Pom-pom Recipe of the Week

This week, Iskashitaa had a harvest of pomegranates. This prompted me to infuse that ingredient in to this week’s recipe of the week post.

Pomegranates has several health benefits. Pomegranates cure stomach disorders, alleviate heart problems, prevent cancer, offer dental care, assist with the prevention of osteoarthritis, treat anemia, control diabetes, treats anemia, controls diabetes, improves erectile dysfunction and offers assistance with Alzheimer’s disease and prevents low birth weights for infants.[1]

The fruit grows is in its ripening season during the months of September and October. The fruit grows from dingy-grey, finely-fissured bark stems. The shoots are greenish-grey and spiny, one-year wood is yellowish and bare but ends a prickle closely resembling a needle. Leafing season depends on conditions, which usually offer an earlier blossoming period. The higher the elevation, the later in the year the leaves develop. The fruit is easily distinguishable. With a tough, pliable rind that protects the berry-type fruit called “cenocarpium”, seeds surrounded by juicy flesh within a unique two-storied arrangement called nidus.[2]

Included are a selection of 6 easy pomegranate recipes found through the sunset’s website, “sunset.com”.[3]

Pomegranates are enjoyed globally as a rich source of essential nutrients but more so for the seeds that pop in your mouth with an amazing sweet-tart flavor.

 

[1] “7 Amazing Benefits of Pomegranates,” Organic Facts, https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-pomegranate.html, Accessed Aug 30, 2017.

[2] “Pomegranate Culture in Central Asia,” The Archives of The Rare Fruit Council of Australia, http://rfcarchives.org.au/Next/Fruits/Pomegranate/Pomegranate1-94.htm. Accessed Aug 30, 2017.

[3] “6 Easy Ways to Enjoy Pomegranates,” Sunset, http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/kitchen-assistant/pomegranate-recipes#pear-recipes_6, Accessed Aug 30, 2017.

Food From Another World: Purslane

Over the last few weeks, we have had a few big harvests of purslane at Felicia’s Farm.

Purslane is a succulent plant with pinkish stems (in wild variety) or greenish stems (in cultivated variety) and edible leaves. It grows rampantly and is usually weeded out by many but its uses in food are slowly becoming popular among gardeners. The leaves give a lemony and peppery taste. This is a great article that lists the best foods that can be paired with purslane to create your own recipe of a salad, soup or pickle! -

This tiny plant also happens to be a nutritional powerhouse. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins (A, B, C) and antioxidants. Michael Pollan, American author and journalist calls purslane one of the two most nutritious plants on earth - a weed with virtues!

While it is said that purslane is native to Southeast Asian, African and Mediterranean regions, it has been growing and cultivated in all parts of the world for a long time. It grows just about anywhere from fertile garden soil to the poorest arid soils which is why you can see purslane plants growing in just about any garden.

Purslane looks similar to ‘hairy-stemmed spurge’ which is a poisonous plant, so be careful while harvesting and consuming!

 

Other Sources:

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/030726.html

http://www.ediblewildfood.com/poisonous-plants.aspx#spurge

Environmental & Green Living: Saving Energy at Home in the Summer

A couple of weeks ago, we published a blog about a great environmentally friendly way of getting to work - biking. You can continue your green living efforts at home too with a few simple yet impactful actions.

I live in Redlands, CA and have signed up for the ‘Rush Hour Rewards’ program. On days when the electricity service provider experiences high demand for energy (mostly through air conditioning on high temperature summer days), the service provider needs to regulate the total energy consumption and offer the ‘Rush Hour Rewards’ program. On such days, the temperature is regulated by the service provider between 2 to 6 pm and in return one gets credit on their electricity bill! Most cities have similar programs that you can sign up for, especially if you have are away from home for work most days of the week!

For those of you stay-at-home moms/dads or if you’re working from home, there are ways to beat the heat and still save energy with few simple tips that I came across on Tucson Electric Power’s website here:

·         Use a small portable floor or table fan to regulate air flow in the house. Moving air can help you feel cooler without increasing air conditioning use.

·         Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature to minimize your cooling costs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends a setting of 78 degrees in the summer.

·         Close curtains and blinds in the afternoon to block out sunlight that could make cooling more energy-consuming.

·         Indoor gardening is a great way to naturally cool your home!

Most importantly, you can feel cooler from within by consuming cool foods and keeping yourself well-hydrated throughout the day (I learnt this from my grandparents that live in a desert-state called Rajasthan in India. They did not have electricity in their house until the late 1970s!)

 

Sources:

https://www.tep.com/residential-energy-saving-tips/