March 4, 2013

Date Farming ABCs in California

Date Farming ABCs in California

Often Nutmeg’s most intriguing encounters start at the market and end in a DATE! …a date plantation in Indio, California. (more…)

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November 15, 2012

Extra Virgin Oil an Olive Legend

Extra Virgin Oil an Olive Legend

A trip to the grocery store can be confusing. How do you choose between farm-raised, wild, organic, omega-3, free-range, local, grass-fed, pesticide-free and all natural? And that is just for eggs. (more…)

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November 15, 2010

Homemade Banana Bread

Homemade Banana Bread

Hot Sauce (Nutmeg’s Mum) loves bananas, she grew up in the West Indies on an island that produces bananas for export, so it was best to love them… Bananas are considered a super-food: Potassium-rich; studies show foods with high levels of potassium can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 40% High levels of the antioxidant phenolic compounds work to detoxify cancer-causing agents Although not specifically high in calcium can help in the absorption of calcium They reduce stomach acidity and in some cases may even reduce nausea (more…)

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October 11, 2010

Unearthing Root Vegetables in the Fall

Unearthing Root Vegetables in the Fall

Thanksgiving, it certainly feels like fall in Southern Alberta and in parts of France.  The mornings are crisp and more clothing layers are required for dog walks.  Nearby mountain peaks have some early season snow at the higher levels, and the leaves on the trees are starting to turn their autumn hues.  Nutmeg is not really a fall person, although she has many friends who embrace the transition season between summer (her favorite) and winter (skiing, second favorite). (more…)

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September 27, 2010

All About Raw Food

All About Raw Food

Back in August, Nutmeg published a blog post on Nu-Roots Nutrition in Canmore.  In the past few weeks, she has had the pleasure of getting to know the three ladies involved a little better; Sam, Tori and Joanne.  These three ladies offer a winning business combination of holistic nutrition (individual and corporate) and a storefront where they sell fresh small batch quantities of gluten free, raw food. If that sounds strange or yucky, think again….  Nutmeg has tried the “Nutella” spread and it is too die for AND good for you.  The granola comes in two varieties a buckwheat and a cacao version both delicious.  There are all sorts of other great things including; decadent brownies.  Want to learn more?  The store is open Tuesday – Friday and they offer raw cooking classes about every two weeks.  Below is an article from their most recent newsletter and a really easy recipe.  BE TEMPTED! (more…)

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August 30, 2010

Global Warming its Soup Time

Global Warming its Soup Time

Nutmeg is a “greeniac” (just ask Ginger)… she turns out lights before she leaves a room, recycles everything, uses the rain barrel to water her plant pots,  faithfully composts greens and browns, buys eco-friendly cleaning products – but she does NOT believe in global warming!  On August 29th, Ginger and Nutmeg awoke to slightly above freezing temperatures and a very clear view of snow a third of the way down the nearby mountain peaks.  Yes it is true, the rest of the country, and possibly the world is suffering with heat stroke, water restrictions and cool blended drinks.  Al Gore be damned according to Nutmeg, there is no global warming in Southern Alberta, it is soup time! So out comes the Corn and Crab Chowder (check out the recipe below). (more…)

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July 21, 2010

Market Series Seasonal Pear Muffins

Market Series Seasonal Pear Muffins

Eve may have tempted Adam with an apple, or so the story goes, although it could just have easily been a pear.  The pear grows on trees in cooler temperate climates.  There are about 30 varieties of pears, although in North American grocery stores we may see 3-4 at the height of the season.  Pears (or the equivalent in local languages) have been cultivated since prehistoric times.  There is evidence of the use of pears in Roman times, as well as in parts of Africa and in Asia. Historians have traced the growth of pears in China back 3000 years. Worldwide production is about 20 million tonnes, of which China produces over 12.5 million tonnes.  Generally, the harvest season for pears is late summer and early fall.  Pears are picked while they are still green, if left to ripen on the tree they turn yellow and starchy.  A single pear has about 100 calories, 6grams of fibre and 10% Vitamin C.  One interesting fact is they are less allergenic than other fruits and often pear juice is the first juice introduced to infants. Nutmeg discovered a very easy Pear Muffin recipe and has now tried it a couple times.  Nutmeg’s favorite recipes are those with less than 10 ingredients, allows for a bit of adaptation and just one bowl!  Unfortunately, when the blog database crashed this recipe was lost.  Nutmeg will be trying some different options and report back soon.

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May 31, 2010

Sunny Citrus in California

Sunny Citrus in California

Nutmeg was curious, in December she and Ginger had fresh squeezed orange juice every morning from the tree outside the door in Palm Desert.  However, in June no decent oranges, lemons or grapefruits for any juice.  The trees are still very healthy and there are signs of fruit to come, although not anytime soon… So Nutmeg wondered: do the trees only bare fruit once a year? The answer is yes, unfortunately. Is California really the place for citrus?  The answer is yes although it is not the leader in US production.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes monthly results and forecasts by state and by type of produce; oranges “non-Valencia”, oranges “Valencia”, grapefruit, tangerines, tangelos, lemons etc.  Florida by far has the largest production (131 million boxes – forecast for 2010), followed by California (59 million), Texas (1,6 million) and Arizona weighs in with some minor production.  Total US production forecast for 2010 is 192 million boxes. Interesting to note, Brazil is actually the largest producer of orange juice in the world, followed by the USA, then Mexico.  Europe’s overall production has been declining although Spain does produce lots of oranges – hence the names Valencia and Seville. Although not entirely precise it is widely thought from the research that citrus fruits began to appear in Asia around 4000BC.  The name orange is thought to have derived from Sanskrit.  From Asia the cultivation spread slowly to Africa then to southern Europe.  The Spaniards brought the plants to the Americas.  World trade in orange juice began in the 1940s. A few more interesting tidbits: Blood Oranges were discovered and cultivated in Sicily in the 15th century The Chinese have the largest world wide production of those fantastic little mandarins The navel orange was a result of a single mutation in the 1820s, at a monastery orchard in Brazil The Spanish Valencia orange was the official mascot (“Naranjito“) of the 1982 FIFA World Cup So Nutmeg’s questions are answered and she is having to satisfy her thirst with Tropicana OJ – made from Brazil and US oranges. Cheers!

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May 21, 2010

Do not like Cilantro It is Genetic

Do not like Cilantro It is Genetic

So Nutmeg has this friend,  Mr. High Maintenance (or “the lighting guy”) who he claims that he does not like Cilantro.  We have all thought for years that he is well; Mr. High Maintenance – you get the picture.  So today on the step-mill at the gym Nutmeg was stunned to find out that apparently it is true!! There is a study that has been done to understand the link between DNA and dietary preferences.  You can read the full article in Maclean’s Magazine (May 17, 2010).  The study has been co-authored by Dr. Oz (yes his real name).  The field is called “nutrigenomics” which is the pursuit of identifying the right diet for your genes.  The theory is that people may not process and digest food in the same way due to unique gene make-up.  Apparently, via a simple mouth swab they can determine what kind of diet you should be on.  In addition, a study has been done by Charles J Wysocki in Philadelphia specifically on the herb Cilantro and the findings revealed that some people who dislike it  may be missing a genetic component.  So there you have it, what Nutmeg has always suspected is true…Mr. High Maintenance is missing a gene! [tfb username=’GingerandNutmeg’ count=’true’ lang=’en’ theme=’light’]

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May 16, 2010

Quinoa Salad Facts

Quinoa Salad Facts

Quinoa pronounced “keen-wha” is a really old grain.  It is classified as a pseudocereal, which means it is not a cereal or a grain.  Quinoa is a chenopod, so it is the same family as beets and spinach.  It was a sacred grain for the Inca’s, who called it chissaya mama “mother of all grains”.  It has been cultivated for over 6000 years in the Andes.  It does not grow like a rice; quinoa has a long growing season, likes well drained soil and easily grows at high altitudes up to 4000 meters.  The Spanish conquistadors (really bad guys) who called it “food for Indians” forbade the production and strongly encouraged the farming of corn (maize).  Quinoa is also really good for you, it is gluten-free, high in phosphorus, magnesium, iron and it is high in protein.  Best of all it cooks in 15 minutes or less. Ginger hates quinoa but he is away…. so Nutmeg (who loves it) got a great recipe from Hot Chili to try.  The recipe is great but even better the next day when the flavors soak in. Print Curried Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango Recipe type: Salad Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  15 mins Total time:  30 mins Serves: 4-6   You can play with the ingredients to your taste. Red Inca Quinoa adds more fibre and color. Ingredients 1 Cup Quinoa 2 Cups Water 1-2 Whole Ripe Mangoes, peeled and chopped 1 Whole Red Pepper, chopped ¼ Cup Seedless Cucumber, chopped 2-3 Green Onions, chopped 2 Cups Spinach leaves, washed 1 Can Black Beans, drained 1 Handful (optional) Cilantro, chopped ¼ Cup Olive or Canola Oil 2 Tablespoons White Balsamic or regular vinegar 1 Tablespoon Mango Chutney 1 Teaspoon Honey 1 Teaspoon Curry Powder ¼ Teaspoon Cumin, ground Instructions Rinse quinoa well under cold water, then drain through fine sieve Combine the quinoa and the water, bring to a boil and then cover, cook for 15 minutes or less Drain and rinse Combine ingredients for dressing (starting at the Olive Oil) with a whisk or in jar and shake Place quinoa, chopped vegetables, and beans in large bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss until well coated 3.2.2499 So quinoa is really old and really good for you – Nutmeg will be eating it until Ginger gets back! Enjoy.

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