Energetics of Jackfruit: Jack of All Trades

Native to South India, this fruit is very popular in tropical regions and is even the national fruit of Bangladesh. Jackfruit is in the Moraceae family, which includes the fig, mulberry and breadfruit. It is the largest tree-born fruit, easily getting up to 80 lbs.

Jackfruit is known for having a strong aroma to it, the aroma is a sweet combination of banana and pineapple. The taste is similar to its aroma.  Everyone who tries it has a different impression but the most common flavor profiles people taste are combinations of apple, pineapple, mango, or banana.  I personally think it tastes like a strawberry banana smoothie.   The seeds are also special, in that they apparently smell like chocolate after they are roasted.

Varieties

These are distinguished by the characteristics of the jackfruit flesh.  Both the jackfruit’s flesh and seeds are consumed.

Varikka/Kaapa/Jaca-dura: The inner flesh is hard when ripe and tends to be drier and less sweet.

Koozha/Barka/Jaca-mole: The inner flesh is very soft when ripe and almost dissolves when you eat it due to its moistness.  This variety is very sweet and tends to have a darker gold colored flesh.

Imba: This type is ground up and spread over a mat to dry in the sun to make a natural chewy candy.

Ripe jackfruit is naturally sweet with subtle flavors and is used in many dishes, mostly dessert or sweet dishes.   The seeds of the ripe jackfruit are edible and have a milky, sweet taste.  They can be boiled, baked, or roasted.  The roasted and dried seeds are often used in curries.

Unripe or young jackfruit is extremely popular in South and Southeast Asia.  It is used in many cuisines, including curries and as filling for cutlets and chops. Young jackfruit is very sought after by vegetarians and vegans for its ability to be a meat substitute. In order to eat unripe jackfruit you must first peel it and then the remaining fruit can be chopped into edible portions. It has a mild taste and has a distinct meat-like texture (think shredded chicken).

How to Choose and Store

Jackfruit comes as a whole fruit, which is very large with spiky skin, or it comes pre-cut up and packaged for your convenience.

Ripe: When shopping for whole ripe Jackfruit look for ones that give off a strong sweet smell, which starts happening a few days bore it is fully ripe.  For pre-packaged ripe jackfruit, make sure that the pieces are not discolored, they should be vibrant yellow, and they should be soft and tender.

Unripe: When shopping for whole unripe jackfruit, look for ones that do not have a strong smell.  Pre-packaged fresh unripe jackfruit are harder to come by, as most stores only sell ripe jackfruit fresh, but you can find canned unripe jackfruit in the canned foods aisle of your grocery store.  When buying canned jackfruit, always buy jackfruit that is in water or brine, never in syrup.

Cut up jackfruit can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days and the freezer up to 2 months. Although, for the best flavor eat jackfruit as fresh as possible.

Pro-Tip: Jackfruit are very sticky, so when cutting into the fruit it is best to coat your knife in oil first.

Nutrition

Jackfruit is surprisingly low calorie for a fruit, at only 95 calories per 100g. It is also rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C.  Jackfruit is a great source of the B vitamins pyridoxine (B6), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and folic acid (B9). It is also a small but significant source of vitamin A and the flavonoids carotene-B, xanthin, lupine, and cryptoxanthin-B. Jackfruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.

Energetics

Jackfruit is both sweet and sour, as well as cooling.

Jackfruit is considered empty sweet and is therefore heavily cleansing and cooling. Jackfruit can help build the yin-fluids, such as tissue and bodily fluids, and help tonify a thin and dry person.  Jackfruit helps moisten dry conditions in the lungs.

Unripe jackfruit tends to be more sour than sweet. It has an astringent effect which can help prevent or reverse abnormal leakage of fluids and energy.  It also dries and firms the body tissues.

Cautions: Those who are overweight, sluggish, or have a damp constitution should avoid overeating jackfruit.

Smoky Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Chili

Ingredients:

  • 18 oz black beans drained and rinsed if from can,
  • 18 oz kidney beans drained and rinsed if from can,
  • 18 oz cannellini beans drained and rinsed if from can,
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 5 oz mushrooms diced
  • 2 20 oz cans of young green jackfruit in water NOT in syrup or brine!
  • 2 28 oz can of Ro*tel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilis drained
  • Homemade smokey chili seasoning recipe below

Homemade Chili Seasoning

  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 5 TBSP garlic powder
  • 5 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsps crushed red pepper flakes less if you’d prefer no heat
  • 5 tsps dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper

Garnish

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the contents for the homemade smokey chili seasoning together until perfectly blended. Set aside.
  2. Place all of the chili ingredients into the slow cooker.
  3. Dump the chili seasoning into the slow cooker and mix well to blend.
  4. Keep the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Serve and garnish with optional garnishes.

Source

 

Energetics of Pichuberry: The Lost Incan Crop

PichuberryPichuberries may look exotic, but they are more commonly known as the Cape Gooseberry. The Pichuberry roots yield from the Andes of Peru and are referred to as the Lost Incan Crop.

Eating one is like unwrapping a present. The pichuberry itself is covered by loose, dry leaves that once opened, reveal a small saffron-colored “berry.”  They are mildly sweet and subtly tart. Their size and texture are similar to that of a grape. It is a unique summer snack for the whole family.

You may be surprised to learn that these are not berries at all! They are actually a cousin of the tomatillo. Pichuberries are fruits of the nightshade family, related to eggplant, cherries, potato, tomato, bell peppers and, of course, the tomatillo. Because they are nightshades, those with certain health conditions should avoid them. Nightshade plants are high in alkaloids so anyone with arthritis or gout must avoid this family of foods. Steaming, boiling, and baking can help reduce the alkaloid levels.

The pichuberry is more than just a delicious snackit is filled with nutritional benefits. It is one of the most abundant sources of vitamin C available among all fruits and plants. This little berry carries as much as 20 times the vitamin C of an orange! Also hidden in its small size is a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamin A, and B vitamins including thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, and vitamin B-12. Pichuberries also help in reducing sugar levels in the blood, as well as increase production of blood corpuscles in the body.

Nutrition Facts Amount
Serving Size 100 g
Calories 65
Total Fat 0.2 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 50 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.1 g
Fiber 4.8 g
Protein 1.7 g
Iron 1.2 mg

Pichuberry Salsa

Pichuberry2

Also check out a recipe for Pico de Pichuberry Salsa! Click here for the recipe.

Looking for a unique way to incorporate Pichuberries into your meals? Try this summer salsa.

Ingredients

1 cup Pichuberries without the cape (half lengthwise)
1 small avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and coarsely chopped.
1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño chopped, seedless.
½ cup (2 oz) chopped green onions
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Pinch of salt

Directions

In a bowl, mix all ingredients and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Energetics of the Nightshade Family

Energetics of Eggplant: Not Quite Egg, But Fully Plant
Energetics of Chili Peppers: For the Spice Lovers
Energetics of Tomato
Energetics of Sweet Potato: Not Yams!
Energetics of Bell Peppers: The Colorful Kitchen Staple

 

Sources
Pichuberry: Peru’s Exotic Fruit from Eating Free
Pichuberry General Information from Pichuberry.com
Pico de Pichuberry Salsa from Pichuberry.com

 

 

Energetics of Plantains: A Plethora of Pleasant Pancakes

Plantains are a wonderfully delicious and beneficial fruit from the plant family Plantaginaceae. This is amongst the few fruits which can be consumed—and thoroughly enjoyed—during a wide range of unripe to very ripe states. Each varied state of ripeness will provide a wide gamut of flavor profiles, and of course, energetic qualities that affect the body in very specific ways.

Energetics:

Unripe (bitter) plantains strengthens yin, directs energy inward and downward to the lower body, are cooling to the system, and are helpful in relieving diarrhea, colitis, and hemorrhoids; bitter foods affect the heart & small intestine Officials and assist in reducing body heat and drying body fluids.

Ripe (sweet) plantains strengthens yang, are warming to the system, lubricate the intestines and lungs, benefit conditions of thirst and dryness, and detoxifies the body. Sweet foods affect the spleen-pancreas & stomach Officials. Ripe plantains are especially beneficial in the treatment of constipation and ulcers, dry lung or dry cough, addiction (especially alcoholism), and hypertension. Furthermore, ripe plantains are supportive to the elderly as they are helpful in regulating blood pressure, relieving dryness, and are easy to digest.

Preparation:

Depending on the taste profile that you prefer—and most especially the energetic health effects that you’re looking for—choosing your ideal ripeness is essential for the preparation of plantains.

Green (unripe & bitter) plantains are going to be closer to the consistency and starchiness of a potato and less messy when removing the skin.

Yellow -> black (ripe & sweet) plantains are much closer to the taste of a banana and can be messy when removing the skin. If you’re looking for the sweeter taste, then you want the plantain skin to be BLACK. I know this seems weird compared to most other fruits, however, this is when it is in its prime sweetness; simply be cautious to make sure that it has not developed mold while ripening.

Plantains don’t peel like a banana; you need to cut off both ends, slice into the ‘seams’ of the fibrous peel (without cutting into the fruit), and then use the knife to pry the peel off of the fruit. Here’s a great Plantains 101 blog if you want some more guidance on this process

RIPE Plantain Recipe:

Plantain & Coconut Pancakes by Sonia, The Healthy Foodie

Ingredients

  • ½ very ripe plantain, peeled and sliced
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch Himalayan or unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ tsp chai spice (see this post for Sonia’s mix)

Garnish ideas

  • 1 tbsp full fat coconut milk (refrigerated works best)
  • 1 tbsp toasted coconut shavings (organic, unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized/raw liquid honey

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until very well combined.
  2. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to give the coconut flour a chance to thicken.
  3. Meanwhile, add some coconut oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  4. When pan is hot enough, slowly pour about ¼ of a cup of batter per pancake and cook until tops become sort of matte and dull looking and edges appear cooked.
  5. Very delicately flip the pancakes and continue cooking until golden.
  6. Place the cooked pancakes in a very low temp oven to keep them warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
  7. Garnish with coconut milk, a drizzle of honey and sprinkle with toasted coconut shavings, if desired.

UNripe Plantain Recipe:

Egg-Free Green Plantain Pancakes

Recipe by Amanda Torres, The Curious Coconut

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 -15 minutes

Total time: 15 – 20 minutes

Yield: about 12 large pancakes

Ingredients

Cooking Directions

  1. You will need a good blender to make this recipe. Begin by peeling the plantains and slicing into pieces about 1 inch wide. To peel, use a knife to cut both tips off, then cut the plantain in half or in quarters. Next, use your knife to cut a slit down the length of the fruit, being careful not to cut into the flesh of the fruit (it may come off with the peel if you do). Use your fingers to lift the peel off. Use your knife to help clean up any bits that are hard to remove with your fingers. Add peeled plantain pieces to blender.
  2. Add your seasoning of choice, salt, baking soda, and coconut oil to the blender. Don’t turn it on yet.
  3. Prepare gelatin. **YOU CANNOT USE GREAT LAKES COLLAGEN HYDROLYSATE (green can) IN THIS RECIPE.** I recommend the RED can, since it comes from grass-fed cows. First, you need to “bloom” (wet) the gelatin, then melt it. To bloom, put the 3/4 cup filtered water into a small pot. Slowly sprinkle gelatin on top of water and watch that it soaks into the water. When you near the last of the gelatin, you will need to use a fork to stir the dry gelatin into the wet gelatin. I whisk it several times. Put pot on stove and heat over medium low heat while continuing to stir. Continue heating until all gelatin has melted and no clumps remain. Pour into blender with other ingredients.
  4. Pre-heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat. I use an anodized aluminum double-burner skillet that doesn’t require greasing. If using a frying pan, heat a few Tbsp of coconut oil in the pan.
  5. Blend on high. Use a spatula to scrape down sides of blender to ensure that all of the plantain gets pureed. I usually have to scrape the sides down once or twice and blend for a total of about 60 seconds or so.
  6. Pour batter into your hot pan in desired size. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then flip. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes then serve.
  7. This recipe will make about 12 large pancakes and is enough to feed 2 – 4 people. I like to top with fresh or cooked berries (cooked with a splash of water in a small pot until crushed easily) and a bit of grade B maple syrup. Non-autoimmune paleo topping options include creme fraiche, yogurt, or even some soft cheeses. I also like to pair these with a few slices of bacon for a great sweet and salty juxtaposition.

One Last Alternative Recipe (non-pancake): Monfongo

Energetics of Plums: 1 In a 1000

European Plums

Plum FactsEuropean Plums

Plum Facts

Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of plums in the US alone? Between the US, Europe and Asia there are thousands of varieties in a wide range of sizes and colors.  There are very few fruits that have such a range.  Plums have been cultivated since the ancient times.  European plums are believed to have originated from Damacus, Syria and Persia, while Japanese plums originated from China.

Plum Varieties

Plums are from the genus Prunus and are related to peaches, nectarine, and almonds.  They are considered drupes, which are fruit that have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds.  Dried plums are also known as prunes.

Japanese Plums

Japanese Plums

Plums belong to one of six categories: Japanese, American, Damson, Ornamental, Wild, and European/Garden.  The plums in each category vary by size, shape and color.  The two main varieties found in the supermarkets are Japanese and European plums.

Japanese: These are known as clingstone because their flesh clings to the pit.  The skins of Japanese plums range from crimson to black-red (but never purple).  They are very juicy with yellow or reddish flesh.

European: These are characterized by their blue or purple skins. They are smaller in size, denser and less juicy then their Japanese counterpart. They are considered freestone because their flesh easily separates from the pit. This type is used most often in making prunes.

The Plum season starts in May and ends around October, with Japanese plums making the first appearance and peaking in August. European plums start peaking in the fall.

How to Pick Plums; How to Store Plums

Japanese Plums

Japanese Plums

When selecting plums look for ones that are fully ripe.  They should yield to gentle pressure and are slightly soft at the tip. Better quality plums will have a rich color.  Avoid plums with soft spots as this is an indicator that it is overripe. Overripe plums with brown flesh should not be eaten.  Make sure that the plums you are selecting are free of puncture marks, bruises, or any signs of decay. You should also avoid hard plums, as they have been picked too soon and will never develop their full taste, texture or nutritional benefits.

Plums are a very delicate fruit and bruise easily, so always handle them with care.

Proper storage is the key to keeping plums fresh.  If properly stored, fresh plums can last up to 10 days.  Any plums that you are planning to eat within a day or two can stay on the counter, store any other plums in fridge.  To enjoy maximum flavor and juiciness, make sure you allow plums to get back to room temperature before eating them.

Plums Nutrition

Plums - Nutrition FactsPlums (both fresh and dried) are an excellent source of antioxidant protection.   They have a high content of unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid.  These are classified as phenols and they have been found to be very effective in neutralizing a particularly destructive oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical. Another antioxidant that is found plums is catechins, a flavonoid phytonutrient that have been found to protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.  Plums have many heart healthy nutrients as well, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and dietary fiber.

 

Plum Energetics

European Plums

European Plums

 

 

The purple varieties tend to be slightly cooling, while its yellow varieties tend to be neutral.  Plums build body fluids.  Plums can be used in the treatment of liver diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, hardened for expanded liver conditions in general, diabetes and dehydration.  The purple plums are best for liver conditions that express themselves as emotional repression, pain, and nervous disorders. Stewed prunes are a traditional remedy for constipation and are especially beneficial when excess liver and heat signs are present.

Caution: Plums are not good for people with delicate digestion or gastrointestinal ulcers or inflammations.  Rich in oxalic acid, plums can deplete calcium in the body.

 

Plums Recipe

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Plum Reduction

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Plum ReductionIngredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over high heat until the oil shimmers; gently lay the tenderloin into the hot oil. After about 1 minute, gently loosen the meat from the bottom of the skillet, if necessary. Cook until the pork is seared a golden brown color, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the lined baking sheet.
  3. Roast the seared tenderloin in the preheated oven until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork reads at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C), about 15 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into medallions.
  4. Cook the plums, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and blueberry juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the plums are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to the saucepan and simmer until reduced and thickened to the consistency of apple butter, about 5 more minutes. Spoon plum sauce over the sliced pork to serve.

Source

 

Energetics of Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable?

The great debate, what is a tomato?!  Well, while it is used and consumed as vegetable it is botanically a fruit. Tomatoes have seeds and grows from a flowering plant, therefore it is botanically classified as a fruit. The confusion comes from the fact that in 1887, US tariffs imposed a duty on vegetables, but not fruits.  Then in 1893 the US Supreme Court ruled in the case of Nix V. Hedden that tomatoes were to be considered a vegetable based on the popular definition that classifies vegetables by use, meaning that since tomatoes were usually served with dinner and not as a dessert they were a vegetable.

 

Varieties

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Tomato plants originated in the South America Andes in an area in modern day Peru. It was first consumed as food by the Aztecs. Now a days, the main producer of tomatoes is China, followed closely by the US and India. There are literally about 7,500 different types of tomatoes in the world, but today we are going to talk about 5 categories of tomatoes most commonly found at your local market.

Cherry Tomatoes are red, orange or yellow in color, and are bite-sized. These are used mostly in salads or as a garnish.

Slicing Tomatoes

Slicing Tomatoes

Plum Tomatoes and Roma/Italian Tomatoes are small, egg-shaped tomatoes that contain less juice than Slicing Tomatoes. Since they contain less juice these types of tomatoes are ideal for cooking, especially tomato sauces.

Slicing Tomatoes are small, round, and juicy.  These are the most commonly found tomato in local markets.  These include the flat beefsteak tomato.

Heirloom Tomatoes actually have no standard definition, but most experts consider them to be varieties that have been passed down for generations of a family and developed to bring out their best characteristics. They can be found in a variety of colors, shapes, and tastes. They are usually a soft tomato with a short shelf life, thus are not as wide distributed.  Most are found in farmer markets, natural food stores and supermarkets with a larger expanse of produce.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes are unripe tomatoes. They contain less nutrients than fully ripe tomatoes.  This is due to the fact that the phytonutrients that result in the tomatoes red coloring have not yet developed.

While tomatoes are available throughout the year, their peak season runs from July through October.

Best Way to Choose and Store

Plum Tomatoes

Plum Tomatoes

When selecting tomatoes look for ones that are deeply and evenly colored, and ones that are firm and heavy for their size. They should also be well shaped and have smooth skin.  Ripe tomatoes will yield to slight pressure and have a slight sweet smell. Avoid tomatoes with wrinkles, cracks, bruises, or soft spots.  Also avoid ones with a puffy appearance, as they tend to have inferior flavor.

Since ripe tomatoes are too fragile to ship, most commercially sold tomatoes are actually picked green and are exposed to ethylene gas (do not fret, this is the gas that fruit and veggies naturally give off that help quicken the ripening process) to ripen them to a red color once they reach their destination.  Since these tomatoes are picked early, their taste is not as flavorful as tomatoes found at farmers markets.

For canned tomatoes, make sure that you purchase tomatoes canned in the United States. Many countries do not have the same strict policies about controlling lead content in their food containers.  The high acid content in tomatoes can lead to corrosion of the container’s metal and result in migration of metals (especially lead) into the food.

Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

It is best to eat tomatoes the same day you buy them, but if that is not a possibility make sure you store them correctly.  Tomatoes can be stored uncut for up to 10 days.  It is best to keep them at room temperature and to keep them away from direct sunlight. Refrigerating unripe tomatoes can cause them to lose flavor and become spongy. Only put tomatoes in the fridge if they are overripe and you have not had a chance to eat them yet. Try to place them in the butter compartment if possible and eat with 2 days. Take them out of the fridge at least 30 mins before preparing them, so that you can regain the optimal flavor and juiciness.  For tomatoes that are already cut, place it in an airtight container or bag with all the excess air removed.  Sliced tomatoes will only last up to 2 days in the fridge.

Nutrition

tomato-nutritionTomatoes are rich in nutrients that have antioxidant activity.  They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, due to their concentration of pro-vitamin A carotenoids such as alpa- and beta-carotene. Tomatoes also contain the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene.  Other great benefits of tomatoes are their heart healthy potassium, folic acid, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6; bone-building vitamin K, magnesium and phosphorus; sulfite-detoxifying molybdenum; free-radical-scavenging manganese, copper and vitamin E; energy-producing vitamin B1, vitamin B12, vitamin B5, niacin, and iron; muscle-building protein; blood-sugar-regulating chromium; and sleep-promoting tryptophan.

 

 

 

Energetics

Tomatoes are very cooling in nature. They build yin fluids and relieves dryness and thirst, tonifies the stomach and cleans the liver, purifies the blood and detoxifies the body in general, encourages digestion and used in cases of diminished appetite, indigestion, food retention, anorexia, and constipation. Tomatoes relieve liver heat and accompanying symptoms such as high blood pressure, red eyes, and headache. It can also be used to treat areas of blood stagnation, as both food and an external pack of raw finely sliced pieces. Even though tomatoes are highly acidic, after digestion they alkalizes the blood and thus is useful in reducing the acid blood of rheumatism and gout.  Try to eat vine-ripened tomatoes, as green-picked tomatoes that are later ripened can weaken the kidney-adrenal function.

Caution: Tomato upsets calcium metabolism and should be avoided in cases of arthritis. Large amounts of tomatoes are weakening of everyone.

 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Chutney on Squash

Tomato RecipeIngredients

  • 1 2 – pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 pints cherry and/or grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 8 – ounce container bite-size fresh mozzarella balls, cut up
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Brush cut sides of squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a large baking dish. Prick the skin all over with a fork. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degrees oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place cherry tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the minced garlic and salt to taste; stir well to coat. Place tomato mixture in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in oven with the squash for the last 20 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet, bring the chicken broth to boiling; add onion. Cook about 3 minutes or just until tender. Remove skillet from heat. Add roasted tomatoes to the skillet with the onion. Using a fork or potato masher, gently press down on tomatoes to pop their skin and release their juice. Add mozzarella, basil and mint to the tomato mixture; toss well.
  4. Using a fork, remove the squash pulp from shell. Top squash with tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese.

Source

Energetics of Onions: Don’t Cry for Me

Fun fact, ancient Egyptians had such a high regard for onions that they actually used them as currency for the workers who built the great pyramids! Not only that, but they were also thought to have high spiritual significance and as such were placed in the tombs of the pharaohs.  Nothing like a nice snack to accompany you to the afterlife.  Nowadays onions have become a staple in almost every region in the world.

 

 

Varieties

Onions are actually native to Asia and the Middle East, having been cultivated for over 5,000 years.  They vary in size, color, and taste depending upon their variety.

Spanish Onions

Spanish Onions

Storage Onions

Storage Onions are a variety of onion that, as you can guess, store for a long time.  They are grown in colder climates because they are dried for a period of several months after harvesting. They tend to have a more pungent flavor than Spring/Summer Onions, and they are named after their color.  Spanish onions also fall into this category.

Yellow Storage Onions are very flavorful and the most commonly used variety. They also contain the highest concentration of antioxidants called quercetin.

Spanish Onions are large yellow onions with a mild flavor.

Red or Bermuda Onions are the hottest and sweetest of the Storage Onions. They are high in quercetin and anthocyanins.

Pearl Onions

Pearl Onions

White Onions are not very sweet and have a mild taste.

Pearl or Boiling Onions are a smaller version of Storage Onions.

Spring/Summer Onions

These juicy onions are grown in warm climates and since they remain in soil longer than Storage Onions, much of their carbohydrates turn to sugar giving them their characteristically sweet taste. The extended time in the ground results in the reduction of their nutritional value and loss of sulfur-containing compounds.  The loss of these compounds is the reason these onions do not bring tears to your eyes.  Varieties of Spring/Summer include Walla Walla, Vidalia, and Maui Sweet Onions.  These are best eaten raw and should not be kept longer than a week.

Summer/Spring Onions

Summer/Spring Onions

Other Varieties

Scallions and Green Onions are bright in color with long, narrow hollow leaves and a small pear-shaped white bulb.

While Storage Onions are available throughout the year, Spring/Sumer Onions are available only a few months of the year.

Maui Onions- April through June

Vidalia Onions- May and June

Walla Walla- July and August

 Best Way To Choose and Store

Red Onions

Red Onions

Always look for ones that are clean and well-shaped, have no opening at the neck, and feature crisp, dry outer skins. Avoid selecting onions that are sprouting or have signs of mold.  Spots, moisture at their neck and dark patches may be indications of decay ad reflect inferior quality.

Onions actually last a while if you store them correctly.  The length of time you can store it depends on the variety of onion you bought. Varieties that are more pungent in flavor, such as Yellow Onions, can be stored longer than those with a sweeter taste, such as White Onions.

The best way to store uncut Storage or Spring/Summer Onions is in a cool, dark place, away from heat and bright light.  Make sure that they are well ventilated and do not put them in a storage bag. You can put them in a wire hanging basket or a perforate bowl with a raised base so air can circulate. Do not place uncut onions in the fridge, as this will cause it to spoil quickly. Do not store onions with potatoes.

The best way to store portions of onions not used should be placed in a sealed container to limit its exposure to airflow and store in the crisper in your fridge. Use any cut onions within a day or two, as onions will oxidize and lose its nutrients quickly.

Prevent Onions from Irritating Your Eyes

imgresThere are actually a few methods to help prevent onions irritating your eyes while cutting them.  The irritating factor comes from allyl sulfate, which while annoying to the eyes, it is where their significant nutritional value comes from.  One way to do this is to chill the onion for at least an hour before cutting.  Another method is to cut the onion while running it under running water. The problem with this method is the water can dilute the amount of allyl sulfate. There are some people that say putting a slice of bread or metal spoon in your mouth while cutting onions can help neutralize the irritating compounds. If none if these work, may I suggest using goggles.

 Nutrition

Onions help promote blood sugar balance, experimental and clinical evidence shows that there is a link between allyl propyl disulfate and an increased amount of free insulin available to usher glucose where it needs to go.  Also, onions are a great source of chromium, a mineral component in glucose tolerance factors, which helps cells responds appropriately to insulin.

Regular consumption of onions have shown to lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, both actions that can help prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.  Onion’s heart benefits are likely due to its sulfur compounds, chromium, folate, and vitamin B6 content. Folate and vitamin B6 also help prevent heart disease by lowering high homocysteine levels.

Onions contain many anti-inflammatory agents, these agents are helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions.  They have this power because they contain compounds that inhibit lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, the enzymes that generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes. These effects are due to vitamin C, quercetin, and isothiocyanates found in onions. Quercetin and other flavonoids also work with vitamin C to kill harmful bacteria, making onions great for soups and stews during cold and flu season.

Energetics

imgresOnions are pungent and influence the lungs, promote warmth, move energy around the body, resolve blood stagnancies, reduce clotting, and expel coldness.  They are rich in sulfur, a warming element that purifies the body, helps remove heavy metals and parasites, and facilitates protein/amino acid metabolism. Onions also clean the arteries and retard the growth of viruses, yeast, ferments, and other pathogenic organisms. Onions lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decreases catarrh (phlegm and inflammation of the nose and throat), treats dysentery, inhibits allergic reactions, induces sweating, and can help cure the common cold.

Traditional cough remedy: Simmer onions in water until soft with a little added honey.  Also one should eat an onion every 4 hours.

Caution: While onions have many medicinal values, they are not recommended for those seeking mental and spiritual refinement as onions foster excessive emotional desire.

Onions are a concentrated source of manganese, copper, phosphorus, and tryptophan.

7-Minute Healthy Sautéed Onions

dsc01880Traditional caramelized onion sautéing destroys many health benefits. Low heat sautéing brings out onion’s sweet flavor and preserves the most nutrients.

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBS + 2 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Slice onions and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance health-promoting benefits.
  2. Heat 2 TBS broth over medium heat in a stainless steel skillet.
  3. When broth begins to steam, add onions and cover for 3 minutes. The onions will ‘sweat’.  Add another 2 TBS broth and stir uncovered for 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat when onions become translucent, about 7 minutes. Increase cooking time for more tenderness.
  5. Transfer to a bowl. For the best flavor toss onions with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste while still hot.

Serves 2: Calories 206 (100g) Recipe Courtesy of WHFoods.com

 

Energetics of Asian Pears: Everyone’s New Favorite Fruit

Asian pears have many names, usually based on the region of harvest, but globally they are commonly called the nashi pear.  Nashi, , literally means “pear” in Japanese!  Many people in Asian counties use these pears as gifts or serve it to guests.  During the Edo Period in Japan they were thought to ward off evil and misfortune and were planted near gates and corners of properties.  In South Korea they even have a museum dedicated to the Asian pear called The Naju Pear Museum!

 Varieties

Asian pears are native to China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.  They are now cultivated in many East Asian countries, Australia, Greece, and in parts of California and Washington. The most commonly grown in the US is the Japanese variety, and are a round shape like an apple.  The less commonly grown Asian pear is the Chinese variety and it is by far the best tasting of all the Asian pears!  The Chinese pear is shaped more like a traditional pear, but has a creamy white colored flesh and is VERY juicy! It can sometimes be found in Asian Markets in the US.  Asian pears are classified in two groups. Most belonging to the Akanashi (‘Russet pears’) group, and have yellowish-brown rinds.  While the others belong to the Aonashi (‘Green pears’) group, and have yellow-green rinds.

 How to Choose and Store

photo credit: Japanese pear via photopin (license)

photo credit: Japanese pear via photopin (license)

When picking your Asian pears look for ones that are very fragrant and unbruised, with little to no brown spots.  Always be careful when handling, as Asian pears are very fragile and can bruise easily! Unlike traditional pears, Asian pears are actually hard and do not soften because they are harvested ripe.  Therefore they should be fairly firm when gently squeezed.

Since they are harvested ripe, they have a longer shelf life than other pears.  They will stay fresh for about 1 week at room temperature or up to 3 months stored in the fridge!

 Nutrition

asian-pear-nutritionAsian pears are a good source of essential vitamins, particularly vitamins C and vitamin K.  Vitamin C has two main functions in the body; it helps make collagen, a protein that keeps your bones from being too brittle, and has antioxidant functions to keep your tissues healthy. Vitamin K also has two main functions; it ensures that you can form blood clots and it allows your body to make proteins needed for bone mineralization.   Asian pears are also a good source of the minerals copper and manganese. Both minerals help support body functions by helping your cells produce energy, and they also help with tissue health by playing a role in collagen synthesis and maturation. Manganese also keeps your bones healthy, while copper nourishes the brain.

 Energetics

In Chinese medicine Asian pears are considered a cooling fruit and are used for detoxification purposes and to treat coughs, laryngitis, ulcers and constipation. They are also used to promote a healthy complexion, eliminate under eye circles and relieve retina pain.

Hot and Sour Chicken Nashi Stir-fry

HandSChickenNashiSFryIngredients:

1 – 2cm stalk lemongrass (white part), finely sliced

1 – 2cm piece ginger, peeled and diced

juice of 1 large lime

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp palm or brown sugar

1 large green chilli (optional)

2 large (450g) chicken breast fillets

2 large Nashi

 

 

Directions:

Combine the lemongrass, ginger, lime, fish sauce, sugar and chilli into a medium bowl. Mix well. Slice chicken into strips and toss in marinade. Slice Nashi into thin wedged strips.

Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Heat a large non-stick pan or wok and fry chicken until golden. Add Nashi and continue cooking 2 minutes. Pour over marinade, toss well until hot, then serve.

Tip: the marinade can be made in advance, and the chicken marinated overnight

 

 

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

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Energetics of Beets: Beet Roots

Beets were first cultivated by the ancient Romans, and the invading tribes were then responsible for introducing them throughout Europe, where they were used as animal fodder.   It wasn’t until the 6th Century that beets became popular for human consumption.

Beets are a two-in-one vegetable, as you can eat both the leaves and root!  The root is what people general are referring to when they say beets and the leaves are known as beet greens.  In fact, for a time the beet greens were the preferred portion of the plant to eat, which comes as no surprise for they are delicious and nutritious.  Today I am going to be concentrating on beet roots!

 

 

Varieties

The three varieties below represent the bulk of beets found in the market today.

Table beets are the most popular variety of beets and are most commonly found in local markets.  These beets come in many colors including red, yellow and white speckled with pink.  Red beets contain a health-promoting phytonutrient called betacyanin, which is not found in yellow or rainbow colored beets.

Sugar beets are specifically used for the production of refined sugar and alcohol.  These large white beets are not generally eaten as a vegetable.  Their sugar content is more than twice that of red beets and they lack many nutritional benefits.

Mangelwurzel, also called fodder beets, are used for animal fodder.

How to Choose and Store

yellow beetsBeets are available throughout the year, but their peak season runs June through October.

Select the best tasting beets by looking for medium-sized beets with firm roots, smooth skin and deep color.  Avoid beets that have spots, bruises or soft, wet areas, all of which indicate spoilage.  Shriveled or flabby beets are aged, tough and fibrous.

The best way to store fresh beet is in the fridge.  Cut off the stems and place in a plastic storage bag prior to refrigerating.  Do not wash your beets before refrigeration.

 

Nutrition

Beet Nutrition Facts Beet roots contain a unique class of phytonutrients called betalains.  It has only been found in a few foods and of those foods beets are the most commonly consumed. Betacyanin a red pigment concentrated in red beets, and betaxanthin, the yellow pigment found in yellow beets are just two examples of betalain phytonutrients.   Betalains have many antioxidant properties, especially in the liver and intestines.  Beets are also heart-healthy, in that they have high levels of fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C.  Other beneficial nutrients in beets are free-radical-scavenging manganese and copper, energy-producing iron, bone-building phosphorus, and sleep-promoting tryptophan.

Energetics

Beets strengthen the heart, sedates the spirit, improves circulation, purifies the blood, benefits liver, moistens intestines, promotes menstruation.  Used with carrots for hormone regulation during menopause.  Treats liver stagnancy and liver ailments in general, as well as constipation.  Also treats nervousness and congestions of the vascular system.

Note: The greens contain oxalic acid, and in high doses, inhibit calcium metabolism.

Red Flannel Hash

red-flannel-hash-vertical-aIngredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped cooked corned beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked beets
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional, and use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce if cooking gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Directions

 

1 Heat butter in a frying pan (cast iron preferred) on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook a couple minutes, until translucent.

2 Add the corned beef, potatoes, and beets. Stir in the pan to combine, and spread out evenly in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium. Press down with a metal spatula to help brown the mixture. Don’t stir, but just let cook until nicely browned on one side, then use a metal spatula to lift up sections of the mixture and turn over to brown the other side. If the mixture sticks to the pan too much, just add a little more butter to the pan where it’s sticking.

3 When nicely browned, remove from heat. Sprinkle in some Worcestershire sauce, if using. Stir in fresh chopped parsley, if using, and sprinkle on freshly ground black pepper to taste. There should be enough salt from the corned beef, but if not, add salt to taste.

Serve plain or with fried or poached eggs.

Source

 

 

Energetics of Pears: 3,000 Years of Deliciousness

photo credit: pears via photopin (license)

photo credit: pears via photopin (license)

Originating from Central Asia, the pear has been around for over 3,000 years.  In the epic The Odyssey, Homer refers to pears as the “gift of the gods”.  Pears were then brought to America by the early colonists and the first pear tree was planted in 1620. Since then they have been one of America’s more popular fruits.

Varieties

There are thousands of varieties of pears, coming in all shapes, sizes, colors, flavor and shelf life.  While there are many types found around the world, in the US there are only a few types that are commonly found. Although, their are some varieties found in other countries that are rising in popularity in the US.

Anjou Pears are slightly stubby, oval-shaped with smooth, yellow-green skin and creamy flesh.  This is the most abundant of the winter pears.

PearsBartlett Pears are large, juicy summer pears that turn from dark green to golden-yellow when ripe. They are primarily used in canning and exclusively used for drying.

Bosc Pears are characterized by their long tapered neck and rough reddish-brown skin.  They have a firm, crunchy texture, which makes them perfect for baking and poaching.

Comice Pears are squat-shaped, dull-green colored.  It is often considered the sweetest and most flavorful of the common pear varieties.

Pears are available all year-round, with some varieties being the most flavorful in summer and some in winter.  However, the peak of their season runs from August to October.

How To Choose and Store

When you are at the store you will notice that most pears are hard when you squeeze them, this is because pears perish fast when ripe and so they harvest them very unripe.  Thus allow time for your pears to soften after purchase.

When shopping look for pears that are firm, but not too hard.  They should also be free of bruises and mold. There is no need to look for uniform color, as there are many varieties that have multiple colors or are speckled.  Fully ripened pears will be juicy, flavorful and ready to eat once they yield to gentle pressure. They have the best taste when enjoyed at room temperature.

You can enjoy pears ripe or unripe, as both are delicious and nutritious. I personally like my pears unripe, as I enjoy a crunchier pear to a soft pear.

Avoid overripe pears, which should not be eaten as they have lost all nutritional value and have formed free-radicals. They are characterized by being soft and brown.

Fresh tree-ripened pears can last up to 3 days if stored in a fridge.  If left at room temperature they will spoil more quickly.  If you purchase unripe pears, you can ripen them by leaving them on the counter standing upright on a flat surface with space between fruit. This process will take 3-5 days and they will be ready when soft and yield to gentle pressure.  Be careful where you store your pears as excess heat will cause pears to rot rather than ripen.

NutritionPear Nutrition

Pears are surprisingly heart-healthy due to their high amounts or vitamin C and wide variety of flavonoids.  Vitamin C and flavonoids have a synergistic relationship, each helping to improve antioxidant potential of the other. Vitamin C helps to protect cells from oxygen-related damage due to free-radicals.  Additionally, pears are packed with phytosterols, phytonutrients that have been shown to inhibit cholesterol absorption. They are also a good source of copper, a mineral that helps protect the body from free-radicals, via its role in as a component in superoxide dismutase.  Pears are an excellent source of fiber, which helps prevent constipation and ensures regularity of the bowels.

Pears have been shown to be hypoallergenic.  They have been recommended for first introduction of fruits to infants.

Energetics

Pears affect the lungs, eliminating heat and excess mucus, stops coughs associated with hot lungs, moistens the lungs, throat and dryness in general,  and quenches thirst. Used in the treatment of diabetes, injures to the skin, constipation, loss of voice, and gallbladder inflammation and obstruction.

Caution: Not for those with deficient digestive fire.  Symptoms include loose or watery stool, signs of coldness, and a swollen, pale tongue.  Excessive use of pears during pregnancy may cause poor fetal development and miscarriage.

 

Pear Salad with Gorgonzola and Fresh Pear Dressing

BibbLettuceSaladwFreshPearDressingAromatic Bartlett pears are pureed into a sweet-tart dressing as well as tossed in with crunchy Bibb lettuce.

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe Bartlett USA Pears, divided use
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh tarragon or scant ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 heads Bibb lettuce, rinsed and dried
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) crumbled Gorgonzola or Blue cheese

Directions

Peel, core, and chop one pear. Place pear, ⅓ cup water, sugar, and tarragon in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until pear pieces are soft, about five minutes, depending on ripeness of pear. Do not let all the water evaporate. There should be about ⅞ cup pear and liquid. Cool.

Pour pear and liquid into a blender and blend until smooth. Add part of the vinegar and lemon juice to taste. Taste and adjust sugar and acid to make a sweet-tart dressing, adding a little water if needed to thin. Refrigerate until cold.

Core and thinly slice remaining 2 pears. For each serving, arrange 3-4 lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Top with ⅓ of a sliced pear, 2-3 tablespoons Gorgonzola, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons dressing. Serve immediately.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 6                                  Recipe courtesy of: www.usapears.com

 

 

Energetics of Bananas: Fruit of Paradise

When you think of bananas, what comes to mind? For me it is sunny beaches and tropical locations.  Today most bananas are grown in the America’s, especially since bananas are the most popular fruit in the US.  However, bananas did not originate from the Americas; they actually originated in India and Southeast Asia.  Bananas have a long history in Indian Buddhist texts, mentioned for the first time in 600 BC.  Their migration to the Americas came when they were then brought to Africa by Arabian traders and then discovered by the Portuguese.

Varieties

photo credit: My Sore via photopin (license)

photo credit: My Sore via photopin (license)

The hundreds of varieties of edible bananas fall under two distinct categories- sweet and plantain.  Both are available throughout the year.

Sweet bananas vary in size and color! They can come in the typical yellow and they come in red, pink, purple, and black tones. They also have a wide range of flavors and textures.  In the US the most common sweet bananas varieties are Big Michael, Martinique and Cavendish.  The one most stores carry is Cavendish.

Plantain bananas are usually cooked and are considered more of a vegetable, due to their starchier qualities.  They are often a substitute for potatoes in soups or as by themselves as a side dish.  Unlike sweet bananas, plantain bananas contain significant amounts of beta-carotene.

There are some exotic bananas which tend to be only available in Hawaiian, Hispanic and specialty stores.  These include Manzano (apple or finger) Bananas, Saba Bananas and Brazilian Red Bananas.

Best Way to Choose and Store

photo credit: via photopin (license)

photo credit: via photopin (license)

The best tasting bananas are always ripe!  Ripe bananas are plump, evenly colored (with few brown spots), and fully intact stems. Not only are ripe bananas the best tasting, they are also the most nutritious.  Vitamins, enzymes,and health-promoting phytonutrients are at there highest when ripe.  Bananas will not start to ripen until picked, and they are picked green.  When shopping choose your ripeness level on when you are going to eat it! The greener the fruit, the longer it will take to ripen.  The size does not affect it’s quality.

Avoid bananas that have brushing or other injuries. Also avoid bananas that are a brown color, as this indicates that they are overripe. Overripe bananas are soft and mushy and have lost most nutritional value.

Bananas can last up to 5 days when properly stored.  It is best to store bananas in the fridge, to slow the respiration rate and retain their nutrients. Avoid storing them in plastic bags or restricted spaces where they touch each other, as this could lead to rot. If you are not going to use ripened bananas right away, you can refrigerate them to help retain their vitamin content.  Do not be alarmed if the peel turns a dark brown, the flesh will not be affected. Bananas taste best at room temperature, so take them out of the fridge and allow them to return to room temperature before using.  If you have a large number of ripe bananas, they can be kept frozen for up to 6 months. It is best to peel bananas before freezing. Improperly stored bananas will only last bout 3 days.

Do not refrigerate unripe bananas, placing unripe bananas in the fridge will lead to chill injury and disrupt the ripening process. They will not ripen even after being brought back to room temperature.

Nutrition

Banana NutritionIt is a well known fact that bananas are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.  They are also a good source of heart healthy fiber, vitamin B6, and phytosterols.

Bananas are also known for their antacid effects, protecting the stomach from ulcers and ulcerative damage.   They do this in two ways.  First, substances in bananas help activate stomach lining cells to produce a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids. Second, bananas contain compounds called protease inhibitors and these help eliminate H. pylori, a bacteria in the stomach that has been recognized as a primary cause in ulcers.

Bananas are an important addition to the diet of those suffering from elimination problems, such as diarrhea.  This is due to it’s high levels of potassium, which is an important electrolyte, and pectin,  a fiber that helps absorb fluids.  Bananas are also a good source of vitamin C and manganese, two nutrients that promote optimal health through their potent antioxidant activities.

Energetics

Bananas lubricate the intestines and lungs, strengthens the yin and benefits conditions of thirst and dryness, and detoxifies the body. Used in the treatment of constipation and ulcers, dry lung or dry cough, addiction (especially alcoholism), and hypertension.  Partially ripe bananas are used for diarrhea, colitis, and hemorrhoids. Bananas are good for the elderly as they are good for regulating blood pressure, reliving dryness, and are easy to digest.

Healthy Banana-Blueberry Muffins

Healthy Banana-Blueberry MuffinIngredients

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas (about 1 pound)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork (you should have 3/4 cup); stir in milk and vanilla.
  3. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in frozen blueberries.
  4. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer muffins to a rack to cool 10 minutes more.

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