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Archive for the ‘Specialty Product’ Category

Fiddlehead Fern

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Fiddlehead Fern

Fiddlehead fern is the coiled frond at the tip of a young fern, harvested for the purpose as an edible vegetable. It is usually harvested before the frond opens and reaches its full length, because it will be tough and stringy when it is uncoiled. Fiddlehead is only available in spring for a very short period, and they grow in moist and shaded areas, places like forest and river bottoms. There are different types of fiddlehead, and several of them are commonly eaten; such as ostrich fern, cinnamon fern, lady fern and bracken fern. It has a pleasantly crunchy and tender texture, with a fresh flavor reminiscent of a mix between asparagus and green bean. However, fiddlehead is toxic, which may cause nausea, lethargy, dizziness, and headache. Ostrich fern is the safest consumable fern amongst all. Raw fiddlehead has been associated with a few food-borne disease cases since 1994; therefore, it is usually sautéed, steamed, boiled or baked for consumption.

Nutritional Facts

Fiddleheads are an excellent source of vitamins A and C and are rich in niacin, magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. They are also rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids, which are plant chemicals that help protect against disease.

Reference

Health Canada (2011, April 12) Food Safety Tip For Fiddlehead. Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/kitchen-cuisine/fiddlehead-fougere-eng.php

Lively, R. (2012) Fiddlehead Facts. Retrieved from http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/qa/fiddlehead-facts.aspx

Specialty Prodcue (2012) Fiddelhead Ferns. Retrieved from http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Fiddlehead_Ferns_551.php

Jicama

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Jicama

Jicama is an edible root crop that resembles the appearance of a turnip. It was originally cultivated in Mexico, and South America; which makes it a widely used ingredient in Mexican cuisine. Then, it was introduced to different Southeast Asia countries; such as Philippines, Indonesia and China. Jicama is a legume; it grows on vine that tends to hug the ground, and it can reach up to 5m in length. Jicama that is available in the market for consumption weight about 3 to 4 pounds on average. Jicama has a coarse outer skin in tan color, which should be peeled before consumption, and its flesh is white. It has a natural sweet and nutty taste, succulent and crunchy like water chestnut; which makes it a great ingredient in cooked dishes, salad, or pickled. When shopping for jicama, always look for well-formed fresh tuber, which is free for cracks and bruises.

Nutritional Facts

Jicama is low in calories; but it is an excellent source of dietary fiber, and oligofructose inulin. Inulin is a zero calorie sweet inert carbohydrate, and it does not metabolize in the human body; which makes Jicama an ideal sweet snack for diabetics and dieters. Jicama is rich in vitamin C. Every 100g of jicama, provide about 34% of daily recommended amount of vitamin C. It also contains some of valuable B-complex group vitamins, such as folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and thiamin; and minerals, such as magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. Its nutrient content makes jicama one of the healthiest vegetables that is suitable for most people.

Reference

Wikipedia. (2012) Pachyrhizus erosus. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachyrhizus_erosus

Power Your Diet. (n.d.) Jicama Nutrition Fact. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/jicama.html