2016 — PlantOGram

July 27, 2016

by: Michael Podlesny

I am convinced that composting is the number one thing you can do as a home vegetable gardener that is beneficial for your soil and plants. Adding good quality compost to your soil helps with drainage, nutrients in the soil and so many other things. Along with the soil benefits you can also take a lot of organic material that would otherwise find its way into a landfill and actually put it to good use. The question is, if you are new to gardening, how do you get from that organic material to usable, quality compost?

First lets start with what is "organic" material. Organic material can be grass clippings, leaves, your left over dinner, coffee grinds, banana peels and so on. Plastic, Styrofoam and meat bones are NOT considered organic material for the compost pile.

Set aside an area of your yard where you will dump all of these items into. As a side note, when it comes to left over food, it is best to bury that. It could draw in unwanted animals like raccoons, opossums, etc.

Once you have your pile of organic material in place you are all set. Nature will take care of the rest. Bacteria, insects and worms will work hard together to break your pile down into usable compost. If time is not a factor then you can literally let the pile sit there and it will eventually break down. However, like you, I want my compost a bit faster, so here are some things you can do to help speed things up.


Using a yard shredder, chipper or your lawn mower, you can break down larger items in very small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they will break down.


You should be keeping your compost pile moist. Do not over water your compost pile as items in the pile will get matted down, which prohibits oxygen from reaching areas deep inside your compost pile, thus creating a "rotting" smell as anaerobic bacteria takes over. A lite watering every other day, or more often if it gets hot and dry outside will do the trick.


A good practice is to get into the habit of turning your pile over. A pitchfork is all you will need to complete this task. Every few days use your trusty pitchfork to literally turn the pile over by bringing the material from the bottom to the top and vice-versa. For optimal results you want to turn the pile over when the center of the compost pile reaches 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.. You can pick up a compost pile thermometer for a few bucks.

Finally, remember to keep your compost pile well ventilated. The more air that reaches through the pile, the quicker and the better the outcome will be.

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July 23, 2016

Jane Lear

“I’m struck by the variety of eggplants at my local farmers market. Since I’m trying to eat more vegetables, they seem like a fun place to start, but what’s the best way to cook them?

—James Goodman

Eggplant, one of the glories of late summer, holds a valued place in cuisines all over the world, including those of India (where it originated), Italy, France, Turkey, Greece, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Because it is so at home with a cosmopolitan array of seasonings—and because it’s delicious hot, cold, or room temperature—its versatility is nothing short of dazzling.

But what I really like about eggplant is its rich, suave, savory quality—it is, after all, regularly used as a meat substitute. We spend much of the season gorging on fruits and vegetables high in natural sweetness—berries, peaches, melons, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, peppers, and more—and by mid-August, I, for one, begin to crave a deeper bass note of flavor.

I am not alone in this desire. “Peppers are full of sugars that caramelize and are delicious partly for that reason. Tomatoes have a certain sweetness, too. But I appreciate a more sober, meatier vegetable-fruit to work with,” wrote Deborah Madison in Vegetable Literacy. “Eggplant can play a supporting role in a dish, as in ratatouille, or it can stand alone as a dip, a spread, or a side dish. You can slice large, round eggplants, grill or broil the slices, then crown them with any number of toppings: a parsley–pine nut salad, or an herb salad, a tomato salsa, saffron-scented ricotta with salt-roasted tomatoes, tarator sauce with pomegranate seeds, a spicy peanut sauce. The same slices can be rolled around a filling, used to make eggplant gratins, or layered in a pasta-free lasagna with ricotta and tomatoes.”

Hungry yet?

I sure am, but before I take a stab at organizing the types of eggplant you may come across, I should address the misgivings people have about bitterness (an undesirable characteristic to Western palates) and the related fact that eggplant is a nightshade.

It’s an Old World member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), to be precise, and so contains bitter alkaloid compounds thought to contribute to numerous illnesses and conditions such as arthritis and chronic joint pain. It also has more nicotinethan any other commonly eaten vegetable. The earliest eggplants contained high amounts of alkaloids, but over the centuries, plantsmen have bred out excessive bitterness.

The myth that bitterness has to do with the maleness or femaleness of eggplants, by the way, is just that: a myth. All eggplants come from the female organs of the flower, but eggplant flowers have both male and female organs. The seeds they contain will grow into plants that make flowers with both male and female parts.

Very mature (i.e., seedy) eggplants, especially those that have been held in cold storage or languished in the fridge, can still be unpleasantly astringent, which is why most recipes call for salting eggplant before cooking. Interestingly, though, “the usual explanation for why salt would eliminate bitterness doesn’t entirely make sense,” wrote Kenneth Chang in The New York Times after a consult with food scientist Harold McGee. “The usual explanation is that salt draws out water from the eggplant through osmosis (true), and that with the water come the bitter alkaloid compounds. But the water almost certainly wouldn’t wash away all of the alkaloids or even a majority of them. (Extracting water also makes the eggplant a bit firmer.) But salt can remove bitterness without removing the bitter compounds,” yet it is unclear if that’s a result of chemistry, taste, of how our brain processes the flavor.

I don’t bother to salt the ultrafresh eggplants I pick up this time of year at a farmers market or roadside stand, but I often take the precaution with one I buy at a grocery store; who knows how long it’s been there in that refrigerated case, or how it’s been handled? Even though the eggplant has become a year-round supermarket staple, “its true garden season is brief,” noted Madison. “It doesn’t like to travel, and it doesn’t like cold storage, so it is best to buy what is grown locally and enjoy it soon after you bring it home.” That said, don’t leave it out on the kitchen counter for any length of time; it will lose its moisture quickly. Swaddle it in a clean kitchen towel, tuck it in the warmest part of the fridge, and use it within a day or two.

This time of year—for me, at least—the path of least resistance is to fire up the Weber. Grilling eggplant instead of frying it gives it lightness and a complex smokiness that is wonderful in all sorts of dishes. Thick, meaty slices of the cultivar Black Beauty, for instance, make a wonderful vegetarian grilling alternative to portobello mushroom caps; repurpose any leftovers (if you should be so lucky) into baba ganoush.

Even though eggplants can be a little tricky to grow, they are not a pesticide-heavy crop; you’ll find them on the “Clean Fifteen” list published by the Environmental Working Group. I was relieved to discover this, as I hate trimming off the skin, which is where much of the eggplant’s nutrition is contained in the form of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and polyphenols such as anthocyanins. According toMedical News Today, “its phenolic content makes it such a potent free radical scavenger that the eggplant is ranked among the top 10 vegetables in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity.”

The Shop

A fresh, ripe eggplant will have smooth, bright, glossy skin, and there should be still a bit of stem attached. The eggplant should be firm, should feel heavy for its size, and when you press very gently on the skin, it should spring back immediately. In general, smaller is better. I’ve heard some people say they can tell a good ’un by thumping it like a melon. If you do that, avoid eggplants that sound hollow; they’ll be dry and fibrous inside.

There is such a dizzying array of eggplant shapes, sizes, and colors, it’s hard to organize them in any definitive way. Many thanks to Elizabeth Schneider’sVegetables From Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference for the groupings below.

Italian American Eggplants

This type of eggplant—dark purple to almost black, large, and bell- or pear-shaped—is what most of us think of as the classic eggplant for parmigiana and rollatini as well as those two perennial summer favorites, caponata and ratatouille. If you see a cultivar named Black Beauty, pounce. It’s an open-pollinated heirloom (from 1902) that is deep and rich in flavor. Simply cut thick rounds, toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until golden. Inside, they’ll be lush and custardy—a real scene stealer, no matter what else you’re serving. Feel free to gild the lily with a sprinkling of grated Parm or chopped fresh basil or mint.

Striped or Violet-Blushed European-Type Eggplants

Italian heirloom Rosa Bianca and Spanish heirloom Listada de Gandia make great gateway eggplants—their flesh is mild, creamy, and consistently lacking in bitterness. Sliced into steaks, they’re great for grilling, roasting, or broiling.

The diminutive violet-and-white-striped or marbled cultivar called Fairy Tale is especially appealing to children or the eggplant-adverse. Grill it whole until it’s on the brink of collapse, or halve lengthwise, lightly caramelize in a skillet, and drizzle with your best balsamic vinegar.

Asian-Type Eggplants

Long, slender cultivars such as Pingtung Long, Ichiban, and Orient Express are nearly seedless, silky in texture when cooked, and extremely approachable, particularly if you are cooking for one or two. Cut them into slices (they stay as neat as cucumber rounds) or even-sized pieces and use them in a stir-fry, or do as Madison does and slit them in five or six places, insert a slice of garlic into each cut, and then grill or braise them until they start to collapse. They’re also ideal for Japanese nasu dengakumiso-glazed eggplant.

Small, Deep-Purple Round or Pear-Shaped Eggplants

These are often Asian but may be variously called Japanese, Indian, Italian, or “baby.” They vary in flavor and texture, so don’t be shy. Experiment and see what speaks to you.

Green-Skinned Eggplants

These come in as many shapes and sizes as other eggplants, and even though we usually associate a green color with unripeness, they are as ripe and ready to eat as Green Zebra tomatoes are. This type of eggplant is often considered to be Southeast Asian, but delicious American cultivars include the Louisiana Long Green and the egg-shaped Applegreen, developed in New Hampshire.

The small, round, green-skinned eggplants usually labeled as Asian or Thai are mild and full of crunchy, mild seeds. The green-and-white American cultivar Kermit has a great meaty texture. You can steam, braise, or slice and sauté any of these cuties, and they also stand up well tomicrowaving.

Tiny green pea eggplants, which grow in clusters like cherry tomatoes, are common in Thai curries as well as in Somali stews.

White-Skinned Eggplants

White eggplants, which also come in all shapes and sizes, are common to Southeast Asian cuisines. When cooked, their flesh becomes mellow to mild in flavor and very tender. The skin tends to be on the thick side unless the eggplant is very young, so you may want to peel it. Alternatively, steaming softens the skin somewhat and also helps prevent darkening.

Small, Round Red or Orange Eggplants

Cultivars such as Turkish Orange (aka scarlet or Ethiopian eggplant) tend to be on the seedy side when ripe—that is, bright orange—so choose those that are green to light orange. A few years ago, a friend was inspired by New York magazine to slice and fry them like green tomatoes, and they were absolutely delicious.

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July 23, 2016

By: Jane Lear

Some people do not eat pizza because of the gluten. Or cheese. Or carbs. Or fat. Or nitrites in hard-to-resist toppings like sausage or pepperoni. Now, it seems we should have been more concerned about the sturdy, grease-repellent box that contains the pie itself.

On Dec. 31, the FDA announced that it was revoking its previously approved food additive regulation for use of three long-chain perfluorinated compounds, which are resistant to oil and grease, in response to a Food Additive Petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Breast Cancer Fund, the Center for Environmental Health, the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Children’s Environmental Health Network, Clean Water Action, the Environmental Working Group, and Improving Kids’ Environment.

“Although it appears that manufacturers generally have stopped using these products [chemicals], FDA’s action means that any continued use of the PFCs covered by the regulation is no longer permitted,” the federal agency said in a statement about its final rule (81 Fed. Reg. 5), which went into effect on Jan. 4, when it was published in the Federal Register.

This is welcome news, although idioms such as “Too little, too late” and “Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted” come to mind.

“The FDA’s belated action comes more than a decade after EWG and other advocates sounded alarms and five years after U.S. chemical companies stopped making the chemicals. It does nothing to prevent food processors and packagers from using almost 100 related chemicals that may also be hazardous,” said a Jan. 4 statement issued by the Environmental Working Group. According to EWG President Ken Cook, “Industrial chemicals that pollute people's blood clearly have no place in food packaging, but it’s taken the FDA more than 10 years to figure that out, and it’s banning only three chemicals that aren't even made any more.”

I’m not a knee-jerk FDA basher; the federal agency has been beleaguered for years. But yikes.

According to the Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which represents BASF and other companies that have made long-chain perfluorinated chemicals similar to those covered by the FDA’s rule, said the chemicals having their allowable uses revoked by the FDA are no longer used as food-contact substances. Because PFCs are stable and highly repellent to liquids, however, they’re still valued in other countries for use in textiles and other products. “Environment agencies are nervous about PFC production, use, and export elsewhere in the world,” read a 2012 briefing from Chemical Watch: Global Risk & Regulation News. “Meanwhile, little to no information is available on the toxicity of new shorter-chain compounds billed as greener alternatives.”

Interestingly, PFCs aren’t mentioned in an otherwise enlightening 2011 piece on pizza box technology in The Atlantic. “In the traditional story of the pizza box, Tom Monaghan's pizza empire, Domino's, developed the corrugated box in the early 1960s, marking a major advance in pizza technology,” wrote Alexis Madrigal. “These wonder boxes could be stacked. They had vents. All around, the flat-packed, foldable corrugated pizza box was one of those small inventions that seem almost inevitable after someone comes up with it.”

When my husband and I decided to trim our food budget by eliminating take-out meals and cooking more at home, I must admit that pizza was the most difficult thing to give up. The family-owned pizzeria in our neighborhood turned out old-school brick-oven pies with a crisp, thin crust and fresh-tasting tomato sauce, and we occasionally gave in to temptation—at least until the place vanished without any warning last summer. I feel mournful every time I walk down the block.

The upshot, though, is that we’ve been forced into making our own pizza, and it’s become a solid player in our culinary repertoire. Many supermarkets and specialty stores carry fresh or frozen pizza dough, and flour tortillas, first toasted directly on a gas or electric burner, are a speedy substitute.

But our pizza dough of choice is homemade and based on that of Arizona chef Chris Bianco, whose Pizzeria Bianco, in Phoenix and now Tucson, has achieved genuine cult status. What is so captivating about a good pizza crust is that it’s not simply a vehicle for cheese. Instead, it enhances the toppings, and the toppings return the favor. Happily, the dough can be frozen for a month; simply thaw it in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before shaping.

Bianco makes some of the best pizza on the planet, and I’ll never forget a master class he gave to the food editors at Gourmet. His pizzas are casual and rustic but never sloppy. Below are a few of his tips and tricks for a delicious, foolproof pie.

A wet dough equals a crisp crust. It may seem counterintuitive, but if the dough feels wetter than what you’re used to, it’s probably perfect. If you work the dough by hand, it’s impossible to over-knead, which results in a tough crust.

Easy does it. After the dough has risen until it’s doubled in bulk, don’t punch it down, as you would a bread dough. Keeping some of the air in the dough will give the crust its characteristic bubbly, blistered texture. This dough is soft, pliable, and a pleasure to work with, so flour your hands lightly yet thoroughly and gradually stretch the dough without compressing it.

The weight of the dough will do most of the work. Simply hold the mass of dough by the edge and let it hang perpendicular to the work surface, with the bottom touching the surface. Turn the dough with both hands, like a steering wheel, just allowing it to graze the work surface as you go. If it’s difficult to stretch, it likely wasn’t proofed enough, but don’t despair. Just leave the round smaller and pull the edges out as much as possible after you top the pie. Bianco doesn’t advise using a rolling pin, by the way. The dough has worked hard to leaven and get that cell structure, he explained. “Don’t press everything that’s good out of the dough.”

Two simple tools make life easy. A pizza stone is the key to delightfully chewy, blistered edges and a bottom crust that’s crisp all the way across. If you have a gas stove, put it on the floor of the oven; if you have an electric stove, put it on the bottom rack. Turn on the oven an hour before you plan to put the pizza in; it will take that long to properly heat the stone. A floured baker’s peel and a smooth thrust-and-release motion (it’s all in the wrist) make transferring a pie on and off a hot stone no big deal. You can find both tools at cookware shops or online sources.

Less is more. Distribute toppings with a light hand, so you don’t overload the dough. Bianco always recommends assembling the toppings in a balanced way, so that they cook evenly or melt properly and don’t become too soupy or dry. If using fresh herbs such as basil or oregano, put them on after the pizza comes out of the oven. The heat will cause their fragrance to bloom, but the leaves won’t blacken. You can do the same thing with a tangle of watercress or arugula—an easy way to sneak fresh greens into a meal without making a salad.

When it comes to toppings, let seasonality and the contents of your refrigerator (not to mention your imagination) be your guide. This time of year, I tend to gravitate to classic toppings—mushroom, sausage, and onion, for instance—but I wouldn’t quarrel with kale, sweet potato, and red onion. And to my mind, a white pie skim-coated with buttery, garlicky mashed potatoes and gilded with a fried egg is one of the world’s great Sunday-night suppers.

Come spring, I’ll take advantage of green garlic and onions, and by the time summer rolls around, I’ll be hungry for the utter perfection of pizza Margherita, created, in case you were wondering, in honor of the Italian queen Margherita’s visit to Naples in the late 19th century. The red of the tomato, the white of the mozzarella, and the verdant green of the basil were emblematic of the relatively new tricolor Italian flag. If company’s coming, I might make this sophisticated eggplant pizza, courtesy of a Gourmet reader. In other words, it’s all good.

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July 23, 2016


Blood contains yellow color plasma (made up of proteins, electrolytes, nutrients) and it constitutes 55 percent of the blood. The red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to body parts and white blood cells help to fight infections. Platelets are necessary for blood clotting. The body should produce balanced volume of blood, not too viscous or sticky. The bone marrow produces the red blood cells and insignificant intake of iron can cause anemia that depletes the bone marrow. The problem of iron deficiency can effect hemoglobin production. The body has a system to recycle excess iron and use it later but still a number of people taking supplements of iron suffer from deficiency. This can happen because the body is suffering from blood loss. The problems of internal ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding can cause anemia in people. Alcoholics suffer from esophageal bleeding. One can adopt alternatives such as ayurvedic cure for blood loss anemia.

The causes for iron deficiency include impaired absorption of the mineral by the body which happens mostly due to intestinal diseases. Intestinal infections and craving for non-food substances in some people are symptoms of iron deficiency. There are certain surgical procedures that impair the ability of the digestive tract to absorb iron. Ayurvedic cure for low iron levels are effective in such conditions when the body is not getting benefit from other supplements of iron. Feroplex capsule is ayurvedic cure for blood loss anemia that contains iron prepared through ayurvedic methods, where the compounds of iron can be easily absorbed into the digestive tract.

Some people suffer from poor iron absorption due to the side effects of therapies. The exposure to chemotherapies and radiations can reduce the property of bone marrow to produce red blood cells and this can cause extreme fatigue in people. Medication for anti-seizures, immune suppression, anti-clotting and antiarrhythmic medicines enhances the risk of anemia. Overgrowth of intestinal infections can cause anemia as the body fails to absorb nutrients as desired.

Even minor anemia reduces endurance. It impairs growth, motor development, decreases alertness and shortens attention span. Regular intake of ayurvedic cure for low iron levels is useful in such situations.

There are other conditions where the person may suffer from vitamin B12 deficiencies and this can cause deficiency which creates abnormally large red blood cells of short lifespan. These deficiencies are also responsible for neurological problems. Ayurvedic cure for low iron levels helps in getting rid of infections and curing anemia in a safe way.

A number of people who suffer from anemia have a diet low in iron e.g. processed foods and food low in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anemia. There are certain other foods which contain iron but the body is unable to absorb it from these food sources such as green vegetables and beans. Any kind of critical illness or chronic illnesses, which causes blood loss can cause anemia and the problem of monthly flow in women is also linked to anemia which can be prevented by taking ayurvedic cure for blood loss anemia.

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July 21, 2016


The brownies are deliciously sweet and chewy, making them a perfect snack or even a fantastic dessert.


  • 150 grams of melted unsalted butter
  • 150 grams of brown sugar
  • 65 grams of cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75 grams of flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract,
  • 1 egg
  • 100 grams of chopped milk duds


Preheat your oven to 165ºc and prepare a twenty centimetre square dish by lightly greasing it.

Mix the sugar, egg, vanilla extract, salt and melted butter in a large bowl until well combined. Fold in the cocoa powder, flour and chopped milk duds. Pour the batter into the dish and bake for approximately fifteen minutes. If you like your brownies to be deliciously fudgy fifteen minutes will suffice, but if you want wonderfully chewy brownies you may want to give them a little longer in the oven.

If you want pretty perfect squares, you will need your brownies to go completely cool before you cut them. Otherwise, dig in when they are messily hot and delicious.


While these brownies are deliciously yummy, if you are making them for a special occasion you may want to add a little decoration. Once you cut your brownies into perfect squares, you can drizzle with a little melted chocolate. White chocolate makes a perfect contrast to the rich brown colour, but you can decorate according to your preferences. You could also scatter Milk Duds across the melted chocolate for an even yummier finish.

Serving Suggestions:

Your brownies are delicious with a cup of coffee or even a cool glass of milk. However, they can also be used in several delicious ways. If you want to make an extravagantly rich dessert, serve your brownies with a good quality vanilla ice cream and drizzled with a toffee sauce. This can be made with 100 grams of sugar, 100 grams of butter, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 100 millilitres of double cream. All you need to do is melt the butter and sugar together, heating until it becomes a golden brown colour. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is rich and thick. This is especially delicious when the brownies and sauce are still warm, mixing with the wonderfully cold ice cream.

You can even use the brownies as a base for a decadent sundae. Layer your sundae glasses with pieces of brownie, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, topping with toffee sauce. Sprinkle the top with whipped cream and more Milk Duds.

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July 21, 2016


Raspberries are one of the most loved fruits around the world. These brightly colored, fleshy and juicy fruits also find an immovable place in a variety of recipes, jams, tarts, jellies and sauces, apart from their consumption as a fruit. It is said that eatables containing good nutrients do not taste well. In case of raspberries, this axiom stays adequately contrary. Apart from having a superb taste, these fruits also render a hoard of nutrients to the human body upon their consumption.

One of the common facts associated with the raspberry fruits are that it perishes quite easily in a short period of time, after it has been plucked from the plant. Under these conditions, care has to be taken to prepare an alternative using the same fruit. This substitute is now rendered in the form of raspberry juices, concentrates and capsules. These inherit the same nutrients, which the original fruit contained and comprise of a good amount of shelf life.

You could drink theraspberry juice with utter contentment, but for some sensitive-tongued individuals, it does not offers good choice of consumption. Under this condition, you could get yourself acquainted with raspberry capsules, also known as raspberry ketones. These are as good as the fruit itself and serve a variety of functions in the body such as:

  • Help to reduce extra inches off the body: The most enthralling and enchanting application of raspberry capsules are that they help to reduce those extra kilos from your body. If you want to reduce your body weight and keep your body in shape, this remedy is quite beneficial for you.
  • Protects the skin: The consumption of raspberry fruits helps to protect the skin from harmful radiations of the sun and also helps to reduce the wrinkles of the skin. This purpose is also served by the ketones, which help to reduce the age spots from the skin and sun tanning.
  • Helps the vision of eyes: Raspberry capsules are said to be a good solution to various eye-related problems. These help in reducing macular degeneration that occurs due to age and retards the vision of the eyes. These medicinal capsules help to prevent and also cure the macular degeneration and other eye problems.
  • Suppress the infections and cancer-causing elements: With the help of various antioxidants and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin E that are present in bulk, raspberry capsules help to enhance the ability of the body to fight the diseases. It also retards the ability of free radicals, so that your body does not encounter any sort of cancer.
  • Enhances the bone and tissue health: The raspberry ketones help to boost the bone and muscle health and render a strong skeletal and muscular system.

On reading these properties of raspberry ketones, we could well believe the fact that raspberry capsules are utterly good for the health. Consume these healthy substitutes for the fruits in a stipulated manner and wash away any chances of being unhealthy.

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July 21, 2016


The mango originated in Southeast Asia where it has been grown for over 4,000 years. Over the years mango groves have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world, where the climate allows the mango to grow best.Mango trees are evergreens that will grow to 60 feet tall. The mango tree will fruit 4 to 6 years after planting. Mango trees require hot, dry periods to set and produce a good crop. Most of the mangos sold in the United States are imported from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America. Today there are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world.

Vitamin Content: Mango is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin C content is more in raw mango as compared to that in ripe mango. It also has traces of Vitamin E, Vitamin B and Vitamin K.

The dulcet, juicy insides of the mango pack a nutritional punch. Its characteristic orange color is a clue to its storehouse of beta carotene (Vitamin A). Ripe mangos hold the highest levels of beta carotene, while green mangos are higher in Vitamin C. These antioxidant carotenoids are known for their protective power against certain cancers. Mangos also supply ample potassium, making them ideal for hypertensive patients or anyone looking to replenish energy after physical activity.

Mangoes are high in antioxidants, low in carbohydrates (although they are about 15% sugar – but good sugar!) and like other yellow/orange fruit such as pumpkin and carrot, they are an excellent source of beta-carotene (Vitamin A). They also contain Vitamin E and selenium which help protect against heart disease and cancer. You can obtain 40% of your daily fibre intake from a mango.

We all know the importance of fiber in our diets. If you are eating your mango-a-day, irregularity is not a problem for you and so we'll spare the gruesome details regarding constipation, piles and spastic colon. Research has shown that dietary fiber has a protective effect against degenerative diseases, especially with regards to the heart; may help prevent certain types of cancer, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels.

The nutritional value of mango makes it good for weight gain, eye disorders, hair loss, heat stroke, prickly heat, diabetes, bacterial infections, sinusitis, piles, indigestion, constipation, morning sickness, diarrhea, dysentery, scurvy, spleen enlargement, liver disorders, menstrual disorders, leucorrhea, and vaginitis.

Mango, being high in calories and carbohydrates, is good for those who are trying to gain weight. The phenolic compound found in mangoes has been found to have powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties. Being high in iron, mango is said to be very good for pregnant women as well as for people suffering from anemia. Mango is believed to be effective in relieving clogged pores of the skin.

Mangoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals essential for the human body. It is an affordable and seasonal fruit. In India mangoes are grown widely in the southern belt. 'Alphonso' variety of mango which is exported world wide is cultivated in 'Ratnagiri' in the southern part of India. Mangoes can be eaten both raw and ripe. Raw mangoes have a sharp sour taste, while the ripe mangoes are juicy and sweet to eat. The fragrance of ripe mangoes tingles ones taste buds.

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July 21, 2016


Amla also know as amalaki, dhatriphala and in Sanskrit and Emblica officinalis scientifically, is the most widely used herb in the ayurvedic system of medicine. it maintains balance amongst three Doshas of wind, bile and phelgm (Vayu, Pitta and Cough) and effectively controls digestive problems, strengthens heart, builds up and sustains defence mechanism, improves eye sight, imparts a anatural glow to hair and body and a store house of Vitamin C.
The English name of amla: Indian gooseberry, denotes that it is indigenous to India. Though all parts of the tree have medicinal value, it is the fruit which constitutes the main drug. Charaka has specifically mentioned it as a great rasayana that helps protect people from disease and keeps away the manifestations of premature ageing.

Amla fruit is acrid, cooling, refrigerant, diuretic, laxative, alexeteric, antipyretic, aphrodisiac alterant, tonic and trichogeneous. It is the richest natural source of Vitamin C. 100 gm. of Amla contains about 700 mg. of vitamin C, which is thirty times the amount found in oranges.In adition to Vitamin C, it also contains calcium, iron, protein, garlic and tannic acids, sugar, phosphorus, carbohydrates etc. The juice of fresh amla fruit is given as tonic, diuretic and anti-bilious remedy. It is also helpful in burning sensation, over thirst, dyspepsia and other complaints of digestive system.

Amla Health Benefits:

The powder of the dried amla fruit is an effective remedy of hyperacidity, ulcers and blood impurities. It is also used both internally and externally as a decoction and paste. Some of the common uses of amla fruit are as under:

Amla strengthens the body, expel toxins from the body and improves defense mechanism of the body.

It is an essential vitamin to improve eye sight

Weakness of body, heart and mind shall be dispelled by taking frsh amla juice in betwen meals.

Massaging the head with amla oil, induces sound sleep and is good for hair. prevents premature graying of hair.

Wash eyes daily, in the morning with amla water, soaked in water and drink the water to improve the eyesight and remove constipation.

Insert 2-4 amla juice drops into each nostril to cure bleeding for nose.

Regulates Blood Sugar

Very Powerful anti-inflammatory herb.

A wonderful antioxidant and a natural Source of Vitamin C. Amla helps scavenge free radicals.

Amla is powerful food for the brain.

Studies show that Amla helps lower cholesterol

Amla also helps maintain the functioning of the liver

Increases Hemoglobin, Red blood cell count

Useful for Cough, Bronchitis, Asthma

Amla cleanses the mouth, strengthens the teeth

Its decoction is used in hyperacidity and with honey as an anthelmintic. The presence of Amla resulted in an enhanced cell survival, decreased free radical production and higher antioxidant levels similar to that of control cells.

There are various classic ayurvedic preparations, such as chyawanprash in which amla is used as a chief ingredient. It help improve intelligence and memory power. Triphala and Brahmrasayana are other classic medicine in which amla is being used since time immemorial.

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April 4, 2016

PlantOGram will be seen at the 23rd Annual Race to Erase MS Gala that will take place on April 15th at the Beverly Hilton on Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills.


nancy-davis.jpgThe Race to Erase Ms was founded by Nancy Davis in 1993 an organization whose primary focus is to raise funds for the most cutting edge aggressive and promising research in an effort to find a cure for MS.

Also in 1993, Nancy created the Race to Erase MS event – an intimate ski getaway weekend in Aspen, Colorado – that pulled in over $1.3 million for the Foundation. Since its inception, the Race to Erase MS has grown into a spectacular celebrity gala benefit held annually. Over the years she has gained the support of many key individuals in the fashion and entertainment worlds, including Tommy Hilfiger who has a sister living with MS. The annual Race to Erase MS event has raised over $35 million for multiple sclerosis research.

PlantOGram will be providing beautiful gift cards for the Gala's gift bags, beautifully bound auction books for silent auction will be placed on every table making the bidding and gala a success. A Limited Edition Race To Erase Ms Barbados Cherry tree which is also race to erase barbados cherryincluded in all three Orchards can be purchased here. 20% of all proceeds will go to the Race to Erase MS organization which will help fund to find a cure for this disease.

Three lucky winners will be able to have one of a kind orchards that were hand cultivated by CEO Mitesh Popat. " A Gift shouldn't be something that you keep for a couple of days or weeks and then discard. A gift should be something that is sustainable, Eco-friendly, healthy and last for several generations. That's why I created PlantOGram. It is the Only gift that will keep on giving your recipient healthy, delicious, juicy fruit for years to come."

The Orchards that will be in the Silent Auction are as listed:

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The Emperor's Orchard featuring an Avocado, Barbados Cherry, Miracle Fruit (as seen on the Hallmark Channel), Jambolan, Kesar and a Michelia Alba TreeTreasures of the far east orchard.jpg

Treasures of the Far East Orchard featuring a Guava, Barbados Cherry, Soursop, Sugar Apple, Maha Chanook and a Lychee Tree.

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Eclectic Gems Orchard featuring the Sapodilla, Barbados Cherry, Mulberry, Pomegranate, Alphonso Mango and a Persimmon Tree.

100% of all proceeds from the silent auction will go to Race to Erase MS Benefits in finding a cure for this disease.

Click Here Join the Virtual Race and Support today!

Photos from the 2015 Gala!

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April 4, 2016

     Looking for a tree that will help you live longer? We have just the right one for you. Trees clean the air that we breathe, provide oxygen we need to live, and most of all, food that we consume like fruits. Here at Plantogram, we strive to provide you and your loved ones with the best fruits that grow from our trees. Fruits play a very important role in your diet by keeping your body healthy. Fruits can protect your body from diseases such as heart disease, chronic disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Just name the fruit you or your family enjoy eating such as mangos, apples, berries, or oranges, and we got it! Enjoy life and have fun with assorted fruit trees as a gift. It's not just for eating, it's a token of our expression from Plantogram to you!

To Learn More: http://plantogram.com





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