March 2010 It’s time to celebrate- March is National Nutrition Month ® ! (And "Registered Dietitian Day" is March 10th, so be sure to let that Registered Dietitian in your life know how much you value their unbiased, evidence-based, common-sense health and wellness information!)
It’s time to celebrate- March is National Nutrition Month®! (And "Registered Dietitian Day" is March 10th, so be sure to let that Registered Dietitian in your life know how much you value their unbiased, evidence-based, common-sense health and wellness information!)
This year's theme of National Nutrition Month®, per the American Dietetic Association, is “Nutrition from the Ground Up,” which to me means wonderful spring produce, now that spring is on its way very soon! Although in most places food from the ground will not be available until May, there are still foods that are considered “in season” for winter. In honor of this special month, let’s talk about the more unusual ones and how to incorporate them into our eating plan. Scope out your local Affiliated-supplied grocery store for the produce on the list below, plus more! Check out page 2 for exotic or “off the beaten path” produce varieties!
All fruits and vegetables “in season” for winter:
Select: Look for tight leaves and a crisp head.
Store: Up to two weeks in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
Prepare: Use individual leaves as a dipper for guacamole or salsa, chop up and use in a cold or warm salad, chop and use on sandwiches instead of lettuce, or stuff with cheese or fruit.
Cherimoya- a fruit with soft, sweet, white flesh with several large black seeds and a tropical flavor. Part of the “custard apple” family.
Select: Fruit should be unblemished and firm, with green skin.
Store: Ripen at room temperature until “gives” when pressed with finger. Refrigerate for 1-2 days.
Prepare: Cut in half to scoop the white flesh out with a spoon, but avoid the seeds. Peel and use in a fruit salsa with other fruits, mint, and lime juice; mix with other fruits in a fruit salad; or set atop lettuce greens and add a fruit vinaigrette dressing.
Passion Fruit-native to South America. Similar to a pomegranate as the seeds are extracted from the flesh and eaten.
Select: Wrinkled skin indicates the fruit is ripe.
Store: Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator for 7 days in a plastic bag. Ripen smooth-skinned fruit at room temperature until wrinkled.
Prepare: Extract seeds from fruit and eat as would pomegranate, garish leafy green or fruit salads, or add to yogurt with honey for a fruit dip.
Persimmons- two main varieties: Fuyu and Hachiya. They can be distinguished by shape; Fuyu are round like a tomato and Hachiya are shaped like acorns.
Select: Look for bright red/orange for ripe fruit; yellow or green patches indicate fruit is unripe. Ripe Fuyu fruit will be smooth, plump, glossy and with leaf still attached. Ripe Hachiya fruit will be soft and squishy, with wrinkled skin.
Store: To ripen, leave on windowsill or counter until ripe. Refrigerate for up to 3 days once ripe.
Prepare: Wrap ripe fruit in plastic wrap and foil and freeze; cut off top and eat with spoon for instant sorbet. Peel and eat raw as a snack, or scoop out pulp and add to salads, breads, puddings (watch your portion size with this recipes), or cookies.
Pummelo- the largest member of the citrus family. Looks like a larger grapefruit.
Select: Look for fruit that is firm, thin-skinned, and heavy for its size.
Store: In refrigerator for up to one week.
Prepare: Peel and eat like an orange or grapefruit. Section and add to fruit/vegetable salads or yogurt.
IN THE SPIRIT OF WELLNESS,DEREK A. HELDERMAN, RD, LMNT