Author Archive

Mangosteen

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Mangosteen

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit, which ranges from 2 to 3 inches in diameter; it is rougly the size of a tennis ball. Mangosteen has a round dark purple rind and a cap like stem, with cloves of soft white flesh in the center. A ripe mangosteen has a mild sweet and tart taste. Mangosteen has been used as a medicine in many Southeast Asia countries since centuries ago due to its exceptional anti-inflammatory properties; and it is greatly appreciated by many western societies nowadays. Due to its various benefits to human’s health, it is also called the “Queen of Fruits”.

Nutritional Facts

In the past, the rind of mangosteen has been used to made tea for curing different body infections; such as dyscentery, diarrhea, bladder and urinary tract infection, eczema and skin rashes. It is now found to contain a compound called xanthones, which is a compound that contains a collective of nutrients; including alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, garcinone B, and garcinone E. Xanthones are scientifically proven to help in reducing the risk of cancer and body inflammation; and it also has antimicrobial, antifungal and antiseptic effect.

Reference

Ashton, M. ( 2011, March 15) Facts About Mangosteen Juice. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/403094-facts-about-mangosteen-juice/

Durian

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Durian

Durian is a popular fruit in Southeast Asia; it is also called the “King of Fruits”. It has a spiky greenish-brown outer shell with rich custard like pale yellow flesh in the center. A typical durian weighs from 2 to 9 pounds. Durian is well known for its distinctive odor, which some people find it fragrant, and some find it unpleasant and overpowering. Its smell has been described variously from almonds, gasoline to rotten onion and dirty gym shoes. Therefore, in some Southeast Asia countries, durian is banned in many public areas; such as malls, hotels and public transportation.

Nutritional Facts

Durian is high in calories, fat and carbohydrates; but it contains a range of nutrients, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and C, thiamin, folate, pantothenic, potassium, sodium, copper and zinc. Its high level of tryptophan acts as a natural antidepressant and helps in people’s sleep cycle. It is also a key factor in epilepsy treatment and Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

Reference

Nutrtion Helath Articles (n.d.) Durian Nutrition Facts, Calories and Health Benefits. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition-health-articles.org/durian-nutrition.php

Rosa Apple

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Rosa Apple

Rosa apple is a bell shaped fruit, which is cultivated in many tropic areas; such as Thailand, India, Malaysia and Philippines. Due to its glossy and smooth skin texture, it is also called “wax apple”. Rosa apple is 2 to 4 inches in length; its flesh is white and contains a few seeds in the core. The color of the fruit ranges from white or pale green, to red or dark purple. The rosa apple that we can normally find in Canada is red in color, which is a species imported from Thailand.

Nutritional Facts

Rosa apple contains thiamin, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and dietary fiber. It is low in fat and calories. It is found to be exceptionally beneficial to people who have diabetes, piles, diarrhea, and liver problems. Rosa apple can act as a block against the conversion of starch into sugar in human’s pancreas; and its seeds can also help to reduce sugar in urine.

Reference

Kent, L.T. (2011, June 14) What Are The Benefits Of Rosa Apple Fruit. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/281496-what-are-the-benefits-of-rose-apple-fruit/

Dragon Fruit

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya or pitahaya. It is the fruit of the dragon fruit cactus plant. These cactus plants bloom only at night and only a few times each year. Due to the night blooming, the pollination of these cactus plants is done by nocturnal creatures, such as moths and bats. A ripe dragon fruit should have a firm but yielding body with bright and even skin color. Its flesh can be white or pink, with black seeds scattered in the flesh; it has a mild taste with a blend of kiwi fruit and pear.

Nutritional Facts

The flesh of dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, a variety of Vitamin B and phosphorus. It can help to prevent cancer, lower inflammation and cholesterol levels, strengthen the immune system, and remove excess heavy metal toxins in the body. Dragon fruit is also effective in controlling type 2 diabetic patient’s blood glucose levels. Moreover, the seed in the fruit is also beneficial to human’s health; it contains high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are required in maintaining health.

Reference

Fruit Health Benefits. (2011). Dragon Fruit Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.fruithealthbenefits.com/dragon-fruit-nutrition.shtml

Foodlywise. (2007) Dragon Fruit, Pitaya. Retrieved from http://dragonfruitpitaya.com/

Jackfruit

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a common fruit in Southeast Asia; it can be eaten raw as a fruit, or cooked into curries, soups, stew, or dessert. Jackfruit is enormous and prickly; it weighs about 35 pounds in average, and contains up to 500 seeds. Flesh in the fruit is grown into bulbs, and the seeds are wrapped inside each bulb. One interesting fact about jackfruit is the production of latex in the centre of its stem; this sticky fluid makes preparation of the fruit a challenge. In 2010, a 144 pounds jackfruit, the largest jackfruit in record was featured at a jackfruit festival in Kerala, India. Jackfruit smells like a blend of grapefruit, banana and cheese; and it is sweet like a bubble gum.

Nutritional Facts

Jackfruit is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and it is a good source of Vitamin C, Manganese and dietary fiber. One cup of sliced jackfruit contains 155 calories, provides 11 percent of the required daily amount of fiber.

Reference

Love, K. & Paull, R.E. (2011). Jack Fruit. Retrieved from http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/F_N-19.pdf

Nutrient Health Articles (n.d.) Jackfruit Nutrition Facts and Information. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition-health-articles.org/jackfruit-nutrition.php

Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Turn your peaches into a sweet and savoury condiment. Golden orange with red flecks, this barbecue sauce not only looks amazing, but tastes out of this world. Spoon some over your chicken or fish this summer!
Makes about 8 x 250 or 236 ml jars

Ingredients

  • 5 lb (2.3 kg) peaches
  • 1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped red bell pepper, 1 large
  • 1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped onion, 1 medium-large
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) liquid honey
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dry mustard
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) salt

Directions

  1. Place 8 clean 250 or 236 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180° F/82°C). Set screw bands aside; heat SNAP Lids in hot water, NOT boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and SNAP Lids hot until ready to use.
  2. Blanch, peel and pit peaches; finely chop or pulse in a food processor and measure 6 cups (1500 ml). Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stirring frequently, boil over medium-high heat until mixture reaches desired consistency, 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Ladle sauce into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre SNAP Lid on jar; apply screw band securely and firmly until resistance is met – fingertip tight. Do not overtighten. Place jar in canner; repeat for remaining sauce.
  4. Cover canner; return water to a boil. At altitudes up to 1,000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 15 minutes.* Remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.

Warm Coconut Apple Tapioca Pudding

Monday, March 12th, 2012

This dessert makes the perfect finish for an Asian-themed meal. For a smoother texture, enjoy it served warm. If preferred, allow it to thicken and serve cold.
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (180 mL) tapioca pearls warm water for soaking
  • 2 cups (500 mL) unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar pinch salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) light coconut milk
  • 2 apples, unpeeled and finely diced
  • 1 lime, optional

Directions

  1. Place tapioca in large bowl. Cover with warm water and allow to sit for about 1 hour to soften. Drain and rinse the pearls.
  2. In a large saucepan heat apple juice over medium heat. Add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve.
  3. Add coconut milk and tapioca pearls. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until pearls are tender.
  4. Stir in chopped apple.
  5. Pour pudding into 6 individual dessert dishes and allow to cool just slightly if serving warm. Otherwise, cover and keep in refrigerator until serving.
  6. If desired, serve garnished with a twist of lime peel, a drizzle of lime juice and a very thinly sliced apple wedge.

Tropical Salsa

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Salsa is one of the most popular condiments on the market today. Store shelves are constantly being stocked with new and exciting salsa blends. Use this homemade salsa on top of chicken or fish to add a tropical twist to your meals. Tropical salsa is also terrific when used as a dip for tortilla chips. Try tropical salsa as a fat free alternative for salad dressing.
Makes about 6 x 500-ml jars

Ingredients

  • 12 cups (3,000 ml) chopped tomatoes, about 6 lb (2.8 kg), 24 medium
  • 2 ripe mangoes, chopped
  • 1 can (19oz/540 ml) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 pkg (115 g) BERNARDIN Salsa Mix
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Place 6 clean 500-ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside; heat SNAP Lids in hot water, NOT boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and SNAP Lids hot until ready to use.
  2. Wash, core, seed and chop tomatoes; drain off excess liquid. Measure 12 cups (3,000 ml).
  3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine BERNARDIN Salsa Mix and cider vinegar. Add tomatoes, mango and pineapple; mix well. Bring to a boil; boil gently, uncovered, 5 minutes.
  4. Ladle salsa into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre SNAP Lid on jar; apply screw band securely and firmly until resistance is met – fingertip tight. Do not overtighten. Place jar in canner; repeat for remaining salsa.
  5. Cover canner; bring water to a boil. At altitudes up to 1,000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 20 minutes.* Remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.

Thai Apple and Celery Salad

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Looks like coleslaw but with an entirely different savoury flavour!
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) peanut butter
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 large apples, peeled and julienned
  • 4 large celery stalks, julienned
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) peanuts, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine lime juice, sesame oil, peanut butter, sugar and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine apples, celery and cilantro. Add dressing and toss to coat. Add peanuts and toss just before serving.

Sweet Potato Apple Bake

Monday, March 12th, 2012

A vitamin-rich serving of both fruits and vegetables all in one dish.
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) thinly sliced tart apples
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar dash cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter or margarine

Directions

  1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Cook sweet potatoes, covered, in shallow boiling water until nearly done. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease a baking dish and place in it alternate layers of cooled sweet potatoes and apple slices. Sprinkle layers with brown sugar and cinnamon; dot with butter or margarine. Pour water over each layer. Bake for one hour.