Author Archives: Cassidy

World Famous Markets and Bazaar's

World Famous Markets and Bazaar's

Shopping is a past time favored by nearly every woman in the world, and quite a few men. Some say, that there is nothing quite as exhilarating as the purchase of something shiny and new; or a unique and unusual acquisition, found in the corner of a junky looking market stall. Markets everywhere harbor hidden treasures, just waiting to be found.

From wholesale markets selling large quantities of goods for retail, to the tunnel-like souks of North Africa and the Middle East, there is nothing quite so exciting as a find in a market. But wherein the world is the best place to sample the delights of markets, bazaars and souks?


There is nowhere in the world that has such an interesting array of markets, from wholesale meat market of Smithfield to fruit and vegetable's in New Covent Garden, to the many clothing, thrift and vintage markets. London has it all.

Finding the best London has to offer is quite a task as there are many amazing markets selling clothing, accessories and trinkets. There are large markets such as Borough Market, medium sized markets such as Petticoat Lane and small markets such as Dover Street Market. But two particularly stand out, Portobello Road and Camden Markets. Both of these are synonymous with youth culture and fashion. Camden Markets is the 4th most visited attraction of London, its markets sells everything from bric-a-brac and craft to fast food. Portobello Road in trendy Notting Hill is the ideal place for vintage clothing and antiques.

Marrakech, Morocco

Morocco is famous for its traditional markets, and none are more revered than the one in Marrakech, which has the largest traditional souk in the country.

The Djemaa el Fna, one of the busiest markets in Africa is a way of life for the locals and a source of amazement for visitors.

The square in which it is held is a hive of activity with acrobats, story-tellers, dancers and musicians; alongside stalls selling trinkets, clothes, water, in fact anything at all.

At night food stalls open in the square and the souk becomes a busy open air restaurant.

Cairo, Egypt

North Africa is renowned for its souks and the busy Khan el-Khalili is an ancient shopping area in Cairo.

The souk (suq in Arabic) is one of the oldest in Africa dating back to 1382, and houses a number of stalls and shops in its winding alleyways, many with their own factory or workshop attached.

Paris, France

The famous Paris flea market, on the banks of the River Seine, is in the district of Saint-Ouen.

It is widely appreciated to be one of the most important antique and second hand furniture markets in the world; and is held every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.


Bangkok plays host to a plethora of markets. From the tourist orientated Patpong market, where cheap fake designer items can be bought, to Chatuchak weekend market, which is the largest market in Thailand, to the famous floating fruit and vegetable market of Taling Chan, bartering is a way of life in Thailand.

Source by Rob W. Colbourn

Healthy Diet Before Getting Pregnant

Healthy Diet Before Getting Pregnant

If you're thinking of getting pregnant, you need to make sure your diet is as healthy as possible. Eating five portions of fruits and vegetables is the minimum. You should aim for at least eight-a-day. Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. They contain low levels of pesticides and have higher nutritional content than non-organic.

If money is an issue you can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths simply by avoiding the Dirty 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables. Instead, buy the Clean 15 produce tested to contain the lowest levels of pesticides.

The Dirty 12 are:

peaches, strawberries, apples, domestic blueberries, nectarines, cherries and imported grapes, celery, sweet bell peppers, spinach, kale, collard greens and potatoes.

The Clean 15 are:
onions, sweet corn, sweet peas, asparagus, cabbage, eggplant and sweet potatoes, and avocados, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, domestic cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit and honeydew.

Wash and peel all fruits and vegetables especially if waxed. Wash them in mild dish detergent or diluted vinegar. Cut out the stork end of fruit as this funnel shape of the fruit is where pesticides are concentrated most.

Avoid additives, preservatives and chemicals such as artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors. They can upset blood sugar levels and disrupt the body's hormonal balance. This can lead to an increase of oestrogen, which can affect a woman's fertility.

Eat plenty of protein rich foods like eggs, cheese and meat. Choose organic dairy, eggs and grass-fed meat as the non-organic ones contain growth hormones and antibiotics which can affect your own hormonal balance.

Nuts and seeds are good source of plant protein, but don't forget to soak them in salty water. Soaking will minimize or eliminate nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances found in nuts, grains and seeds. Seeds should be soaked for 8-12 hours, nuts for 12-24 hours. After soaking, rinse and drain them.

Have 2-3 servings of low-mercury levels fish per week. These are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which boost fertility and heart health. Mercury is toxic to the fetus and stays in a woman's bloodstream for over a year. Fish that's high in mercury includes shark, white tuna, swordfish and marlin. Fish that contain low levels of mercury include salmon, sardines, flounder, trout and haddock.

Drinking water containing chlorine and fluoride poses risk to health. Drink a lot of clean, filtered water or spring water instead. Herbal and fruit teas are fine too.

Start juicing! Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are a good way to get your vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and proteins to stay healthy and vigorous.

Do not drink alcohol. Even two units of alcohol per week can increase your levels of the sex hormone prolactin, affecting your hormonal balance.

I believe healthy, natural diet is the best help for getting pregnant.

Source by Ann M Sanders

Inhibiting Effects of Fruits and Vegetables on Cancer and Heart Disease

Inhibiting Effects of Fruits and Vegetables on Cancer and Heart Disease


The purpose of this report is to analyze the role of fruits and vegetables in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.


Recent studies have indicated a strong relationship between fruit and vegetable consumptions and reduced risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.

A diet high in vegetables and fruits is believed to be associated with reducing the risk of cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, lung, colon, rectum and some other cancers.

However there is no specific reason or evidence to clarify the mechanism and also the results of various researches in the roles of fruit and vegetables do not all agree.

Nutritionists recommend the consumption of a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (except for potatoes and other starchy tubers) for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, in addition to the prevention and reduction of several micronutrient deficiencies, especially in less developed countries.

A number of scientific evidences have implied low fruit and vegetable intake is a major risk factor for several non-communicable diseases.

Increasing fruit and vegetable intake by as little as one serving per day can have a great influence on heart disease risk.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is related to diseases of the heart and diseases of the blood vessel system (arteries, capillaries, veins) within a person's entire body, such as the brain, legs, and lungs. "Cardio" refers to the heart and "vascular" refers to the blood vessel system.

Fruits and vegetable intake and its association with the risk of cardiovascular disease

According to many studies, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. So it is crucial to control its condition. Diet can be a very important factor for lowering blood pressure. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension study indicated that there is a compelling relationship between diet and blood pressure (cited in Harvard School of Public Health 2005).

This trial analysed the influence on blood pressure of a diet that was significant in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and that inhibiting the extent of saturated and total fat.The researchers discovered that people with high blood pressure who adhered to this diet, their systolic blood pressure (the upper number of a blood pressure reading) by about 11 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by virtually 6 mm Hg – as much as medications can effect.Furthermore, eating more fruits and vegetables can have a great effect on cholesterol.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study shows that men and women with the highest daily consumption (more than 4 servings a day) have a lower extent of LDL; low density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol than those with lower consumption.


Human body is composed of millions of tiny cells. Most of the cells divide and multiply sometimes; when an old cell is worn out or damaged, a new cell is formed to replace it.

Each cell contains genes (made from the DNA). The proteins inside the gene control when the cell is to divide and multiply. If the gene is damaged or modified (probably as a result of making too much or too little protein) the cell becomes abnormal.The abnormal cell can then divide and multiply without knowing the certain time to stop.A tumor is developed when a group of abnormal cells clump together.

There are two types of tumor: benign and malignant. Benign tumors are not carcenogenic and won't attack or spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are the real cancers. They can grow very fast, attack the adjacent tissues and organs which can result in serious damage. They may even spread to other parts of the body and cause secondary tumors (metastases).

However not all cancers create solid tumors-cancers of the blood, such as leukaemia, develop from abnormal blood cells, which then invade other parts of the body by circulating in the bloodstream.

Generally there are about 200 various types of cancer. Some of them are more dangerous than others, some are more readily treated, and others have better survival figures. Unfortunately, many people will be influenced by cancer at some point in lives. If they are diagnosed with cancer, the doctors require to identify what type of cancer they have and if it has spread, so that they can decide on the best period of treatment

Healthy Eating

Eat more fruits and vegetables – can offer an extensive range of vitamins and minerals and fibers required for body. Fruits and vegetables may prevent the risk of cancer probably due to containing anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals helping prevent the cells damage.

Eat more Fiber – is widely present in fruits an vegetables and wholemeal cereals. Some studies approve 20g per day consumption while some others don't.

Reduce eating fat – The cancer Research UK (2003) discussed that greater fat intake can be related to slight increase of breast cancer. The study has also linked saturated fat and meat intake with slight but substantial increase of the risk.following low consumption, it is most recommended to eat mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats found in vegetables rather than saturated fats.

Cut down on sugar – There is no direct connection between sugar containing foods and breast cancer. However, excessive sugar intake may lead to putting on weight or sometimes contributing to obesity in which case there are some studies suggesting the link between obesity and breast cancer.

Cut down on salt – High salt consumption can result in high blood pressure.

Specific fruits and vegetables

Many researches imply specific fruits and vegetables may protect against certain types of cancer.

Fruits and vegetables contain a number of chemicals, such as the dithiolthiones and glucosinolates from cruciferous vegetables, which are believed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and cancer occurrence in animals (Warren & Devine 2005).

The Harvard School of Public Health (2005) outlines the following categories of fruits and vegetables offering the most contribution against cardiovascular diseases:

Green leafy vegetables including lettuce, spinach, swiss chard and mustard greens, Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts.

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their juices) are said to be the most contributing factors against cardiovascular diseases.

It has been reported that broccoli and brussel sprouts and spinach are able to reduce the possibility of breast cancers. This hasn't been statistically significant, so reducing the reliability on the results (Warren & Devine 2005).

However a number of recently case-control studies have demonstrated inhibiting effect of carrots and spinach as well as species of broccoli (cruciferous) family against breast cancers. Some of these studies have also identified substantial effect of quantity consumed (eating more vegetables result in greater reductions in risk).

Furthermore, there is poor evidence that raw vegetables are likely to be more protective against the progression of breast and other cancers than cooked vegetables. This is probably due to some of the potentially protective chemicals present in vegetables which are damaged by heat process (Warren & Devine 2005)

Source by FS Markhali

Fruits and Vegetables and Phytochemicals

Fruits and Vegetables and Phytochemicals

I'm willing to bet you probably haven't heard the word 'phytochemicals' before. But you've been eating them your whole life and they are vitally important to your life and well-being. They are one of the keys to real health.

So, what are they? Phytochemicals are biologically active substances in food. They have health enhancing abilities and possibly curative abilities. They number in the hundreds in most plant foods. They are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.

Phytochemicals work together with nutrients to promote health and prevent disease. When you eat some broccoli or a tomato, you get all of these phytochemicals. So, can't you just take a supplement? You could, but first of all, scientists have isolated only a few of the phytochemicals in foods. But these work best in combination, so taking just one, isolated phytochemical is not anywhere near as effective.

For example, let's look at lycopene. It is found in tomatoes and is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are a large and important subject, but for now, let's just simplify and say that antioxidants help to repair cellular damage.

Scientists did studies and found that tomatoes had a noticeable effect against prostate cancer. They analyzed the tomato and isolated lycopene. Then the scientists did more studies, using lycopene. The effect on prostate cancer was much less. Does this mean that lycopene does not work?

No, it means that it works best in combination with all the other phytochemicals in tomatoes, and the nutrients. You don't get that from a chemically identical, but lab-created, lycopene.

Eating a tomato is good for you, of course. But eating all the tomatoes you would need to get what you need from them would be quite a task. So, a whole foods powder that I use, Berry Greens, offers freeze dried tomatoes, in a form that retains the nutrients. And a whole lot of other vegetables and fruits as well. You get all the benefits of eating all those fruits and vegetables, without having to consume all that food.

Most foods have not been analyzed and even those that have been, scientists have only been able to isolate a few of the phytochemicals. Most vegetables have hundreds of phytochemicals, and it's not likely they will all be isolated, analyzed and understood any time soon. We do know now, though, that they do work together to provide real health for us.

Source by Barbara Pfieffer

Juicing Tips for Better Health

Juicing Tips for Better Health

If better health is at the forefront of your mind, then you may want to consider juicing as an addition to your daily mealtime regimen. Juicing can be a way to get more fruits and vegetables into your body without having to spend time cooking them in the kitchen.

People become juicers for many reasons. Some like to use a juicing fast to cleanse their system and launch a better health diet. Others use juicing as a way to shed pounds. Many people just use juicers to start implementing better foods into their diets.

Cooking your foods often destroys many of the nutrients and enzymes found in your food that improves your health. By using a juicing machine, you keep all of those healthful benefits intact.

Juicing even helps you maintain the great tasting qualities of your fruits and vegetables, without you having to add sugars or fattening additions to the food to make it edible to your tastebuds.

The process also saves you money, because buying pre-made juice is often very expensive. And you can make a meal off of a juice mixture!

Picking the Right Juicer

Before you can start juicing, you have to have a machine to do the work for you. There are manual, cheap plastic versions you can buy, but it's highly recommended that you invest a little more into your options, because those will take you forever to get a small trickle of juice into your cup.

Juicers typically come in three main versions. There are manual juicers, like the one I described above that require a lot of work and arm strength in some cases, not to mention ample amount of time to extract the juice from your fruits and vegetables.

Some of the manual juicers are very lightweight, so you can't put too much pressure on them. This means you won't get to create larger batches of juice – you'll have to stick to small quantities.

Instead of a manual juicer, you can consider buying a masticating or centrifugal juicer. Masticating juicers actually chew up the pulp, making it easier to extract the juice from the fruit or vegetables.

These are single gear juicers, and they work slowly. Some people enjoy the slow juice creation because whenever speed is involved, it means heat is typically a factor – and heat destroys some of the nutrients found in the fruits and vegetables.

The masticating juicers are quieter than the centrifugal juicers, due to their low speed, but many people prefer the centrifugal juicer to the other options. These juicers shred the fruits or vegetables and then spin and strain it, so you get more juice and less pulp.

These are high-speed machines, so the noise level might be a bit higher. However, the speed is faster, so the process is complete in less time, making noise less of an issue. If you get one of these machines, you'll remove the pulp periodically if you're making large batches of juice to store for future consumption.

Each type of juicer will have different results when it comes to the volume of juice it can put out. On average, juicers can turn one pound of fruits or vegetables into a standard, 8-ounce cup of juice, but this depends on the product you pick and the power of the juicer, too.

Choosing Perfect Juicing Foods

If you want to feel better and take better care of your body, then your juicing foods should be tailored toward that goal, because some foods are better for you (even in juice form) than others are.

You'll need to look at your own health requirements and decide which recipes to use for your juicing. For instance, you might be diabetic and need to lower your intake of sugar. Or you might be anemic and need a raise in your iron levels.

For basic health, always think green. Look for foods that are in the vegetable family over the fruit family because you'll get more health benefits for your body. Fruit has a lot of nature's own blend of sugar and it can pack a health punch by raising your glucose rapidly.

But keep in mind that just because a food is a vegetable, that does not mean that it doesn't have some sugar in it and some vegetables do contain more sugar despite the fact that they're good for you.

Even though they contain beta-carotene that helps lower cancer risks, carrots are an example of vegetables that have a higher sugar count than other vegetables, such as cucumbers.

While green vegetables are very good for you, their juice can be difficult to swallow if you're new to juicing. You're going to want good recipes for these and then start slowly introducing them to your juicing routine.

You might have read that the minute you make any juice at home, you should go ahead and drink it. The reason behind this advice is because when fruits and vegetables are cut, they start to lose some of the nutritional punch that they pack.

Since the whole purpose behind juicing is a healthier way of eating for your body, you want to take full advantage of everything that these foods offer you, so enjoy them right after you finish juicing them whenever possible.

Because juicing requires time (and because that's not a commodity you might have a lot of), you want to take steps to eliminate any part of the process that's a time drain. Waiting until the last minute to gather your foods, get it sliced ​​and diced and then juice it can take more time than you want it to take.

If you have to get up early and get your day going, the last thing you want to do is stand sleepy eyed in the kitchen chopping up food. To cut out this step, get everything ready before you need it. Scrub any residue from the soil from your vegetables, wash your fruit and get out the cutting board. Dice the foods up and it'll be handy when you're ready to go.

Remember that if you're planning to use certain fruits like apples, they might turn brown if they're cut and you don't use them the minute you cut them up. They're still okay to use, they're just not as visually appealing.

Using your juicer for homemade juice is a nice treat, but unlike the less healthy store bought kind, you might end up with pulp in your glass. That's not a problem unless you absolutely can't stand to have pulp in your juice.

Pulp is actually good for you, but if you don't like it, you don't have to put up with having it in your glass. You can use a mesh strainer – but if your juicer has made the pulp fine, some of it's still going to get through.

To make sure that the pulp is cut completely out, some people take an extra step of using a cloth material just for straining that catches every little bit of the pulp. This might be a good idea if you have kids who are picky about pulp and complain if the texture isn't just right. And the softer your choice in fruits and vegetables, the thicker the juice will be.

Fruits make great tasting juice and you can experiment on your own to create a blend of fruit juices to delight your tastebuds. Plus, many fruits offer additional health benefits by giving you antioxidants.

Look for fruits that are berries like strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Also use cherries, apples and plums to give your body that additional health boost.

Finding Delicious Juicing Recipes

Everything that grows doesn't belong in a juicer. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but will end up tasting horrid. Juicing isn't the time to unleash your inner food artist if you aren't familiar with what foods will taste good together.

You can buy a juicer recipe book (highly recommended) but you can also use the trial and error method. You'll know what tastes good and which mixtures are mistakes. But since mistakes can be costly, use the following tips to create delicious tasting concoctions.

If you don't like apples, then juicing isn't suddenly the time to decide that you'll like them in a juice. You want to start out by sticking with what you already know that you like. You can broaden your juicing horizons later.

And if you know you want the health benefits of apples, then you might try working it into a recipe where another fruit or vegetable taste overpowers it. So you still get the health rewards, without having to drink what tastes like straight apple juice.

If you're going to make vegetable juices, leave off the more potent tasting ones until you're prepared for the stronger flavor. Remember that you can mix your vegetables in the juicer with ice cubes, water and a small slice of fruit to give it a better taste.

We all have a tendency to be creatures of habit. We do this even when we're trying to eat healthier – we'll just keep on choosing the same healthy foods we've always eaten, but that can keep you locked on a certain food source and you'll miss the wonder of trying new combinations if you juice with the same foods you've always used.

Don't be afraid to make subtle changes. Many recipes advocate sticking with straight vegetable juice or straight fruit juice, but if you do that, you'll miss out on some tasty concoctions.

Adding a little bit of water can help lessen the strength and thickness of fruits that are too thick as a juice for you to enjoy swallowing. If you do add water, measure it carefully so that you don't overdo it.

Whatever recipe you use, keep in mind that there is what's known as a "half rule." For every pound of raw vegetables that you use, you're only going to get about half of that in juice value.

Storing Your Juice Concoctions

For the best nutrients and the best taste, use whatever you create in the juicer right away. But considering how busy people are, quick consumption is not always an ideal solution. So if you can't always drink the juice immediately, you should know a few tips on how to keep the liquid in a container that locks in freshness and as many health benefits as possible.

Foods change because of the process known as oxidizing. When enzymes in foods mix with oxygen, they turn brown. You can alter this process by storing the foods you've cut or chopped in water. This cuts off the full access to oxygen supply the foods would get out of the water.

Once the juice is made, keep it as fresh as possible by putting it into a container that you can't see light through. This will prevent the juice from acquiring any exposure damage that it would get in a clear container.

For the best possible storage for your juice, keep it in something made of glass. One of the handiest solutions is to use brown tinted canning jars. Glass is much better than plastic for storing juices. If you need to, use tin foil or another dark paper to wrap the glass container in to keep out light.

Containers that let air in are bad news for storing juices so choose containers that keep the air out.

You can keep juices with a higher acidic level longer than juices with a lower acid count, but you shouldn't go longer than a day and not use up the juice that you've made.

Cleaning and Caring for Your Juicer

Like any kitchen appliance, taking proper care of your juicer will help ensure that your machine creates great tasting juices and lasts a long time. The best juicers can be expensive, and you want to lengthen the longevity of your appliance.

Always read the instruction manual if this is the first time you've cleaned your juicer, since there's a lot of variety among the different brands and models. Some require more work than others.

For optimal performance, you want to clean your juicer each time that you use it. This isn't the kind of appliance you can get lazy with, because juice in general is a sticky mess if left out to harden.

The first step is to get all of the pulp out. If your juicer has a built in pulp container, you can clean that out, but you want to make sure that you check for pulp that may have escaped the container.

Take apart the removable parts and run them under water to rinse them free of any food debris. You can put the dishwasher safe pieces in the top of the dishwasher if you don't want to hand wash them, but if you do, double check after the dishwasher cycle is complete to make sure it cleaned all of the crevices.

Gently wipe down any electric or motor parts to get rid of any residue or splash, but don't expose these by submerging them in water.

Clean the blades with a soft brush to make sure that nothing is compromising the blades, but take caution when doing this step because it can be easy to cut your fingers if you're not careful. Don't put the pieces of this appliance together if any of them are wet or damp. Once you've done all these steps, your juicer is ready to use again!

Source by S Brooks

The Benefits of Buying At Farmer's Markets

The Benefits of Buying At Farmer's Markets

As consumers, we rarely get a chance to meet the people who are responsible for producing our foods. Farmer's markets are a great way for food producers and food consumers to meet each other. Apart from the obvious benefits of being able to buy fresh produce, farmer's markets offer a number of other benefits as well. Here are just a few of them.

1. Many fruits and vegetables are seasonal, and you will find a wide range of them available in these markets. You are most likely to discover a number of freshly grown food items that you might have never seen before in a supermarket or grocery store. Be prepared to be amazed, thrilled, intrigued and invigorated by the huge variety of fresh produce you would find here.

2. Carting items from locally grown farms has various advantages. The shorter distances dramatically decrease fuel usage for transportation. Packaging is reduced, and the need for preservatives is almost non-existent. This results in foods that are healthier, fresher and tastier. The entire system is more eco-friendly as well.

3. Local farmers need our support to thrive in their agricultural business. But more importantly, we need them for our own good. They supply us with healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables that are grown organically. The diversity of crops grown by local farmers is also quite huge. We gain to benefit the most from their success. It is a perfect win-win situation. Therefore, we need to extend our support to them by shifting our shopping from mega supermarkets to local farmer's markets.

4. You can learn of lot of new recipes by visiting these places. Most sellers would be happy to tell you how to cook tasty dishes with their rare and exotic food items. You can get to know one-of-a-kind recipes and try them at home next time to shop here.

5. Farmer's markets can help build a better community as well. It could be a place where people in the local area can meet each other regularly and have a sense of brotherhood. You can take your children along for shopping and help them to get a better understanding of how fruits, vegetables and other food items are grown and processed.

And of course, most of the produce you find here would often be less expensive than what you would find in a supermarket. You are likely to end up buying food items that are fresher, tastier and healthier, at a lower price.

Source by Adriano Simoncini

Fruit Crate Labels – A Blend of History and Art

Fruit Crate Labels – A Blend of History and Art

In the 1880s the advent of the Southern Pacific and other railroads gave farmers the opportunity to ship their produce to distant markets. The produce was packed in wooden crates and a method was needed to identify the type of fruit or vegetable as well as the producer. Paper crate labels, glued to the end of each crate solved this problem.

As markets grew, producers soon realized that wholesalers would bid on large batches of produce, almost sight unseen. In addition to providing identifying information, crate labels became advertising for the produce. Designs were created using bright colors showing pastoral landscapes and orchards or healthy people enjoying life by eating the fruits or vegetables. The designs were directed at both the wholesale buyers as well as the neighborhood markets where the produce would be displayed for customers.

The use of crate labels began in Southern California where lemons and oranges were shipped across the United States, but soon the labels were being used worldwide. Nearly every agricultural area in the world, especially Europe and South America had their own designs. As rail transportation became more efficient and refrigeration became available, many other types of perishable produce were shipped long distances and new labels were crated for those products.

The labels were printed on durable paper. Produce would be shipped, sometimes thousands of miles, and it was important that the labels survived undamaged. The labels also needed to be bright and colorful, often using striking and original color schemes. This required running the labels through the printing process many times to achieve the correct colors and brightness. The durability of the paper and quality of the printing are the main reasons so many crate labels remain in excellent condition today.

Early crate labels tended to feature "naturalistic" topics – things such as landmarks, flowers, fruit and landscapes. As oranges and lemons from Southern California were the most commonly shipped produce, the labels often displayed images of citrus orchards or sunny landscapes. A few decades later, in the 1920s and 1930s, labels were likely to feature the health benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables. This reflected the growing concern with health and diet. From the late 1930s to the 1950s, designers focused on brand recognition, creating many bold and memorable designs.

Cardboard boxes were introduced in the mid 1950s and replaced wooden crates. This signaled the end of most crate labels. Cardboard boxes were cheaper, lighter and companies could print their logo and information directly one the box, removing the necessity for separate labels. The change to cardboard boxes was swift, and many crate labels were left unused. Some were discarded, but many ended up gathering dust in back rooms and storage areas.

Although a few people have collected crate labels since they were introduced over a century ago, they did not become popular collector's items until the mid 1970s. It was around this time that collectors realized that high quality art was to be found on old labels. They started searching warehouses and packing houses for old stocks of unused crate labels, often finding large quantities that had been stored for years. These finds are the main source of the crate labels that are on the market today.

Source by Dan S. Hood

Diet According to Ayurveda

Diet According to Ayurveda

Ayurveda also insists that the dietary needs of each and every individual are different and hence specific body constitutions need specific diet. The importance given to diet and nutrition in the ayurveda system of medicine, then, cannot be under estimated. The conversion of food in to nutrition is called Agni or fire in ayurveda. A vegetarian diet is always preferred over non vegetarian diet. Ayurveda suggests that an individual's diet should contain rich amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and foods rich in fiber as these will provide energy and help the individual maintain good health.

A good meal as suggested by ayurveda would also include colors, aromas, flavors, tastes, textures etc that would soothe all our sense organs apart from providing our body with all the needed nutrients. Ayurveda discourages the use of animal flesh in our diet as also the consumption of coffee and alcohol ..

Herbs and spices do play a vital part in all ayurveda diets and recipes. Ayurveda suggests that one consume herbs before a meal, during a meal and after a meal. vitamins etc. Herbs are known to increase the digestion process and help in assimilation of food due to their ability to transport the healing and nutritive value of food to the tissues, cells and organs. Herbs also cleanse our body system off toxins and impurities and helps in the process of elimination. .

Eating a lemon prior to a meal increases the appetite as also chewing fennel seeds after a meal helps in the digestive process and makes our breath more fresh. Amalakhi rasayanas and Triphala rasayanas are highly recommended in ayurveda as these help digestion, assimilation and elimination. The best way to consume spices is by consuming them after cooking. Ayurveda favorites the inclusion of all the six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, astringent, bitter and pungent at every meal. These easy to digest recipes offer quick assimilation, prevent diseases, provide immunity from diseases, impart improved sleep and concentration, maintain youthfulness and offer energy, strength and vitality to an individual.The ayurveda system of medicine recommends suitable and unsuitable types of food for each category of body constitution. These are to be followed for a long and healthy life free from diseases. The food consumed by a person should have relevance to his body constitution. Ayurveda recommends foods based on the doshas of each person and what type of food is beneficial for each body type.

Vata Pacifying foods.

Vata pacifying foods include ghee, soft dairy products, wheat, rice, corn and bananas. It is recommended that a person with vata constitution consume foods like hot cereal with ghee, soups, vegetables, cooked grains, chapattis etc. Unlike other body constitution persons vata persons can consume spicy foods as well. . Vegetables: Asparagus, carrots, cucumber, green beans, onions, garlic, turnips, radish, sweet potatoes etc Fruits Mangoes, melons, peaches, bananas and all sweet fruits Grains Rice, wheat and oats.

Pita Pacifying Foods.

For people with pita constitution, milk, rice, beans and fruits as also spices such as cumin, coriander are recommended. Vegetables: There are no restrictions on the consumption of vegetables by the pita constitution persons. They can generally consume all types of vegetables. Fruits: There are also no restrictions on the type of fruits that they consume. All fruits are generally good for them.

Kapha Pacifying Foods.

And for kapha dosha persons, foods with bitter, pungent and astringent tastes are beneficial. Foods such as puffed rice, millets, and leafy vegetables as also spices such as ginger, turmeric, and chili are good for kapha constitution persons.

Vegetables: All vegetables are god for these persons. But if some of these kapha persons suffer from diseases such as asthma, lung congestion, heart disease, obesity etc then, it would be best to avoid sweet juicy vegetables like cucumbers, sweet potatoes etc Grains: Rice, wheat, millets etc are recommended. In the Ayurveda system of medicine, apart from consuming the type of food suitable for each dosha type, the seasons and the place where one lives are also taken in to consideration. Ayurveda diet, stresses the importance of consuming whole foods, eaten in as natural a state as possible. And it is also to be noted that if the digestive fire is not strong enough, then, even wholesome foods can turn into toxic matter in the body.

Ayurveda system of medicine does not recommend foods that are frozen, canned or refined as these dilute the food off its nutritive value. Also to be avoided are processed foods with artificial colors, flavorings, additives or preservatives. Also foods that are genetically altered and grown with the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are also not favored in ayurveda. The best option, then, would be to consume foods that are organic, natural and locally available. Ayurveda also stresses the importance of rotation of an individual's diet so that one does not consume the same type of food each and every day of the week. There should always be variety in the types of food consumed as this will provide us with all the needed nutrients, increase the digestion process as also it will increase one's liking for every type of food.

Food Intake -Do's and Don'ts. Certain guidelines have been suggested in Ayurveda regarding the dietary habits that should help an individual maintain good health, nourish the body and balance the doshas.

– One should always consume cooked foods and avoid raw foods.
– Fruits and salad vegetables, however, can be eaten raw.
– The food consumed should neither be too hot or too cold.
– Curds are recommended after a heavy meal as it helps digestion.
– One should always chew one's food properly.
– One should wash the hands, feet and face before every meal.
– Food should be consumed only if the bowel movements are proper.
– There should always be a gap of three hours between every meal.
– It is advisable to have a heavy lunch; However, a light dinner is recommended.
– One should always limit the intake of food to two thirds of the stomach capacity.

The following food combinations are best avoided:

– Never consume milk and meat
– Starchy foods such as potatoes and fruits should not be taken together.


It is to be noted that this information is purely for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your ayurveda physician for all your specific dietary needs.

Source by Mahesh Sathyan

Vital Nutrition For Children

Vital Nutrition For Children

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of children do not eat the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables. This is no surprise. According to the CDCP only 14% of adults eat the daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. Parents have the fiduciary responsibility to maintain a healthy food plan for the family. Parents step up and do what is right for your child and yourself. It is easier than you think.

Many experts concur that besides iron and calcium, additional nutrients commonly missing from children's food plan include vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as the minerals: zinc, chromium, selenium and potassium. Studies reveal that children with the best nutritional support do better on IQ tests as well as behaviorally than children with inferior nutrition food plans.

Studies also reveal that 15 to 19% of girls and 52% of boys do not receive enough calcium from their food plan. About 25% of American teens are deficient in vitamin D that facilitates calcium absorption; yet, 90% of bone mass is laid down by age 17.

Children age 2 – 6 need three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.
Children age 7 – adults need four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit daily.
Active teen boys and adult men need five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruit daily.

What counts as a serving? Use the following guidelines:

Vegetable Group
• 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
• 1/2 cup other vegetables cooked or raw
• 3/4 cup vegetable juice

Fruit Group:
• 1 medium apple, orange, pear, banana
• 1/2 chopped, cooked or canned fruit (non-fructose syrup)
• 3/4 cup fruit juice

What to do? In view of inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption and nutritionally inadequate fruits and vegetables, children need multivitamins. Pharmaceutical multivitamins are sugar laden and artificially colored synthetic ingredients with little nutritional value. The best multivitamins are European tradition of delicious nutritious liquid vitamins and minerals from organic plants, fruits and vegetables.

Given the use of GMO (Genetically modified organisms) and pesticides used on produce in the US, than ever before, organic fruits and vegetables are mandatory. Multivitamins need to include carrots, fiber, rose hips, watercress, horsetail, nettle and spinach, which are rich in carotenes and minerals. Mild digestive herbs, such as: chamomile and peppermint is recommended to support healthy digestion and appetite. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and vitamin D for bone health is necessary. Orange juice, orange peel and pear juice for bioflavonoids that aid in vision and immune health. A small amount of honey or maple syrup can be used for sweetness. Multivitamins need to include vitamins A, B, CD, E. Vitamin A is critical for immune health mucous membrane function, the first line of defense against infection.

There is no better health insurance for children and adults than a natural organic food plan, multiple vitamins and minerals. Sometimes, it is difficult to entice children to consume natural food products because they are not as intensely flavored or visually exciting as the synthetically sweetened and colored variety. Not to mention pharmaceutical companies blast commercials every twenty minutes on TV programs children are 'allowed' to watch. Thus, the indoctrination to eat the chewable sweet synthetic vitamins is ever present. However, as the manager of your child's life and health, you need to set the boundary and keep it. There are many healthy natural vitamins without the sugar that children like. Do the research and set the stage for your child's healthy food and vitamin plan.

In addition to your child having better health; visits to the doctor and the inherent expense will decrease. Healthy nutrition in childhood is a life long win / win.

Bon appetite.

Source by Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD

How To Find The Perfect Vegetable

How To Find The Perfect Vegetable

Vegetable shopping: Vegetables should be firm and have a nice appearance. The color should be rich. Vegetables are like men, if they're wilted and flabby, leave them in the store. Go for the young and firm. (This could be the reason that I'm back sitting on the shelf.)


Asparagus stems should be firm and thin, with deep green or purple closed tips.
Use asparagus within a day or two after purchasing for best flavor. Store in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel, and be sure to place the asparagus in the back of the refrigerator away from any light. Wash under cold water and cut off the base before cooking.

IDEA – sauté asparagus with garlic, shiitake mushrooms and chicken.

IDEA – Toss freshly cooked pasta with asparagus, olive oil and thyme, tarragon and rosemary.

IDEA – Steam asparagus and serve with a light lemon vinaigrette.

TIP – If your recipe calls for cold asparagus, plunge the stalks into cold water immediately after cooking, then remove them quickly: letting them soak too long can cause them to become soggy.


If the beets still have the tops attached, you can tell from the appearance of the leaves if they are fresh. They should be firm and round with a slender tap root (the main root).


Choose broccoli with floret clusters that are compact and not bruised. They should be uniformly colored, either dark green, sage or purple-green, depending upon variety, and with no yellowing. In addition, they should not have any yellow flowers blossoming. The stalk and stems should be firm. Broccoli is very perishable and should be stored in open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for a week.

IDEA – Sprinkle lemon juice and sesame seeds over lightly steamed broccoli.

IDEA – Toss pasta with olive oil, pine nuts and broccoli florets. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Brussels Sprouts

They look like little bright green cabbages. Keep unwashed and untrimmed Brussels sprouts in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Stored in a plastic bag, they can be kept for 10 days.

IDEA – Combine quartered cooked Brussels sprouts with sliced ​​red onions, walnuts and your favorite mild tasting cheese such as a goat cheese or feta; toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


There are 3 main groups of cabbage: green smooth-leaved cabbage, crinkly-leaved green Savoy cabbage and red cabbage. The red cabbage looks really nice in coleslaw. The heads should be firm and heavy without too many loose outer leaves. Keeping cabbage cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Red and green cabbage will keep this way for about 2 weeks while Savoy cabbage will keep for about 1 week.

IDEA – Combine shredded red and white cabbage with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings such as turmeric, cumin, coriander and black pepper to make coleslaw with an Indian twist.


They should be well formed, smooth, well colored and firm. If they have tops, they should not look wilted.

The trick to preserving the freshness of carrot roots is to minimize the amount of moisture they lose. To do this, make sure to store them in the coolest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel, which will reduce the amount of condensation that is able to form. They should be able to keep fresh for about two weeks. Carrots should also be stored away from apples, pears, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas since it will cause them to become bitter.


The white edible portion is called the "curd". The outer green leaves are called the jacket leaves. The while portion should be compact and solid. Sometimes the white portion has a speckled look, this is not good.

IDEA – sauté cauliflower with garlic, minced ginger and tamari.


Look for crisp stalks. The stalks should have a solid feel and the leaflets should look fresh. Just in case, you bought the celery when it was fresh and somehow it got lost in the refrigerator; you can try putting the end of the celery (the part that is attached) in ice water. If it is not too far gone, that will freshen it. To store celery, place it in a sealed container or wrap it in a plastic bag or damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator.

IDEA – Add chopped celery to your favorite tuna fish or chicken salad recipe.

IDEA – Fill celery stalks with peanut butter or cream cheese.


Sweet corn is most plentiful from early May until mid-September. Yellow-kernel corn is the most popular, but some have white kernels.

Corn should be refrigerated immediately after being picked. Corn will retain fairly good quality for a number of days, if it has been kept cold and moist since harvesting. Therefore, it should be refrigerated as soon as possible and kept moist until used. Look for fresh green husks. The silk-ends should not be dried out.


Cucumbers should have a good green color and be firm over their whole length. Avoid cucumbers that have a dull color with shriveled ends.
Thinner cucumbers will generally have less seeds than those that are thicker.

Cucumbers should be stored in the refrigerator where they will keep for several days. If you do not use the entire cucumber during one meal, wrap the remainder tightly in plastic or place it in a sealed container so that it does not become dried out. For maximum quality, cucumber should be used within one or two days. Cucumbers should not be left out at room temperature for too long as this will cause them to wilt and become limp.

IDEA – Mix diced cucumbers with sugar snap peas and mint leaves and toss with rice wine vinaigrette.


Eggplants may be either a dark purple or white. They should be firm and should not have any brown spots. Place uncut and unwashed eggplant in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for a few days.

IDEA – When cutting an eggplant, use a stainless steel knife as carbon steel will react with its phytonutrients and cause it to turn black. Wash the eggplant first and then cut off the ends.

IDEA – Mix cubed baked eggplant with grilled peppers, lentils, onions and garlic and top with balsamic vinaigrette.


Purchase garlic that is plump and has unbroken skin. Gently squeeze the garlic bulb between your fingers to check that it feels firm and is not damp.

TIP – Store fresh garlic in either an uncovered or a loosely covered container in a cool, dark place away from exposure to heat and sunlight. This will help maintain its maximum freshness and help prevent sprouting, which reduces its flavor and causes excess waste. It is not necessary to refrigerate garlic.

Depending upon its age and variety, whole garlic bulbs will keep fresh from two weeks to two months. Inspect the bulb frequently and remove any cloves that appear to be dried out or moldy. Once you break the head of garlic, it greatly reduces its shelf life to just a few days.

TIP – Tips for Preparing Garlic:

The first step to using garlic (unless you are roasting the entire bulb) is to separate the individual cloves. An easy way to do this is to place the bulb on a cutting board or hard surface and gently, but firmly, apply pressure with the palm of your hand at an angle. This will cause the layers of skin that hold the bulb together to separate.

To separate the skin from the individual cloves, place a clove with the smooth side down on a cutting board and gently tap it with the flat side of a wide knife. You can then remove the skin either with your fingers or with a small knife. If there is a green sprout in the clove's center, gently remove it since it is difficult to digest.

IDEA – Marinate pressed garlic in olive oil and use this flavored oil in dressings and marinades.

IDEA – Purée fresh garlic, canned garbanzo beans, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice to make quick and easy hummus dip.

IDEA – Sauté steamed spinach, garlic, and fresh lemon juice.

IDEA – Add garlic to sauces and soups.

IDEA – Purée roasted garlic, cooked potatoes and olive oil together to make delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Season to taste.

Green Beans

Purchase beans that have smooth feel and a good green color, and that are free from brown spots or bruises. They should have a firm texture and "snap" when broken.
Store unwashed fresh bean pods in a plastic bag kept in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans stored this way should keep for about seven days.

IDEA – roast green beans, red peppers and garlic and combine with olive oil and seasonings to make a delicious salad.


There are a lot of different varieties. The most common is iceberg lettuce. The heads are large, round and solid with medium green outer leaves and lighter green inner leaves. The leaves should look fresh and crisp. Avoid heads with irregular shapes.
Butter-head lettuce (Big Boston and Bibb varieties) have a smaller head than iceberg lettuce. The leaves are softer and light green in color.

Romaine lettuce has crisp, dark-green leaves in a loosely folded head.
Leaf lettuce do not come in the form of a compact head. Leaves are broad, tender, smooth, and they vary in color according to variety.

Romaine and leaf lettuce should be washed and dried before storing in the refrigerator to remove their excess moisture, while Boston lettuce need not be washed before storing. A salad spinner can be very helpful in the drying of lettuce (and other salad ingredients as well). These lettuces should be either stored in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp cloth and stored in the refrigerator crisper.

To store arugula, watercress and other types of salad greens that are sold with their roots attached, wrap the roots in a damp paper towel and place the entire greens in a plastic bag.
Romaine lettuce will keep for five to seven days, Boston and leaf lettuce for two to three days, while fragile greens such as arugula and watercress ideally should be prepared the day of purchase. All types of lettuce should be stored away from ethylene-producing fruits, such as apples, bananas and pears, since they will cause the lettuce leaves to brown.


We usually describe mushrooms as having a cap (the wide portion on top), gills (the rows of paper-thin tissue seen underneath the cap when it opens), and a stem.
Look for young mushrooms that are small to medium in size. Caps should be either closed around the stem or moderately open with pink or light-tan gills. The surface of the cap should be white or creamy, or uniform light brown if of a brown type. Avoid mushrooms with wide open caps and dark gills underneath.

The best way to store loose button mushrooms is to keep them in the refrigerator either placed in a loosely closed paper bag, wrapped in a damp cloth or laid out in a glass dish that is covered with a moist cloth. These methods will help them to preserve their moisture without becoming soggy and will keep them fresh for several days. Mushrooms that are purchased prepackaged can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week in their original container.

TIP – Mushrooms are so porous that if they are exposed to too much water, they will quickly absorb it and become soggy. Therefore, the best way to clean mushrooms without sacrificing their texture and taste is to clean them using minimal, if any, water. To do this, simply wipe them with a slightly damp paper towel or kitchen cloth.

IDEA – Sautéed mushrooms and onions make a great side dish to meat dishes.


One of my favorite vegetables. They come in yellow, white and red.
The yellow onion is full flavored and can be used for cooking almost anything. When they are cooked they turn a rich dark brown color. If you are making French Onion soup, this is the onion to use. Choose onions that are clean, well shaped, have no opening at the neck and feature crisp, dry outer skins. Avoid those that are sprouting or have signs of mold.

Onions should be stored at room temperature, away from bright light, and in a manner where they are well ventilated. To do this, either place them in a wire hanging basket or a perforated bowl with a raised base so that air can circulate underneath. The length of storage varies with the type of onion. Those that are more pungent in flavor, such as yellow onions, can stay longer than those with a sweeter taste, such as white onions, since the compounds that confer their sharp taste help to preserve them. All onions should be stored away from potatoes, as they will absorb their moisture and ethylene gas, causing them to spoil more readily. The remainder of cut onions should be wrapped tightly in plastic or in a sealed container and should be used within a day or two.

Red onions are wonderful for fresh uses and for grilling. White onions are used in most Mexican dishes. When you sauté white onions they turn golden and have a sweet flavor. Avoid buying onions which have sprouted.

Green Onions – Look for bunches with crisp green tops. These are regular onions that are harvested very young.

When purchasing scallions, look for those that have green, fresh-looking tops that appear crisp, yet tender. The base should be whitish in color for two or three inches. Avoid those that have wilted or yellowed tops. Scallions should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where they will keep for about one week.

IDEA – Combine chopped onions, tomatoes, avocado and jalapeno for an all-in-one guacamole salsa dip.

IDEA – To perk up plain rice, sprinkle some green onions, also known as scallions, and sesame seeds on top.

IDEA – Enjoy a classic Italian salad-sliced ​​onions, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese drizzled with olive oil.


Look for fresh and crisp bright green leaves. If your parsley wilts, trim off the ends of the stems and place them in cold water. Avoid any bunches that are discolored or yellowing.
Fresh parsley should be kept in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.

TIP – Fresh parsley should be washed right before using since it is highly fragile. The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and swish it around with your hands.

TIP – If you have excess flat leaf parsley, you can easily dry it by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. Once dried, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.

TIP – Curly leaf parsley is best preserved by freezing, as opposed to drying. Although it will retain most of its flavor, it has a tendency to lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes without first thawing.

TIP – Since it has a stronger flavor than the curly variety, Italian flat leaf parsley holds up better to cooking and therefore is usually the type preferred for hot dishes. Flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor than the curly variety. It should be added towards the end of the cooking process so that it can best retain its taste, color and nutritional value.

IDEA – Add parsley to pesto sauce to add more texture to its green color.

IDEA – Combine chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest, and use it as a rub for chicken, lamb and beef.


When purchasing garden peas, look for ones whose pods are firm, velvety and smooth. Their color should be a medium green. Those whose green color is especially light or dark, or those that are yellow, whitish or are speckled with gray, should be avoided.

Unlike the rounded pods of garden peas, the pods of snow peas are flat. You should be able to see the shape of the peas through the pod. Choose smaller ones as they tend to be sweeter.
Unwashed, unshelled peas stored in the refrigerator in a bag or unsealed container will keep for several days. Before you remove the peas from the pod, rinse them briefly under running water. To easily shell them, snap off the top and bottom of the pod and then gently pull off the "thread" that lines the seam of most peapods.

IDEA – Mix green peas with chicken, diced onions and almonds to make a chicken salad.


Peppers should be firm and have a deep color, green, yellow or red. They should also be slightly heavy. Avoid peppers that appear flabby. Unwashed sweet peppers stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator will keep for up to one week. Before coring and / or cutting the pepper, wash it under running water. If the pepper has been waxed, you should also scrub it well.

IDEA – Add finely chopped bell peppers to tuna or chicken salad.

IDEA – Bell peppers are one of the best vegetables to serve in a crudités platter (vegetables and dip) since not only do they add a brilliant splash of color, but their texture is also the perfect crunchy complement for dips.

TIP – Use a paring knife to cut around the stem and remove it. Peppers can be cut into various shapes and sizes. To easily chop, dice or cut the peppers into strips, first cut the pepper in half lengthwise, clean out the core and seeds, and then, after placing the skin side down on the cutting surface, cut into the desired size and shape. Peppers can also be cut horizontally into rings.


Look for potatoes that are firm and have no green on them. The green produces a bitter flavor. Potatoes can be used for all types of recipes. "New potatoes" are not fully mature. They are best used for boiling or creaming. "General purpose potatoes" are best for boiling and frying. There are also special potatoes grown for baking., For example, Russet Burbank.

TIP – Potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator, as their starch content will turn to sugar giving them an undesirable taste. In addition, do not store potatoes near onions, as the gases that they each emit will cause the degradation of one another. Wherever you store them, they should be kept in a burlap or paper bag. Mature potatoes stored properly can keep up to two months.

TIP – Potatoes should be cleaned and cut right before cooking in order to avoid the discoloration that occurs with exposure to air. If you cannot cook them immediately after cutting, place them in a bowl of cold water to which you have added a little bit of lemon juice.

IDEA – Purée roasted garlic, cooked potatoes and olive oil together to make delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Season to taste.

IDEA – Salad Nicoise – cooked new potatoes with chunks of tuna fish and steamed green beans dressed lightly with oil and vinegar.

IDEA – Toss steamed, diced potato with olive oil and fresh herbs of your choice.


Look for medium size radishes (3/4 to 1 inch in diameter). They should be plump, round and firm. Radishes are either red or white. Avoid large radishes: they usually have a pithy center.


Look for fresh, firm rhubarb stems with a bright, glossy appearance. Stems should have a large amount of pink or red color, although many good-quality stems will be predominantly light green. Be sure that the stem is tender and not fibrous.


Choose spinach that has deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be wilted or bruised. Store fresh spinach loosely packed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep fresh for about five days. Do not wash it before storing as the moisture will cause it to spoil.

IDEA – Add layers of steamed spinach to your next lasagna recipe.

IDEA – Toss steamed spinach with pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.

IDEA – Pine nuts are a great addition to cooked spinach.

IDEA – Spinach makes great salads.


Summer – When purchasing summer squash, look for ones that are heavy for their size and have shiny, unblemished rinds. Summer squash is very fragile and should be handled with care as small punctures will lead to decay. It should be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about seven days.

IDEA – Add zucchini or other summer squash to your favorite muffin or bread recipe; decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by about one-third to compensate for the moisture present in the squash.

Winter – Winter squash is easily prone to decay, so it is important to carefully inspect it before purchase. Choose ones that are firm, heavy for their size and have dull, not glossy, rinds. Winter squash has a much longer storage life than summer squash. Depending upon the variety, it can be kept for between one week to six months.

Sweet Potatoes and Yam

Look for firm smooth sweet potatoes with uniformly colored skins. Yams are moist, sweet and have orange-colored flesh. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are dry and have pale-colored flesh. Sweet potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator. Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days. They should be stored loose and not kept in a plastic bag. Keep them away from exposure to sunlight.

The tomatoes with the best taste come from locally grown farms. They ripen completely before they are picked. Most tomatoes that you find in the grocery are picked when they start to turn pink. If your tomatoes need to ripen more, place them in a warn place out of direct sunlight. Do not put your tomatoes in the refrigerator unless they are fully ripe.

Source by Carolyn Flesch

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