Tags: Brunch, Christmas, Cooking, Fruit, Holiday, Home, World Cuisines, Zest (ingredient)
Healthy Christmas Brunch Recipes
The presents under the tree aren’t the only gifts you can give to your family on Christmas morning — treat them to Christmas brunch. These recipes for delicious dishes and soothing drinks are a perfect end to your morning holiday celebration.
Orange-Spiced Fruit Bread
Orange zest, aniseed, and allspice, along with honey, lend this full-bodied fruit bread an intriguing flavor. The medley of three dried fruits gives it a chewy texture, eye-catching color, and healthful fiber. For a festive look, the bread is baked in a tube pan: a 10-cup Bundt, Kugelhopf, or other pan with a center tube and decorative shape is ideal…..
Nothing beats the taste of fresh fruit jam. And when you make it yourself, you can control the amount of sugar used…..
* Click the link below for Healthy Christmas Brunch Recipes *
Tags: cook, Dietary supplement, Fruit, Health, Lemonade, Redox, Vitamin, Vitamin C
Even though the taste isn’t affected, it’s still disappointing to unveil your fruit salad only to discover a thin layer of brown oxidation all over the fruit. A common method for keeping cut fruit looking fresh is to add a bit of lemon juice. However, an even more effective method is to fill a spray bottle with water and a few dissolved vitamin C tablets (usually available in the vitamin and nutritional supplement section of your drugstore). Spray this mixture on the cut fruit and not only will it stop the oxidation, you’ll be also be getting added vitamins.
Tags: Avocado, Black pepper, Cooking, Fruit, Fruit and Vegetable, Guacamole, Home, Ripeness in viticulture
If you bought a whole bunch of avocados for your guacamole and one or two are still not ripe enough to use, try this tip – which isn’t ideal, but will do the trick. Prick the skin of the unripe avocado in several places, then microwave it on high for 40-70 seconds, flipping it over halfway through. This won’t ripen the avocado, but it will soften enough that you’ll be able to mash it with ripe avocados and your guests won’t notice the difference.
Tags: Fruit, Korea, California, China, Ripeness in viticulture, Indiana, Persimmon, Diospyros, Ebenaceae
Persimmons are available for a short window in the fall and early winter – look for bright, heavy-feeling fruits.
Persimmons are the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. Diospyros is in the family Ebenaceae. In color the ripe fruit of the cultivated strains range from light yellow-orange to dark red-orange depending on the species and variety. They similarly vary in size from 1.5 to 9 cm (0.5 to 4 in) in diameter, and in shape the varieties may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped. The calyx generally remains attached to the fruit after harvesting, but becomes easy to remove once the fruit is ripe. The ripe fruit has a high glucose content. The protein content is low, but it has a balanced protein profile. Persimmon fruits have been put to various medicinal and chemical uses.
Like the tomato, persimmons are not popularly considered to be berries, but in terms of botanical morphology the fruit is in fact a berry.
Commercially and in general, there are two types of persimmon fruit: astringent and non-astringent.
The heart-shaped Hachiya is the most common variety of astringent persimmon. Astringent persimmons contain very high levels of soluble tannins and are unpalatably astringent (or “furry” tasting) if eaten before completely softened. However, the sweet, delicate flavor of fully ripened persimmons of varieties that are astringent when unripe, is particularly relished. The astringency of tannins is removed in various ways. Examples include ripening by exposure to light for several days, and wrapping the fruit in paper (probably because this increases the ethylene concentration of the surrounding air). Ethylene ripening can be increased in reliability and evenness, and the process can be greatly accelerated, by adding ethylene gas to the atmosphere in which the fruit are stored. For domestic purposes the most convenient and effective process is to store the ripening persimmons in a clean, dry container together with other varieties of fruit that give off particularly large quantities of ethylene while they are ripening; apples and related fruits such as pears are effective, and so are bananas and several others. Other chemicals are used commercially in artificially ripening persimmons or delaying their ripening. Examples include alcohol and carbon dioxide which change tannin into the insoluble form. Such bletting processes sometimes are jumpstarted by exposing the fruit to cold or frost. The resultant cell damage stimulates the release of ethylene, which promotes cellular wall breakdown.
One traditional misconception is that persimmons are to be ripened till rotten. This is a confusion of the processes of controlled ripening with the processes of decay, possibly arising from problems of translation from Asiatic languages onto English. Rotting is the action of microorganisms such as fungi, and rotting persimmons are no better than any other rotting fruit. Sound persimmons should be ripened till they are fully soft, except that the carpels still might be softly chewy. At that stage the skin might be splitting and the calyx can easily be plucked out of the fruit before serving, which often is a good sign that the soft fruit is ready to eat.
Astringent varieties of persimmons also can be prepared for commercial purposes by drying. Tanenashi fruit will occasionally contain a seed or two, which can be planted and will yield a larger more vertical tree than when merely grafted onto the D. virginiana rootstock most commonly used in the U.S. Such seedling trees may produce fruit that bears more seeds, usually 6 to 8 per fruit, and the fruit itself may vary slightly from the parent tree. Seedlings are said to be more susceptible to root nematodes.
The non-astringent persimmon is squat like a tomato and is most commonly sold as fuyu. Non-astringent persimmons are not actually free of tannins as the term suggests, but rather are far less astringent before ripening, and lose more of their tannic quality sooner. Non-astringent persimmons may be consumed when still very firm, and remain edible when very soft.
There is a third type, less commonly available, the pollination-variant non-astringent persimmons. When fully pollinated, the flesh of these fruit is brown inside—known as goma in Japan—and the fruit can be eaten firm. These varieties are highly sought after and can be found at specialty markets or farmers markets only. Tsurunoko, sold as “chocolate persimmon” for its dark brown flesh, Maru, sold as “cinnamon persimmon” for its spicy flavor, and Hyakume, sold as “brown sugar” are the three best known.
Before ripening, persimmons usually have a “chalky” taste or bitter taste.
Persimmons are eaten fresh, dried, raw, or cooked. When eaten fresh they are usually eaten whole like an apple or cut into quarters, though with some varieties it is best to peel the skin first. One way to consume very ripe persimmons, which can have the texture of pudding, is to remove the top leaf with a paring knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Riper persimmons can also be eaten by removing the top leaf, breaking the fruit in half and eating from the inside out. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy, and the texture is unique. The flesh is very sweet and when firm due to being unripe, possesses an apple-like crunch. American persimmons and diospyros digyna are completely inedible until they are fully ripe.
In China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam after harvesting, ‘Hachiya’ persimmons are prepared using traditional hand-drying techniques, outdoors for two to three weeks. The fruit is then further dried by exposure to heat over several days before being shipped to market.
In Korea, dried persimmon fruits are used to make the traditional Korean spicy punch, sujeonggwa, while the matured, fermented fruit is used to make a persimmon vinegar called gamsikcho (감식초). The hoshigaki tradition traveled to California with Japanese American immigrants.
In Taiwan, fruits of astringent varieties are sealed in jars filled with limewater to get rid of bitterness. Slightly hardened in the process, they are sold under the name “crisp persimmon” (cuishi 脆柿) or “water persimmon” (shuishizi 水柿子). Preparation time is dependent upon temperature (5 to 7 days at 25–28 °C (77–82 °F)). In some areas of Manchuria and Korea, the dried leaves of the fruit are used for making tea. The Korean name for this tea is ghamnip cha (감잎차).
In the state of Indiana (US), persimmons are harvested and used in a variety of dessert dishes most notably pies. It can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads, curries and as a topping for breakfast cereal. Persimmon pudding is a dessert using fresh persimmons. An annual persimmon festival, featuring a persimmon pudding contest, is held every September in Mitchell, Indiana. Persimmon pudding is a baked pudding that has the consistency of pumpkin pie but resembles a brownie and is almost always topped with whipped cream. Persimmons may be stored at room temperature 20 °C (68 °F) where they will continue to ripen. In northern China, unripe persimmons are frozen outside during winter to speed up the ripening process.
Compared to apples, persimmons have higher levels of dietary fiber, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese, but lower levels of copper and zinc. They also contain vitamin C and provitamin A beta-carotene (Nutrient table, right).
Persimmon fruits contain phytochemicals, such as catechin and gallocatechin, as well as compounds under preliminary research for potential anti-cancer activity, such as betulinic acid. In one study, a diet supplemented with dried, powdered triumph persimmons improved lipid metabolism in laboratory rats.
Tags: Boil, Canning, cook, Fruit, Home canning, Mason jar, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA
A wonderful and – dare we say it? – fun way to make your fruits and veggies last longer is to try home canning. You may think canning is just for country folk, but it’s becoming more and more popular as a way to save money and make sure you’re eating foods with the least amount of preservatives possible. Buy foods when they are in season, or better yet, grow your own and can to save later. The biggest trick in canning is to make sure that no air (which contains bacteria) gets into your jars; this is achieved with a pressure canner or boiling – water canner. Find out what these contraptions are and how safely fruit, vegetables, pickles, meat, poultry, seafood, salsas, pie filling, jams, and more from the USDA‘s extensive free Guide to Home Canning, available at: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html.
Tags: Banana, Banana bread, Bread, cook, Fruit, Fruit and Vegetable, Home, Recipe
Never throw out overripe bananas! Stick them in the freezer once they get completely brown, and you can still use them later for banana bread and other baking projects.
Tags: Berry, Business, Fruit, Home & Garden, Pie, Sugar, United States, Water content
The moisture content of fresh berries is high, so make sure to thoroughly dry them before sticking them into the fridge, or wait until you’re ready to eat them before you wash them. Otherwise, they can easily rot. Also make sure to store berries, especially strawberries, loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Tags: Butternut squash, Cucurbita, Fruit, Plant, Pumpkin, Seed, Summer squash, Winter Squash
Winter squash is a summer-growing annual fruit, representing several squash species within the genus Cucurbita. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. At this stage, most varieties of this fruit can be stored for use during the winter. It is generally cooked before eating.
Because squash is a frost-tender vegetable, the seeds do not germinate in cold soil. Winter squash seeds germinate best when the soil temperature is 21 to 35 °C (70 to 95 °F), and the warmer end of the range is optimum. Seedlings are easily destroyed by frost, thus winter squash is best planted after the soil is thoroughly warmed and all sign of frost has passed.
Winter squash can be harvested whenever the fruits have turned a deep, solid color and the skin is hard. Most of the crop is harvested in September or October (Northern Hemisphere), before heavy frosts hit the planting area. When cutting squash from the vine, two inches of stem should remain attached if possible. Cuts and bruises should be avoided when handling. Fruits that are not fully mature, have been injured, have had their stems knocked off, or have been subjected to heavy frost will rot and should be used as soon as possible or be composted (watch for seedlings in the compost).
Winter squash is a low-calorie, good source of complex vegetable carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
It is an excellent source of vitamin A, a great source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese, and a good source of folate, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1 (thiamin), copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).
It is also a source of iron and beta carotene. Usually, the darker the skin is, the higher the beta carotene content.