My Organic Produce Club Weekly Food Share:
There isn’t an easier way to support your local Florida growers than to buy some of these juicy and sweet peaches. Enjoy as a portable healthy snack or baked into your favorite dessert!
|Produce List for the week of May, 7-11 2012:|
* Lettuce Green Leaf
* Carrots Bunny Juice
* Greens Dandelion
* Cabbage Red (Fl)
* Tomatoes Slicing (Fl)
* Squash Zucchini (Fl)
* Corn Bicolor (Fl)
* Celery Root
* Peppers Sweet Orange
* Orange Valencia (Fl)
* Grapefruit Ruby (Fl)
* Peaches Yellow (Fl)
The cucumber is a type of melon and comes from the same family as watermelon, zucchini and other squash. It is cylindrical in shape with lengths of approximately 6 to 9 inches. Its skin is very similar to watermelon, ranges from green to white. Inside, the flesh is pale green and very juicy.
Native to India, cucumbers made their way to Europe via Roman expansion, but it was the Spanish who brought cucumbers to the New World in 1494. Ten years later, Desoto arrived in Florida exclaiming he had seen better cucumbers here than those in his home country of Spain. Cucumbers are a powerful antioxidant and are a great source of Vitamin K and C.
Did You Know?
Cucumber has an impressive amount of water (about 96%) that is naturally distilled, which makes it superior to ordinary water. Its skin contains a high percentage of vitamin A, so should not be peeled off.
The cucumber contains alkaline-forming minerals and is an excellent source of vitamin C and A (anti-oxidants), folate, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, silica, sulfur, and lesser amounts of vitamin B complex, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and chlorine.
You have seen beauty practitioners use slices of cucumber on their eyes. It is found that the caffeic acid in this vegetable helps to prevent water retention and when applied topically, helps reduce puffy and swollen eyes.
Many people are ignorant of the immense health benefits of cucumber and would avoid eating cucumber where possible. Fresh cucumber may taste “bland” to some but its thirst-quenching and cooling properties are refreshing. It acts as an anti-oxidant when taken together with fried and barbecued foods. WeI like to mix cucumber juice with carrot and celery. Here’s a list of health benefits of cool cucumber:
Acidity: The alkalinity of the minerals in cucumber juice effectively helps in regulating the body’s blood pH, neutralizing acidity. The juice is also soothing for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Blood pressure: Like celery, this colorless drink can help regulate blood pressure because of its minerals and traces of sodium.
Connective tissues, building: The excellent source of silica contributes to the proper construction of connective tissues in our body as in the bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
Cooling: During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of cucumber + celery juice. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.
Diuretic: Cucumber juice is diuretic, encouraging waste removal through urination. This also helps in the dissolution of kidney stones.
Fever: The temperature regulating properties in cucumber juice makes it a suitable drink when you have a fever.
Inflammation: The Chinese think that cucumbers are too “cooling” and not suitable for people with rheumatism. But we know now that cucumber can help counter uric acids that are causing inflammation in joints. When cucumber is taken it does its cleaning work at the joints, thus stirring up pain as it eliminates the uric acid. This means it also help other inflamed conditions like arthritis, asthma, and gout.
Hair growth: The silicon and sulfur content in cucumber juice makes it especially helpful in promoting hair growth. Drink it mixed with carrot, lettuce or spinach juice.
Skin conditions: The high amount of vitamin C
and anti-oxidants in cucumber makes it an important ingredient in many beauty creams for treating eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.
Sunburn: When there is a sunburn, make cucumber juice and rub it on the affected area for a cooling and healing effect.
Water retention: It supplies the necessary electrolytes and restores hydration of the body cells, thus reducing water retention.
Chilled Melon, Cucumber and Coconut Soup
QUICK & EASY GRASS-FED BEEF & VEGGIES RICE BOWL
Substitute shrimp, chicken, tempeh and/or any sale-priced vegetables when making this quick dish with no added fat! Grass-fed beef is a healthier option because studies suggest that grass-fed beef is lower in fat than grain-fed beef. It’s more compassionate toward the animals and the planet, too!
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/3 pound grass-fed beef flank, flap, tri-tip or top-butt sirloin steak
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
1/4 small head red cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
Arrange rack about 6 inches from the heat source in your oven broiler; preheat. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, soy sauce and honey to make sauce. Brush beef all over with 1/2 tablespoon of sauce and broil—watching closely to avoid burning—until medium-rare, 6 to 7 minutes; set aside. Arrange vegetables on a large sheet tray, toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sauce and broil, stirring halfway through and watching closely, until softened and just browned, about 5 minutes total. Transfer rice and vegetables to two large bowls. Thinly slice beef and arrange over the top, drizzled with remaining sauce.
Per serving (about 16oz/449g-wt.): 370 calories (35 from fat), 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 810mg sodium, 65g total carbohydrate (8g dietary fiber, 21g sugar), 21g protein
–Added ginger to the sauce for another hint of flavor.
–Had to cook the veggies longer than described in the recipe, but it was pretty good!
–I added other veggies that I needed to use up in my fridge. I absolutely LOVED this recipe, I used skirt steak, and for the sauce, I used Soy Vay teriyaki sauce and under the broiler, it turned out SO GOOD!
–Much too vinegary for my taste — upped the honey and soy sauce, and it was still too much vinegar. Would need to play around with the sauce a bit more if I were to make this again.