- Food and Cooking
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A Jingle in my Head
Your mama says, you gotta eat allot of these
Is this the tune from a Campbell's Soup commercial, showing children jumping rope ? It has slept beside me for two nights now. It follows me through the day. Like other memories of a childhood passed, it will not leave me alone.
Ooh, the nightshades are coming.
Don't be mislead, we eat many of these poisonous plants, often.
Nightshades are a species, 2800 strong, that belong to the Solanaceae family. They are contain alkaloids.
Alkaloids, in high concentrations are harmful. They can impact the nerve and muscle functions. They can also have a devastating effect on the digestive system of human and animals.
Those low in the alkaloids are eaten daily. See any of your favorites in the basket?
Wouldn't you have dreaded being the camp or village taste tester way back in ancient history? That could have been a fatally short career.
Fruits and Veggies are Taken to the Supreme Court
Fruits and vegetables, we all know what each is, or do we? Can you define either? The dictionaries can't , not in total agreement. When you take apart the characteristics, given within the definitions, you began to find several exceptions.
Some entries say a plant who bears a fleshy edible seed. Berries fit that description, so do peas.
Maybe it is a fruit if it grows above ground.......and then there is corn, or beans, and okra to void that consideration.
Interestingly, there is a botanical definition for fruits, but not one for vegetables.
The solution is to say they are all edible plant life, separated, for their sweetness or their savoriness.
Frivolous Lawsuits seemed to have started in , or by, 1893.
Only the Best Tomatoes Grow up to be Hunt's
Even though they are available year around, they may be lacking in taste and quality. Nothing ushers in summer quite like the ripened red tomato fresh from the garden. Feel free to take the salt shaker to the garden with you.
As well as being tasty, tomatoes promote our health. There doesn't seem to be anyone who disputes that. They are known to contain Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, and cancer (s) fighter. It also protects our skin from UV rays.
In addition to lycopene, tomatoes contain these vitamins, A, B6, C, E ,and K , in good to high levels.
They are also a good source of : potassium, niacin, iron, folate, and protein.
When you think of tomatoes, versatility may not the first thing that comes to mind.
Beyond salad, soups, and sandwiches, the tomato can be stewed, canned, made into sauces, condiments, relishes, salsas, baked and stuffed. There is even Tomato Jelly.
Eat 'em Like Junk Food
Have you ever seen a blind bunny?
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used these root vegetables for medicinal purposes. They did not become eaten until the European Renaissance.
It is Beta-Carotene that gives carrots their orange color. Usually, it is the taproot that is consumed. Though the green tops can be eaten too. Some cooks use them in making broths and stocks.
A raw carrot is popular on a salad platter or as a crunchy snack. However, by eating a carrot raw, we are getting only 3% of the beta carotene. To release the remaining 97%, we must cook it in some fashion.
There is evidence that intercropping carrots with tomatoes, increases the yield of the tomato crop. This is a practice best left to the professional farmer. By growing the crops spaced too closely together, you risk starving them both of the nutrients in the soil.
Carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family, along with parsnips, fennel, caraway, cumin and dill.
The family is named due to the umbrella like cluster of flower heads they produce.
Carrots are rich in antioxidants. They assist the body in fighting off several cancers: bladder, cervical, lung, prostate,colon, larynx and esophagus.
It is the liver that converts beta carotene into Vitamin A, which aids our vision. The carrot is also rich in Vitamins, C, K, B1, B3, B6 and fiber.
Texas A&M has a Fruits and Vegetable Improvement Center. I wonder if these carrots were "selectively bred" by Texans.
Carrots were the first food to be canned in the US, during the early 1800's.
HO, HO, HO, and the Jolly Green Giant
Pea porridge hot, pea porridge cold
Pea porridge in the pot, nine days old
Some like it hot, some like it cold
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.
With this many varieties, there was no end to the pea porridge that could be made.
Pigeon pea, Green pea, Sweet pea, English pea, Black-eyed pea, Crowder pea, Purple hull pea, Field peas, Snow peas, and the Split pea.
Peas are the seed of the pod, of the Legume family. It is botanically a fruit, but cooked as a vegetable. ( let's not go back to court over this ). The pea is rarely sold fresh. Most often it is found frozen, canned and in lesser quantities dried. People just simply do not like to shell peas.
This cool season crop has been cultivated for over 5000 years. Records have been found in Asia dating it to 9750 BC. Peas have also been found in some Egyptian tombs.
There is quite a bit of nutrition contained in a serving of peas. They rank high in potassium, phosphorus, beta carotene, and luetein. They are a fair source of Vitamins B9 and C.
For a 3/4 cup serving, peas provide us with more protein than a single egg, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter with NO cholesterol and less than a gram of fat.
Tomatoes, carrots and peas, your Mama says, you gotta eat a lot of these.
Your Mom was smart........
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