Amazing Pomegranates!

Pomegranate
10/26/10 The amount of fresh whole pomegranates Peapod sells each year is amazing to me!  What do customers do with this rather odd fruit?  I hope most customers are enjoying the the seeds within the pomegranate, they are called the arils and are the edible part of the fruit, sweet and delicious. They can be used in salads or served alongside chicken or fish dishes or simply eatened out of hand.  Tip: the best way to seed a pomegrante is cutting it into sections then submerging the sections in a bowl of water and seperating the seeds from the pulp.  The seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl and you can skim off the white inedible pulp. 

Another use is juicing the pomegranate seeds, recently pomegranate juice, tea and even ice cream have become popular because of  published health benefits from preventing heart disease, certain forms of cancer and to lowering blood pressure.  Packed full of antioxidants (think color, fruit or vegetables with color usually contain high amounts of anti oxidants), pomegranates are good for your health.

I know of some customers who like to use pomegranates as decorations as part of a fall theme with mini pumpkins, and gords, because left out at room temperature pomegranates dry out (do not spoil) and look rather fallish. 

Tip: When choosing a pomegranate look for nice ruby color (in my years of experience this indicates sweetness), and also heavy fruit this indicates full of seeds. They are best stored in the refrigerator where they can last a month or even more. We are in the prime season for pomegranates right now through Thanksgiving!

Must Eat Veggie for Women!

Watercress

Great article on Yahoo today for must a eat vegetable for Women, watercress.  This vegetable is high in vitamin A,C and K (great for bone strength and heart healthy).  But, most importantly they have discovered a compound in watercress that inhibits tumor growth so it may reduce the risk for certain types of breast cancer.  Watercress is often found as decorative green on side dishes and there is always the occasional watercress salad, but you  can serve alongside fish, chicken and toss with pasta.  For the entire article on Yahoo and some good recipe ideas for watercress you can access with the  link below:

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/the-must-eat-green-most-women-overlook-2395044/

Butternut or Acorn, which do you prefer?

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With the cool fall days upon us are thoughts and appetites turn to hardier dishes that can also be healthy as well.  Also, if you looking for local produce you can't beat the hard squashes which are all harvested locally at this time of the year.  The hard squashes include names like Carnival, Delicata, Buttercup, Turbin (don't try to eat this one, more for decoration), Calabaza, Sweet Dumpling... and of course Pumpkin, but the 2 most popular squashes are Acorn and Butternut.  Do you prefer Acorn or Butternut?  I am a Butternut lover for a couple of reasons; one is I love the richer color and flavor of the butternut squash (a slightly nutty flavor, thus the name butternut) and because of the color Butternut delivers a whopping dose of healthy beta carotene, also known as vitamin A.  Just a 3 1/2 oz serving of butternut contains more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A! 

All of these aforementioned squashes are difficult to cut, a quick tip is to use a heavy kitchen knife and pierce the squash in several places, then place in the microvave for 2 to 3 minutes, let cool then cut.  You will find it much easier and softer.  Just a side note in many of our markets you can buy fresh butternut squash already cut, cleaned and cubed.  My favorite way to cook butternut is cut into several wedges, toss with a small amount of canola oil, a little salt and pepper and roast in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes.  The high heat caramelizes the sugars in the squash and you can enjoy this healthy dish without any butter or sugar.