Thursday, August 4, 2016

9 of Brazil’s Top Superfoods You Should Know About

How to Eat Like Professional Athletes With Brazil’s Best Superfoods

Acai Berries 
The acai berry is a small reddish-purple fruit that comes from the acai palm tree, a native plant to Central and South America. A fruit extremely rich in antioxidants, it is said to promote weight loss and is certainly considered a key part of any healthy Brazilian diet.

Coconut Water

Locals crack into Brazil’s bright green Anão coconuts daily for the hydrating health benefits of the fresh, vitamin-packed water within. While indisputably better when sipped on the sandy beaches of Ipanema, the country’s MVP elixir is available the world over, as brands like Pure Brazilian source their coconuts from the lush fields of Brazil. Low in calories and high in potassium, coconut water is a perfect drink for replenishing post-workout or combating the dehydrating effects of a steamy summer day. (Source)


Pequi
via Brazilian Fusion

I had actually never seen it like this! My grandma froze it so I could see it in its natural form, in its "case". This amazing yellow fruit has a strong flavor coming from it's pulp, characteristic of this central region of Brazil know as "Cerrado". .
A little background: It is a seasonal fruit (although treated more like a vegetable) and enjoyed in savory manner most of the time. It is very prominent in the north of #MinasGerais where my family is from. They freeze it for me (since I don't live in Brazil) if it's not in season so when I'm there I can enjoy it! .

It is cooked directly in the rice, as the taste it leaves behind is very notable and difficult to describe delicious and distinct flavor: tastes like a piece of home - #MontesClaros (my home town).
.
This fruit can raw or cooked, (usually cooked) and best enjoyed out of the hand, gently scraping the pulp off the pit carefully using your teeth. It typically accompanies other dishes such as #CarneDeSol, he preferred protein in this case. This is a piece if my culture!. .

Ask a Brazilian friend if they know what Pequi is. It they are from Minas Gerais or #Goias, chances are they will know👍!

Cupuacu

The so-called “pharmacy in a fruit” grows in a tropical rainforest tree much like that of the cacao. Commonly found all throughout the Amazon basin, this miracle fruit is grown in huge quantities in the jungles of Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and of course Brazil. The juicy fruit has a taste that one could describe as a mix between pear and banana… if you can imagine that.
Source : Haute Living
The fruit can be prepared in many ways such as in cupuacu cream, butter, smoothies, as well as eaten raw like a mango or used as a beauty product in skin moisturizers and hand creams.


Fruta Do Conde

Also known as Sugar-Apple or Custard Apple.
A more common variety available in the US is known as Cherimoya:


Yuca Root

Yuca root is a root that ranges from 6 to 12 inches in length and 2 to 3 inches in diameter. This crunchy tuber has a tough brown skin and a crisp, white flesh. Originally a native to South America, Yuca Root has become an important staple of Africa.

Although there are many varieties of Yuca Root, there are only 2 main categories: bitter & sweet. Used as a thickener in the making of tapioca, Yuca Root once grated & sun-dried is also called Yuca Root meal.

Yuca Root Benefits:

It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, which is especially beneficial for skin health, slowing down the aging process and reducing chances of heart disease and certain types of cancer. It also contains a great amount of dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin B. Yuca has been used to help relieve arthritis pain, improve heart and digestion health, and boost immunity.



Maracuja (aka Passion Fruit)

Have you ever seen one? This exotic fruit originated in Southern Brazil along with Paraguay area and typically grows in tropical countries and fair weathered areas such as California! That’s how we are able to get it here in the US, which I’m very thankful for. .

We call this fruit #Maracuja in Brazil🇧🇷 but it translates to “#PassionFruit” in English, and it is said that it was named by 16th century Spanish Catholic Missionaries in the Amazon region of Brazil who decided it its purple flower that resembled the five wounds of Christ. .


Passion fruit contains a tart and tangy pulp that complements sweets or fatty foods quite well! The inside looks quite unexpected from what you think it will look like when seeing the outer shell. It’s low calorie, rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and A. You should definitely look this one up if you haven’t! .





Papaya

Native to tropical regions, papayas can now be found growing in Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Florida, Southern California and Brazil. Considered to be the sweetest, most flavorful of all Papayas, the salmon-red to pink flesh of Melissa's Strawberry Papayas is fragrant and juicy, with a hint of fresh peaches and berries.

Delicious with a simple squeeze of fresh lime or added to smoothies and salads, cubes of Melissa's Strawberry Papaya can also be added to fresh pineapple, peppers, pearl onions, and teardrop tomatoes for a unique fruit kabob for the grill. Once soft to the touch, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the small black seeds from the center.

How to Choose Ripe Papaya

When selecting Melissa’s Papayas, choose those that are soft to the touch (similar to a ripe peach). Their color should be more yellow than green. Ripen firm Papayas at room temperature in a loosely closed plastic bag. Refrigerate ripe fruit in a plastic or paper bag for up to 3 days. Freezing is not recommended.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Know Your Mango: How to Cut, Eat, and Ripen

Did you know, Mangoes are the most popular fruit in the world


So, what's wrong with Americans?  
Answer: We don't know which variety to eat or how to tell when they are perfectly ripe.  Here's your go-to guide for Choosing, Ripening, Cutting, and Eating Mango

Ripening Mango process:

- Ripen the mango in a paper bag or newspaper. Leave the bag of mangoes on the kitchen counter overnight and check for ripeness in the morning. Mangoes wrapped in a paper bag will release ethylene, which is an odourless gas that speeds up the ripening process.

- Remove and use the mango when it gives off a fruity scent and yields to soft pressure, usually about a day (or less).

- When wrapping mangoes in a paper bag or newspaper, be sure not to close the bag completely. Some air and gas needs to escape or mold and mildew might start to form.

Pro Tip: Add an apple or banana to the bag to speed up the ripening even more. Adding more ethylene-emitting fruits will increase the ethylene in the bag, giving you an even juicier mango all the quicker.
Photo: Wiki How

Handling & Cutting Mangos

- Always use a clean knife and cutting board to cut a mango.
- If you have handled or cut any type of meat or seafood, ALWAYS sanitize your hands, work area, utensils and cutting board before handling or cutting any fruits or vegetables, including mangos.
- Always wash mangos before cutting.

So, what’s the best way to cut mangoes, you ask?!

Here is how we cut Mangoes…  

If you cut mangoes differently, please share your secrets!
Step 1. Hold the Mango straight up and down
Step 2. Take your knife and cut, about 1/2″, to the right and left of center.  This will remove the main flesh of the Mango, sometimes known as the “cheeks”
Step 3. Gently cut “Cross” marks in the Mango, being careful not to cut all the way through.
Step 4. Push the center of the Mango outward, raising the cut sections of the flesh, and remove them with your knife

Or, try this Mango Cutting Hack:


Know Your Mangoes

Here are the Top 5 Mango Varieties Available in the US:

Valencia Pride Mango


Keitt Mango


Kent Mango


Ataulfo Mango


Special Feature Australian Mangoes:

Available in the U.S. for the first time, three unique mango varieties from Australia’s summer harvest! KINGSTON PRIDE is the most commercially prevalent crop in the country. This mango has orange skin tinged with red blush when ripe; its fruit is golden, moderately fibrous with a sweet, tangy flavor. The R2E2 is almost perfectly round with an orange-red blush over a deep orange skin; this variety’s firm lemon-yellow fruit is mildly sweet compared to the Kingston Pride. The golden apricot-yellow colored HONEY GOLD is firm and juicy with a rich, sweet taste. The variety is fibreless, which makes it the perfect choice for salads and smoothies.

R2E2:



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Time is Money in the Kitchen : Cook with Smaller Vegetables

Making Cooking Easy with Ready- To-Cook Veggies 

Have you ever come home from a long day at work hoping for fresh veggies in your meal but you are too exhausted to prepare them? If you are anything like us, you answered yes to that question and may even think about resorting to fast food. There is no need to sacrifice fresh, healthy options with our prepackaged veggies.

Meet the new kids in the produce aisle! Our Ready-To-Cook Fresh Veggies come in convenient packaging that keep the veggies fresh and ready to enjoy at a moment’s notice.


Choose from a variety of fresh veggies, including Mixed Baby Squash, Green Summer Squash, Yellow Summer Squash, Baby Zucchini, Brussels Sprouts, Cubed Butternut Squash, Butternut Squash Noodles, French Beans, and Mixed Baby Carrots. We are all about healthy, convenient products for our consumers and we think these are the new addition your kitchen is waiting for.


This summer, we’re #MakingCookingEasy with Ready-To-Cook Fresh Veggies. So, what delicious meals are you going to create first? Take a look at some of our favorite recipes for inspiration below.







 Baby Summer Squash and Snow Pea Stir Fry:




Calabacitas (Baby Summer Squash): http://www.melissas.com/Articles.asp?ID=1113
Bruleed Cheddar Bacon Baby Zucchini: http://www.melissas.com/Articles.asp?ID=1084

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Thyme:


Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprouts Saute: http://www.melissas.com/Articles.asp?ID=2467

Glazed Chile- Spiced Baby Carrots: 





Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What is Jackfruit and How Do You Eat It

Jackfruit is the world's largest tree fruit, and is often described as "jurassic" for its huge size (ranging from 10-100 lbs!) and intimidating looks. What's inside, however, is sweet and delicious. In fact, jackfruit's flavor served as the inspiration for Juicy Fruit gum!

Enormous and prickly on the outside, jackfruit contains sweet pods of snackable, craveable fruit. The tutti-frutti, tropical flavor is sometimes described as a mix of mango, melon, apple and banana, but as with any food, you have to try it for yourself to truly understand. 

Fun Fact: Jackfruit belongs to the mulberry family and is native to Southern and Southeast Asia. 

As the fruit ripens, the skin turns to a yellow color and is very fragrant. The ripe yellow to orange fruit inside tastes fabulous as a snack or cooked, but this versatile fruit can also be used green in various recipes

Common uses for Jackfruit include:
  • Dessert
  • Vegan Meat Alternative (used as a stand-in for carnitas, pulled pork and other shredded meats)
  • Roasted Jackfruit Seeds (rich in protein, potassium, calcium and iron)
Aside from its delightful taste, jackfruit is also rich in important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin, magnesium and many other nutrients. 

According to an article from Tech Insider, besides fruit, a jackfruit tree provides some of the following to its native growing region:
  • The leaves provide food for goats and other farm animals
  • The orange-hued bark was traditionally used as a dye for monk's robes
  • The trees produce a sticky latex-like substance that can be used as glue

Watch how to cut open and segment a jackfruit:

Take a look inside!



So, how do you eat this crazy thing?

Before we talk about that, here are some things you will need to extract the edible portion of this fruit:
  1. Cutting board
  2. Plastic Wrap (to keep your board from getting sticky)
  3. Gloves (to keep your hands from getting sticky) 
  4. Oil (to oil your knife so it cuts through the fruit more easily)
  5. Sharp serrated knife

Monday, May 9, 2016

10 Turmeric Recipes For Better Health

Turmeric - One of the World's Healthiest Foods

Turmeric is widely used as a spice in Indian and other South Asian cooking. Related to ginger, turmeric root gives food a golden color and has a distinct peppery flavor that creates a pleasantly warm sensation in the mouth.

Order Turmeric Online


In a recent Medium article, Turmeric is touted as a "wonder herb" with claims such as; "Turmeric has been proven to fight free radicals, rejuvenate the cells, cleanse the liver, protect the heart, boosts moods and support the brain."

Turmeric Fact:


Now that you know how incredible this root is, what can you make with it?

Here are 10 Simple Turmeric Recipes you can make to improve your health.  

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on our blog. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you. 

 Turmeric Infused Confetti Quinoa Salad Recipe


Meyer Lemon Turmeric Lemonade


Turmeric Carrot Potato Soup
via The Devil wears Parsley


Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound Cake Recipe
via Cooking on the Weekends


Veggie Noodle Curry Bowl
via KitchenAid


Detox Smoothie Recipes
via KitchenAid


Spicy Moroccan Fresh Salmon Patties
via Ally's Kitchen


Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric, and Cumin
via The Kitchn

via Skinnytaste

via Vintage Kitty

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meal Planning Resource + Downloadable Shopping List


Meal Planning + Downloadable Shopping List

The simplest way to make cooking easy is to have the right items on hand. Knowing your base items and making recipes off of there, is a simple way to make your meal planning more efficient.

Every family has different needs, so feel free to download this shopping list and make it your own:
DOWNLOAD HERE



So, now all you need is some recipe inspiration!  Check out these awesome Pinterest boards for 6 ingredient or less recipes:




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Variety Onions | Melissa's Produce

Can you imagine a world without onions? 

There is no doubt that you are familiar with the everyday cooking onions like, Red, White, Yellow, and Vidalia onions.  But the onions you will read about today are not your traditional onion.  The shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures all create a unique eating experience.

These alliums—members of a family that also includes garlic and chives—are indispensable, adding a baseline of sweet and earthy flavor to many cooked dishes and contributing a spicy accent when served raw. With about a dozen varieties readily available in most grocery stores, as well as several less common types, it can be hard to know which kind of onion to choose for your marinara sauce and which to select for your pico de gallo.  Read on to learn more about the onions you may have been curious about.

Cipolline Onions

The many varieties of onions from Melissa’s can be divided into two main classifications: Green Onions or scallions (onions harvested when green) and Dry Onions (mature onions) harvested when their flesh is juicy and covered with a dry skin. Melissa’s Cipolline Onions, originally grown in Verona, Italy (and now in the U.S. too) fall into the dry onion category.

Baked, broiled or stuffed, premium growing conditions ensure that these onions will have a sweet, delicate flavor! Melissa’s Cipolline Onions are delicious in any dish where extra flavor is needed. Sure to be one of the sweetest onions you will taste, try this onion variety barbecued on skewers with chicken, beef, or lamb, or use in soups, stews, and casseroles. Cipolline Onions are also a favorite when added to roasts or when baked "Verona Style" (see package for recipe).

Melissa’s Cipolline Onions are hand selected for excellent quality and should be firm and heavy for their size, with dry, papery skins. When selecting dry onions, avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind humidity can breed spoilage in dry onions. Store Melissa’s Cipolline Onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.


Pearl Onions

These tiny onions are smaller than boiler onions and contain a sweet, mild flavor. They are available in white, red and gold varieties. Although often used in a variety of dishes, Melissa’s Pearl Onions are a favorite when creamed or pickled.

Melissa’s Pearl Onions are hand selected for excellent quality. Look for Pearl Onions that are firm, heavy for their size and have dry, papery skins. When selecting Pearl Onions avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind that humidity breeds spoilage in dry onions. Store whole Pearl Onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months, (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.


French Echalion Onions

French Echalion (Banana) Shallots are covered with a thin, paper-like skin that can range from pale brown or light gray to a soft rose. Once exposed, the ivory shallot is usually marked by a pale green or purple color. Since each head is made up of several cloves, shallots actually resemble a clove of garlic rather than an onion. 

As members of the onion family, Melissa’s French Echalion Shallots are tender in texture with a milder flavor than other onion varieties. The delicate flavor of these shallots complements sauces and salad dressings, and they may be substituted for onions in all your favorite recipes.


Boiler Onions

Melissa’s Boiler Onions are available in white, red, and gold and fall into the dry onion category and are almost two inches in diameter. They impart a sweet, pungent flavor.

Boiler onions can be used in casseroles, stews, or as a side dish. They are superb grilled with assorted meats and vegetables on shish-kabobs. They are also favored for use in pickling.

Melissa’s Boiler Onions should be firm, heavy for their size, with dry, papery skins. When selecting dry onions, avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind that humidity breeds spoilage in dry onions.

Store whole dry onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.


Shallots

As members of the onion family, Melissa’s Organic Shallots are tender in texture, mild in flavor (less pungent than the onion), and quick cooking. Since each head is made up of several cloves, Shallots often resemble garlic rather than onions. Covered with a thin, paper-like skin, 

Melissa’s Organic Shallots are hand selected to insure excellent quality and organically grown in accordance with the 1990 California Organic Foods Act. Melissa's Organic label reads: "Melissa's Certified Organic Produce is free of artificial or synthetic fertilizers and full of unforgettable, great tasting flavor. Our farmers use traditional earth-friendly farming methods inspected by a nationally recognized agency to verify organic authenticity. Melissa's Organic Produce, a choice made closer to nature." 

Organic Shallots are preferred for reasons of taste, health and the environment. Melissa’s Organic Shallots make excellent additions to sauces and salads.

Use the same method to select Organic Shallots as you would in selecting onions. Melissa’s Organic Shallots should be firm, heavy for size, with dry, papery skins. When selecting Shallots, avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind humidity breeds spoilage in Shallots. Store whole Shallots in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to one month (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused Shallot in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.
Which onion variety is your favorite?  
Tell us in the comments below