PEACH

Peach PoisedPoised Proper Pretty and Pure
Our Portable “P is for” a delight for sure
Perfectly Paired with a Portable Potluck
Our Peachy Peach is a Pleasing Pluck!

Now where did my little Assistant Miss Kately venture off to?
Kately TanningWhy it appears to me that she’s taking a summer sun tanning break!
She’s enjoying quite a beachy PEACHY day!
Well let’s move on shall we? 

PeachDid you know our Perky PEACH was originally Plucked over 3,000 years ago in a region near the city of Xian in China?  The wild PEACH trees grown remotely in Asia are referred to as maotao or yietao from their ancient ancestors.  However, its very name, PEACH, is derived from the word “persica” as it was the European’s misconstrued belief that the PEACH came from Persia.  The Romans called it the “Persian apple.”  As it spread through Europe, it later was called “peche” from the French, and thus our PEACH name came to fruition.  Today it’s produced in over 64 countries with the United States comprising 20% of production.

Both yellow and white flesh PEACHES can be characterized as either “freestone” or “clingstone” depending upon whether or not is interior clings to the inside pit.  Typically the white flesh PEACH is a tad more sweet and is less acidic than the yellow which has more of an acid-tang taste. 

Peach BruisedFrom spring to late summer, PEACHES flourish with the peak season being July and August.  It’s best to choose by the smell, feel and weight.  As there is such a range of hues, the shade of the skin will not reveal its interior quality.  A ripe PEACH should have a very sweet smell and the skin should yield to touch.  However, be very careful as it will bruise and spoil quickly.
Keep ripe
PEACHES in the fridge for a longer life.

PEACHES are packed with “portable water” and make a great summer treat on hot days.  They also have an extremely high potassium benefit which can help with hydration and avoid muscle cramps.  In addition, vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene and lutein all abound and support vision health while the high fiber and water content produce a laxative effect for some individuals.

Peach JamPEACHES also come in a variety of forms from fresh, frozen, dried, canned and even jammed!  Thus making a wonderful addition to any meal including breakfast smoothies, oatmeal and cereal toppings, yogurt additions, lunch salads and cobbler and pie desserts as well. 

Peach yellowYes, our friend the PEACH Packs a Potent Pocket of Powers!
Won’t you Pick a Perky PEACHY Pleasure to Prize today?

Fruit, P is for

ONION

Hi hO hi hO
It’s Off to O we gO!
A double “O” feature that is ~
It’s a nO-gO if you’re Opting for the OreO!
As this week our “O” is for… (now don’t cry) the ONION!

Onion BulbNow did you know that the ONION is technically an edible bulb?
Its very name, ONION, means the “only” as it possesses just a single bulb.
In addition to being a single food, it’s prized for its seasoning and healing properties.  In fact, it has been regarded over the centuries as a major cure-all similar to its closely related cousin, garlic.  The ONION has been highly revered since the dawn of time having been referenced in Biblical society.  Pharaohs were buried with ONIONS for a sign of eternal bliss.  For in ancient Egypt the Israelites prized the ONION showing its true importance to their lives.

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.  Numbers 11:5 NIV

The ONION continued to be treasured through the Middle Ages for it was an acceptable form of currency and considered a blessed wedding gift.  In North America ONIONS grew wild long before the first European settlers arrived.  Native American Indians used them for cooking, medicine and dyes as well; and in 1629 the farming of them traditionally began.

The ONION’s reputation continues through to today for both its culinary and medicinal properties particularly for the treatment of illnesses and kidney and bladder infections.  Externally it can be applied as an antiseptic and a pain reliever and internally it can soothe intestinal difficulties as well as alleviate hypertension, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.

Red Onions

George Washington has even esteemed the powers of the ONION himself saying, “My own remedy is always to eat, just before I step into bed,
a hot roasted
ONION, if I have a cold.”
Yes, our founding father recognized its potency as a cure, for the
ONION apparently can deter the viruses that cause colds.
So the next time you find yourself inflicted with the common cold,
try chewing on an
ONION for a quicker recovery!

The ONION is a storehouse of antioxidants, particularly quercetin, a potent flavenoid.  Additionally, they provide an abundance of fiber, vitamin C and folate; and green ONIONS as well as scallions, do store moderate amounts of vitamin A as well.

ONIONS can be very easily incorporated into any meal as chopped into omelets for breakfast, diced into salsa and guacamole appetizer dips, sliced on fresh salads, steamed into hot soups, caramelized for a pizza topping and baked into meatloafs and veggie burgers!  Just a few ideas to get your mouth-watering or should I say your eyes watering!

Kately Hopping Yes, Miss Kately sure is hOpping over the ONION Options!
Will you join us in creating a nutritious ONION dish today?

O is for, Vegetables

NAVY Bean

Nocking onward to our “N is for” this week…
Brings us to a small bean that’s both mild and meek…
Yet filled with a strong Noble Nature yet still so lean…
Yes our N is for…
None other than the NAVY Bean!

Navy BeansHmmm… Green bean, yellow bean, lima bean but NAVY bean?
No, it doesn’t appear to any hue of blue to me…
These small, pea-sized ovals are quite cream or white in color.
They are also known as small white beans and pea beans as well.

So how did our little NAVY Bean come to get its name?
In fact it wasn’t until the 20th Century that this lingo became ever so popular as it was the standard food on board ships of the U.S. Navy.  Hence, the nickname “NAVY” Bean is still its staple name to us today.

Kately Navy Ship

Ahoy Mate!
I do believe my Assistant Miss Kately joined the troops!
She’s boarded her own NAVY ship!
So let’s cruise along this NAVY Bean journey too, shall we?

While extremely high in protein, they are also full of nutritious fiber.
The
NAVY Bean can definitely help lower cholesterol levels as well as combat diabetes as it keeps blood sugar levels low by preventing a high insulin spike.
Just 1 cup of cooked
NAVY Beans provides approximately 19 grams of fiber and 76% of a person’s daily recommended fiber intake!  All this fiber helps clean out the digestive tract helping in constipation preventing colon cancer as well. 
NAVY Beans
are an excellent source of folate and manganese as well as thiamine, copper, iron and magnesium too.

Baked BeansDid you know that the common baked bean found at summer bbqs is actually our friend the NAVY Bean?  Having a very mild essence of flavor, it consumes whatever herb, spice or sauce around making it a perfect addition to any entree.  They are the most versatile bean to cook with.  Convenience of our NAVY Bean is another noteworthy quality as our little bean is available year-round in both dry form and canned form making it a marvelous portable option too.

Goya Navy BeansOur little friend can play a starring role in any dish in any meal!
As I’m very easy~peasy~pleasy, I opted for the canned version of course.
First drain them in a colander and thoroughly rinse them to eliminate the excess sodium and clumpiness thus providing a more purer taste.
Now you’re good to go with whatever suits your palette.

Rinsing Navy BeansTry adding them to your breakfast omelet, scrambled eggs or hash browns too.
For lunch they are a great addition to any soup, sandwich or salad, including macaroni or potato salads as well.  And for dinner, the
NAVY Bean is a great combo with any casserole, rice pilaf or vegetable side.
The possibilities are endless and taste pairings infinite!

Navy Bean SaladWon’t you throw yourself a lifesaver and join the Navy troops and…
Nosh on our Notable Neighboring NAVY Bean today?

N is for, Vegetables

MUSHROOM

MMM ~
Mounting onward to our “M is for” ~
Miss Kately is quite eager and anxious to Meet our Mystery!
So without further ado let’s continue…

Kately opening fridgeMarching onward in our God Made Food Migration ~
Moving along to M is for… a bloom ~
Moist Munchy Mushy Motivation ~
Micro and Macro ~ M is for MUSHROOM!

Mushroom FungiMmmm… MUSHROOM… So what exactly is it?
A vegetable?
A fruit?
None of the above?
In fact, MUSHROOMS are neither true fruits or vegetables as they don’t possess any roots, stems, leaves or seeds and do not require light to grow.
They are a genuine fungus which develops in the dark and releases spores in the air to create more
MUSHROOMS.
Now doesn’t this sound appetizing…
So let’s Measure the Marvelous MUSHROOM Muse of our first fungus!

MushroomsDid you know that the Ancient Egyptian culture believed that eating MUSHROOMS would lead to immortality?  In fact, MUSHROOMS have been grown for both their food and medicine benefits for thousands of years.
In the Middle Ages, France first introduced them to society by heavy cultivation which led to their exportation to England and ultimately the Americas.
Today the top producing nation is China growing 32% and the United States is attributed with 16% of the market.

Sliced MushroomsThe most popular MUSHROOM species are the white and brown MUSHROOMS and the field MUSHROOM.  Fresh varieties should be bright, firm and plump and avoid any looking withered, dried up or slimy.

PortabellasThe portabella is a mature variety as its longer growth period accounts for its extra large cap and makes a delicious vegan burger alternative.
Many grocery stores carry an abundance of different varieties to choose from in fresh, dried and canned. 

MUSHROOMS are extremely low in calories as a 1 cup serving contains only 16 calories providing 1.5 grams of fiber along with 1.8 grams of protein.  Vitamins and minerals abound including riboflavin, niacin, selenium, copper, potassium, zinc and manganese.  It is important to note that white buttons provide a high amount of vitamin D and is one of the very few vegan sources.  In addition brown MUSHROOMS appear to have a higher abundance of antioxidants.

Mushroom TypesMUSHROOMS lack any sort of flavor on their own as they are bland in nature.  Thus they absorb the essence of any condiment, spice or dressing pairing.  Therefore, they are quite versatile and easily added to any meal to make an appetizing combination.  Saute some up to add to egg omelettes, stir-frys, casseroles, tacos and create an excellent topping for pizzas and salads too!
The choices and concoctions are endless!

Mushroom VarietyWon’t you enjoy a MUSHROOM Merry Meal Makeover today?

M is for, Vegetables

LIME

Continuing on with our God Made Food journey,
Today leads us to our “L is for…”
Hmmm…
What do you think it is Kate?

L is for WhatNope, it’s not “lard”
And we’ll also pass on any “leftovers!”
How about we take a Look at LEMON‘s Likeable cousin…
The Littler Luscious Lucky green LIME!

LIMESLIMES are similar to our LEMON friend but are a little more sweet and a little less sour and of course, smaller and green.  These green treasures are thought to have originated in southeast Asia most notably southern Iraq and Persia.  From there they spread to Egypt and Northern Africa and onward to Europe in the Middle Ages.  In 1493, LIMES were a prestigious guest on board Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to the Americas as a proven cure to the onset of scurvy.  In the sixteenth century they established their permanent home in Florida, in which Spanish explorers brought the West Indies LIME to the Florida Keys, most famously being Key West.  Those offspring LIMES are now known today as the “Key LIME“.

There are two types of LIMES - Key LIMES and Persian LIMES.
The more common variety available in the grocery store today is the Persian. 
Key LIMES are definitely smaller, possess a deeper green hue and are encased in a thinner skin.  It is with this LIME that the sweet, sour and tart Key LIME Pie decadent treat was created. 

Lime SlicedAs LIMES are sweeter than lemons, they contain less citric acid yet an abundance of vitamin C.  A single LIME provides 32% of the Daily Value required.  They also contain vitamin A, calcium and potassium and fiber.  Having a strong possession of antioxidants inside too, they are beneficial in combating oxidative damage of cells and breakdown of DNA all which helps in the prevention of cancer.

Choosing LimesWhen selecting LIMES, be sure to choose ones firm, rich in color and feel heavy in your hand as this reveals it is full of delicious juice.  As it gets riper, a LIME will get more yellow and the flavor can decline somewhat.  Fortunately, LIMES are available year-round and will last up to three weeks in the fridge in a bag.

Lime JuiceLIMES make a great refreshing addition to pure water, seltzer water and teas as well as well as dressings and dips.  If you are out of LIMES or in a hurry, a squeeze of pure LIME juice will suffice just fine.  In fact, when making ice cubes, freeze a few drops in each cube for a melting tart taste!

Lime and KateMmmm! Sounds delightful! 
What do you think Miss Kate?
Won’t you join us in a refreshing toast ~
To the Lucrative Lifts of the Luscious LIME?

Fruit, L is for

KIWI

Brown, fuzzy and unattractive on the outside,
Yet cut and peeled reveals a Kaleidoscope ride,
This green spiral shines for all to see,
Yes our “K is for…” none other than the KIWI!

Kiwi GemDid you know the KIWI was originally known as the Chinese gooseberry?
Originating in China, it wasn’t until the 1950′s that New Zealand popularized the fruit by exporting it internationally.  Then the Kute KIWI name caught on.  In fact, this small, fuzzy, brown fruit was nicknamed after the small flightless, fuzzy brown bird native to New Zealand known as the KIWI

Kiwi BirdNorman Sandog, an American importer, was the main champion in renaming the Chinese gooseberry to the KIWI fruit as he noticed it mirroring the flightless, small, round and fuzzy New Zealand Kiwi bird.  However, this featherless fruit took flight to the Americas in the early 1900′s when it was transported by missionaries.  In 1974, the “KIWI” fruit became internationally recognized as the official, modern name of the Chinese gooseberry.

Green KiwiThere are actually three main species of KIWI fruits with the green-colored flesh being the most widely available.  The golden KIWI has, of course, a golden yellow flesh with a less hairy and thinner outer skin.  The hardy KIWI fruit is much tinier and can actually be consumed without peeling.

Hmmm…
Now where did my handy-dandy Assistant Miss Kately go?
We are in the middle of our “K is for”
KIWI journey!

Kately Dishes

Oh there she is…
It seems as if she got carried away putting the dishes in order.
Well, without further ado, let’s continue on our
KIWI Kwest!

Did you know the KIWI is the most nutrient abundant
out of the 27 most eaten fruits in the world?

High in vitamins C, K, B6 and E as well as folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, KIWIS are definitely a nutrient powerhouse.  Additionally, they are abundant in lutein and the antioxidants carotenoids and ALA and add a boost of fiber to the diet which is a definite benefit in protecting against heart disease and colon cancers.  In fact, to obtain even more of a KIWI fiber dose, thoroughly wash the skin and eat it too!

Kiwi ChipDid you know our KIWI friend can even be dried to a crunchy crisp?
How’s that for a healthy snack of chips! 
KIWIS
are fabulous when spooned into yogurts, topped on salads, even use in sandwiches and of course, spooned out just as is – so juicy, sweet and tart!

Kiwi CutMmmm…
Peeling back the brown fuzz ~
Reveals a wonderous Keen, Kind, Kute Kaleidoscope of Kharacter!
Won’t you enjoy a juicy, spiral green KIWI today?

Fruit, K is for

JAPANESE Persimmon

Having just ventured off to the state of IDAHO,
How about we go to the country JAPAN for a Jolly Jaunt?
Say Again?
JAPAN?
Yes, our “J is for” takes us on a Joyfully Jubilant Journey,
to explore the Jovial Juicy Jewel of the Japanese Persimmon!

PersimmonTreeThe JAPANESE Persimmon is the most widely grown and well-known variety of the persimmon.  As translated in JAPANESE, Diospyros kaki, it means the “fruit of the gods.”  Ironically the JAPANESE Persimmon is native to China, having been cultivated there since ancient times spanning over 2500 years ago.  Yet, it became widely known as the JAPANESE Persimmon when the plant was brought over to California in the 1880′s by the navy.  From there, it was introduced to Washington, D.C. and thus became known as the JAPANESE Persimmon.  Today, the majority of the harvest is yielded from California with minor amounts from Texas and Hawaii.

JAPANESE Persimmons are a larger variety and are divided into two categories: astringent and non-astringent.  The astringent fruit contains a higher level of tannins and thus a higher antioxidant level to combat free radicals.  The non-astringent variety is composed of fewer tannins for as the fruit ripens to a softness the tannin level is reduced.  Thus the JAPANESE Persimmon can be consumed either while still hardy and firm or when soft and more juicy.

Persimmon OrangeJAPANESE Persimmons range from the typical yellow-orange color to a dark red-orange hue.  They provide a substantial source of vitamins A, B6, C, E and K as well as manganese, potassium, copper, lycopene, beta-carotene and of course, fiber.  Historically the JAPANESE Persimmon is believed to regulate ch’i, life’s sustaining energy balanced in Asian culture. If consumed raw, they are a remedy for constipation.  Once cooked, they are a medicine for diarrhea.  In addition, the JAPANESE Persimmon has been shown to lower cholesterol and heart disease. 

PersimmonCutJAPANESE Persimmons can be easily sliced up and added to salads, hot and cold cereals, baked goods, chopped into zesty salsas, pureed into sauces and dressings and blended into smoothies.
In fact, ripe fruit can be frozen for future cooking or blending as well.
The uses are endless and even can be spooned right out of the skin.

Kately Bagged UpMiss Kately is all bagged up and ready to Journey ~
To enjoy the Jazzy JAPANESE Persimmon!
Won’t you take a tasting trip to JAPAN?

Fruit, J is for

IDAHO Potatoes

“I is for… ”
What?
Say again?
IDAHO?

Yes, technically speaking the word IDAHO is a state of the United States.
However did you know that the word IDAHO is also a registered trademark of an All-American favorite God Made Food?
So without further ado, let’s discover the wonders of our
“I is for…” the IDAHO Potato!

Idaho RussettNow of course, the most famous IDAHO of all is the well-known russet potato.
But did you know that there are really over 25 varieties of potatoes that are considered IDAHOANS?  In addition to the russet, the most common include the yukon golds, reds and fingerlings.  If any potato is grown outside of the state of IDAHO, it is not an authentic IDAHOAN Potato!
So how did IDAHO come to be such a popular potato province?

Idaho RedsIDAHO itself has an extremely rich, volcanic sediment that houses an Immaculate Irrigation and Invironment to Integrate and Impress an Ideal IDAHO!  This perfect climate is what distinctly differentiates the IDAHO from other potatoes.  Genuine IDAHOANS have an oval, elongated form, firm texture, dark, deep color and should be free from any cuts, blemishes and bruises.  To be sure you get the real IDAHO deal, Inspect your potatoes for the IDAHO certification seal. 

Idaho LogoIDAHOANS came to be known from the IDAHO Potato Commission, a self-governing agency founded in the year 1937.  It is one of the oldest commodity organizations and was a trailblazer in marketing and public relations of the IDAHO potato.  In 1959, the “Grown in IDAHO” seal was established to pinpoint consumers to purchase the superior quality of the distinctive IDAHOAN.  Today IDAHOANS are the most popular potatoes with over $2.7 billion in sales with a production of over 13 billion potatoes per year.  There even was a national tour of the Big IDAHO Potato to celebrate its 75th anniversary!

Idaho Truck A simple baked IDAHO, served with its skin, provides a substantial amount of B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese and of course a healthy dose of fiber.  The potato itself has unfortunately gleaned an undesirable reputation largely in part because of the unhealthy ways it is prepared which overwhelmingly counteract its benefits.  To gain the most nutrients and healthy benefits, the IDAHO should be baked and never fried.

Idaho RussettStore your IDAHOANS away from light, heat and damp environments as all these factors will cause sprouting.  IDAHOANS can be kept for several weeks at a cool room temperature but do not refrigerate as this will affect their taste.  Ideal IDAHOS have a soft, fluffy texture and a crisp pure taste that leaves the perfect IDAHO Impression!

Idaho GoldsIdeal IDAHOANS are quite Impressive, Interesting and Interactively Intriguing!
Won’t you be Impressed with an Immaculate IDAHO?

I is for, Vegetables

HONEY History

HONEY is a God made food with quite an ancient literary History.
Being one of the most popular foods in the Bible,  ancient civilizations treasured HONEY for its nourishment, healing qualities and pure sweetness.
The Israelites consumed
HONEY on its own as a food and also as a condiment flavoring soups, breads and nuts.  The fact that it is mentioned over 60 times alone echos its shining brilliance!

HoneycombIf the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.
Numbers 14:8 NIV

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:10 NIV

“But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”  Psalm 81:16 NIV

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103 NIV

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 NIV

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.  Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs 24:13-14 NIV

Honey Spoon

For HONEY has such a rich Heavenly History ~
It is well known to be a gift of gratitude and Honor.
For a “land flowing with milk and HONEY” ~
Has become symbol of overwhelming blessed abundance!
Humbly Hug a loved one and Hand out a Honored History of HONEY!

H is for, Wisdom

HONEY

Hmmm… what’s yummy, sticky and sweet ~
Historically a Heavenly treat ~
Huggingly an ooey and gooey maven ~
H is for HONEY in a bee’s Haven!

Comb of HoneyHONEY’s natural wonderment resonates over the ages of time,
revered for its miraculous healing power and candied sweetness.

And he put forth the end of the rod, and dipped it in the honeycomb.
And he carried his hand to his mouth and his eyes were enlightened.
 

1 Samuel 14:27

 The Bible and other historic writings recording the qualities of HONEY have been found from the ancient cultures of the Babylonians, Sumerians, Egyptians and Indians.  Hippocrates had a natural herbal remedy for bringing down a fever and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt frequently bathed in milk and honey to keep a youthful glow.  In fact, HONEY was so highly prized, it was used as a form of monetary exchange in bartering goods.  It was also a symbol of blessing for homes and dwelling as HONEY was poured over door thresholds.  It was in 1638 that HONEY made its voyage to the United States having been brought over by colonial settlers.  Today, the top producing regions include Argentina, Australia and North America.

Honey JarDid you know that there are over 300 unique kinds of HONEY made from bees in the United States?  Different shades of color abound as well from light yellow to golden amber to a darker brown.  Many different plant sources as well contribute to HONEY‘s original flavors including clover, eucalyptus, orange blossom and buckwheat.  The hues all have their own taste too as lighter-colored HONEYS are milder in flavor, and darker-colored HONEYS have a more rich distinctness.

Honey with CombDid you know that HONEY as well comes in five different textures?
These include the classic liquid, running
HONEY, pure cut comb itself, comb HONEY, crystallized HONEY and creamed HONEY.  It is important to keep it at room temperature as well as HONEY will harden if refrigerated.  In addition, if crystallization occurs in your HONEY jar, set in hot water to melt its consistency.

Crystallized Honey

HONEY’s sweetness comes from both glucose and fructose and abounds with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.  There are small amounts of important enzymes, vitamins and amino acids including  niacin, riboflavin, calcium, copper, iron, zinc and magnesium to name a few.  For centuries dating back to Biblical times and in the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, HONEY has also been used topically in the healing of wounds, cuts and burns.  HONEY has also been used for thousands of years as a treatment for sore throats and coughs.  HONEY greatly improves digestive health in growing friendly bacteria as it acts as a prebiotic.

Bee PollenBees are quite the travelers as well as they will trek 55,000 miles and intake nectar from over 200 million flower blossoms just to yield one pound of HONEY!  No wonder it was so highly prized and esteemed since the dawn of time!

Honey SpoonSavor the sweetness and pureness of God’s natural sweetener ~
Won’t you give a Heartiful Hug to HONEY today?

H is for