2014 — PlantOGram

December 10, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year to show your appreciation to your clients, vendors and employees


Give a Corporate Gift that Grow

PlantOGram has many years experience in providing eco friendly corporate gifts and promotional products that are ethical and innovative. Fruit Tree gifts are a fantastic way of creating a long lasting, positive and eco friendly reminder of your company. With an ecologically friendly gift from PlantOGram you can dare to be different and the gift recipient will appreciate and remember you for it.

PlantOGram provides a large range of natural, living gift solutions. Let us manage branding, create unique designs and fulfill your business gift campaigns. Use our one stop shop to source ecologically sound gifts for special occasions, product launches, direct mailers or invites.


Let us help you brand your company with custom tree tags, custom greeting cards and custom gift certificates! Contact us Today and find out how you can open a corporate account with us.

877-FRUIT-DOC

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November 2, 2014

Christmas is just around the corner! Well, kind of! We can't be the only ones who start planning Christmas months in advance.  This craft will help you make unique, beautiful Christmas ornaments.

Ornament Materials

Round fruits of your choice- Apples, oranges, grapefruit, etc.

Ribbons

Directions

Sort your fruit and select only the pieces that are perfectly ripe. You don't want to use unripe fruit, because it's not brightly colored. Ensure the fruit you choose does not have bruises or rough spots.

Fill a pot with water and set it on the stove to boil. You'll need to blanch the fruit in a hot water bath to help it keep its color, which is essential if you plan to use it for decorative purposes.

Lower the fruit into the hot water bath and blanch it for five minutes. Then, remove the fruit and place it directly into an ice bath -- this locks in the fruit’s bright colors.

Dry the fruit with paper towels. You can then dry the fruit one of two ways: in the oven or in the sunlight. Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread the fruit on the sheet evenly, so the pieces don't overlap.

Put the fruit in the oven and bake it at 145 degrees Fahrenheit for four to five hours. If you have chosen to dry the fruit in the sunlight, leave it in the sun for two to four days until the fruit has completely dried. Bring the fruit inside at night if you choose to use this method.

Create a hole large enough to fit ribbon through.  String the ribbon through the hole and tie with a ribbon.

Enjoy!

Please continue to vote for us in the Chase Main Street Mission Grant!

VOTE HERE

Idea from: Creativebug

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

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October 9, 2014

carambola2

If you've never tried one of these then make it a priority to try one. Once you sink you teeth into this sweet fruit you will always look for it every season!!

They are commonly eaten fresh, in salads, as garnishes and in drinks. The fruit have a sweet citrus like flavor that is both delicious and refreshing. They are also great in jams and as a fruit beverage. A mature starfruit can produce up to 200 lbs. of fruit a year! This exciting yellow fruit is shaped just like a star when sliced makes a great decoration in salads and is extremely sweet. Tree produces 2-3 crops a year and is extremely prolific.

The carambola tree is slow-growing, short-trunked with a much-branched, bushy, broad, rounded crown and reaches 20 to 30 ft (6-9 m) in height. Its deciduous leaves, spirally arranged, are alternate, imparipinnate, 6 to 10 in(15-20 cm) long, with 5 to 11 nearly opposite leaflets, ovate or ovate-oblong, 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 in (3.8-9 cm) long; soft, medium-green, and smooth on the upper surface, finely hairy and whitish on the underside. The leaflets are sensitive to light and more or less inclined to fold together at night or when the tree is shaken or abruptly shocked. Small clusters of red-stalked, lilac, purple-streaked, downy flowers, about 1/4 in (6 mm) wide, are borne on the twigs in the axils of the leaves. The showy, oblong, longitudinally 5- to 6-angled fruits, 2 1/2 to 6 in (6.35-15 cm) long and up to 3 1/2 (9 cm) wide, have thin, waxy, orange-yellow skin and juicy, crisp, yellow flesh when fully ripe. Slices cut in cross-section have the form of a star. The fruit has a more or less pronounced oxalic acid odor and the flavor ranges from very sour to mildly sweetish. The so-called "sweet" types rarely contain more than 4% sugar. There may be up to 12 flat, thin, brown seeds 1/4 to 1/2 in (6-12.5 mm) long or none at all.

carambiola3

Carambola Flowers

Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion*
Calories 35.7
Moisture 89.0-91.0 g
Protein 0.38 g
Fat 0.08 g
Carbohydrates 9.38 g
Fiber 0.80-0.90 g
Ash 0.26-0.40 g
Calcium 4.4-6.O mg
Phosphorus 15.5-21.0 mg
Iron 0.32-1.65 mg
Carotene 0.003-0.552 mg
Thiamine 0.03-0.038 mg
Riboflavin 0.019-0.03 mg
Niacin 0.294-0.38 mg
Ascorbic Acid* 26.0-53.1 mg
* According to analyses made in Cuba and Honduras.

For more information on any Carambola visit our site http://plantogram.com/product/carambola/   for a full list of our inventory!

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October 9, 2014

Elegant Fig Appetizers with Goat Cheese and  Almonds Recipe

"This is a combination of several fresh fig appetizer recipes. The flavors of fresh figs, tangy goat cheese, salty almonds, sweet honey, and balsamic vinegar contrast to make these a delicious and very pretty appetizer. Arrange figs in a circle, tops facing in, for a flower effect and this will be a lovely addition to a bridal shower menu! If you can find Marcona almonds, use them! They are a Spanish almond that tastes like a cross between an almond and a cashew."

Ingredients

 12 fresh figs, halved
4 ounces herbed goat cheese
24 almonds
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven broiler for high heat.
  2. Place the fig halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Top each half with about 1/2 teaspoon goat cheese. Place one almond on each, press to push the cheese slightly into each fig.
  3. Broil the figs in the preheated oven until the cheese is soft and the almonds are turning a rich shade of brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the broiler and let cool for 5 minutes. Arrange the figs on a serving platter and drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.
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October 8, 2014

Fresh Fig Cookies Recipe

Ingredients

 1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped fresh figs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Cream sugar and shortening and add beaten egg.
  3. Sift dry ingredients and blend with creamed mixture. Fold in figs and nuts.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls on greased sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
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October 8, 2014

When referring to the total calories contained in the fruit -

The amount of calories cannot increase (ie. that would mean the banana, or whatever fruit you have in mind, is spontaneously gaining energy. Which we all know is impossible). That being said, it is very possible that the fruit is losing calories. When some fruit begin to ripen they give off chemicals that cue other fruit to begin the ripening process. These kinds of fruit are known as "climacteric fruits". Anyways, the chemicals being released, mainly ethylene, need to come from somewhere and when given off, the fruit "loses" a part of its self and thus the calories decrease, albeit by a very tiny amount.

When referring to the total number of calories we can remove from the fruit with our bodies -

When a fruit ripens it converts its starch reserves into sugar, hence the sweeter taste. Humans can digest both starch and sugar quite easily, therefore, the # of calories we can digest stays the same whether in starch form or in sugar form.

So, essentially, despite the fruit tasting sweeter when it ripens you are still getting the same number of calories... It's just that those calories reside in a form that we sense as "sweet". And if anything is changing in terms of calories, it would be a decrease, not an increase.

EDIT 1: Yes the nutritional information would be different. Mainly you are decreasing more complex carbohydrates (starch) for simpler carbohydrates (sugar). That being said... Our bodies are pretty damn efficient at converting starch to its individual monomer units, so there probably isn't any noticeable difference from our body's perspective.

EDIT 2 Okay so I busted out my old plant physiology textbook to clairify a few things, and hopefully provide some answers to some of the speculation posted in response to my comment. It's also worth noting that I will not be talking about the total calories contained the the fruit (since we have already established that this cannot change unless energy is physically absorbed) but rather, the bioavaliable calories, ie. the calories we absorb from the fruit. Furthermore, I will only be pointing out the changes in bioavailable calories that are relevant to us in terms of nutritional value (ie. no "there was a loss of 1 micro-calorie due to ethylene gas being given off").

Below is a summary of the four main effects of ripening on a fruit and what they mean in terms of changes in bioavailable calories

  • Starch hydrolysis: This is the process I was referring to previously where the starch is broken down and stored as sugar.

    Bioavailable calories: No net change

  • Chlorophyll degradation: Although I'm not positive what the chlorophyll is degraded into (about 70% sure it just forms other pigments), this is what is primarily responsible for the colour change seen in ripening. Also, chlorophyll and its derivatives are very much digestable, thus no change in bioavailable calories is seen here.

    Bioavailable calories: No net change

  • Organic acids & oils and phenolic compounds are metabolized: You may have heard of the word "Tannin" before. Tannins are phenolic compounds responsible for that "bitter" taste in unripe fruit (fun fact! Tannins are used as flavour additives in beer, wine, and tea!). The breakdown of Tannins has a two-fold effect: 1. Reduction in the bitterness of the fruit and subsequent "unmasking" of the sweet taste. 2 A net increase OR a net decrease in bioavailable nutirents... wtf right? Let me explain. Tannins may have an "anti-nutritional" effect. What does that mean? Anti-nutrients are compounds that interefere and disrupt the normal absorption of nutrients in our digestion (eg. caffiene). Why is it that tannins "may" have an anti-nutritional function? Well, the word "tannin" really refers to a class of bitter molecules found in plants, and as such, the type of tannin and amount varies between species. As it turns out, some tannins are anti-nutritional while others are beneficial to our nutrition, therefore, the breakdown of tannins during fruit ripening can either increase the bioavailable calories and nutrients (by eliminating tannins that have an anti-nutritional effect) or decrease the total nutritional value (by eliminating tannins that have a positive nutritional effect)... so it really depends on the type of fruit that is ripening*.

    Organic acids and oils are a different class than tannins, and make up tons of different compounds throughout the plant. Due to the sheer number and different effects of said compounds, I can't really comment on their digestability before fruit ripening. What I can tell you however, is that some of these compounds are degraded into sugar monomers during the ripening process, so depending on their digestability before degredation this could either mean an increase in available nutrients (if they were indigestable before) or no net change in avaliable nutrients (if they were digestable before).

    Bioavailable calories: Changes in bioavailable calories and nutrients will fluctuate depending on the type of fruit*.

  • Enzymatic breakdown of pectin: Pectin is the principle component of the middle lamella of the cell wall (for those of you unfamilier with plant anatomy just understand that plant cells are surrounded by walls, these walls provide the plant with a rigid support system, and that pectin is responsible for holding these walls together). Since pectin plays a crucial role in maintaining the rigidness of the plant, the breakdown of this compound causes the plant to "soften". The same logic applies to fruits, and thus provides us with an explaniation as to why fruits soften when they ripen. As it turns out, pectin is broken down into sugars which we can digest, however, I'm pretty sure (maybe somone can correct me if I'm wrong) that we can digest pectin, so despite it being broken down into sugars, we shouldnt see any increase or decrease in bioavailable calories.

    Bioavailable calories: No net change

As you can see, the total number of bioavailable calories stays pretty much constant through most effects of ripening, with the only noticable effect being the loss of tannin, which can either increase the total nutritional value or decrease it *see below.

*In my personal opinion, and coming from an evolutionary point of view, it is not beneficial for plants to have their fruit eaten before their seeds are ready. When the seeds are ready, the ripening process begins and tannins are broken down. It's not too far of a stretch to think that the tannins in unripe fruit would discourage consumption by both taste and by acting as anti-nutrients. Based on this thinking, I personally believe that the tannins in fruit are anti-nutritional and by eliminating them in the ripening process there is a net increase in bioavailable nutrients.

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October 6, 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!

What is breast cancer?

Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade  healthy cells in the body.  Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
  • Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.

Early Detection is Key

  • A change in how the breast or nipples feel.
  • A change in breast or nipple appearance.
  • Any nipple discharge.
  • Perform monthly self-exams.
    • Follow-up with a clinical breast exam if you have any concerns.
  • Schedule yearly mammograms.

By performing monthly breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast.  Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you notice anything unusual.

Information from the National Breast Cancer Foundation

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October 2, 2014

Luscious Lemon Poke Cake recipe

Luscious Lemon Poke Cake

Ingredients

2  round white cake layers (9 inch), cooled
2 cups  boiling water
1 pkg.  (6 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 pkg.  (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup  cold milk
3 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
Directions

PLACE cake layers, top-sides up, in 2 clean 9-inch round pans. Pierce cakes with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals.ADD boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Carefully pour over cake layers. Refrigerate 3 hours.

BEAT pudding mix and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min.; stir in COOL WHIP. Dip 1 cake pan in warm water 10 sec.; unmold onto plate. Spread with about 1 cup pudding mixture. Unmold second cake layer; carefully place on first cake layer. Frost top and side of cake with remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour.

For more recipes, please visit: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/luscious-lemon-poke-cake

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October 2, 2014

Ladies! Are you worried about your feet being cold this winter? If so, then STOP IT!!!. You can go out in style and still be warm with Bogs Classic Winter Plaid Mid Black Boots. The warm and comfortable construction of the Bogs Classic Winter Plaid boots are the perfect protection for those cold, blustery days! 100% waterproof. Durable hand-lasted rubber over a four-way stretch inner bootie. 7mm waterproof Neo-Tech insulation for added comfort and warmth. Convenient pull handles provide a secure fit and easy on and off. Max-Wick moisture-wicking lining helps feet stay fresh. Dual-density, contoured EVA foot bed features Dura Fresh biotechnology to fight unwanted odors. Non-marking, non-slip rubber outsole with a self-cleaning tread. Comfort rated from temperate to -40°F/-40°. These boots are temp rating as well.

For more information visit: http://www.zappos.com/bogs-classic-winter-plaid-mid-black-multi

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October 1, 2014

This baked apple cinnamon recipe makes for a great warm dessert after a Fall meal! Stay warm and have fun!

Ingredients

2 lbs apples (either Cortland or Gala for best results), cored and chopped

2 tsp cinnamon

juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.Toss the chopped apples with the cinnamon, lemon juice and brown sugar and place in a baking or casserole dish.

Cook apples, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until soft and juicy. Serve for dessert with ice cream or with roast meat for dinner.

Please continue to vote for us in the Chase Main Street Mission Grant!

VOTE HERE

Serves 4

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Recipe from: PBS

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

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