Categories
Fruits & Vegetables

Avoid Grocery Store Lines With This A La Carte Produce Box Shipped Straight To Your Door

While everyone’s trying their best these days to stay inside, the dilemma of getting fresh fruits and vegetables presents itself for those looking to steer away from eating cans of corned beef hash and beans every other day. Trust me, canned food gets old QUICK.

Melissa’s Produce, is offering a sliding scale of amazing produce boxes that you can order and have shipped anywhere in the United States (though Southern California residents get free shipping).

You can order boxes of mixed fruits and vegetables depending on which type of produce you lean heavier towards.

If you lean heavy towards making vegetable-based dishes, perhaps a 70/30 box is something you need. If your diet is a little bit of both down them middle, consider the 50/50 box. Options also include a fruits only or vegetables only box for those who’d rather have one or the other. There’s even a box crafted towards making fresh juices.

If you’re looking for your produce fix without stepping foot outside the comfort of your own home, definitely check them out.

Categories
Health Sustainability

New Research Suggests Earth Does Not Have Enough Fruits and Vegetables For Us

Our planet doesn’t have enough fruits and vegetables for all of us, according to new research. Not enough to satisfy the recommendations of nutritionists around the world. 

The study was recently published in The Lancet Planetary Health. Right now, just about 55 percent of the world’s population lives in countries that have adequate access to enough fruits and vegetables to make up a healthy diet. But what does it mean when we talk about enough fruits and vegetables? Well, that is connected to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) which say that any of us should aim for eating 14 ounces (about 400 grams) of green things every day.

“Current diets are detrimental to both human and planetary health and shifting towards more balanced, predominantly plant-based diets is seen as crucial to improving both,” write the authors of the new Lancet Planetary Health study. They include researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., but also the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia.

What are the solutions for enough fruits and vegetables? 

Thanks to economic growth, we should theoretically be producing more fruits and vegetables than ever, but the reality is more than a little different than that. Climate change is a huge issue, because, by the estimates of the researchers, by 2050, 1.5 billion more people will not have access to enough fruits and vegetables for a balanced and healthy diet.

This situation could be significantly improved if we were to focus on fixing issues like massive food waste and also figuring out how to improve the production of fruits and vegetables.

This research emerges in a time when other studies have shown that a diet low in nutrition but high in processed foods is one of the leading causes of premature death, more so than smoking. We’re talking about 11 million preventable deaths all around the world.


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Health

7 Reasons You Should Be Eating More Okra

If you ever get tired of cooking with the same ingredients, maybe it’s time to explore and see what else is out there for you. I am sure there are some things you haven’t tried. And those natural things are also good for you. Take for instance: the health benefits of okra are something you want on your plate.

My experience on holiday in Greece had a very strong culinary component. You know what that’s like: being on holiday, feeling more relaxed and open to the new. That’s what happened to me too when I saw a merchant at the farmer’s market with a beautiful stack of okra in front of him. I wanted to get to know that ingredient, even though I had steered clear of it until then. But the health benefits of okra are not to be ignored. Neither is its pleasant, surprising texture when cooked.

My friend who lives in Greece cooked it later that night in the form of a wonderful shakshuka. One I will never forget.

You could try this great okra bean stew for starters if you want to get in on the health benefits.

7 health benefits of okra 

1. Source of calcium for vegetarians

Are you a vegetarian in desperate need of some calcium and magnesium? Then okra might be your new friend, and it might help prevent calcium deficiency and magnesium deficiency. You also need calcium to regulate your heart rhythms, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It supports your muscles and your nerve-signaling functions.

So, if you’re also lactose intolerant, you can safely get some of your calcium from this veggie. But just remember that you need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, so a serving of okra isn’t really enough. One serving has 51 milligrams of calcium.

2. Makes your eyesight better

Those nice green pods are loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, both vital for sustaining your eyes in watching movies, reading, and also gazing at your significant other.  Also, your skin will feel a bit better too with all of those nutrients. And eye-associated illnesses might be tougher to catch.

Explore Ingredients: The Health Benefits of Okra
The vitamin A and beta-carotene in okra help keep your eyesight at optimum functioning levels.

3. Protein and fiber galore

Okra is loaded with amino acids like lysine and tryptophan which basically means you can get plenty of protein from this food – comparable to soybean, in fact. The okra seed is rich in high-quality protein and you want the best if you plan on cutting down on meat, right?

It is also rich in insoluble fiber, which really does good things for your digestion. Okra does that by lubricating the large intestines, easing your body into processing food. It keeps your intestinal tract healthier and decreases the risk of colorectal cancer. Plus: you have a lower chance of feeling constipated, and that’s always a win.

4. Protects your heart

There’s also plenty of soluble fiber in okra, which means that it improves the health of your heart and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. Nearly half of the contents of the okra pod is made up of soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins, according to research from the Pakistan Journal of Food Science.

It helps your heart thanks to its pectin content, which can help reduce cholesterol by modifying the creation of bile within the intestines. It does that by binding excess cholesterol and toxins in the bile acids, making them easier to eliminate.

You know that mucilage thing that can be quite annoying when having okra? It serves a pretty cool purpose in your body. It helps the waste pass from the body carrying with it toxins dumped into it by the liver.

Explore Ingredients: The Health Benefits of Okra
Okra helps your heart thanks to its pectin content, which can help reduce cholesterol.

5. Stabilizes your blood sugar

Okra helps regulate the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract. And some of the compounds in okra seed help normalize glucose and might end up helping researchers trying to find a cure for diabetes. Indian researchers who published a study in 2011 in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences found that when their subjects ate dried and ground okra peels and seeds they had a reduction in their blood glucose levels. A 10-day regime based on okra extract showed significant improvements.

And in Turkey, people have been using roasted okra seeds as a traditional diabetes medicine for generations. So the health benefits of okra are apparent even to simple consumers. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should replace your insulin with okra because it really doesn’t work like that. Okra doesn’t make your diabetes go away. It’s just some extra help for your body that doesn’t substitute actual medical care.

Now that you know you should cook with okra, how about you learn how to make the most of this veggie?

Related Links:


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Culture

Why Cauliflower Has Become Such A Beloved Ingredient So Fast

Photo: Saute Magazine

“Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.”  -Mark Twain

Over the years, many fruits and vegetables have made their way into our diets by disguising themselves as not-so-healthy fan favorites. Kale chips posed as potatoes and earned their spot in the snack aisle; frozen bananas made a name for themselves in the form of “nice cream” and perhaps most classically, veggie burgers stood in for traditional beef patties and landed a lead role on the menus of restaurants all over. Recently, cauliflower has risen to the top of vegetable charts by doing the same. In taking on the form of popular carbohydrate-heavy classics like pizza crust or meats like steak and chicken, it has become a staple for longing vegans and low-carb dieters alike. But cauliflower is not just a stand-in for other ingredients — it shines as the lead as well.

HISTORICAL NOTE: THE CAULIFLOWER CHRONICLE

This versatile veggie is believed to have originated in ancient Asia Minor, and there is some evidence that the Romans also cultivated it. At first, cauliflower and broccoli were identical plants — until humans began to breed them for their most desirable traits and they became distinct from one another. Over time, cauliflower became popular in Europe. During the 16th century in France, it was all the rage in Louis XIV’s court. The French considered cauliflower to be a delicacy, and they served it in rich and elegant dishes — like Madame du Barry’s creamy cauliflower soup. After rising to prominence in Europe, it was later introduced in North America in the late 1600s. Although references to cauliflower consumption were mentioned in writings from United States residents as early as the 1800s, it was not commercially available here before the 1920s. Up until recently, people primarily prepared the vegetable by boiling it. However, over the past few years, it has been recognized for its versatility and now appears in a number of more interesting and palatable dishes.

GROWTH PROCESS: FROM SEED TO FLOWER

California grown cauliflower is available year-round but is especially abundant in the spring and fall. It is grown in the Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Imperial and Fresno counties. These areas meet the temperature requirements for successful growth, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to being easily affected by temperatures that are either too hot or too cold, cauliflower must be grown in a particular type of soil, with a pH level of about 6, in order to thrive. Unlike its brassica oleracea cousins — such as broccoli, kale and cabbage — most cauliflower is white. Though it also comes in purple, orange and green varieties, the type we know best maintains its pale hue because of the dark green leaves that surround it while it grows. These leaves serve as sun protection, meaning that no chlorophyll is produced. Thus, the cauliflower’s white color is upheld, making it the optimal choice for starch substitutions. The hue of the vegetable also comes into play when selecting a cauliflower at the store. It is important to seek out tightly compact heads of uniform color, with no soft or discolored areas, as they may indicate rot.

HEALTH BENEFITS: MAKING MOM PROUD

Sneaking vegetables into food is an age-old game for parents who want their children to benefit from the vitamins and nutrients they bring to the table. So while cauliflower alternatives were initially developed for those with gluten intolerances, many also seek them out as a way to easily incorporate more vegetables into their diet. In doing so, they can still indulge in beloved foods when facing diet restrictions. Ironically, many are playing mom’s classic vegetable-sneaking tricks on themselves, and the benefits include an increase in levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese and omega-3. Cauliflower is also said to be very weight-loss friendly. The estimated amount of calories in a medium-sized head clocks in at only 150 calories. Such an impressive nutritional scorecard makes it an increasingly popular ingredient, and Jordan Rost, vice president of consumer insights for Green Giant, recognized this by saying, “The cauliflower trend is pervasive. We’re seeing it in everything from cream cheese to baby food. Products that contain cauliflower are experiencing faster growth in sales than their overall categories. It’s driving growth across all foods.” Clearly, this ingredient has made a name for itself, and it looks like it’s here to stay.

RECIPE INSPIRATION: THE VERSATILITY OF HOME-COOKED CAULIFLOWER

Much like its cruciferous cousin, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower can taste delectable or disgusting depending on how it is prepared. As with certain legumes, you can turn it into flour as a replacement for traditional starches in biscuits and pizza crusts. It can also be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled or served raw. Across the globe, it appears in a variety of dishes ranging from creamy soups to light, fresh salads. In India, cauliflower is often used in curry dishes alongside potatoes and onions. Spices like turmeric, cumin and saffron complement it’s relatively neutral flavor nicely. In Sardinia, it is paired with olive oil, garlic and capers to form a salad. With such versatility, it seems impossible not to be inspired by this mighty ingredient. If you’re looking to act on that inspiration, check out this Herbed Cauliflower Rice from Bon Appétit. Or, dine like a French royal with Madame du Barry’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup.

CAULI-FUN FACT: NUMEROUS NAMES

Due to its resemblance to curds of lumpy milk, the head of cauliflower is sometimes referred to as its “curds.” Many have also commented on its brain or ear-like appearance. But the real name for cauliflower comes from the Italian words caoli and fiori which translate to “cabbage flower.”

Related Links:

24 Carrots: An Unforgettable Chef’s Table With Chef Nick Weber

Ways & Means Oyster House Is The Raw Deal 

One World Everybody Eats Receives Humanitarian Of The Year Award


Article by Meghan Malloy for Sauté Magazine. Read the original article here.

Categories
Design Grocery Health

A Guide On Exactly How To Pick The Freshest Produce

I’m only a few days into the New Year and still feeling pretty good about my resolution to eat healthier. Whether or not I’ll stick with it in the weeks to come remains to be seen, but until then I’m eager to stuff myself with as many fruits and vegetables as I can get my chubby mitts on.

One hurdle I’ve come across, is that I’m not entirely sure at times whether or not I’m picking the freshest produce. I don’t want to have a bowl of fruits sitting around waiting to ripen at home.

Pounds to Pocket, a UK-based money saving blog, created this fresh infographic that helps you know how to select the freshest produce possible every time you’re at the grocers.

The infographic details things to look out for like color, firmness, texture, and smell. It also covers a diverse list of fruits and vegetables including strawberries, mangos, pineapple, apples, grapes, watermelon, avocados, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, kiwi, rhubarb, broccoli, corn, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and mushrooms.

Next time you’re shopping in the produce aisle, you can strut with confidence knowing that there’s a cheat sheet like this ready to jump in if you’re ever feeling uncertain.

Check out the fruit-picking guide below.


Courtesy of: Pounds to Pocket
Categories
Design

The Fool Proof Cheat Sheet To Properly Grill Meats [INFOGRAPHIC]

For the inexperienced, grilling can be a little overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the proper temperatures for meat.

If you don’t have all those years of barbecuing expertise, scrolling through your phone can be pretty cumbersome in front of a hot grill.

Column Five created a comprehensive cheat meat sheet for aspiring grill cooks to hack their barbecue and know exactly when to take their meat off the, for lack of a better word that doesn’t rhyme, heat.

The graphic covers all the most popular proteins (chicken, beef, pork, seafood) as well as vegetables, illustrating the precise cooking times and whether they should be over direct or indirect heat.

Photo: Krzysztof Puszczyński | StockSnap

Each protein even highlights the different cuts of meats including skirt steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops, scallops.

Check out the infographic below. While you do that, I’ll probably be pre-heating my grill and rummaging through my fridge for something to cook.


Categories
Features Products

15 Amazon Products Our Kitchen Needs ASAP

It’s been a minute since the Foodbeast editorial team has been together in the same room outside of our office.

With dynamic and busy travel production schedules, like eating pasta in Verona, or all-you-can-eat riblets at Applebee’s, hosting Noodle festivals, or revisiting Hooters to see how men interact with the boobsteraunt in the current social climate — we rarely get to sit and cook together.

Thank goodness for a chance delivery of steaks to Elie’s house. If there’s one thing everyone on our writing team can bond over, it’s a good ole fashioned steak. Boy do we love steak.

Foodbeast team members Reach, Constantine, Isai, and myself all posted up for the day at Elie Ayrouth’s bachelor pad.

Elie, who pretty much just goes home to sleep, only had the bare essentials for us to work with in the kitchen.

Though mad appreciative of the burrito-busting writer lending us his house and kitchen for the day, we couldn’t help but wish we had a few things items and gadgets to make our lives just a tiny bit easier in the kitchen.


Disposable Gloves

amazon-products

Working with raw meat all day, and pounding away at a laptop can be tricky. You’re not going to want to keep rewashing your hands over and over again. Some disposable gloves would have saved us a ton of water and paper towels throughout the day.

Price: $16.87 (1,000 Count)

Vegetable Peeler

There a few things you don’t really need to scrimp out on when it comes to the kitchen. A good knife is one, and a good vegetable peeler is another.

Price: $8.99

Defrosting Tray

We set aside some pots and pans to help defrost the frozen meat. Unfortunately, we needed to use some of that cookware after a while. Having a few defroster trays on deck would have freed up some.

Price: $15.95

Thaw Claw

amazon-products

Since we pretty much needed the meat to defrost ASAP, Costa also recommended a Thaw Claw. The purpose of the claw holds down the frozen meat and submerges it under water – allowing it to thaw several times faster.

Costa explains:

You want the meat fully submerged because it gives you an even distribution of “heat” to help thaw out the meat not just more evenly, but more quickly since water absorbs and gives off heat very well compared to air.

It’s nice having a food scientist on deck in the kitchen. Everyone should get one.

Thaw Claw Price: $11.95

Costa: Priceless

Onion Chopper

amazon-products

Arguably one of the most extra appliances we’ve seen so far, this onion chopper takes the tears and the mess out of dicing one of the most essential ingredients. It’ll also store the onions for you for future use.

Price: $22.87

Steamer

amazon-products

Reach came across a problem when he was making his purple cauliflower puree. He boiled it too long.

I wish we had a steamer, because boiling this cauliflower took a lot of the color out.

While the dish still looked and tasted phenomenal, that extra vibrance would have added that extra bit of pop to Reach’s dish. Still, not bad.

Price: $23.06

Steak Knives

There were a few knife options in Elie’s kitchen. For presentation purposes, however, we would have loved to have some steak knives on deck to slice through the meat like butter.

Price: $66.47

Food Processor

amazon-products

I think Reach made his cauliflower puree in a blender, but a multi-functioned food processor would probably have given him less of a headache.

Price: $34.88

Roasting Oven

Whether we were roasting Brussel sprouts, artichokes, or a giant slab of tri-tip, a roasting oven would have saved us a ton of time switching back and forth from the kitchen oven.

Price: $40.52

Fire extinguisher

Constantine’s mushroom sauce was easily one of the highlights of the day’s cooking session. One of the steps he took was flambeing the sauce.

Unfortunately for Elie, we didn’t have a fire extinguisher on had in the event Costa burned the house down. Should probably add one to the list for good measure.

Price: $15.29

Skewers

Bacon-wrapped beef medallions as stunning as the ones Constatine prepared were 99 percent perfect. All they really needed were some skewers to hold the bacon together with the beef.

Price: $5.29 (300 Piece)

Snap n Strain

amazon-products

Where was this when I was growing up? The Snap and Strain would have really helped keep those stray mushrooms and broccoli florets from falling into the sink while I was on vegetable duty.

Price: $15.99

Meat Thermometer

A crucial element to cooking meat is to know when it’s ready, as to not over cook it. Having a meat thermometer on hand would have given us that safety net we needed to know when to pull our beef from the heat.

We pretty much just eyeballed it.

Price: $12.99

Cutting Boards

Five guys in a kitchen can get pretty crowded. Elie only had two cutting boards for us to work with: one for raw meat and the other for vegetables. Just having a few extras would have helped.

Price:$17.99

Gas Grill

amazon-products

In Elie’s back yard, there was actually a pretty solid gas grill we threw the flap and picanha cuts in. No complaints there. I just want one for myself now.

Price: $399.00


While our lives would have been much easier with these appliances, I have to say, our results did not look too shabby. You can read more about our exports that day (along with some stunning photography by yours truly) in a post soon to come.

Categories
Design Hacks

13 Common Cooking Mistakes You Should Avoid In The Kitchen [Infographic]

Amateur cooks, myself included, tend to make mistakes here and there when it comes to cooking. Sure, mistakes happen, but they can drastically affect your final dish.

So how can we make the most of our kitchen experience?

Quid Corner cooked up a useful guide that shows us what the top 13 most common cooking mistakes made in the kitchen are and why we should avoid them. While a few of these are common sense for those with a modicum of experience in the kitchen, it’s always good for the less experienced to brush up on the basics.

Check out the infographic and see if it makes a difference the next time you’re in the kitchen!

Courtesy of: Quid Corner