January 30, 2015

So now you’ve taken the first step. You’ve bought your fruit at the grocery store. But the hard part’s coming up. Now you have to eat it. So…how can we make it a little more appetizing than sucking on a lemon?

Here’s a few snack recipes and tips.

Make Chips:

You can slice up moderately ripe bananas (or plantains) and either slow roast or lightly sauté them. They’ll have a crispy exterior and fruity flavor. If you don’t like the texture of fruit, this is a great way around that.

Frozen Fruit:ID-10031534

Put bananas and grapes into the freezer. It’ll change the texture but keep the flavor and nutrients.

TIP: If you have a girl who loves Frozen, get some Anna and Elsa plates, and have a themed snack time. Some powdered sugar from a sifter could work wonders for this.

If you’re still not thrilled with the taste, dip them in some dark chocolate. That too is rich in antioxidants. And even the pickiest eaters love chocolate!

Popsicles and Smoothies:

Blend fresh fruit with ½ cup of yogurt or 100% fruit juice. Pour them in a popsicle mold and freeze them. Another option would be to just buy frozen juice bars. Or, to make a smoothie, blend fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit of your choice. Some popular fruit smoothie flavors are banana, peach, strawberry, and other berries.

Fruit Kabobs:fruit kabobs

Make fruit kabobs with fruits like pineapple, bananas, grapes, berries and peaches. This is a great addition to a barbeque meal. Go for strawberries and blueberries for a Fourth of July barbeque.

Dinner Time:

Add crushed pineapple to coleslaw. Also try some meat dishes that incorporate fruit. Some great ones are chicken with apricots or mangoes.

Dip ‘Em:

Sometimes a fruit just needs a little extra flavor. Try fat-free or low-fat yogurt as a dip for fruits like strawberries or melons. Or, try the strawberry cream cheese fruit dip. To make it, just mix an 8 oz. package of strawberry flavored cream cheese and a 7 oz. container of marshmallow fluff. Chill it before serving. It’s always a big hit. Maybe not as healthy as the fat-free yogurt, but if you’re picky…you gotta eat, right?

Salads:

Make a Waldorf salad (choose your favorite recipe) and include fruits like apples along with celery, walnuts, and a low-calorie dressing. And of course the old standby, a fruit salad. Mix apples, bananas, or pears with more acidic fruits. These would be your citrus fruits like oranges, pineapples or lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Fruit Pizza: fruit pizza

Again, not the healthiest food choice, but it sure has enough fruit. Bake a large sugar cookie (the size of a cookie cake). Cover it with cream cheese. Then lay out sliced fruit on top of the “frosting.” Some good choices are strawberries, kiwis, melons, pineapples, grapes, and other berries. You can place the fruits randomly or in a pattern. Here’s your chance to get creative. It’s a great dessert alternative.

Fruit Pie:

We all love a good slice of pie, but we have to be healthy these days. So, we get rid of that buttery crust. Place the filling for your favorite fruit pie in individual ramekins. Bake them until they set and enjoy your fruit pie without the fattening crust.

Quick Snacks:

  • Spread peanut butter on apple slices.
  • Top plain yogurt with berries or slices of kiwi.
  • Slice up strawberries and dip them in powdered sugar (my personal favorite).

Images courtesy of Stoonn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, http://texasfarmersdaughter.com/rainbow-fruit-kabobs/, and http://www.chef-in-training.com/2011/08/fruit-pizza-2/

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January 20, 2015

In the 1800s Johnny Appleseed used fruit trees to discover gravity. What can they do for you in 2015?

 Organic Fruit Benefits

Having a fruit tree right in your backyard will provide you with your own supply of fresh organic fruit. Organic foods are up to 50% higher in antioxidants which can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. They are also lower in toxins and pesticides than regular food, and richer in vitamins and minerals including iron and zinc.

The only downside is that organic fruit seems to spoil faster than the produce we buy from the normal supermarket (although having it in our backyard it much cheaper than having to buy it). But that only seems like a downside until you learn why. Most fruits in the supermarket are irradiated. This kills bacteria and extends the life of the food. Irradiation methods actually use radioactive substances or high energy electrons or x-rays. That certainly doesn’t sound appetizing to me.

Research from Newcastle University suggests that with all these benefits taken into consideration, choosing organic fruit over regular fruit may be the equivalent of adding up two servings of fruit to your daily diet.

Make Money

It’s pretty obvious that being able to run to the backyard to get your fruit is cheaper (and easier) than going to the grocery store, but that’s not the only way your very own fruit tree can make you money.

A fruit tree can add value to your home. It adds value because in addition to providing fruit, the tree flowers during the spring adding ornamental value. It can also help with privacy, something many home buyers are looking for. It can be a barrier to busy roads, unsightly views, or anything else that needs to be blocked. Instead of that ugly fence the neighbor put up, your mango tree looks beautiful all year round!

If you’re not moving any time soon, your fruit tree can cut your energy costs considerably. If placed properly, a tree can cut summer air-conditioning costs by up to 15%. Also, it can provide partial shade for plants and grass nearby. This will cut down on watering costs.

Environmental Benefits

Since we’ve reduced the amount of energy required for cooling our house, we have also reduced the amount of carbon dioxide and other emissions from power plants.

The burning of fossil fuels is considered to be a major cause of global warming. Carbon dioxide is one of these fossil fuels. You can easily do your part by planting a fruit tree. The tree actually needs carbon dioxide to survive. They essentially clean the air by absorbing the carbon dioxide and releasing fresh oxygen back into the air.

Trees can also help prevent erosion and runoff if placed on or near hills. They can also reduce runoff because they break the rainfall. The water flows down the trunk and into the soil. This in turn prevents the storm water from carrying pollutants into the ocean.

And of course the fruit tree can provide a new habitat for birds and bees. The fruit it yields will also feed birds and wildlife.

Health Benefits

We know the fruit is healthier than regular store bought fruit. But what about health benefits of having the tree itself?

Trees can shield children from ultra-violet rays. With the amount of time children spend outside, preventing skin cancer is an important consideration. Children with ADHD even exhibit less symptoms when consistently exposed to nature.

Also, studies have shown that patients heal faster when they can see trees outside their window. Imagine if there was a beautiful fruit tree in your backyard! And don’t forget, the improved air quality is important for everyone’s respiratory health. Something to consider if you or someone in your family suffers from seasonal allergies or asthma.

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January 14, 2015

Pineapple, Orange and Grapefruit Juice

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 large pineapple, peeled
  • 1 large orange, peeled
  • 1/2 large grapefruit, peeled

Directions:

  1. Cut pineapple, orange and grapefruit as needed to fit through the chute of the juice extractor.
  2. Juice the ingredients in the order listed.
  3. Stir and serve immediately.

Serves: 1-2

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January 14, 2015

To make sure that you get a good crop this year you will need a little chill for those fruit trees!

If you are planning on purchasing fruit trees like apples, pears, plums and peaches you will have to make sure that these varieties of fruit get some kind of chill hours. This is a number that you will need to make sure that you know when purchasing fruit trees. The required temperatures are between 32-45 degrees for many hours of winter.

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January 14, 2015

This is a question we get a lot of " When am I suppose to prune my fruit trees?"

 Pruning initially is like giving your fruit tree a healthy hair cut! By cutting or trimming away excessive over growth of branches you are enabling the production and quality of the fruit. The tree is also a lot healthier making it easier to resist the damage caused by drought, weather, insects and disease. It also also enables the structure of the tree to set fruit and be able to bear the weight of a heavy crop.

The best time to prune is pretty much any time. But for fruit trees it's best to prune them when they are dormant. For some of the cold hardy trees you might want to wait when the coldest weather has passed as newly cut ends can be damaged by a sudden cold snap.

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January 14, 2015

VALENTINES DAY is around the corner and you cant think of something unique to give that special someone? Fruit baskets are a one time thing but a fruit TREE is forever! What says i love you more than a beautiful apple tree? http://ow.ly/HdmsI http://ow.ly/Hdote

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January 14, 2015

As seen on @Thelistshowtv overnight oats is a great on the go breakfast http://ow.ly/Hdnxp. Fruit trees provide endless amount of ingredients for these delicious and healthy meals. Cant run to the store to grab an apple, mango, or lemon? Run to your backyard and pick some off your new tree! http://ow.ly/HdnSB http://ow.ly/HdowJ

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January 14, 2015

Mangoes are known as the best tasting fruit out there. If you have the opportunity to try mango do not pass it up. This creamy yet sweet smelling fruit that will leave your mouth watering does a lot for our bodies and we don't even know that!

What if I told you that you could loose weight by eating this fruit or even fight cancer would you eat it any cost? Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also a blogger and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health. author of health impacts talks about eating mangoes for our health it can aid in fighting cancer, alkalize the body, weight loss, regulate diabetes, help digestion, clean your skin, and make the perfect snack.

Here are 17 Reason's to eat Mangoes!

1. Fights cancer
Antioxidants like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat present in mango protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

2. Keeps cholesterol in check
Mango has high level of vitamin C, pectin and fibres that help to lower serum cholesterol levels. Fresh mango is a rich source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.

3. Skin cleanser
Mangoes help you unclog your pores and add freshness to the face. Mangoes are applicable to any skin type. They help clear clogged pores that cause acne. Just slice a mango into thin pieces and keep them on your face for 10 to 15 minutes and then take bath or wash your face and see the results.

4. Alkalizes the body
According to natural health school.com, mango is rich in tartaric acid, malic acid and traces of citric acid that primarily help in maintaining the alkali reserve of the body.

5. Weight loss
Mango has a lot of vitamins and nutrients that help the body feel fuller. Also, the fibrous fruit boosts the digestive function of the body by burning additional calories, helping in weight loss.

6. Regulates diabetes
Not only the fruit but the leaves of mangoes are healthy too. For people suffering from diabetes, just boil 5-6 mango leaves in a vessel, soak it through night and drink the filtered decoction in the morning. This is helps in regulating your insulin levels.

Mango has a low glycemic index (41-60) so going a little overboard will not increase your sugar levels.

7. Aphrodisiac
Mango has aphrodisiac qualities and is also called the ‘love fruit’. Mangoes increase the virility in men. Vitamin E, which is abundantly present in mangoes, helps to regulate sex hormones and boosts sex drive.

8. Eye care
Did you know that mango is rich in vitamin A. One cup of sliced mangoes equals 25% intake of your daily need of vitamin A. Mangoes help in promoting good eye sight, fights dry eyes and also prevent night blindness.

9. Helps in digestion
Mango contains enzymes that help in breaking down protein. The fibrous nature of mango helps in digestion and elimination. It is is rich in pre-biotic dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

10. Heat stroke
When the sun is bogging you down this summer, just chop of a mango in a juicer; add a little water and a tbsp of sugar free or honey. This juice will instantly cool you down and prevent heat stroke.

11. Strengthens your immune
The deadly combination of vitamin C, vitamin A and 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy.

12. Body scrub
Make a paste of mashed mango, honey and milk and use as a body scrub, you will feel that your skin is tender and smooth.

13. Aids concentration and memory
Studying for exams? This fruit is rich in glutamine acid– an important protein for concentration and memory. Feed mangoes to children who find it difficult to concentrate on studies.

14. High iron for women
Mango is rich in iron, hence it is a great natural solution for people suffering from anemia. Menopausal and pregnant women can indulge in mangoes as this will increase their iron levels and calcium at the same time.

15. Reduces Kidney Stones 
In Chinese medicine, mangoes are considered sweet and sour with a cooling energy also capable of reducing the risk of kidney stone formation.

16. Perfect Snack
Instead of snacking on unhealthy chips and cookies, why not feast on slices of mangoes instead. They are perhaps one of the tastiest dehydrated fruits of all.

17. Stomach Tonic 
Before going to bed put some 10 or 15 mango leaves in warm water and close it with lid. The next day morning filter the water and drink it in empty stomach. Do this regularly.

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January 14, 2015

Turmeric is related to the ginger family it is a bright orange color and is used a lot in Indian cuisine and is now recognized as a Super Food.

 

 

This tropical plant is not only used for cooking. It is used for ceremonies and dyes all over the world. Did you know that the curry powder blend gets its color from turmeric? Yup it does....

Heather Suhr author of The Raw Food World talks about treating Rheumatoid Arthritis with the Natural Healing of Turmeric!

As Heather has said that a report in the Phytotheraphy Research revealed that curcumin in high bioavailable form have been shown to be more effective than any rheumatoid drug which also included reducing the tenderness and swelling of the joints, plus patients reported a higher rate of improvement altogether.

Curcumin is known to treat everything from skin and stomach problems to infection and inflammations. Research has also shown to help reduce Alzheimer's

No wonder it's considered the SUPER FOOD all over the world!

 

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January 2, 2015

Spice up your breakfast with some pumpkin muffins this fall!

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

3/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for pan

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

3 large eggs

1 cup turbinado sugar, plus 2 tablespoons more for sprinkling

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 12 jumbo muffin tins (each with a 1-cup capacity) with oil; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk oil, pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs, and 1 cup sugar to combine; add 1 cup walnuts and reserved dry ingredients. Mix just until moistened (do not overmix).

Divide evenly and spoon batter into muffin tins; sprinkle tops with remaining walnuts and sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan.

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Yields 12 muffins

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Recipe from: Martha Stewart

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com

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