe.

Radicchio may be used raw or cooked. Cooking radicchio brings out its natural sweetness. It can be chopped and sautéed, or cut in half and grilled.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Radicchio
* The bitter flavor of radicchio pairs well with sweet, sour (acidic), fatty, and salty accompaniments. These flavorings will help reduce the bitterness of radicchio. Try pairing it with citrus fruits, pear, pomegranate, tomato, balsamic vinegar, walnut oil, anchovies, cream-based dressings and sauces, candied pecans, salted meats (like bacon), black pepper and provolone, or Parmesan or gorgonzola cheeses.

* Cut radicchio in half, brush it with some olive oil, then grill it. Finish it with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or even honey.

* Try a salad with radicchio, mozzarella cheese, mango chunks, and basil.

* Add radicchio to a mixed green salad dressed with your favorite vinaigrette dressing. The acid in the dressing will help curb any bitterness in the radicchio.

* Try using radicchio as a shell for serving chicken, tuna, seafood, potato, rice, or fruit salad.

* Cut radicchio into wedges, brush with olive oil and top with cheese. Broil it until the leaves turn reddish-brown and serve.

* Add radicchio to soups, rice, legumes, pasta dishes, omelets, and tofu.

* Try sautéed radicchio with caramelized onions. The act of sautéing the radicchio, combined with the sweetness of the caramelized onions will improve the flavor, neutralizing the bitterness of the radicchio.

* If a recipe calls for radicchio and you don’t have any, you can substitute Belgian endive, curly endive, escarole, arugula, watercress, or red oak-leaf lettuce (which is also less bitter).

* It is not advisable to freeze radicchio. It will lose its flavor and be very bland after having been frozen. Also, radicchio will lose a lot of its nutritional value when it is frozen.

Herbs and Spices That Go Well with Radicchio
Basil, bay leaf, capers, chicory, chili pepper flakes, fennel seeds, garlic, horseradish, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, salt, thyme

Foods That Go Well with Radicchio
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Bacon, beans (in general, esp. cannellini, white), beef, chicken, chickpeas, eggs, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, sausage, seafood, walnuts

Vegetables: Arugula, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery root, chives, endive, escarole, fennel, greens (all types), lettuce, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, radishes, shallots, spinach, squash (winter), tomatoes, watercress

Fruits: Apples, figs, fruit (in general, including dried), grapefruit, lemon, lime, mango, olives, orange, pears

Grains and Grain Products: Breadcrumbs, grains (in general), pasta, polenta, rice, wild rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, cheese (i.e., Asiago, blue, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, feta, fontina, goat, Gruyère, mozzarella, Parmesan, pecorino, ricotta), sour cream

Other Foods: Honey, mustard (prepared), oil (i.e., corn, hazelnut, nut, olive, peanut, pumpkin seed, walnut), soy sauce, stock, tamari, vinegar (i.e., balsamic, cider, fruit, red wine, sherry), wine (esp. dry white), Worcestershire sauce

Radicchio has been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Egg dishes, gratins, Italian cuisine, omelets, pasta dishes, pizza, risottos, salads (i.e., grain, mixed greens), soups, stews

Suggested Food and Flavor Combos Using Radicchio
Add radicchio to any of the following combinations…

Apples + Fennel
Arugula + Endive
Balsamic Vinegar + Garlic + Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar + Mushrooms + Parmesan Cheese [in risotto]
Beets + Blue Cheese + Walnut Oil + Walnuts
Breadcrumbs + Hard-Boiled Egg + Parsley
Breadcrumbs + Parmesan Cheese
Cheese (i.e., Asiago, blue, goat) + Fruit (i.e., dried cranberries, oranges, pears) + Nuts (i.e.,
hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts)
Fennel + Olive Oil + Orange + Pear
Fennel + Olive Oil + Red Wine Vinegar
Garlic + Olive Oil + Parmesan Cheese + White Beans
Garlic + Parsley + Pasta + Ricotta Cheese
Gorgonzola Cheese + Mushrooms
Lemon + Pasta

Recipe Links
36 Radicchio Recipes That Are Ridiculously Good https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/13-ways-to-love-radicchio-gallery

Radicchio, Shaved Fennel, and Pomegranate Salad https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/-radicchio-shaved-fennel-and-pomegranate-salad-51254420

Winter Slaw with Red Pears and Pumpkin Seeds https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-slaw-with-red-pears-and-pumpkin-seeds

Bitter Greens with Carrots, Turnips, and Oranges https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bitter-greens-with-carrots-turnips-and-oranges

Citrus Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/citrus-salad-with-fennel-vinaigrette-51214510

Orzo Salad https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/orzo-salad-388789

Mixed Greens with Mustard Dressing https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mixed-greens-with-mustard-dressing-364091

Rainbow Chard and Radicchio Sauté https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rainbow-chard-and-radicchio-saute-362533

Penne with Radicchio, Spinach, and Bacon https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/penne-with-radicchio-spinach-and-bacon-241093

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-cauliflower-and-radicchio-salad-388668

Sautéed Radicchio https://www.thespruceeats.com/sauteed-radicchio-recipe-2217562

An Autumn Salad https://food52.com/recipes/18974-an-autumn-salad

Sesame Chicken with Radicchio and Orange Salad https://food52.com/recipes/76947-sesame-chicken-with-radicchio-orange-salad

Salad with Caramelized Fennel and Apples https://food52.com/recipes/8756-salad-with-caramelized-fennel-and-apples

Bittersweet Roasted Radicchio with Ricotta and Dates https://food52.com/recipes/68643-bittersweet-roasted-radicchio-with-ricotta-dates

16 Stellar Ways to Use Radicchio https://food52.com/blog/11879-radicchio-and-our-11-favorite-ways-to-use-it

10 Recipes Starring Radicchio https://www.lacucinaitaliana.com/italian-food/how-to-cook/recipes-radicchio

Grilled Polenta and Radicchio with Balsamic Drizzle https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-polenta-and-radicchio-balsamic-drizzle

 

Resources
https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/Radicchio_502.php

https://harvesttotable.com/radicchio_radicchio_is_a_sharp/

https://harvesttotable.com/radicchio_radicchio_is_a_sharp/

https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/13-ways-to-love-radicchio-gallery

https://food52.com/blog/11879-radicchio-and-our-11-favorite-ways-to-use-it

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a33484611/what-is-radicchio/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-radicchio-2215955

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/radicchio#origin-nutrition

https://producemadesimple.ca/radicchio/

https://www.diys.com/can-you-freeze-radicchio/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6436180/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-radicchio#2

https://www.organicfacts.net/radicchio.html

https://draxe.com/nutrition/radicchio/#Health_Benefits

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26140439/

Joachim, David. (2010) The Food Substitutions Bible. 2nd Edition. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Robert Rose, Inc.

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Apples

Apples 101 – About Jazz Apples

Apples 101 – About Jazz Apples

Origin
Jazz apples originated in New Zealand in the 1980s. They are a cross between Braeburn and Royal Gala apples. Their popularity has grown to the point that they are now grown around the world in Chile, Europe, Australia, the UK, and in Washington state in America. To ensure consistency in flavor, texture, and appearance, Jazz apples may only be grown under special license by select growers, so you will not find Jazz apple trees in your local nursery.

Since Jazz apples are grown in both the northern and southern hemispheres, coupled with the fact that they have a long storage life, they are available year-round.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Apples are high in fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain some Vitamin A, calcium, iron, phosphorus, Vitamins E, B1, B2, and B6, and folic acid. They are an excellent source phytochemicals or antioxidants, especially quercetin, catechin and procyanidin B2. Antioxidants such as these have been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent and slow the development of some cancers. It is important to eat the peel of apples, if at all possible, since many of the nutrients are found in the skin.

Antioxidant Protection. Apples have been linked with a number of health benefits, many of which are associated with their high levels of phytochemicals, including quercetin and catechin which are strong antioxidants. Flavonoids and other antioxidants, as found in apples have been studied for their ability to stop free radicals that cause damage at the cellular level. That damage can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes, and other health issues. Consuming apples on a regular basis can help to keep your body supplied with these important compounds, warding off disease in the process.

Anticancer Properties. In a study reported in 2007 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, the antioxidants in apples were shown to help ward off colon cancer, protecting against DNA damage, improving cell barrier function, and inhibiting invasion of mutated cells. Researchers concluded that apple phenolic compounds were shown to beneficially influence key stages of carcinogenesis of colon cells in vitro.

In a study reported in 2000 in the journal Nature, researchers found that whole apple extracts inhibited the growth of colon and also liver cancer cells, in vitro. Researchers attributed the effects to the antioxidants, including Vitamin C found in apples. They concluded that whole fruit may be more effective than taking the antioxidants in supplement form. Other studies have shown that apples can help lower the risk of other types of cancer too, such as breast and lung cancers. Another reason to eat your apples!

Asthma Protection. A large study reported in 2011 in the journal Advanced Nutrition involving 68,000 women found that those who ate the most apples had the lowest risk of asthma. Researchers pointed out that apple skin contains the flavonoid quercetin, which helps to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, thereby protecting lungs from oxidative damage and reducing the risk of asthma.

Gastrointestinal Health. In 2017, a study reported in the journal Microbiology Ecology, researchers found that pectin, a fiber found in apple peels and other fruits, has a prebiotic effect on intestinal microbes that has anti-inflammatory effects. This suggests that pectin helps to reduce inflammation in the intestines with the help of specific bacterial species within our gut microbiome. Red apples were found to have the most anti-inflammatory nutrients, especially when compared to green-skinned apples.

Cardiovascular Health. Jazz apples are high in pectin, a water-soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is known for helping to keep blood cholesterol levels down by binding with bile in the intestinal tract and removing it with the feces. This forces the liver to make more bile from existing cholesterol, helping to keep blood cholesterol levels down.

Researchers at The University of Western Australia and the Department of Agriculture and Food examined the heart health benefits of apples high in flavonoids. They found that flavonoid-rich apples improved blood vessel relaxation and enhanced nitric oxide status, which causes blood vessels to relax. This, in turn, promotes lower blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, antioxidants found in apples have been shown to help lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, the type that is associated with a greater risk of heart disease.

Characteristics of Jazz Apples
Appearance. Jazz apples are round with a rosy red skin that often has yellow, orange, and green undertones. For the best flavor, opt for Jazz apples that have the most red in them, as they will have the best flavor.

Flavor and Texture. The flavor of Jazz apples is a delicious sweet-tart with a hint of pear. They are low in acid. Those with a brighter red color will have a better flavor than those that are lighter with large amounts of yellow. The creamy yellow flesh is juicy and very crisp.

Storage/Shelf-Life.  To maintain the longest life, store Jazz apples in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, with the air vent open (on the fruit setting). This will allow the ethylene gas they produce to escape the drawer while maintaining a dry environment, allowing for the longest storage life. If desired, a drawer liner may be used to help keep them from getting bruised while absorbing any extra moisture that builds up in the drawer.

Best Uses for Jazz Apples
Fresh. Like most apples, Jazz apples are excellent in any fresh application. They pair well with blue, goat, cheddar, and gouda cheeses. They are excellent in salads and served with dips, especially caramel. Add thin slices to sandwiches and burgers.

Baking. Jazz apples are an excellent choice in any baking application. Their flesh and flavor both hold up well when baked, so they are a good choice for baked apples. They may also be included in pies, tarts, galettes, crisps, and dumplings. They can also be baked into muffins, cakes, and bread. They can be roasted along with vegetables or even added to poultry stuffing for sweetness and moisture.

Cooking. Jazz apples may be cooked in dishes where you still want the apple to maintain its shape and some texture. Since the texture of Jazz apples holds up well with baking and cooking, they are not the best candidate for making applesauce, unless you prefer applesauce that is a little chewy. The flavor of Jazz apples pairs exceptionally well with fennel, pork, pear, ginger, cinnamon and poultry.

Drying. Because Jazz apples are crisp with a sweet-tart flavor, they will hold up well and have a good flavor when dehydrated. Be sure to treat them with lemon water, or some acidic solution first to help prevent them from browning during the drying process.

Recipe Links
Jazz Apple Pizza https://jazzapple.com/us/recipes/jazz-apple-pizza/

Vanilla Chia Pudding with Cinnamon Apples https://foodandnutrition.org/blogs/stone-soup/almonds/vanilla-chia-pudding-cinnamon-apples/

Jazzy Apple Ginger Juice https://healthyhappylife.com/jazzy-apple-ginger-juice-fresh-pressed/

Blackened Fish Tacos with Jazz Apple Cabbage Slaw https://jazzapple.com/us/recipes/blackened-fish-tacos-jazz-apple-cabbage-slaw/

Apple Walnut Tuna Salad https://wellnessmama.com/1738/apple-walnut-tuna-salad/

Easy Grilled Apples https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/easy-grilled-apples/

Grilled Chicken and Apple Kebabs https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/grilled-chicken-apple-kebabs/

Waldorf Salad https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/waldorf-salad/

Kale and Apple Salad https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/kale-apple-salad/

Spinach and Apple Salad https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/spinach-apple-salad/

Smoky Apple and Butternut Squash Soup https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/smokey-apple-butternut-squash-soup/

Apple Chai Spice Granola https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/apple-chai-spice-granola/

Overnight Oatmeal with Apples https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/overnight-oatmeal-apples/

Apple-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/apple-carrot-morning-glory-muffins-2/

Apple-Coconut Quinoa Cereal https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/apple-coconut-quinoa-cereal-2/

Shamrock Smoothie https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/green-apple-shamrock-smoothie/

Tart Apple, Strawberry, and Basil Hidden Greens Smoothie https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/healthy-smoothie/

Kale and Spinach Chop Salad with Apples https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/kale-and-spinach-chop-salad-with-stemilt-apples/

Resources
https://jazzapple.com/us/

https://minnetonkaorchards.com/jazz-apples/

https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/Jazz_Apples_6697.php

https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/

https://minnetonkaorchards.com/how-to-dehydrate-apples/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/289067-list-of-foods-high-in-pectin/

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5775-jazz-apples%20fr

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5775-jazz-apples

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-apples

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/benefits-apples

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/apples/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/apples#plant-compounds

 

 

Apples

Apples 101 – About Pink Lady Apples

Apples 101 – About Pink Lady Apples

Origin
Pink Lady apples were developed in 1973 by John Cripps, a researcher at Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture. They are a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams apples. The apples may also be called Cripps Pink, in honor of their developer. To be labeled as a Pink Lady, the apple must meet strict criteria for color, sugar, and acid content. Those that do not meet the specifications are labeled as Cripps Pink apples.

Pink Lady apples were first available for commercial production in the United States in the late 1990s. They are very firm with a sweet-tart flavor. Pink Lady apples are the only pink apples on the market and they were the first apples with a trademark. Pink Lady apples are harvested in October and early November in the state of Washington, and are available in stores from November through July. They are excellent apples for snacking, salads, baking and cooking.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Pink Lady apples are high in Vitamin C and fiber, and also contain some Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, boron, and pectin. It is important to mention that most of the fiber and many other nutrients are in the skin, so eat the peel of apples, if at all possible. In fact, a raw apple with the skin has been found to contain up to 312% more Vitamin K, 70% more Vitamin A, 35% more calcium and potassium, and 30% more Vitamin C than a peeled apple. Apple peels also contain most of the fiber found in apples.  This includes the important fiber, pectin, a soluble fiber.

Antioxidant Protection. Apples have been linked with a number of health benefits, many of which are associated with their high levels of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants. In fact, in a study conducted at the University of Western Australia, researchers found that Pink Lady apples had the highest levels of antioxidants among the apples tested. All apples are healthful to eat, but this makes Pink Lady apples extraordinary, awarding them as being the healthiest apple to consume.

Flavonoids and other antioxidants, as found in apples have been studied for their ability to stop free radicals that cause damage at the cellular level. That damage can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, and other health issues. Consuming apples on a regular basis can help to keep your body supplied with these important compounds, warding off disease in the process. Since Pink Lady apples are so rich in flavonoids and other antioxidants, they would be an excellent choice when shopping for apples.

Anticancer Properties. In a study reported in 2007 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, the antioxidants in apples were shown to help to ward off colon cancer, protecting against DNA damage, improving cell barrier function, and inhibiting invasion of mutated cells. Researchers concluded that apple phenolic compounds were shown to beneficially influence key stages of carcinogenesis of colon cells in vitro.

In a study reported in 2000 in the journal Nature, researchers found that whole apple extracts inhibited the growth of colon and also liver cancer cells, in vitro. Researchers attributed the effects to the antioxidants, including Vitamin C found in apples. They concluded that whole fruit may be more effective than taking the antioxidants in supplement form. Another reason to eat your apples WITH the skin!

Gastrointestinal Health. In 2017, a study reported in the journal Microbiology Ecology, researchers found that pectin, a fiber found in apple peels and other fruits, has a prebiotic effect on intestinal microbes that have anti-inflammatory effects. This suggests that pectin helps to reduce inflammation in the intestines with the help of specific bacterial species within our gut microbiome. Red apples were found to have the most anti-inflammatory nutrients. Furthermore, Pink Lady apples were found to have more flavonoids and other antioxidants that some other apple varieties. Also, red-skinned apples have been found to have the most anti-inflammatory nutrients, when compared to green-skinned apples. Among red apples, researchers found Pink Lady apples have the highest flavonoid levels, which was found mainly in the skin.

Cardiovascular Health. Pink Lady apples have been found to be high in pectin, a water-soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is known for helping to keep blood cholesterol levels down by binding with bile in the intestinal tract and removing it with the feces. This forces the liver to make more bile from existing cholesterol, helping to keep blood cholesterol levels down.

Researchers at The University of Western Australia and the Department of Agriculture and Food examined the heart health benefits of apples high in flavonoids. They found that flavonoid-rich apples improved blood vessel relaxation and enhanced nitric oxide status, which causes blood vessels to relax. This, in turn, promotes lower blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease.

Characteristics of Pink Lady Apples
Appearance. Pink Lady apples have characteristics of both their parents, a green-yellow apple (from Golden Delicious), topped with a blushed pink-red skin (from the Lady Williams apple) that becomes a deeper shade of red where it was exposed to more sun. The flesh is creamy white in color.

Flavor and Texture. Pink Lady apples are very sweet with a slight tartness, and a strong, pleasant apple aroma. They are very crisp, with a slightly dry and firm creamy-white flesh, and a thin, smooth pink-red skin.

Storage/Shelf-Life.  Pink Lady apples have a very long storage life, which makes them available almost year-round. For the longest life, the apples should be stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator with the air vent open, or on the fruit setting. They should keep well for about a month when kept cold and dry. If you plan on eating them quickly, within 3 to 5 days, they may be kept at room temperature.

Best Uses for Pink Lady Apples
Fresh. Pink Lady apples are excellent for eating in any fresh application imaginable. Their refreshing, crisp texture and sweet-tart flavor makes them wonderful apples for eating out of hand, cut into salads, spread with nut butters, served with dips, or dipped into candy coatings like caramel or chocolate. They pair well with crackers and cheese, such as goat cheese, gorgonzola, and gouda. Pink Lady apples tend to brown slower than many apples, so they are a good choice for applications when you need to cut apples in advance.

Baking. Pink Lady apples may be baked into baked apples, baked in muffins and other quick breads, baked into crisps, crumbles, and tarts, and roasted in savory dishes. They pair well with pork and poultry. The apple slices will tenderize yet retain their shape when baked in pies. To give apple dishes a pinkish color, leave the skin on the apples and the baking or cooking process will leach the reddish-pink color into the food.

Cooking. Pink Lady apples can be cooked down into applesauce. Make your sauce pink by leaving the skin on the apples when they are cooked. They are also excellent pureed in soups, paired with meats, poultry, and seafood. They can add a little flavor boost when shredded and added to meatballs, especially those made with ground poultry. Try poached Pink Lady apples served over ice cream.

Drying. The firm texture of Pink Lady apples makes them good candidates for dehydrating or baking into chips.

Recipe Links
Pink Lady Apple Crisp https://marleyspoon.com/menu/39379-pink-lady-apple-crisp-with-oats-warm-spices

The Best Old Fashioned Apple Crisp Recipe https://umamigirl.com/best-apple-crisp-recipe/#mv-creation-179-jtr

Pink Lady Apple Galette with Sea Salt https://sweetish.co/pink-lady-apple-galette/

Waldorf Salad https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/waldorf-salad/

Grilled Apples and Ice Cream https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/grilled-apples-ice-cream/

No-Sugar Homemade Applesauce https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/easiest-homemade-applesauce/

Spinach and Apple Salad https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/spinach-apple-salad/

Easy Homemade Applesauce https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/stemilts-homemade-applesauce-2/

Smoky Apple and Butternut Squash Soup https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/smokey-apple-butternut-squash-soup/

Overnight Oatmeal with Apples https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/overnight-oatmeal-apples/

Apple Chai Spice Granola https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/apple-chai-spice-granola/

Apple-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/apple-carrot-morning-glory-muffins-2/

Apple-Coconut Quinoa Cereal https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/apple-coconut-quinoa-cereal-2/

Tart Apple, Strawberry and Basil Hidden Green Smoothie https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/healthy-smoothie/

Shamrock Smoothie https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/green-apple-shamrock-smoothie/

Apple, Grains, and Greens Bowl https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/pinata-apple-grains-greens-bowl-3/

Apple, Fennel, Celery, and Walnut Slaw https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/pink-lady-apple-fennel-celery-walnut-slaw/

Apple Quinoa Lentil Salad https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/recipes/apple-quinoa-lentil-salad-2/

Pink Lady Apple Sauce with Cardamom and Cinnamon https://www.fifteenspatulas.com/pink-lady-apple-sauce-with-cardamom-and-cinnamon/

Pink Lady Apple, Oat, and Cinnamon Energy Balls https://www.pinkladyapples.co.uk/in-the-kitchen/desserts/pink-lady-apple-oat-cinnamon-energy-balls

Resources
https://appleforthat.stemilt.com/apples/pink-lady/

https://www.apple-pinklady.com/en/pink-lady/

https://www.eatthis.com/news-eating-apple-wrong/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/337790-pink-lady-apple-nutrition/

https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/pink_lady_apples_7392.php

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17300861/

https://www.nature.com/articles/35016151

https://academic.oup.com/femsec/article/93/11/fix127/4331632

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/pink-lady-apples-healthier/2014/05/21/id/572659/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/289067-list-of-foods-high-in-pectin/

https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/heart-health/pink-lady-apples-have-highest-flavonoid-levels

https://selecthealth.org/blog/2016/07/healthiest-apple

https://www.pinkladyapples.co.uk/the-crunch/pink-lady-news/apple-nutrition-vitamins-and-minerals

https://www.freshfruitportal.com/news/2018/08/31/pink-lady-and-bravo-apples-among-the-healthiest-study-finds/

https://www.orangepippin.com/varieties/apples/pinklady

https://minnetonkaorchards.com/pink-lady-apples/

https://www.producemarketguide.com/produce/apples/pink-lady-apples

https://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/apple-types-recipes

https://www.healwithfood.org/best-apple-varieties/apples-for-drying-in-dehydrator.php

https://dehydratorblog.com/best-apples-to-dehydrate/

https://www.thehealthytoast.com/meet-your-ingredients-cripps-pink-pink-lady-apples

https://www.healthambition.com/healthiest-apple/

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi 101 – The Basics (UPDATE)

 

Kohlrabi 101 – The Basics (UPDATE)

About Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi is also known as a German cabbage-turnip. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, so it is related to cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard, and more. Kohlrabi is very popular in Northern and Eastern European countries, such as Germany, Hungary, northern Vietnam, and eastern India.

The kohlrabi plant forms a round bulb above ground with long, leafy stems growing upward from the top and sides of the bulb. The bulb can be white, pale green, or purple in color. Despite the color of the peel, the flesh is always white-yellow inside. The bulb, stems, and leaves are all edible. The texture of the kohlrabi bulb is crispy without being tough. The flavor is similar to broccoli and cabbage, often with a slight radish taste. Smaller kohlrabi may be more tender and slightly sweeter than larger ones. The flavor of the stems and leaves is similar to kale; however, they are not as tough and rubbery as kale.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Like other vegetables in the cruciferous family, kohlrabi has excellent nutritional value. It is high in Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, manganese, folate, Vitamin B1, protein and Vitamin E. One cup of raw kohlrabi provides almost all of your daily needs of Vitamin C (93%) with only 36 calories.

Antioxidant Protection. Vitamin C is the body’s most important antioxidant. With kohlrabi being so high in Vitamin C, it can play an important role in protecting the body from free radical damage, promoting wound healing, collagen synthesis, iron absorption, and supporting immunity.

Kohlrabi also contains other important antioxidants such as anthocyanins, isothiocyanates, and glucosinolates that work together with Vitamin C in helping to protect the body from oxidative damage that can lead to cancer and other serious diseases.

Digestive Support. With kohlrabi being high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, including it in the diet helps to support gastrointestinal health. Fiber helps to keep the digestive tract contents moving forward along with promoting the development of colonies of healthful bacteria in the colon. This supports the immune system, and reduces our risk of bowel diseases including cancer.

Cardiovascular Health. With kohlrabi being very high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber is known to bind with bile in the digestive tract, removing it in the feces. This forces the liver to make more bile using existing cholesterol in the process. This, in turn, helps to keep blood cholesterol in check. A review of 15 research studies found that a diet rich in fiber decreased the risk of death from heart disease by 24% when compared with subjects eating a low-fiber diet.

Kohlrabi is also a good source of potassium, an electrolyte known for its important role in fluid balance, supporting heart health.

Furthermore, kohlrabi is rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, found mostly in cruciferous vegetables. A high intake of these compounds has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease by relaxing blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, and reducing inflammation. Their antioxidant properties may also prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.

Supports Immunity. Kohlrabi is high in Vitamin B6, which is known for supporting many functions including protein metabolism, red blood cell development, and immunity. The vitamin is used in the production of white blood cells and T-cells that fight foreign substances and are critical in a healthy immune system. Deficiency of Vitamin B6 has been linked to a weakened immune system.

Also, the high amount of Vitamin C found in kohlrabi also supports the immune system by functioning as an important antioxidant and supporting white blood cell function.

Low Glycemic Index. Kohlrabi has a low glycemic index, which reduces the spike in blood sugar following a meal. Eating foods with a low glycemic index can help improve satiety and manage blood sugar in everyone, including people with diabetes. Also, improved satiety can aid with weight loss and help to improve overall metabolism.

How to Select Kohlrabi
Choose kohlrabies that have a firm, smooth skin without cracks. Depending on the variety, the color can be white, light green, or purple. If the leaves are attached, they should be firm and green. Avoid those with yellow and/or wilted leaves.

The smaller kohlrabies taste more like broccoli, whereas larger ones are more radish-like and can be woody. For a more tender texture and sweeter flavor, choose smaller ones, about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

How to Store Kohlrabi
Store your unwashed kohlrabi in the refrigerator. Remove the stems from the bulb and store them wrapped loosely in a plastic bag. The leaves will not keep very long, so plan to use them within several days.

Store the bulbs in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator with the air vent closed. This will help to maintain a humid environment for the vegetable. Use the bulb within two weeks, although it may keep longer than that.

How to Prepare Kohlrabi
If you have not already removed the stems from the bulbs, you will need to do that first. Then wash everything well in cool water. The stems and leaves may be used like spinach or kale. The peel of kohlrabies gets tough as they get larger. So, larger ones will need to be peeled first with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife. Smaller, more tender kohlrabies may not need to be peeled.

Kohlrabies can be cut in many ways: shredded, julienned, diced, sliced, or cubed. They can even be scooped out and stuffed, if desired. They may be eaten raw or cooked.

How to Freeze Kohlrabi Bulbs
Kohlrabi bulbs may be frozen. First remove stems and wash them well. Peel them (if the peel is tough), then leave them whole or cut them into cubes, as preferred. Bring a pot of water to boil, then place the prepared kohlrabi in the water. Immediately set the timer: 3 minutes for whole bulbs, 1 minute for cubes. As soon as the timer is finished, immediately transfer the kohlrabi to a bowl of cold water and allow them to cool down for as long as they were in the boiling water. Drain well and transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag, and label it with the current date. For best quality, use them within one year.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Kohlrabi
* Kohlrabi may be enjoyed raw, steamed, fried, glazed, boiled, baked, stuffed, grilled or roasted. How you use kohlrabi is limited only to your imagination!

* Try sautéed kohlrabi leaves with a little garlic. Top with a drizzle of lemon juice and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

* Be sure to remove the tough outer skin before eating the kohlrabi bulb.

* The leaves of kohlrabi are edible and tasty. Prepare them like you would kale or spinach.

* Kohlrabi can be added to soups, stews, and curries.

* Add kohlrabi to your favorite stir-fry with other vegetables. Serve over rice for an easy meal.

* Kohlrabi can be cooked then added in with mashed potatoes.

* Add shredded raw kohlrabi to your favorite coleslaw.

* Try adding thinly sliced or shaved kohlrabi to sandwiches and wraps.

* When roasting kohlrabi, cook it until it is fork-tender. When sautéing or steaming kohlrabi, cook it only until it is just crisp-tender.

* Try adding some kohlrabi to creamy potato or broccoli soup.

* If a recipe calls for rutabaga and you don’t have any, you can use kohlrabi instead.

* Enjoy slices of raw kohlrabi with your favorite hummus or dip.

* Try stuffed kohlrabi. Peel the bulb, then hollow out the core and stuff it with whatever mixture of vegetables, grains, and proteins you prefer. Then bake until it is fork tender. Enjoy!

* Four medium kohlrabi bulbs weigh about 2 pounds. That yields about 3-1/2 cups cubed and cooked.

* If a recipe calls for kohlrabi greens and you don’t have any, you can substitute them with turnip greens, collard greens, mature spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, or kale.

Herbs and Spices That Go Well with Kohlrabi
Anise, basil, caraway seeds, cayenne, chervil, cumin, curry powder, curry spices, dill, marjoram, mint, mustard powder, mustard seeds, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, rosemary, salt, tarragon, thyme (and lemon thyme), turmeric

Foods That Go Well with Kohlrabi
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Almonds, bacon, beans (in general), bean sprouts, beef, chicken, ham, lentils, peas, seafood, sesame seeds

Vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, celery root, chiles, chives, cucumbers, fennel, garlic, ginger, greens (in general), horseradish, leeks, lettuce (in general), mushrooms, onions, potatoes, radishes, root vegetables (in general), shallots, spinach, tomatoes, turnips

Fruits: Apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, lemon

Grains and Grain Products: Corn, couscous, quinoa, rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, cheese (in general, esp. Blue, feta, goat, Gouda, Parmesan, ricotta, Swiss cheese), cream, sour cream

Other Foods: Maple syrup, mayonnaise, mustard (prepared, i.e., Dijon), oil (esp. grapeseed, mustard, olive, peanut, sesame), soy sauce, stock, sugar (esp. brown), vinegar (esp. balsamic, fruit, red wine, rice wine, white wine)

Kohlrabies have been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Casseroles, Southern Chinese cuisine, crudités, Northern European cuisines, German cuisine, gratins, Hungarian cuisine, Indian cuisine, purees, rémoulades, risottos, salad dressings, salads (i.e., grain, green, vegetable), sauces, slaws, soups, spring rolls, stews, stir-fries

Suggested Food and Flavor Combos Using Kohlrabi
Add kohlrabi to any of the following combinations…

Apples + Lemon + Mustard [in slaws]
Basil + Mushrooms
Celery Root + Nutmeg + Onions + Potatoes
Chili Pepper Flakes + Mustard
Chives + Lemon
Dill + Feta Cheese
Dill + Horseradish + Lemon Juice + Sour Cream
Garlic + Parmesan Cheese + Parsley [in risotto]
Garlic + Soy Sauce
Sesame Seeds + Soy Sauce

Recipe Links
Chicken, Kohlrabi, and Cashew Stir-Fry https://producemadesimple.ca/chicken-kohlrabi-cashew-stir-fry/

Carrot and Kohlrabi Slaw https://www.thespruceeats.com/carrot-kohlrabi-slaw-2217352

Hungarian Creamy Kohlrabi Soup https://www.thespruceeats.com/hungarian-creamy-kohlrabi-soup-1137419

Roasted Kohlrabi https://www.thespruceeats.com/roasted-kohlrabi-recipe-2216540

Kohlrabi and Cabbage Salad with Maple Lemon Dressing https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-kohlrabi-and-cabbage-salad-with-maple-lemon-dressing-passover-recipes-from-the-kitchn-217338

5 Tasty Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi https://www.thekitchn.com/5-tasty-ways-to-prepare-kohlrabi-60321

10 Delicious Ideas for Cooking with Kohlrabi https://www.marthastewart.com/1033766/kohlrabi-recipes

Crisp Apple and Kohlrabi Salad https://cookieandkate.com/crispy-apple-kohlrabi-salad-recipe/

3 Kohlrabi Recipes to Help You Cook This Unusual Vegetable https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/3-kohlrabi-recipes-to-help-you-cook-this-unusual-vegetable/

Kohlrabi Slaw with Cilantro, Jalapeno, and Lime https://www.feastingathome.com/kohlrabi-salad-with-cilantro-and-lime/

12 Killer Kohlrabi Recipes https://www.brit.co/kohlrabi-recipes/

Kohlrabi Fries https://nutritiouslife.com/recipes/kohlrabi-fries/

Kohlrabi Schnitzel https://www.elephantasticvegan.com/kohlrabi-schnitzel/

Kohlrabi Gratin https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/275789/kohlrabi-gratin/

Polish Kohlrabi Soup https://www.everydayhealthyrecipes.com/polish-kohlrabi-soup-zupa-z-kalarepy/

Kohlrabi Curry https://www.flavourstreat.com/kohlrabi-curry-knol-khol-curry/

Honey-Glazed Kohlrabi with Onions and Herbs https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/honey-glazed-kohlrabi-onions

Resources
https://producemadesimple.ca/goes-well-kohlrabi/

https://producemadesimple.ca/kohlrabi/

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/cruciferous-vegetables

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kohlrabi#what-it-is

https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/healthiest-foods-youve-never-heard-of.html/

https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrition-comparison/168425-168424/wt1-wt1/1-1

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-kohlrabi#1

https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-kohlrabi-2216537

https://foodal.com/knowledge/paleo/kohlrabi-storing-using/

Joachim, David. (2010) The Food Substitutions Bible. 2nd Edition. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Robert Rose, Inc.

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Glass Jars

Glass 101 – Why Switch From Plastic to Glass Food Jars or Containers AND Ways to Use Them

From Plastic to Glass Food Containers
Why Switch, and Ways to Use Them


Why switch to glass food containers?

There is a growing trend with people moving away from using plastic in the kitchen. This includes plastic wrap, plastic bags, plastic utensils, and plastic containers for storing, freezing, heating food, and eating. There are many reasons for this trend including:

* The desire to be more earth-friendly with less waste. Plastic waste is littering the planet in insurmountable amounts. Switching to glass helps to reduce potential plastic waste and is ultimately recyclable, even when broken. Also, the production and reuse of glass products creates less pollution in the environment than does the production of plastics.

* Avoiding chemicals that may be in or released from plastics that could leach into foods. Plastics are made from assorted chemicals, some of which are endocrine disrupting chemicals such as Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals can affect the brain, hormone system, reproductive system, and may also increase the risk of getting cancer. Furthermore, many such chemicals have not been completely tested for their health effects. Research has shown that some of these chemicals can leach into foods and beverages, in addition to possibly contaminating air, creating hazardous dust, and getting onto our hands. Glass does not leach chemicals into food or liquids, nor into the air or surfaces it comes in contact with.

* Durability. Glass lasts longer than plastic, unless of course, it gets broken. Also, plastic containers can melt or get warped when in contact with hot food, whereas most glass can tolerate hot to warm food without being damaged. Also, plastic wears out, becomes scratched or cracked, and breaks down much faster than glass, possibly causing chemicals to leach into the contents of the plastic container.

* Functionality. Glass has more potential uses than plastic containers, and may be reused indefinitely. Plastic containers wear out over time and may develop odors, scratches, a greasy film, and/or cracks.

* Glass is easier to clean. It will not absorb grease nor stain like plastic.

* Odor control.  Glass does not absorb odors, whereas plastic can.

* Glass is microwavable.  Most glass may be used in the microwave, whereas most plastics should not be microwaved. When plastic containers are microwaved, they may soften or melt. Also, the heat from the contents may cause plastic containers to leach chemicals into the contents of the container.

* Oven use. Most glass intended for kitchen use may be used in the oven, whereas plastic may not be used in the oven.

* Flavor. Glass preserves flavor better than plastic and won’t impart its own flavor into food, like plastic can, especially with prolonged storage.

* Glass containers are reusable for a much longer time than plastic containers. When purchasing items like tomato sauce, pickles, jelly, jam, beverages, nut butters, or anything that may be packaged in a glass jar or container, opt for glass packaging rather than plastic, if possible. It will help to reduce waste and the glass containers can be reused at home for many different purposes in the kitchen and around the house.

Uses for Glass Jars and Containers

There are many ways to reuse cleaned out food jars of all sizes and shapes, in addition to using canning mason jars for applications other than preserving food. For instance, glass jars can be used in any of the following creative ways:

* Sort and store assorted hardware such as nuts, bolts, screws and nails in separate jars.

* Store vegetables cut in advance for salads or meal preparation in jars.

* Use a lidded jar as a beverage glass at home or “to go.”

* Use a glass jar for drinking a smoothie at home or “to go.”

* Store small craft or sewing items such as pins, buttons, ribbons, or small tools in a jar.

* Use a jar as a pencil holder. Place pencils, pens, crayons, and/or markers in a jar on a desk.

* Store paper clips in a jar.

* Package your own prepared foods such as a “to-go” lunch in a jar.

* Make (and serve) a layered salad in a jar.

* Store leftover liquid items in a jar in the refrigerator. Examples include soups, sauces, beverages, or baby formula.

* Store leftover foods such as cooked rice, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cooked beans, tuna salad, cut fruit, etc. in a jar.

* Store pre-measured baking ingredients in jars. When you want to measure ingredients in advance to shorten meal prep time, measure baking ingredients in advance and store them in clean, dry food jars.

* Use a jar as a simple vase for cut flowers or a decorative floral arrangement with artificial flowers.

* Use a glass jar as a small vessel for rooting plant cuttings.

* Store extra dried herbs or spices in small glass jars with lids.

* Store extra dry foods such as beans, rice, pasta, flour, nuts, and seeds in jars.

* Store and mix homemade salad dressing in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

* Use a jar as a container for homemade cake, brownie, bar, quick bread, and cookie mixes. Decorate the jar and give it as a gift.

* Make a homemade luminary in a jar.

* Make homemade candles in jars. Decorate and give them as gifts.

* Make a homemade terrarium in a decorative jar.

* Make and store homemade cosmetics in small jars with tight-fitting lids.

* Pack a homemade first-aid kit in a small jar for traveling.

* Store extra matches in a jar for safe keeping.

* Make painted or decorated jars for gift giving.

* Make a decorative, colorful sand art in a jar for your home or gifting.

* Make a decorative holder for a tea light with a pretty jar.

* Make flavored oils or vinegars in jars.

* Make overnight oats in a jar.

* Make a mini planter (such as for one flower bulb) with a decorative jar.

* Make a citronella candle in a jar for keeping mosquitoes away when you’re outside on a summer evening. Simply put the lid on the jar when it’s not being used.

* Store cotton balls and cotton swabs in a jar in the bathroom.

*  Use a glass jar for an easy piggy bank for saving extra change at the end of the day.

* Make a homemade, reusable soap dispenser by putting a pump in the top of a glass jar.

* Freeze food in jars, such as chopped bell peppers or onions, leftover soup in individual servings, or easy to-go lunches made in advance.

* Store extra garden seeds in the freezer in a glass jar.

* Make a decorative table centerpiece with a pretty jar.

* Store extra hair care items such as hair ties, bows, bobby pins and hair barrettes in jars.

* Use a jar as a toothbrush holder in the bathroom.

* Store extra combs in a glass jar.

* Use a small jar as a toothpick holder.

* Decorate a small glass jar to be used as a small planter for succulents.

* Make and serve a parfait in a tall jar.

* Carry “to go” snacks in a jar.

* Store makeup brushes in a jar.

* Store extra granola in a jar so it keeps fresh.

* Make a bug catching jar for children.

* Store extra candy in a jar after the bag/container is opened.

* Organize extra pantry items by placing dry food in jars, especially after the original packaging has been opened.

* Marinate meat in a jar. It would be much easier to clean than a plastic bag, or would save trashing the bag after it was used.

* Store painting supplies in jars. Larger jars can be used for storing paint brushes. Smaller jars can be used to store small amounts of extra paint.

* Display small vacation souvenirs in a jar for a decorative memoir.

The uses for glass jars of any size and shape are only limited to your imagination. So, start saving them when any store-bought food item is finished and you’ll have enough containers for all sorts of uses before you know it!

 

Resources

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/tempered-vs-borosilicate-glass/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/best-glass-storage-containers-4154183

https://healthy-cookware.com/why-glass-food-storage-containers-are-better-than-plastic/

https://www.amazon.com/Piece-Glass-Food-Storage-Container/dp/B01IU416YG

https://www.walmart.com/ip/1790-Glass-Food-Storage-Containers-with-Lids-Glass-Meal-Prep-Containers-Airtight-Glass-Lunch-Boxes-BPA-Free-FDA-Approved-Leak-Proof/921652275

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076HZFG41?th=1

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Oblong-Baking-Dishes-BPA-Free/dp/B08BS692GS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=glass+bakeware&qid=1622758294&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyUUFTQ0VYREtRWElaJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDAyODEyMVpWTFpYQVg4Ujk0NSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMjQ1MTM0SDVNUUdPUjVXNlo3JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Freezer-Oven-Baking/dp/B019FHD0FK/ref=sr_1_12?dchild=1&keywords=glass+bakeware&qid=1622758418&sr=8-12

https://www.nontoxicliving.tips/blog/why-choose-glass-over-plastic

https://www.ruralsprout.com/reuse-glass-jars/

https://www.forgerecycling.co.uk/blog/reuse-glass-jar/

https://www.sonshinekitchen.com/24-ways-to-reuse-glass-jars/

https://mindfulofthehome.com/reuse-glass-jars/