April 4, 2016

The Best Fruits to Plant Now

Peach, grape, blueberry, cherry, strawberry, and apple lovers come in luck: Though these crops are thought to get very pesticide laden when conventionally raised, they’re simple to grow organically in your own home. Now’s any time to plant bare-root stock these trees and bushes; strawberries make the ground this month will bear as soon as this summer and spring, and the rest will begin producing available as one to 3 years.

What things to grow - Plus secrets when getting great fruit

Peaches
To prevent peach leaf curl (a fungal disease that affects wet leaves) in damp climates, plant trees against a southfacing wall under an eave, and prune them right into a fan shape. In case you’re short on space, plant 3 to 4 varieties in one hole, pruning off nearly the outwardfacing branches.

Grapes
The vines are easy to train along fences, pergolas, and deck rails. Stick to American varieties (Vitis labrusca) grown independently roots to prevent the mildew and root louse (phylloxera) problems common to European grapes (V. vinifera).

Strawberries
You can find three main types. Plant June-bearing for example big crop at the end of spring or early summer, everbearing for spring and fall crops, and day-neutral for any large crop in spring and smaller harvests all summer. The plants produce less fruit while they age, so replace them every 36 months.

Blueberries
These shrubs prosper altogether areas of the West except the desert, and since several varieties have magnificent fall color, you may also rely on them as showy garden plants. In mild climates, spotted-wing drosophila (linked to the common pomace fly) can be a problem. In that case, use row covers after fruit sets.

Sweet cherries
Birds prefer red ones, so pick a yellow-fruited variety as long as they often eat your crops, or be ready to cover trees with netting. Cherries had best nearly everywhere except the desert, where they get an excessive amount heat, as well as the low elevations of Southern California, where there’s too little winter chill.

Apples
Early-ripening varieties, which spoil quickly, might be best useful for sauce, while lateripening kinds last longest kept in storage. Apple maggot and codlin moth damage fruit, however you can control them organically with sticky traps and Spinosad.

Why choose bare-root - Now’s some time

You've got a lot more variety to choose from since most nurseries have space for only a smaller collection of fruit trees in containers.

Bare-root plants are cheaper than these in containers since they don’t ought to be potted up for sale, and are available through the grower in soilless bundles.

What this means is they’re light and straightforward to transport.  Just make sure roots are packed in similar to damp sawdust—if they dry out at any point between the nursery along with the planting hole, the flower may die.

They establish themselves faster as opposed to containerized fruits that nurseries sell later throughout the year.

Birds & the bees

Blueberries, cherries, and apples should be pollinated, so buy a self-pollinating variety, pick a tree with a pollinator grafted into it, or plant two varieties that cross-pollinate. Consult the Western Garden Book of Edibles (Sunset Publishing, 2010; $25) or even a nursery in which ones do top in your zone.

Growing organically

Plants that will get full sun, good air circulation, and regular water and organic fertilizer are least at risk of insects and diseases, making bug control easier.

Good sanitation can also help: Harvest fruit when it matures, and maintain your ground beneath plants raked clean of fallen leaves and fruit, which could attract and harbor pests.

If birds undoubtedly are a problem, cover blueberries, grapes, strawberries, and dwarf fruit trees with netting; tie metallic Flash Tape around the branches of larger trees.

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April 4, 2016

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April 4, 2016

Try these flavor-fueled and guilt-free treats any time you have a hankering for sweets!

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp coconut butter
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp monk fruit sweetener
  • 3 tbsp nut butter of choise

Directions

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl except for the nut butter.

Put 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture into each cup of a mini muffin pan.

Freeze for about 10 minutes. Set the remaining mixture aside.

Add 1/4 teaspoon nut butter on top of each frozen “cup.”

Add another 1/2 teaspoon of the cacao mixture on top of the nut butter, then freeze again for about 15 minutes to harden.

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April 4, 2016

Ingredients

  • 1 golden delicious apple
  • 1/2 oz raw pecans
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • nutmeg, to taste

Directions

Heat oven to 450°F. Core the apple and place pecans inside, along with cinnamon stick.

Place apple in glass dish with 1-inch water. Add cloves to water.

Bake until soft, roughly 20 minutes. Serve with nutmeg sprinkled on top, to taste

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April 4, 2016

These pancakes are loaded with heart-healthy almonds and milled flax seed that is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Drizzle with a small amount of light agave nectar for a low-glycemic take on syrup without the sugar alcohols found in sugar-free maple syrups

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup milled flax seed
  • 1/4 cup bulk sugar substitute
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp bulk sugar substitute
  • 1 tbsp butter (light, trans-fat free buttery spread)

Directions

Grease a griddle or large skillet with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium-high heat.

Mix all the batter ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Pour approximately 16 mini-cakes onto the hot griddle, and cook on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes until almost done, and then flip and cook for just another minute or so to finish. You may need to do this in 2 to 3 batches (as we use a very large electric griddle).

Combine the cinnamon and sugar substitute and sprinkle over the hot cakes before serving. If desired, top with a pat of melted butter or fat-free margarine and garnish with fresh berries.

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April 4, 2016

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 green apple, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 turnip, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 medium rutabaga, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Directions

Dressing:
Whisk the lemon zest and juice, one tablespoon olive oil, soy sauce and agave nectar together in a bowl. Give it a taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Salad:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the kale in a large bowl and add remaining olive oil, vinegar, and one teaspoon of the salt.

Gently massage the oil and vinegar into the kale with your hands until the kale starts to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Toss the pecans, apple, maple syrup, canola oil, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the cayenne in a medium bowl.

Spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until the pecans are brown and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool in the pan.

Add the turnip, rutabaga, carrot and scallions to the kale. Toss with the dressing, garnish with the pecans and apple, and serve.

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April 4, 2016

Try this protein-packed dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dicedsweet onion
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh steamed corn kernels
  • 1 can salmon, drained
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, raw
  • 1/4 cup sliced avocado
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or basil leaves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the broiler. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.

Cook the onion until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the corn, salmon, tomato and bell pepper.

Gently stir to combine and continue to cook for about 4 minutes more.

Pour the eggs over the mixture. Cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes more.

Place the skillet in the broiler and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until the eggs are light golden brown on top.

Watch carefully. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve on a bed of spinach topped with fanned avocado slices and salsa.

Sprinkle with the fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Top with cheese, if desired.

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April 4, 2016

Chock-full of cheap, good-for-you ingredients, this longevity-boosting salad is perfect for any occasion.

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup ighly packed cilantro, torn
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 head of kale
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 lemon juice
  • 4 lemon juiced and zested
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and finely chopped
  • 2 Hass avocado

Directions

If using fresh, untested pumpkin seeds, start by heating 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds and cook until you can smell their nutty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the kale, cilantro, tomatoes and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, vinegar, garlic and remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Add the vinaigrette to the kale mixture and toss to combine.

Halve the avocados, pit and peel. Place 1 avocado half on each of 4 plates and top each serving with some of the kale salad. Season to fast with salt and pepper.

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April 4, 2016

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is best known for his 10 cookbooks -- including his most recent, Farm to Table - and his hosting stints on the Food Network's Molto Mario and ABC's The Chew. The James Beard Foundation named Batali "Best Chef: New York" in 2002 and "Outstanding Chef of the Year" in 2005.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali created this recipe with fresh vegetables from a local farmers' market in mind.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb dried borlotti or pinto beans
  • 1/2 lb dried cannellini or other white beans
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch half moons
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice, juices reserved
  • 6 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 bunch broccoli spigarello, cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 leeks, split, rinsed well, and cut into 1/4-inch half moons
  • 8 cups cool water
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup Pesto Genovese

Directions

Place the beans in separate bowls, add water to cover and set aside to soak overnight.

Drain the beans, combine them in a pot and cover with water.

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until still quite al dente.

Set aside to cool in the cooking liquid.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers.

Add the onion, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, celery, spigarello, potatoes, and leeks and cook slowly, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.

Drain the beans and add them to the pot with the cool water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 11/2 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Season aggressively with salt and pepper.

Divide the soup among ten shallow soup bowls and top each with a spoonful of grated Parmigiano, a dollop of pesto, and a drizzle of good olive oil. Serves 10.

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April 4, 2016

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Mamey sapote

Many will understand this football-shaped fruit featuring its barklike surface and think, “That’s not edible,” but they're missing out. Try to appear beyond its scratchy exterior for that creamy, rich fruit stored inside. This tropical fruit common in Mexico as well as the West Indies appears to be an avocado, but a smooth and sweet raspberry-colored center. Some think its flavor is almondlike, others may very well be reminded of an deeper, more-intense version of papaya. Whether you’ve had it fresh maybe in frozen treats or milkshake versions, this croissant bread pudding recipe is often a way to add spice to a vintage favorite. Mamey sapote is at season in Southwest Florida and is also among several other lush tropical fruit varieties grown here. It’s also lower fat, doesn't have fats and is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and B group vitamins as well as potassium, manganese and copper.

Mamey bread pudding with vanilla cream sauce

Servings: 6

8 ounces croissant bread (6-8 croissants), cubed in 1-inch pieces
2 cups half and half
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup mamey sapote pulp (about 2 fresh mamey sapote)
1 pinch kosher salt

• Heat the oven to 350 F.

• Arrange croissant pieces on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

• Set aside to cool, and leave the oven hot.

• Heat the half and half, heavy cream, mamey sapote pulp, vanilla and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally without letting it boil.

• When the cream mixture reaches a fast simmer, turn off the heat and allow to cool.

• Whisk in the eggs and the sugar together in a large mixing bowl until the mixture lightens in color.

• Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the eggs and sugar.

• Strain into a large bowl and make sure to remove the vanilla bean.

• Reserve any mamey fruit (if desired).

• Toss the bread cubes in the mixture and allow to absorb until soaked through.

• Coat baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

• Fold mixture into coated pan.

• Arrange the pan in another filled with water, to form a water bath and cover.

• Bake for roughly 30 minutes, then remove cover and allow the bread pudding to brown.

• Serve warm or chilled with vanilla ice cream.

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