Monday, February 28, 2011

The Dirty Dozen....

 I don't know if you've heard of the "Dirty Dozen" (not the movie!) ?   
Every time you eat fruits, vegetables, or grains, you consume residues of insect killers and fungicides -- unless you eat only organic foods.  Yet not everyone's budget allows for buying only organic foods, which typically (not always) are pricier, but also must not be produced with the use of synthetic chemicals, radiation or fertilizers made of sewage sludge.  (gross!)

You can drastically reduce your intake of pesticides and fungicides by avoiding the "dirty dozen".  These are the top 12 (plus a few more...) worst fruits and vegetables for contaminates.   These are the ones where the residue cannot be washed away by scrubbing.  Many of these it's because they have a very high water content, and the pesticides and fungicides are absorbed right into the "meat" of the fruit, and others, they are very thinned skinned, and prone to little critters.

Buy these organic:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale/collard greens
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (imported)
If your budget allows for more, here are the next few to try to buy organic:
  1. Lettuce
  2. Blueberries (imported)
  3. Carrots
  4. Green beans (domestic)
  5. Pears
  6. Plums (imported)
  7. Summer squash
  8. Cucumbers (imported)

To save money in your grocery budget, you can feel comfortable buying the following fruits and vegetables in the the regular produce section since they're lowest in pesticides:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potato
  15. Honeydew melon
And if you are like me, and you get to the produce section and can't remember if the veggie you just picked up is on the Dirty List, then follow this link to print off a pocket reminder guide - SO helpful!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Food Journey and a Family Favorite Fruit Salad

A large part of our food journey has been because we had no choice.  When we found out that the little guy had intolerances to gluten, corn, refined sugar, food colorings, and soy, it left us in a position of finding a new way to eat.   As we took that journey with him, I discovered that his food intolerances where inherited from me.   I never realized that my migraines, my joint and muscle aches, my constant reoccurring bronchitis, and my digestive issues could be due to food allergies.   So his journey became our journey.  By healing his body,  I discovered I was also healing my own.   We are still learning, but the healing we've experienced so far has been incredible!

Speaking of incredible (Haha - how's that for a segue?), this is an incredible fruit salad!  Often, when we are asked to bring a dish to pass to a gathering, I bring two - so that we have some foods there that we can safely eat.   Yesterday was the Little Guy's Blue & Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts.  I made a green salad, brownies, and this fruit salad.  It's always amazing to me when people ask for the "recipe". 

Family Favorite Fruit Salad

8-10 Cups of cut fruit.   Use whatever fruits you'd like.  Yesterday, I used cantaloupe, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, and red grapes.    Other good additions are apples, blueberries, watermelon, peaches, kiwi...
1 Cup Apricot Nectar.  Use a good brand - check to make sure that it doesn't include high fructose corn syrup.  I like Ceres or RW Knudsen brands.
1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch (or cornstarch if you can use corn.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cut fruit into bite sized pieces (we like ours a bit on the large side) and place into a large bowl.
Heat apricot nectar on the stove until simmering.  Make a slurry of of the starch, with a couple tablespoons of water, and stir into the nectar, continuing to stir until it thickens. Remove the nectar from the heat, and stir in vanilla.    Let this cool to room temperature, and then pour over fruit, stir to mix thoroughly,  and chill until serving.    Add some fresh whipped cream on top, and this is dessert!

Makes 10-12 servings.

And So It Begins....

Welcome to my Blog!   I've had so many people encourage me to do this, and finally, I'm here!

I'm looking forward to a place where I can share recipes, and cooking tips, and freely talk about my ever evolving philosophy on food, and eating,  and my love for all of the good gifts given to us!

My focus will be on Real Food.  But I feel that a whole lifestyle goes along with that, so there will also be posts on shopping for groceries, gardening, cleaning products, good books to read, other blogs and websites to check out, and anything else that pops into my mind!
So - just to get started, check out my "Who I Am" page, to see what has brought me to this point, and I'll be adding to my posts, and other pages as time allows.

Oh, and just to let you know - for Dinner today, we are having a Slow Roasted Chicken w/ roasted carrots,  made-from-scratch bbq'd baked beans, and fruit salad.    Later today, I'll be posting the baked beans and the fruit salad recipes.