Fruit Of The Week FEIJOA

feijoa

The Feijoa, also known as pineapple guava or guavas teen, is an evergreen shrub or small tree, 1 – 7 metres in height, originating From the highlands of northern Brazil and parts of Colombia, Uruguay and northern Argentina. It has been spotted in Georgia and both Flowering and Fruiting in Lafayette, Louisiana and in Charleston, South Carolina, and California. It is widely cultivates as a garden plant and Fruiting tree in New Zealand, and can be Found as a garden plant in Australia.

Description

The Fruit matures in autumn and is green, ellipsoid – shaped and the size of a chicken egg. It has a sweet, aromatic Flavour. The Flesh is juicy and is divided into a clear jelly – like seed pilp and a Firmer, slightly gritty opaque Flesh nearer the skin. The Fruit drops when ripe, but can be picked From the tree prior to the drop to prevent bruising. The genus, also called Feijoa, is monotypic. Like the closely – related guava, the Fruit pulp has a gritty texture which is utilised in some natural cosmetic products as an exfoliate. Feijoa Fruit have a distinctive smell. The ester methyl benzoate smells strongly of Feijoas and the aroma of the Fruit is caused mostly by this and other closely related esters.

Consumption And Uses

The Fruit is usually eaten by cutting it in half, then scooping out the pulp with a spoon. The Fruit have a juicy sweet seed pulp, and slightly gritty Flesh nearer the skin. The Flavour is aromatic and sweet. If the utensils needed to eat it this way are not available, the Feijoa can be torn or bitten in half, and the contents squeezed out and consumed. An alternative is to bite the end off and then tear the Fruit in half length ways, exposing a larger surface with less curvature. The teeth can then scrape the pulp out closer to the skin, with less wastage. They can even be eaten whole, with only the junction to the plant cut off. The skin is sour and bitter, but provides a nice balance to the sweet pulp. Still, this is a less common method in some countries, but in Latin America, the Fruit’s homeland, it is often eaten this way. A Feijoa can also be used to make Feijoa wine or cider and Feijoa infused vodka. It is also possible to buy Feijoa Yogurt, Fruit drinks, jam, ice cream, etc. in New Zealand. The Feijoa can also be cooked and used in dishes where one would use stewed Fruit. It is popular ingredient in chutney.

Fruit maturity is not always apparent From the outside as the Fruit remain green until they are over mature or rotting. Generally the Fruit is at its optimum ripeness the day it drops From the tree. While still hanging it may well prove bitter. Once Fallen Fruit very quickly become overripe, so a daily collection of Fallen Fruit is advisable during the season. When the Fruits are immature the seed pupl is white and opaque, becoming clear and jelly – like when ripe. Fruits are at their optimum maturity when the eed pulp has turned into a clear jelly with no hint of browning. Once the seed pulp and surrounding Flesh start to brown, the Fruit is over mature and shouldn’t be eaten. However, these over mature but not rotten Fruits can be used to make a delicious juice very popular in places like the Colombian Highlands. The pink to white Flowers petals have a delightful Flavour, are crisp, moist, and Fleshy.

Shipping And Sale

Ripe Fruit is very prone to bruising; maintaining the Fruit in good condition For any length of time is not easy. This, along with the short period of optimum ripeness, probably explains why Feijoas, although delicious, are not widely exported, and where grown commercially are often only sold close to the source of the crop. Feijoas can be cool – stored For approximately a month and still have a Few days of shelf life at optimum eating maturity. They are also able to be put in the Freezer up to one year without a loss in quality. Because of the relatively short shelf life store keepers need to be careful to replace older Feijoas regularly to ensure high quality. In some countries, Feijoas can also be purchased at roadside stalls, often at lower price.

Cultivation

Some grafted cultivars self Fertile. Most are not, and require a pollenizer. Seedlings may or may not be of usable quality, and may or may not be self Fertile.

Seedlings may or may not be of usable quality, and may or may not be self Fertile. In New Zealand, the pollinators are medium sized birds such as the Silvereye in the cooler parts of the South Island, the blackbird or the Indian Myna Further North, which Feed on the sweet, Fleshy petals of the Feijoa Flower. In some areas where the species has been introduced, it has been unproductive due to lack of pollinators.

In Northern California, robins, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, starlings, scrub jays, towhees and grey squirrels Feast on the petals and can be assumed to be assisting with pollination. Honey bees also visit the Flowers.

 

Vegetable Of The Week JALAPENOS

jalapeno1

The jalapeno is a medium to large size chilli pepper which is prized For its warm, burning sensation when eaten. Ripe, the jalapeno can be 2 – 3 ½ inches long and is commonly sold when still green. It is cultivar of the species originating in Mexico. It is named after the town of Xalapa, Veracruz, where it was traditionally produced. 160 square kilometres are dedicated For the cultivation of jalapeno in Mexico alone, primarily in the Papaloapan river basin in the North of the state of Veracruz and in the Delicias, Chihuahua area. Jalapenos are also cultivated on smaller scales in Jalisco, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa and Chiapas. The jalapeno is known by different names throughout Mexico, such as cuaresmenos, huachinangos, and Chile gordos.

As of 1999, 5, 500 acres (22km. Sq.) in he United States were dedicated to the cultivation of Jalapenos. Most jalapenos were produced in Southern New Mexico ad western Texas.

Jalapenos are a pod type of capsicum. The growing period For a jalapeno plant is 70 – 80 days. When mature, the plant stands two and a half to three Feet tall. Typically, a single plant will produce twenty Five to thirty Five pods. During a growing period, a plant will be picked multiple times. As the growing season comes to an end, the jalapenos start to turn red. The Fresh market consists of green jalapenos, and red jalapenos are considered inferior. Growers often either discard the red jalaenos into the ground or use them For the production of chipotles.

The jalapeno rates between 2500 and 10000 Scoville units in heat. In comparison with other chilli peppers, the jalapeno has a heat level that varies From mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. The heat, which is caused by capsaicin and related compounds, is concentrated in the veins surrounding the seeds, which are called picante. – Deseeding and deveining can reduce the the heat imparted to a recipe that includes jalapenos. They also have a distinct acidic taste. Handling Fresh jalapenos may cause mild skin irritation in some individuals. Some handlers choose to wear latex or vinyl gloves while cutting, skinning, or seeding jalapenos.

Recipes:

Following are the recipes containing Jalapeno pepper:

Sizzling Jalapeno Pizza

Paneer (Cottage Cheese)

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre milk
  • A medium sized lemon juice

Procedure:

-Boil milk.

-When it is boiling add lemon juice. Now you will observe that it begins to curd.

-After a minute remove it From heat.

-Demonstrate some utensils like, put a bowl and place a strainer on it. Place a muslin cloth on this strainer and pour this curdled mixture in it. When all water is drained and curds are left tie the muslin cloth From the top and place something which has a  weight on it.

-After 10 minutes open the clock and carefully take the cheese block out of it.

-Place it on a cutting board and cut it into blocks.

Outcome:

Use this tasty, homemade and Fresh paneer in daal paneer, palak paneer and mattar paneer.

paneer 

Tips:

-Demonstrate the utensils in the way it is advised.

Servings:

This will serve 1 dish.

Salmon Steaks

Very healthy and lite steaks, ideal For heart patients. Its very soft and very juicy, Favourite dish of the Kiwis. Do try them and make your life healthier …

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon steaks
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tspn of cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbspns vinegar
  • 1 tbspn olive oil

Procedure:

-Marinade salmon steaks in all of the ingredients except oil For about 45 minutes.

-Now grease a Frying pan and place these steaks on it and let then cook on low heat.

-Change sides when necessary.

-When it is cooked, place it on a heated grill pan For giving it a Fine grill texture.

-Dish them out in a plate with some salads and serve.

Outcome:

Tasty and healthy salmon steaks are ready to be served.

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Tips:

-Do not let the Fillet break, handle it with care.

Servings:

If the Fillets are large then one per person otherwise 2 per person.

Vegetable Of The Week CARROTS

carrots

The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange or purple, red, white and yellow in colour, wuth a crisp texture when Fresh. The edible part of a carrot is a tbaroot. It is a domesticated Form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, nativce to Europe and southwestern Asia. It has been bred For its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody – textured edible taproot, but is still the same species.

It is a biennial plant which grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer, while building up the stout taproot, which stores large amounts of sugars For the plnt to Flower in the second year. The Flowering stem grows to about 1 metre tall, with an ambel of white Flowers that produce a Fruit called a mericarp by botanists, which is a type of schizocarp.

Uses and Nutrition

Carraots can be eaten in a variety of ways. The simplest way is raw as carrots are perfectly digestible without requiring cooking. Alternatively they may be chopped and boiled, Fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby and pet Foods. Grated carrots are used in carrots cakes, as well as carrot puddings, an old English dish thought to have originated in the early 1800s. The greens are edilble as a leaf vegetable, but are rarely eaten by humans, as they are mildly toxic. Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths.

Ever since the late 1980s baby carrots or mini carrots have been a popular readt to eat snack Food available in many supermarkets.

Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand alone or blended with Fruits and other vegetables.

The carrots gets its characteristic and bright orange colour From B-carotene, which s metabolised into vitamin A in humans when bile salts are present in the intestines. Massive overconsumption of carrots can cause hypercarotenemia, a condition in which the skin turns orange. Carrots are also rich in dietary Fibre, antioxidants and minerals.

Lack of vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision and vision can be restored by adding vitamin A back into the diet. The urban legend that says eating large amounts of carrots will allow one to see in the dark developed From stories of British gunners in world war II who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. The legend arose during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots’ carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies in engaging enemy planes. It reinforced existing German Folklore and helped to encourage Britons, looking to improve their night vision during the backouts – to grow and eat the vegetable.

Ethnomedically, the roots are used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites and consillitis or constipation.

Cultivars

Carrot cultivars can be grouped into two broad classes, eastern carrots and western carrots. More recently, a number of voverlty cultivars have been cred For particular characertistics. The worl’s largest carrot was grown in Palmer, Alaska bu John Evans in 1998, weighing 8.6 Kg.  The city of Holtville, California promotes itself as “carrot capital of the world”, and holds an annual Festival devoted entirely to the carrot.

Recipes:

You can Find number of recipes in the category of Carrots in Ayesha’s Kitchen:

Vegetable Mushroom Rice

Fruit Of The Week STRAWBERRY

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Garden strawberries are a common variety of strawberry cultivated worldwide. Technically, it is not a Fruit but a False Fruit, meaning the Fleshy part is derived not From the plant ovaries but From the peg at the bottom of the bowl – shaped hypanthium that holds the ovaries. The garden strawberry was First bred in Europe in the early 18th century.

From Fertilization to market

Presently, most strawberries are Fertilized by artificial Fertilizers, but in the past, Farmers would gently scrub each strawberry with maure, Followed by another 1-2 weeks of natural Fertilization outdoors. After being Fertilized outdoors, the cleaning process, which has not changed significantly through time, commences with the 6-8 million strawberries (70-90 million today) placed on a shaking conveyor belt while streams of water clean the strawberries. After travelling through another 5 series of cleaning cycles, the strawberries are once again rinsed and divided into varying sizes of plastic containers to be delivered to vendors.

Uses

In addition to being consumed Fresh, strawberries can be Frozen, made into preserves as ell as dried and used in such things as cereal bars. Strawberries are a popular addition to dairy products as in strawberry Flavoured ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and yogurts. Strawberry pie is also popular.

Cosmetically, they are supposedly used For whitening teeth. They can be crushed and made into an exfoliant For skin.

Strawberry pigment extract can be used as natural acid/base indicator due to the different colour of the conjugate acid and conjugate base of the pigment.

Nutrition

One cup (144 g) of strawberries constitutes approximately 45 calories (188 Kj) and is an excellent source of vitamin C and Flavonoids.  

Recipes:

Ayesha’s Kitchen gives you a wide range of recipes containing Strawberries:

Strawberry Alaska

Strawberry Alaska Drink

Strawberry Drink

Strawberry Milkshake

Strawberry Milkshake (Artificial)

Strawberry Plain Cake

Strawberry Muffins

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