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Food and Nutrition News

 

The Latest Research  
1. Store Lighting Affects Nutrients – For the Better

In one recent research study “spinach leaves exposed to continuous light during storage were, overall, more nutritionally dense than leaves exposed to continuous dark. “

[Snip…..]

“For the study, the researchers exposed spinach leaves to light similar to the 24-hour artificial fluorescent light received by spinach in packages located at the front of the display case. A second group was enclosed in two-layer-thick, brown-grocery-bag paper to represent the “dark treatment.””

[Snip…..]

“The researchers found that the continuous light affected the leaves’ photosynthetic system-resulting in a significant increase in levels of carotenoids and vitamins C, E, K, and B9, or folate.” 

What this means for you the consumer, pick produce at the top of the heap or in front of other packages rather than from the back of the display case.

You can read the entire synopsis of the research and/or access the entire study by following this link: Market Lighting 

2. Health Benefits of Herb Teas

Finally it is no linger just folklore. Herbal teas are found to have health benefits. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture funded science based research into the health benefits of three of the most popular herbal teas. 

While scientists did not find that chamomile tea did not have soothingproperties it is often touted for it did have “moderate antimicrobial activity and significant antiplatelet-clumping activity.” The same was found to be true of peppermint tea.

And finally based on human clinical trial it was found that “drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults.” You can read the report and follow more links to the research by clicking the  following link: Herbal Teas

3. Tangerine Over Red

The U.S. Department of Agricultural Research says: 

“Besides their appealing orange color and sweet flavor, there’s another reason to give tangerine tomatoes a try this year. A one-month study led by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in California has provided new evidence to suggest that, ounce for ounce, these heirloom tomatoes might be a better source of a powerful antioxidant called lycopene than are familiar red tomatoes.”

You can read full details of the research and the report here if you so desire: Tangerine Tomatoes

But you know me. I am less interested in the research and more interested in the pleasure of taste. What this study tells me is that I can enjoy the pleasures of this pretty and delicious recipe: Mixed Tomato Salad.

And then last but not least:

4. Ultraviolet Light Boosts Carrots’ Antioxidant Value

This research may have more long term and more health benefits over thelong term than the other three stories put together.

According to preliminary studies, “Exposing sliced carrots to UV-B, one of the three kinds of ultraviolet light in sunshine, can boost the antioxidant activity of the colorful veggie. 

[Snip….]

The summary of the research also indicated that, “the idea of using UV-B to quickly, safely, and conveniently enrich the antioxidant heft of fresh produce has not been extensively studied…” It is hoped that more study in this area will be completed since if found to be true this technique would be a quick, safe, and convenient way to enrich fruits and vegetables with antioxidant properties. You can read more here: Light.

Good news on food and heath all the way round. I like good news!

Featured Recipe          
Tapioca Pudding with Crushed Pineapple

My mother used to fix tapioca for dessert fairly often when I was growing up.

Sometimes she would add crushed pineapple to the pudding. The crushed pineapple takes this delicious but rather mundane dessert and elevates it to delicious elegance.

My mom used Minute Tapioca, so I do too. You can get pearl tapioca, but that requires soaking over night. Not that hard, mind you. But instant is a tad bit easier and a whole lot faster.

I follow the recipe on the Tapioca box, except I add the crushed pineapple.

And YES indeed! The pineapple in this dessert counts as one of your fruit & veggie requirements for the day. YEAH!!!!!

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca

2 ¾ cups milk

1 egg well beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

Here is what you do:

Beat the egg very well.

Place the sugar, tapioca, milk, and egg in a medium saucepan.

Mix well and let stand for five minutes.

Cook on medium heat stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil; that is a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred.  I have found this takes about 10-12 minutes.

Remove pudding from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Don’t worry. The pudding will thicken as it cools. While the pudding cools drain the pineapple very well. 

Cool the pudding for 20 minutes and then stir. You can serve the pudding warm or let it cool completely. I wait till it cools completely before mixing in the pineapple. 

Spoon into individual dessert bowls and top with whipped cream, fresh raspberries, or as I did, with some canned blueberries.

Bon Appetit!!!!!! 

Cost 

1/3 cup sugar                       $0.24

3 tbspns Tapioca                   $0.93

2 ¾ cups milk                       $0.84

1 egg well beaten                  $0.10  

1 teaspoon vanilla                 $0.36

1 -20 oz.can pineapple          $1.79

Total cost = 4.26
Cost per person = $1.07
COMMENT OF THE WEEK 

This week’s comment comes from Maureen who commented on  the Out of the Mouth of Babes post:

“What a funny post!  It reminded me of Kids Say the Funniest Things.

The salad is beautiful. It should have a new name.  Fantastico Salad will do.  :)” 

Quote of the Day        

Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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