Vegetable Of The Week LETTUCE

lettuce3

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In many countries, it is typically eaten cold, raw, in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and in many other dishes. In some places, including China, lettuce is typically eaten cooked and use of the stem is as important as use of the leaf. Both the English name and the Latin name of the genus are ultimately derived from lac, the Latin word for “milk”, referring to the plant’s milky juice. Mild in flavour, it has been described over the centuries as a cooling counterbalance to other ingredients in a salad.

Description

The lettuce plant has a short stem initially (a rosette growth habit), but when it gradually blooms, the stem and branches lengthens; and produces many flower heads that look like those of dandelions, but smaller. This is referred to as bolting. When grown to eat, lettuce is harvested before it bolts. Lettuce is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera.

Nutrition

Lettuce is a fat free, low calorie food and is good for a well balanced diet. It is a valuable source of vitamin A and folic acid. Lactucarium (or “Lettuce Opium”) is a mild opiate-like substance that is contained in all types of lettuce. Both the Romans and Egyptians took advantage of this property eating lettuce at the end of a meal to induce sleep.

Recipes:

Here are some of the recipes given below which contains lettuce:

Chicken Fillet Burger

Zinger Burger

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Fruit Of The Week PASSION FRUIT

Ayesha's Kitchen
Ayesha's Kitchen

Passiflora edulis or passion fruit is a plant cultivated commercially in frost-free areas for its fruit. It is native to South America and widely grown in India, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia,Peru, California, Florida, Hawaii, Australia, East Africa, Israel and South Africa. The passion fruit is round to oval, yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit can be grown to eat or for its juice, which is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma.

The two types of passion fruit have clearly differing exterior appearances. The bright yellow variety of passion fruit, which is also known as the Golden Passionfruit, can grow up to the size of a grapefruit, has a smooth, glossy, light and airy rind, and has been used as a rootstock for the purple passion fruit in Australia. The dark purple passion fruit is smaller than a lemon.

The purple varieties of the fruit reportedly have traces of cyanogenic glycosides in the skin, and hence are mildly poisonous. However, the thick, hard skin is hardly edible.

These forms of Passiflora edulis have been found to be different species. They occur in different climate regions in nature and bloom at different times of day. The purple fruited species is self fertile and the yellow fruited species, despite claims to the contrary, is self sterile. It requires two clones for pollination.

Uses
-In Australia, it is available commercially fresh and canned. In addition to being added to fruit salads, passion fruit is commonly used in desserts, such as the topping for the pavlova (a meringue cake), cheesecake, and vanilla slice.

-In Peru passion fruit is used in several desserts, specially cheesecakes. It is also drunk alone as passion fruit juice and used in ceviche variations and in cocktails including the passion fruit sour, a variation of the pisco sour

-In the Dominican Republic, it is used to make juice and jams. Passion fruit-flavoured syrup is used on shaved ice, and the fruit is also eaten raw sprinkled with sugar.

-In Puerto Rico, it is widely believed to lower blood pressure. This is probably because it contains harmala alkaloids and is a mild RIMA. Passion fruit juice is also very common.

-In the Philippines, passion fruit is commonly sold in public markets and in public schools. Some vendors sell the fruit with a straw on it to suck the seeds and juices inside. It is not so popular because of its sour flavor, and the fruit is very seasonal.

-In Brazil, passion fruit mousse is a common dessert, and passion fruit seeds are routinely used to decorate the tops of certain cakes. Passion fruit juice is also very common.

-In Mexico, passion fruit is used to make juice or eaten raw with chili powder and lime.

-In Indonesia it is eaten straight as a fruit. It is also common to strain the passion fruit for its juice and cook it with sugar to make thick syrup. Bottles or plastic jugs of concentrated syrup (generally produced in Sumatra from fruit grown in the Lake Toba region) are sold in many supermarkets. Dilution of 1 part syrup to 4 (or more) parts water is recommended.

-In Hawaii, the varieties are called yellow liliko’i and purple liliko’i and the fruit is normally eaten raw. Hawaiians usually crack the rind of the passion fruit either with their hands or teeth and suck out the flavorful pulp and seeds. Passion fruit can also be cut in half and the pulp can easily be scooped out with a spoon. Passion fruit-flavored syrup is a popular topping for shave ice. Ice cream and mochi are also flavored with passion fruit, as well as many other desserts such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream. Passion fruit is also favored as a jam or jelly, as well as butter. Passion fruit is not widely available in stores, so most of the fruit comes from backyard gardens or wild groves. It can be found, however, in farmers’ markets throughout the islands.

-In South Africa, passion fruit is used to flavor yogurt. It is also used to flavour soft drinks such as Schweppes Sparkling Granadilla and numerous cordial drinks. It is often eaten raw, or used as a topping for cakes and tarts. Granadilla juice is commonly available in restaurants.

Nutrition

Fresh passion fruit is high in vitamin A, potassium, and dietary fiber. Passion fruit juice is a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The yellow variety is used for juice processing, while the purple variety is sold in fresh fruit markets.

Recipes:

Passion Fruit is used in various recipes Few of them will be updated soon: