Kitchen Hint of the Day!

July 16, 2013 at 7:11 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Bread, muffins, and other baked goods are fun (and delicious) to make with dried fruit, but the fruit often sinks to the bottom because it doesn’t have a lot of moisture and becomes more even solid during baking. If you coat it with a little flour, though, it’ll stay put.

Fruit of the Week – Jujube

August 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM | Posted in baking, Food, fruits | 2 Comments
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Jujube

Ziziphus zizyphus commonly called jujube (sometimes jujuba), red date, Chinese date, or Indian date is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, used primarily as a fruiting shade tree.

The jujube is a small, deciduous tree, growing to 40 feet tall in Florida, but smaller in size in California. The naturally drooping tree is graceful, ornamental and often thorny with branches growing in a zig-zag pattern. The wood is very hard and strong. Jujube cultivars vary in size and conformation, with some being very narrow in habit and others being more widespread. One cultivar, the So, seems to be fairly dwarfing in habit. After 30 years of growth in an average site, trees can be 30 feet tall with a crown diameter of up to 15 feet. Plants send up suckers (often with intimidating spines) from their roots, and these suckers can appear many feet from the mother plant. Currently, these root suckers must be controlled by mowing or hoeing.

The fruit is a drupe, varying from round to elongate and from cherry-size to plum-size depending on cultivar. It has a thin, edible skin surrounding whitish flesh of sweet, agreeable flavor. The single hard stone contains two seeds. The immature fruit is green in color, but as it ripens it goes through a yellow-green stage with mahogany-colored spots appearing on the skin as the fruit ripens further. The fully mature fruit is entirely red. Shortly after becoming fully red, the fruit begins to soften and wrinkle. The fruit can be eaten after it becomes wrinkled, but most people prefer them during the interval between the yellow-green stage and the full red stage. At this stage the flesh is crisp and sweet, reminiscent of an apple. Under dry conditions jujubes lose moisture, shrivel and become spongy inside. Tests in Russia indicate a very high vitamin C content. The fruit has been used medicinally for millennia by many cultures. One of its most popular uses is as a tea for sore throat

The freshly harvested as well as the candied dried fruits are often eaten as a snack, or with tea. They are available in either red or black, the latter being smoked to enhance their flavor. In China and Korea, a sweetened tea syrup containing jujube fruits is available in glass jars,[16] and canned jujube tea or jujube tea in the form of teabags is also available. Although not widely available, jujube juice[17] and jujube vinegar are also produced; they are used for making pickles  in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

In China, a wine made from jujubes, called hong zao jiu is also produced.Jujubes are sometimes preserved by storing in a jar filled with baijiu (Chinese liquor), which allows them to be kept fresh for a long time, especially through the winter. Such jujubes are called jiu zao; literally “spirited jujube”. These fruits, often stoned, are also a significant ingredient in a wide variety of Chinese delicacies. In Korea, jujubes are called daechu and are used in teas and samgyetang. It is said[by whom?] to be helpful in aiding the common cold.

In Lebanon, the fruit is eaten as snacks or alongside a dessert after a meal.

In Persian cuisine, the dried drupes are known as annab, while in neighboring Azerbaijan it is commonly eaten as a snack, and are known as innab. In Pakistan, the fruit is eaten both fresh and dried, and is known as ber (a generic term for berry).

In Tamil-speaking regions, the fruit is called ilanthai pazham. In Kannada this fruit is called “Yelchi Hannu” and in Telugu it is called

“Regi pandu”. Traditionally, the fruits are dried in the sun and the hard nuts are removed. Then, it is pounded with

Dried jujube fruits, which naturally turn red upon drying.

tamarind, red chillies, salt, and jaggery. Small dishes are made from this dough and again dried in the sun, and are referred to as ilanthai vadai. In some parts of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, fresh whole ripe fruit is crushed with the above ingredients and

dried under the sun to make delicious cakes called ilanthai vadai or “Regi Vadiyalu”

Top 25 Diabetic Snacks

July 10, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, low calorie, low carb, snacks | Leave a comment
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Another interesting article from  http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com This one on everyone’s favorite Snacks! I’ll be showing one of the top rated ones each day.So if your going to snack make it one of these. Hope you find it interesting.

Top 25 Diabetic Snacks

by Marsha McCulloch, R.D., L.D., and Laura Marzen, R.D., L.D.
Stomach grumbling or blood glucose a bit low? Reach for one of our top 25 consumer-tasted and dietitian-approved snacks. Diabetic Living’s dietitians scoured the supermarkets to find the most nutritious packaged snacks, and a panel of taste-testers (including people with diabetes) ranked the treats. From chips and dip to cookies and popcorn, see which snacks were awarded the Diabetic Living What to Eat Seal of Approval.

How These Snacks Made the List

Selecting smart between-meal munchies is simple if you’re satisfied with a basic banana or apple. But sometimes our taste buds scream for something a little more fun and flavorful.

How we chose the best snacks:
1. Diabetic Living’s dietitians scoured the supermarkets to find the most nutritious packaged snacks in 25 different categories.
2. In a rigorous taste test, an average of 50 people, including people with diabetes, sampled each snack (with the brand concealed), picking the best among three choices in each category.
3. Based on their ratings, we’ve awarded the top 25 snacks the Diabetic Living What to Eat Seal of Approval.

Read on to see all the winners and honorable mentions. At the end, get a FREE two-page guide featuring the winners that you can print at home!

Best Dried Fruit

Winner: Sun-Maid Mediterranean Apricots (sunmaid.com)

Why it won: No sweetener is added to these flavorful dried fruits — toss them in yogurt or on a salad for a sweet touch. Plus, they’re a good source of antioxidant vitamin A, potassium, and fiber.

Taste-tester’s quote: “Nice texture. Sweet but not too sweet.”

Nutrition facts per 1/4 cup:

* 100 cal.
* 23 g carb.
* 0 g fat
* 1 g pro.
* 15 mg sodium
* 3 g fiber

Honorable mention:

* Sunsweet California Pitted Dates
* Melissa’s Dried Peaches

 
http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/food-to-eat/nutrition/top-diabetic-snacks/?page=1

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