This Week’s Challenge

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  • 11/27/14 – Weekend Food Challenge: Snap Peas

    snap peas

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    A perfect snap pea is plump and bright green, and it gives a sharp “snap” when folded in half. Snap peas were developed back in the 17th century by crossing a regular garden pea with a flat snow pea, but they did not become common in the U.S. until the 1970s. Now California is a huge snap pea producer. Guess what food has more protein than a whole egg or one tablespoon of peanut butter?  That’s right—just a little over a cup of snap peas wins the competition! Snap peas are also rich in iron and vitamin C, which are both good for your immune system. Peas also contain lutein, which helps eye health, reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. In addition, fresh pea pods are an excellent source of folic acid. Snap peas grow on vines, which must be supported since they reach 4-feet high. When the pods are ripe, they are nearly 3 inches long. For best flavor, you’ll want full-size pods, but be careful to not let them over-mature or start to dry out. You can even eat the snap pea blossoms and tender plant tips! When purchasing snap peas at the grocery store, look for firm pods with a slightly velvet surface. They should look almost like they are bursting. Avoid limp pods.

    Tiny fibrous “strings” line the edge of a snap pea. When the peas are young, it’s fine to ignore these strings and simply eat the peas, string and all. More mature peas usually require “de-stringing” to remove the tough fiber before eating. Watch your cooking time with snap peas—simmer only 2-3 minutes. Any longer, and the pods will become mushy and flavorless.

    Watch this video and learn how to remove snap pea strings!

    Sauteed Snap Peas
    Snap Peas Nutrition Label
     

1/23/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Nutmeg

1/23/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Nutmeg

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE Nutmeg caused a war! We think of nutmeg as a simple eggnog spice, but its production was supremely valuable several hundred years ago. Back then, nutmeg trees—50’ tall tropical evergreen trees that take 8 years to yield a first harvest—only grew on a few Indonesian islands. […]   Continue Reading
  January 22, 2015   No comments
1/16/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Sage

1/16/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Sage

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE Sage is a very old herb. The Romans prized it as a medicine, and salvia, the official name for sage means to heal or save. Centuries ago, people were also convinced that sage produced wisdom. Have you heard the word “sage” used to describe a person? It […]   Continue Reading
  January 15, 2015   No comments
1/9/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Sweet Potato

1/9/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Sweet Potato

 Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE   As a famous scientist in the early 1900s, George Washington Carver invented over 100 uses of the sweet potato: synthetic rubber, glue for postage stamps, and starch for cotton fabrics—to name a few. Other experimenters have combined sweet potato juice with lime juice to create […]   Continue Reading
  January 8, 2015   No comments
1/2/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Kale

1/2/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Kale

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE For years, kale was just a pretty “ornamental” plant. It stands out with its big, frilly leaves and bright white or purple centers; it’s one of the few colorful plants that like cold weather. Kale was originally brought to the U.S. by European settlers back in […]   Continue Reading
  January 1, 2015   No comments
12/26/14 – Food Challenge:  Red Bell Pepper

12/26/14 – Food Challenge: Red Bell Pepper

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE   Did you know that Bell Peppers are actually a fruit and not a vegetable?  They also come from the same plant.  As a bell pepper matures, it turns from green to red.  That’s why the red ones are sweeter! Studies have shown that red bell […]   Continue Reading
  December 25, 2014   No comments