Category: Produce

Description

The nopal is rich in Vitamin B6, copper, iron, fiber, riboflavin, Vitamin A, C, K, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and calcium. The nopal is known to aid in digestion and weight loss. It can help prevent skin, lung, and oral cancer. It is effective in maintaining blood sugar levels. It is also beneficial in building and maintaining strong bones.

In the Kitchen

The nopal can be cooked and used in salsas, salads, or omelets. They can be a great nutritional addition to any recipe. Before using them in your recipes they should be peeled and prepared properly. Here is a short video that explains the process:

How to Prepare nopales

Recipes

This is a great “salad” that can be used as a salsa on tacos, meat, chicken, fish, shrimp, eggs, quesadillas, or enchiladas. In this recipe, she boils the nopal first and skims the slime off as it is released from the nopal. Pictures are included in this recipe:

Cactus Salad Recipe

Description

Purple carrots not only contain the Vitamin A and beta-carotene that orange carrots have, but they are also rich in anthocyanins, which are the same antioxidant compounds that are present in blueberries. Purple carrots are considered a super food because of its high concentration of antioxidants. They can improve memory, enhance your vision, protect against heart attacks, act as an anti-flammatory, and also help with weight control.

In the Kitchen

Purple carrots are sweet whether they are raw or cooked. It can be tossed with a white cabbage and orange carrots for a colorful coleslaw. They can be roasted in the oven with some olive oil and thyme for a nice side dish.

Recipes

Here is an easy recipe for roasted purple carrots. This recipe just calls for the carrots to be seasoned with olive oil along with some salt but you can always use thyme or rosemary as well.

Roasted Purple carrots

If you like garlic you can add it in with the rosemary. Grate or press the garlic and put it in the olive oil so that it is infused with garlic. Toss the carrots with the infused garlic olive oil and a little salt and some rosemary and follow the directions for roasting.

Description
In the Kitchen
Recipes
References and Further Reading
Description

The jamun fruit is sweet and can be beneficial to those with diabetes and can also be anti-diabetic. It is a rare fruit that comes from South India. The jamun fruit is both edible and medicinal. It is known to relieve digestive issues, among many other symptoms. As an astringent fruit from Asia, it actually treats a wide range of things, from acne and oral health, to ulcers and balancing blood sugars. The seed also has medicinal properties. It is known to be healing for gout. The seed can be made into powdered form for ingestion. This fruit does stain so it can also be used as a natural dye.

In the Kitchen

The jamun fruit does not have to be refrigerated. You can eat it right out of your hand or use the fruit for a dessert recipe. Leave the fruit outside of the fridge and its sugar will start to condense and intensify as it ripens and it can be eaten even when it is dried.

Recipes

jamun are a great snack to eat fresh! But there are a couple traditional Indian recipes you might try:
jamun Raita

References and Further Reading

Black jamun Information – Tarla Dalal
Health Benefits of jamun
jamun Fruit or Navaal Pazham

Description

This fruit is nature’s pudding, eaten when soft. It ripens like an avocado and the inside is very sweet. It is a good source of Potassium, Vitamin C, Iron, and Fiber. It also consist of Vitamin A.

In the Kitchen

Don’t refrigerate the sapote. You can leave this on the counter and it will ripen like an avocado. Eat sapote when it is soft enough so that when you push on the flesh an indentation is made. The skin is edible but it is bitter. Peel the skin off with a knife is you choose. The inside is sweet, creamy, and mushy. You can enjoy them as you would a pear, or you can scoop out the flesh and add it to fruit salads, smoothies, sorbet, and desserts.

Recipes

sapote Sorbet

Ingredients:

1 cup peeled, seeded ripe sapote chunks
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a large pan and boil over high heat. Boil the mixture until it gets reduced to ½ cup. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Cut sapotes in half. Blend the sapote pulp and lemon juice in a blender until pureed.
  3. Mix syrup and fruit puree. Cover and freeze for 1 hour. Break frozen puree into small pieces.
  4. Wrap airtight and freeze until firm.
  5. Allow sorbet to soften slightly at room temperature. The sorbet will be ready to serve. It will be about 3-4 servings.

Sorbet

 

References and Further Reading
Description

The chili peppers are part of the nightshade family. They are a good service of B vitamins, especially B6. Red Chilies are particularly higher in Vitamin C and carotene. They can range from either mild to very very hot! The chilies that are high in capsaicin, which is what makes them hot, are good for keeping cholesterol levels healthy.

In the Kitchen

One way to add both flavor and heat to your dish is to add chili peppers. If you would like to decrease the heat, remove the seeds from the peppers before you use them in your recipes.

Suggested Recipes

Here is one of our favorite house salsa recipes:

Ingredients:
8oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (or roast your own fresh tomatoes, about 6 to 8)
About 4-6 spicy peppers (jalapenos, serranos).
2 cloves garlic
1/4 onion
1/4 lemon wedge
Handful of cilantro sprigs
salt

Recipe:

Cook the chilies:
Boil the chilies (stems removed) for about 10mins.
If you have more time, you can roast the chilies on a skillet or over the flame for
an added depth of flavor.

Seeds can be removed for a milder salsa, or kept for an extra-hot blend.

Cook the onion & garlic:
Wrap the quarter-onion in foil and roast on a skillet (med. heat).
Cook until soft and aromatic.
Should be about 10 to 15mins.

At the same time, throw the 2 cloves of garlic (unpeeled in their shells) and cook on
the skillet. Cook until soft.

Combine & Blend:
Add the cooked peppers, onion, garlic to a blender.
Add in a few sprinkles of salt.
Add the juice from a quarter lemon (or lime)
Add all the tomatos from the can (but only the tomatos, no juice)

Blend on a medium setting – you want a chunky texture, not smooth liquid.

(You’re almost done).

Chop and dice the cilantro (and a small amount of fresh onion, if you want).

Add to the blender, and pulse a few times.

You are done! Enjoy

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Description

Purple Shiso is a Japanese herb that comes from the mint family.

In the Kitchen
Recipes

Try this refreshing drink: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/08/zero-proof-shiso-limeade.html

References and Further Reading
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Description

bay leaf refers to the aromatic leaves of several plants used in cooking. There are a number of varieties, each specific to the locale in which it is grown. They are used to add flavor to any dish from soup to rice.

In the Kitchen

Bay leaves are used around the world. In South Asian and Indian cuisine, bay laurel leaves are sometimes used in place of Indian bay leaf, although they have a different flavor. They are most often used in rice dishes like biryani and as an ingredient in garam masala. Bay (laurel) leaves are frequently packaged as tejpatta (the Hindi term for Indian bay leaf), creating confusion between the two herbs. In the Philippines, dried bay laurel leaves are added as a spice in the Filipino dish Adobo. Bay leaves can also be used scattered in a pantry to repel meal moths, flies and other critters. You can also dry the fresh Bay leaves so you can keep them all year round.

Recipes

Grilled Salmon wrapped in Lemon and Bay Leaves
bay leaf beet Soup

References and Further Reading

Repel Grain moths with Bay Leaves

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Description

These Thai Lavender Frog Egg Eggplants were collected by the Gettles of Baker Creek in central Thailand, where the Thai peoples refer to many colors of these small eggplant as “frog eggs.” Tiny fruits are the size and form of a cherry tomato, lavender splashed with cream.

In the Kitchen

These fruits have a very robust flavor, and super high yielding! The thai lavender frog egg eggplant can be easily stir-fried and pan roasted. Unlike other eggplants, when cooked, the skin is edible and tasty.

Recipes

Seared eggplant and Coconut Milk Curry
Thai eggplant Curry
South Indian Brinjal Rasam

References and Further Reading

See our eggplant page for more info!