While Apples are pretty much a staple in most homes in North America, I imagine that there are many varieties that you have yet to try! My grandparents had an apple tree in their backyard and I grew making apple crumbles and apple pies with my grandma. Despite all those apples as a kid, I did not really like raw apples until I was an adult. Green were too tart for me and red and yellow were always too mealy (I now know that’s because they were OLD – many months out of season). Americans are so used to getting all types of produce year round in super markets, but in reality, those foods are either stored in cold storage for many months, grown in a different climate and shipped in, or grown in a greenhouse.
As an adult, I have come to really like all kinds of pink apples: pink lady, fuji, gala, and honeycrisp. I also only eat apples during apple season and during the very early weeks of cold storage. In Northern California, apple season begins in mid-late July and generally lasts until October. Thus, I only consume apples from July-December.
Besides eating apples with almond butter, my favorite thing to use apples for is apple pie, any surprises there??? Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends that folks make an apple galette, warm cinnamon apples, or apple chips.
- Wild apples have SIGNIFICANTLY more phytonutrients than our domesticated varieties – some wild varieties have up to 475 times more phytonutrients than certain domesticated varieties.
- If you were to plant the five apple seeds from an apple, you would get FIVE different varieties from those new trees. Once a variety is identified, new trees are grown by grafting (a method that involves cutting off branches from a tree and attaching that branch to a less desirable tree that has been trimmed back). This is known as extreme heterozygosity.
- Any apple that is less than two inches in diameter is considered a crabapple.
- Most of our modern apples can be traced back to central Asia.
- There were once 15,000 varieties of apples growing in the United States, now there 500 varieties.
- Apples harvested at the end of apple season will store the longest – several months, as compared with apples harvested in the beginning of apple season – several weeks.
- Apples store best in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
- An apple with the peel contains 50% more nutrients than an apple without the peel.
- Raw apples contain more nutrients than cooked apples.
- Apples are a good source of vitamins C and K and potassium.
- Good source of pectin and other fibers.
- Rich source of flavonoids.
The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, and The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
Jennifer Tyler Lee has found something that I almost never eat; I believe I have had it once or twice. I don’t think okra is very common out here in California but I know I have seen it in some Indian dishes. It’s not that I don;t like it, but since it isn’t very common I haven’t sought it out much. Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends sautéing it with garlic or making an Okra Risotto. I love risotto, so I’m supporting this option!
- It originated in Africa and migrated to the Mediterranean.
- It is a mucilaginous veggie which some folks like and other detest.
- Good source of vitamins A, B6, C, and K, folate, niacin, riboflavin, manganese, calcium, magnesium, copper, and potassium.
- Good source of fiber.
- It contains the antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- Studies have shown that the seeds in okra may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- In mice studies, the antioxidants helped to reverse cognitive deficits that were due to nerve damage.
- Cooking okra does not lessen the nutrient value.
- Younger okra pods are less mucilaginous.
From The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard.
This week’s new food is Corn. While I do love corn on the corn and am totally addicted corn tortilla chips, this is a contentious food for me for a couple of reasons.
- Most corn is genetically modified. I personally don’t trust GMO foods and try to avoid them as much as possible.
- Corn is in everything. Dextrose, corn syrup, HFCS, maltodextrin, corn starch, and more. Many foods that are highly processed and then added to processed foods are also highly allergenic foods. As a species survival mechanism, plant foods contain tiny amounts of toxins. Overconsumption of one type of food builds up the amount of toxins we are exposed to. So I recommend limiting corn consumption.
- Corn is one of the top 8 most allergenic foods.
- Ever seen whole corn kernels in your stool? MOST people don’t digest corn well.
- It’s not a nutrient dense food and crowds out room for more nutritious foods.
With all that said, I do occasionally eat corn, I usually opt for blue or purple corn because these heirloom varieties are less likely to be genetically modified. Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends a corn salsa or popping the corn while it’s still on the cobb. That sounds like fun! I DO love heirloom popcorn made on the stove with ghee and then topped with real butter. It’s my vice.
- Corn is native to Central America.
- Corn is high in vitamins A, B5, B6, C, folate, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, riboflavin, and zinc.
- Good source of carotenoids, specifically zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin, as well as phenols.
- Carotenoids can help to lower blood pressure as well as reduce risk of breast cancer for post-menopausal women.
- Modern corn has been bred to have more sugar and is lower in phytonutrients.
- Blue corn has nearly thirty times the antioxidant values of modern white corn.
- Darker yellow corn varieties have more nutrients than white corn.
- There are other varieties as well: red, orange, purple, blue, and black. These varieties are rarely found at the store but could be grown at home.
- Frozen corn is equally nutritious as fresh corn; canned corn can also be as nutritious as fresh corn.
- Corn is not a complete source of protein alone.
- Corn contains niacin, but in whole food form, it is not bio-available. Native Americans soaked their maize in lime which allowed the niacin become available for the body.
From The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard.