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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Fruits & Nuts

RECIPE: Grilled Cake & Fruit Kabobs

A fun, and light, dessert. Photo courtesy
Yoplait.

 

If you’ve already got the grill fired, here’s an easy dessert courtesy of Yoplait: grilled angel food cake. Instead of a calorie-heavy sauce like caramel or chocolate, it uses fruit yogurt as a dip for the light and airy cake, along with tasty pieces of fruit.

You can use pound cake or sponge cake instead of angel food cake. When peaches come into season, use peach slices; otherwise, double up on the strawberries or substitute another favorite fruit (banana chunks, blackberries, etc.).

Prep time is 20 minutes.

RECIPE: GRILLED ANGEL FOOD CAKE

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 cup peach slices
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 container Yoplait Light white chocolate
    strawberry yogurt (or flavor of choice)
  • Preparation

    1. HEAT gas or charcoal grill. Arrange cake cubes, strawberries and peach slices alternately on eight 6-inch skewers.

    2. MIX sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over kabobs.

    3. PLACE kabobs on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook kabobs about 2 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Serve with yogurt dip.

     
    KEBAB, KEBOB, KEBAP, KABAB, KABOB: SKEWERED FOOD

    Kebab, variously spelled kebob, kebap, kabab or kabob (transliterated from the original Arabic), is a dish consisting of pieces of meat, fish and/or vegetables roasted or grilled on a skewer or spit. In the Middle East, however, kebab refers specifically to meat that is cooked over the flames.

    The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes, beef, chicken, fish/seafood, goat and pork are skewered and grilled. In America, vegetarian kabobs are also popular, with or without cubes of tofu.

    The dish originated in the Middle East and spread worldwide. The concept is very old: Excavations on the Greek island of Santorini unearthed firedogs—vertical stone slabs that hold the skewers over the fire—that date to before the 17th century B.C.E.

    In America, the term “kebab” has been adopted to describe any food on a skewer.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Sunshine Raspberries

    raspberry-double-gold-burpee-230

    Double Gold raspberries, sold as Sunshine
    Raspberries by Driscoll’s. Photo courtesy
    Burpee.

     

    Grocers have the same challenge as other retailers: how to catch the eye of consumers with something new, and get them to spend more money.

    Seeking to sell more to grocers, browers are always on the prowl for new produce varieties, with distinctive flavor and a different look from conventional supermarket varieties.

    So today’s tip is: Be on the prowl for what’s new and exciting.

    In the raspberry department, what’s new is Double Gold raspberries. A cross-breeding of conventional red and the newer gold raspberries, Double Golds have a deep blush color, combining hues of both red and yellow into a peach-like effect, and a distinctive conical shape.

    The berries are naturally bred, never genetically modified or subjected to irradiation.

     
    As befitting their parentage, Double Golds—called Sunshine Raspberries by a major grower and distributor, Driscoll’s—have a unique flavor of their own—different from both the red raspberry and the golden raspberry, but still an obvious member of the family.

    Said Courtney Weber, a Cornell University small fruits breeder and associate professor of horticulture, “If consumers get a taste of these, they will buy them.”

     

    The variety was released to growers by Cornell, where it was bred, two years ago. The Double Gold plants bear deeply blushed, golden champagne-colored fruit in two crops per season (hence the “double” in the name). New to the retail marketplace, they are being sold under the Driscoll’s label as Sunshine Raspberries.

    The plants have also been sold to u-pick growers, farm stands and home gardeners. You can buy the plants from Burpee.com.

    Imagine a bowl of the three different colors of strawberries, sparkling like jewels. Or, top pound cake, angel cake or sorbet.

    It’s a treat for summer entertaining!

     

    sunshine-raspberries-driscolls-FD

    Here’s how they look at the grocer’s. Photo courtesy Fresh Direct.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Cinco De Mayo Strawberries

    cinco-de-mayo-chocolate-strawberries-harvardsweetboutique-230b

    Fresh strawberries dressed up for Cinco de
    Mayo. Photo courtesy Harvard Treat
    Boutique.

     

    This Cinco de Mayo treat from Harvard Sweet Boutique inspired today’s tip.

    For snacks or desserts, dip fresh strawberries in melted chocolate and decorate in festive colors: aqua, pink, purple or lavender and yellow, for example.

    Start with this easy recipe for chocolate-dipped fruit.

    Then use decorator icing to pipe squiggles and dots

    You can also tint white chocolate pink with food color, and use colored sanding sugar (recipe).

     

    ROYAL ICING RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 egg whites, beaten
  • Food color
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SIFT together sugar and cream of tartar.

    2. BEAT in 4 beaten egg whites with an electric mixer. Beat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.

    3. DIVIDE the icing and tint with desired food colors.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: The Ataulfo Mango (Champagne Mango)

    ataulfo-champagne_mango-ilovemangoes-230

    The Ataulfo, or Champagne, mango. Photo
    courtesy ILoveMangoes.com.

     

    When you think of mangoes, you may think of the familiar reddish-green mangos, and wonder about the petite golden yellow ones that some people call baby mangoes.

    They’re Ataulfo mangos from Mexico, also commonly called Champagne mangoes, and they’re in season now.

    Mango lovers prefer them to the more prevalent Tommy Atkins cultivar (the red-green ones in the photo below). Their buttery flesh is not fibrous, and their thin pit makes them easier to slice and dice than other varieties.

    The Ataulfo—it was found in a conventional mango grove owned by Mr. Ataulfo Morales—goes by several other names as well: Adaulfo, Adolfo, baby, honey and yellow mango. It is closely related to the Alphonso variety popular in India.

     
    MANGO NUTRITION

    Mangoes deliver sumptuous tropical flavor with easy calories.

  • One cup of mango is just 100 calories, fat free, sodium free and cholesterol free.
  • Mangos contain more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. One cup provides 100% DV of vitamin C, 35% of vitamin A, 20% of folate, 12% of fiber and good amounts of B6, copper, K and potassium.
  •  
    Believed to be native to India, mango trees have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. The different cultivars come in a rainbow of reds, yellows, oranges and greens and a wide variety of shape, flavor, texture and aroma.
     
    HOW TO ENJOY MANGO

    Our favorite way to eat mango is with a knife and fork, as a delicious fruit snack or dessert (note that the skin can cause stomach irritation, so should not be eaten). Second place goes to mango sorbet.

    But use mango however you would use peaches or pineapples—the two fruits to which mango’s flavor is compared.

  • Beverages: Daiquiri, Margarita, shake with mango sorbet or ice cream, smoothie
  • Breads: muffins and fruit breads
  • Condiments: chutney and salsa
  • Desserts: cobbler, fruit salad, grilled fruit, ice cream or sorbet, pie, pudding, tart, tartlet
  • Fruit Soup: mango gazpacho
  • Mains: poultry, pork, seafood
  • Salads: green salad, shrimp salad
  •  
    Recipes

  • Asian Fruit Salad With Pernod (recipe)
  • Blueberry Mango Cobbler (recipe)
  • Halibut With Mango-Blood Orange Salsa (recipe)
  • Ice Cream With Grilled Mango (recipe)
  • Orange Blossom Waffles With Mangoes & Nutmeg Cream (recipe)
  • Salmon with Cherry Mango Salsa (recipe)
  •  
    Find many more recipes at ILoveMangoes.com.

     

    HOW TO SLICE A MANGO

  • Peel the skin from the flesh with a small, sharp knife.
  • There is a long pit that runs down the center of the length of the fruit. Cut the mango lengthwise down the side of pit to free the first half (called a cheek). Do the same with the other half.
  • Dice or slice the flesh as you wish.
  • We nibble the remaining fruit on the pit in thin slices, although it can be used in sauces or pudding.
  •  
    There’s a second slicing technique that produces the “hedgehog”-like diced effect in the photo above:

  • Without peeling, cut the fruit from the cheeks, using the technique above.
  • Score the flesh into squares, about 1/2- to 3/4-inch in size, cutting up to, but not through, the skin.
  •  

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    The Tommy Atkins mango is the most commonly available in the U.S., due to its hardiness. Photo courtesy National Mango Board.

  • Gently push the mango cheek inside out, which pushes the cubes up and apart.
  • Cut the cubes from the skin to serve, or cut and eat cubes from a mango half with a knife and fork.
  •  
    Peeled and cut fruit will hold at least three days in the fridge, in an airtight container. The flesh may darken a bit, but the flavor changes only slightly. You can tell by the aroma when the time to enjoy it has passed.
     
    RIPENING MANGOES

    Mangoes need to ripen in a warm room. To speed ripening, you can place them in a paper bag.

    Color is not the best way to determine ripeness. Instead, touch and smell: A ripe mango will have a fruity aroma and the flesh will yield to gentle pressure. Unripe mangoes have no scent.

    Ripe mangoes can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The peeled flesh can be dried, frozen, puréed or stewed.
     
    GO FOR THE GOLD

    Ataulfo mangos have only recently gained popularity in the United States, but have been a major crop in Mexico for decades. In season between March and September, they are the second-most popular variety of mango sold in the U.S., behind the Tommy Atkins cultivar.

    And here’s the big tip of the day: The most prevalent mango, the Tommy Atkins, is not considered to be the choicest mango in terms of sweetness and flavor. Retailers prefer it for its very long shelf life and ability to be handled with little or no bruising, which is why it’s the mango offered first and foremost. [Source: Wikipedia]

    So go for the gold: Bring home some Ataulfos and taste the difference.

    The other less common mango varieties found in the U.S. include the Haden and Kent, which appear along with the and Ataulfo and the Tommy Atkins in spring and summer; and the orange and green Keitt from Australia, which comes from Australia in the fall (and has a lemony note to the flesh).

    Many people attest that mangoes taste best right off the tree, fresh and succulent. So if you’re in Florida, Mexico or other mango haven, see if you can seek out the experience, called by one expert “a taste experience you’ll never forget.”

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Pineberry

    Pineberries are a cultivar of strawberries that actually have a sweet pineapple taste and aroma—thus inspiring the “pine” in the name. While they are very pretty, delicious and aromatic, you may never have seen them because they are also delicate, fragile and very limited in their growing season—which is now.

    The small strawberries (from 1/2 inch to less than an inch in diameter), which are white and covered with red seeds (achenes), have the same genetic make-up as the common strawberry.

    Pineberries are available for a brief 4-5 week season beginning in April. The question is: Where can you get them? This most special of strawberries is only grown in Holland.

    If you’re in England, head to Waitrose, the upscale supermarket chain, where they will fly off the shelves.

    According to Waitrose, the berry originated in South America as a wild variety of strawberry. It was threatened with extinction because it has a low yield per plant and smaller sized berries. Seven years ago, when Dutch farmers began growing it on a commercial level in greenhouses. They begin life as green berries (like regular strawberries), then become slightly white instead of red.

     

    pineberries-friedas-c-PA-230

    Pineberries are tiny cultivars of the common strawberry. Photo courtesy Waitrose.

     

    pineberry-dessert-iconcoloursofflavour-230

    This recipe is from Icons Colours Of Taste.

     

    Use them as you would any strawberry—a dessert garnish, a cupcake topping, They are a feast for the eye, so it would be a shame to blend them into smoothies.

    “As the summer unfolds we won’t be surprised to hear that our customers are inviting their friends over for pineberry pavlovas, punch or serving them up with yoghurt, ice cream or heavy cream whipped cream for a lighter alternative.”

    STRAWBERRY TRIVIA

    The strawberry is the only fruit to carry its seeds on the outside.

    There are 200 seeds on the average strawberry. Each of these seeds has the genetic potential to become a new variety of strawberry since no two seeds are the same. This is how plant breeders develop new varieties of strawberries.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Blood Oranges

    blood-orange-beauty-goodeggs-230

    A blood orange can be thing of beauty. Photo
    of the Moro variety courtesy GoodEggs.com.

     

    Blood orange season is upon us. Blood oranges can be a thrill (sweet and luscious) or a disappointment (bland), depending on the grower’s rootstock, the climate and the season. You never know what you’re going to get, but the upside is so wonderful that you’ve got to try.

    The hue of a blood orange can range from pink to rose red to deep purple. The most dramatic have “blood”-colored crimson and purple flesh. (There are even “blonde” blood oranges which have orange flesh like regular oranges, but a have blood orange flavor.)

    The peel may look like a regular orange or feature telltale washes of red. The skin may be smooth or pitted. While it looks like the more acidic Valencia orange on the outside, the blood orange flesh is sweet with less acid, like a navel orange.

    Each variety has a different climate preference, and produces different hues, sizes and flavors based on the climate, temperature and other factors that impact the coloration and flavor intensity. California blood oranges have more pigmentation, Texas blood oranges tend to have less pigmentation, as do those from Florida, where the humidity limits the development of the pigment.

     
    The color is the result of the antioxidant anthocyanin,* not typically found in citrus, but common to other red fruits and flowers (it’s the same natural chemical that gives the color to pomegranates and roses).

    The flavor of a good blood orange will be “an orange kissed by a raspberry.”

    THE HISTORY OF BLOOD ORANGES

    Blood oranges are believed to be a mutation of the sweet orange, that occurred in southern Italy around 1850.

    The blood orange was brought to the U.S. in the 1930s in the wave of Italian immigration. It now grows in California (November to May), Florida (October to January) and Texas (December to March).

     
    *Anthocyanin neutralizes the effects of free-radical chemicals that are believed to cause cancer and other ailments (diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, liver disease and ulcers) plus the general impact of aging. Research shows that it fights and prevents cancerous tumors and ulcers, and improves vision. Blood oranges are also packed with high levels of carotene, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

     

    TYPES OF BLOOD ORANGES

    The three most popular cultivars (varieties) of blood orange the Moro, Sanguiello and Tarocco. If you can get information from your vendor, go for the Moro or the Tarocco.

  • The Moro blood orange, a recent introduction into the blood orange family, is grown in California and in Texas. It is the most colorful of the three types, with a deep purple flesh and reddish orange rind (see photo above). It has a sweet flavor with notes of raspberry that makes this variety sing—whether in recipes or as an eating fruit. It is well worth seeking out.
  • The Sanguinello blood orange, discovered in Spain in 1929, has a reddish skin, few seeds and a sweet and tender flesh.
  • The Tarocco blood orange, native to Italy, is a medium-sized fruit and is perhaps the sweetest and most flavorful of the three types. However, its internal reddish color varies widely and is unreliably red.
  • Ruby and Palestine Jaffa blood oranges can also be found in the U.S. Here are more details on blood orange varieties.
  •  

    blood-orange-freeze-therosegroup-230

    A cocktail with blood orange juice. Photo courtesy The Rose Group.

     

    BLOOD ORANGE RECIPES

    Our favorite way to enjoy blood oranges is as a hand fruit or a simple sorbet or granita. A glass of blood orange juice is also wonderful. When you have such a subtle, special flavor, you might not want to cover it up.

    However, here are a few recipes for those blessed with an abundance of blood oranges.

  • Blood Orange Cocktails
  • Blood Orange Vinaigrette with Roasted Beets And Goat Cheese
  • Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Soufflé
  • Blood Orange Dessert Spaghetti
  • Blood Orange Dessert Sauce (great with cheesecake)
  • Blood Orange Granita Or Sorbet
  • Lamb Loin With Blood Orange Sauce
  • Pepita-Crusted Halibut With Blood Orange Jicama Chutney
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Try A Flaxseed Mill

    Here’s another way to add “instant nutrition” to your foods, with no more effort than it takes to grind pepper.

    In this case, you’re grinding flaxseed. Why?

    This superfood adds noteworthy nutrition to food (see the health benefits below), so much so that a growing number of consumers have been clamoring for it. An estimated 300 new products with flaxseed were launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2010 alone (the last year for which data is available).

    Flaxseed is appearing in everything from crackers and breads to oatmeal and frozen waffles. The eggs that claim higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids come from chickens who eat flaxseed-enriched feed.

    At home, you can add freshly-ground flaxseed to just about anything: cereal, cottage cheese, dips, eggs, fish, meat and poultry, salad, smoothies, soup, yogurt. It’s easy to add to batter and dough: cakes, cookies, pancakes, pie crusts.

     

    blossom-flax-mill-230

    Better nutrition is just a few grinds away. Photo courtesy Blossom.

     
    The flavor is subtle and nutty. The mill can be kept on the table, right next to the salt and pepper.

    You can use any mill or spice grinder to grind flaxseed for recipes; but the point of a separate flaxseed mill is to use it consistently as you sit down to eat.

    Plus, the ceramic grinder in the Blossom mill (shown in photo) is specifically calibrated to grind tiny seeds, like flaxseed and sesame seed. It’s $24.30 at Amazon.com.

    Then, pick up whole flaxseed at any natural foods store or online.

     

    bobs-red-mill-golden-flaxseed-230

    Buy whole flaxseed at natural food stores.
    Photo courtesy Bob’s Red Mill.

     

    FLAXSEED BENEFITS

    According to Web MD, flaxseed could be considered one of the most potent plant foods on the planet.

    An excellent source of protein, fiber and minerals such as magnesium and copper, its top three benefits are:

  • Fiber, both soluble and insoluble.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities.
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects.
  • Studies show that flaxseed may help to reduce risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and diabetes. It’s also a great source of fiber.

    The tiny seed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 B.C.E.

     
    Flash-forward to the 8th century C.E.: King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it. (Hmm…was there a brother-in-law in the flaxseed business?)

    It’s time for a flaxseed revival. King Charlemagne would be pleased.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Melogold Grapefruit

    If you enjoy grapefruit, consider the Melogold. This hybrid of a pummelo and a white grapefruit is hefty and exotic looking: bigger than large grapefruit, with yellowish green pebbly skin and pale yellow flesh.

    Like pummelos (one of the ancestors of modern grapefruit), Melogolds have a thicker rind than regular grapefruit. The flavor is sweet-tart, and the fruit is so low in acid that you don’t need much (if any) sugar. The fruits are almost seedless and are extremely juicy.

    And they’re available for just a few months: January through March.

    So send yourself—or someone else who likes healthful low-calorie treats—a gift of it from Melissas.com.

    Enjoy it as you would any grapefruit: on its own, in a fruit salad or in any grapefruit recipe.

     

    The Melogold, a recent grapefruit hybrid. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    THE HISTORY OF GRAPEFRUIT

    America is the world’s largest consumer of grapefruit, with large commercial groves in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. But the grapefruit’s ancestor, the pummelo (also pomelo, pommelo, pumello, pummello, pumelo and shaddock), comes from far away: It’s native to Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Pummelo seeds were brought from the East Indies to the West Indies in 1693 by an English ship commander, one Captain Shaddock. He left the seeds in Barbados, where they were cultivated.

    The grapefruit may have been a horticultural accident (a natural hybridization of the pollen from an orange tree) or a deliberate hybridization between the pummelo and the orange. We’ll never know which path the new fruit traveled, but it appeared around 1700. The original grapefruit was small, about the size of an orange.

    It was originally called both “forbidden fruit” and the “smaller shaddock,” after Captain Shaddock.

    By the end of the 18th century, grapefruit had spread to other Caribbean islands and Jamaica became the center for grapefruit cultivation (today, there is no commercial-scale production left in Barbados).

    THE GRAPEFRUIT COMES TO AMERICA

    It took more than 125 years—until 1823—for the grapefruit to cross the Caribbean. It arrived in Florida but was not immediately popular; people did not like peeling the thick skin. But the trees thrived, and the fruit’s name evolved based on how it grows: in grapelike clusters.

    In 1870, the large, golden clusters on a tree he passed attracted John A. MacDonald, who lived in Orange County, Florida. MacDonald established the first grapefruit nursery. Florida’s first shipment of grapefruits to New York and Philadelphia, in 1885, generated interest and helped create the commercial grapefruit industry. Florida remains the grapefruit center of the world.

    By the late 1800s, grapefruit trees were being cultivated in southern Texas; by 1910 they had succeeded in Arizona and California. The pink grapefruit and other varieties were developed. In 1929 a Texas citrus grower discovered a mutated red grapefruit growing on a pink grapefruit tree, which became the Ruby Red cultivar.

    THE UGLY COUSIN

    In Jamaica, the grapefruit was crossbred with the tangerine to produce the ugli, which is indeed ugly but a sweeter fruit that the locals prefer.

     

    The grapefruit got its American name from
    Floridians who noticed that the fruit grew in
    clusters like grapes (ginormous grapes).
    Photo courtesy U.C. Davis.

      WHO GROWS THE MOST GRAPEFRUIT?

    The U.S. leads the world in grapefruit production, followed by China, Mexico, South Africa, India, Israel, Argentina, Turkey, Cuba and Brazil. (Source: FAO Faostat, 2008 figures)

    Florida itself was the biggest exporter of grapefruit in the world until the late 1960s, when other countries began to invest in cultivation. Florida produces 75% of U.S. grapefruits, Texas 14% and California 10%, with the final 1% divided among other southern states.
     
    HOW TO BUY & STORE GRAPEFRUIT

  • The fruit should be firm and springy. The heavier the grapefruit, the juicier it is.
  • While grapefruits look attractive in a basket on the counter, the best place for them is the refrigerator. A slight chill also brings out more flavor.
  • Don’t buy more than you need: Consume grapefruits within two weeks.
  • While most people don’t think of grapefruit as a hand fruit (something you’d eat out of hand, like an apple), try smaller grapefruits as a snack. They’re no harder to peel than a navel orange!
  •  

      

    Comments (1)

    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Orange Peel

    As a follow up to yesterday’s tip on uses for food scraps, here are some tips to use orange peel after you’ve juiced or eaten the flesh. They are adapted from an original article by Katie Waldeck on Care2.com.

    CLEANING

    1. Remove Water Stains. The oils in orange peels naturally remove stains on metal fixtures. Just rub the white side of peel on the fixtures to polish them up.

    2. Polish Wood. The white side of the peel can also polish dull wood furniture.

    3. Sponge. Still-moist orange peels are a natural sponge and leave a light citrusy scent. Try it on your stove top and counters.

    4. Cleaning Solution. Toss some orange peels in a lidded jar and cover with white vinegar. Let it sit in the fridge for a few weeks and shake it occasionally. Transfer to a spray bottle, shake and use to clean surfaces, floors and windows.

     

    Juice the orange, use the peel. Photo by Scott Bauer | USDA Agricultural Research Service.

     

     

    Enough peel for many uses! Photo courtesy
    FloridaJuice.com.

     

    AROUND THE HOUSE

    5. Repel Insects. Ants, flies and mosquitoes don’t like limonene, a compound found in oranges and other citrus fruits. Place some ground-up orange peel in a dish or sachet, in areas where these pests congregate.

    6. Home Aromatherapy. Dry the peels, grind them in a food processor and place them in a sachet. Place them in drawers, closets, basements, bathrooms or anywhere that can use a refreshing fragrance. If you have a dehydrator, dehydrating the peels releases orange fragrance throughout the room. Then, you can add the dried peels to potpourri.

    7. Combat Garbage Odor. Place some dried orange peels at the bottom of your trash can before putting in the bag. And remember yesterday’s tip: grinding orange peels in a garbage disposal offsets bad odors.

    8. Deodorize Shoes. Place dried orange peels in a sachet or piece of cheesecloth, and place in athletic shoes or others that need to be deodorized. The peel will absorb the odors.

     

    Any other suggestions? Let us know.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Food Scraps

    Who wants to waste food? Most of us just need a few tips on how to keep more of it from hitting the trash can.

    Before you toss out trimmings or wilted produce, consider these uses for food scraps. Most are from an article by Becky Striepe on Care2.com.

    1. BREAD CRUSTS & CRACKER CRUMBS. If you’re making crustless sandwiches or if nobody want the end of the bread, grind them into breadcrumbs. Store them in the freezer until you have enough. The crumbs from the bottom of a box of crackers can be used for breading or to top off a casserole. If there aren’t enough cracker crumbs, mix them with your other breadcrumbs.

    2. CITRUS PEEL & ZEST. After you’ve squeezed the juice from the lemon, zest it or remove the peel. Add zest to salad dressing or dough; stir zest or peel into cold drinks or tea (without milk). Use zest as a garnish; infuse it into vinegar, vodka or other spirit.

    A small slice of citrus peel keeps brown sugar from hardening. Just store the sugar and peel the fridge to keep the peel fresher, longer. If you have no immediate use for peel or zest, you can freeze them or grind them in the garbage disposal to generate a fresh aroma.

     

    When an apple is no longer crisp enough to eat, cook it. Photo by Evan Dempsey | THE NIBBLE.

     

    3. COFFEE GROUNDS. Use the grounds to deodorize your hands and cutting board after chopping garlic and onions. Rub them on, then rinse off. Seriously, it works!

    4. FRESH FRUIT. Aging apples, pears and other fresh fruits can be baked, sautéed or puréed into a sauce. The peels can be stepped into a cup of black, green or white tea. Apple peels can be steeped in boiling water with cinnamon and other spices to make a tasty “cider tea.”

     

    Save those pretty celery leaves for garnish. Photo courtesy Burpee.

     

    5. PULP. Reuse the pulp left from juicing vegetables to make broth. Strain out the solids before serving. Use fruit pulp to add fiber and vitamins to smoothies.

    6. VEGETABLES. Wilted veggies, broccoli and chard and kale stems, peels, tops with leaves: Many people toss them; but they’re just as edible as the rest of the plant. Steam and purée, stir fry or bake these veggie bits with tomato or cheese sauce. Add garlic or chile. Beet tops can be cooked like chard, a close relative.

    Or make broth: Celery tops, onion and garlic skins, carrot peels, and other food scraps can be used to flavor vegetable broth. You can save the scraps in a freezer-safe container until you have enough to cook. When the broth is done, strain out the solids. You can always give them to someone with a rabbit, hamster or gerbil.

    Instead of throwing out celery leaves, use them as a garnish.

     

    Try any or all of these tips, and see how good you feel about not wasting food.

      

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