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The Mellow Pomelo

pomeloOh lovely pomelo, earlier this year I saw you in a bin at the Asian Market, looking like a giant grapefruit, wrapped in that plastic and red netting – I took a chance on you – you didn’t disappoint! No bitterness, not like a grapefruit at all.

The pomelo’s pith is a piece-of-healthy-cake to peel, the flesh breaks free effortlessly, and inside are big chunks of juicy pulp. It’s a quick job to peel a quarter, pack it pith-free for lunch, and not have to deal with messy peels or composting later on in the day.

The pomelo, or Citrus Maxima, also known as shaddock, is one of the four original citrus fruits, the other three being the citron, mandarin, and papeda. The pomelo is the progenitor of the grapefruit and tangelo, in fact, popular citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, and orange are all hybrids of the four originals.  pomelo nutrition facts

As you could already guess, the pomelo is full of vitamin C which boosts the immune system, and regular consumption decreases the chances of developing UTIs, since high urine acidity levels will inhibit bacteria growth. The potassium found in the pomelo promotes heart health by reducing bad cholesterol in the body and regulating blood pressure levels.

The pomelo is popular is asia, indonesia and thailand, and fortunately, becoming more widely available in North America. A friend informed me they can also be found at Zehrs Markets, and since then I’ve also spotted them at Metro grocery store here in Ontario.

Thai Pomelo Salad

pomelo salad 2

This lovely little Thai salad is inspired by the refreshing mango salads that can be ordered at so many different Thai restaurants. It’s chilies, peanuts, and lime sauce will stimulate your salivary glands!

Portion size 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pomelo
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped unsalted peanuts
  • 1 small sweet red pepper
  • 1 lrg carrot, grated
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) coarsely chopped fresh mint

Dressing:

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime rind
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) honey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) minced hot pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh grated ginger
Preparation

In skillet, toast peanuts over medium heat until fragrant and dark golden, about 5 minutes.
Set aside. Peel, remove pith and break apart the pulp of the pomelo. Seed, core and thinly slice red pepper. Grate carrot. Chop mixed greens and mint. Set aside.

Dressing: In large bowl, whisk together lime rind and juice, soya/fish sauce, honey, hot pepper, and ginger. Add pomelo, red pepper, carrot, mixed greens, and mint; toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with peanuts.

Enjoy!

Oven Canning Jar Crumble

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Lovely pottery by the multi-talented Eve Yantha

Whenever I think of crumble, I get Adele stuck in my head, “Let the skyfall… apple crumble…

These canning jar crumbles were so incredibly easy and turned out positively delish! I’ll be sure to bring one along with me to school as a tasty sidekick to one of my healthy mason jar salads!

After coming across a bake cakes in a jar video, I decided to try a somewhat healthier version substituting some of the white flour with whole wheat, and the white sugar for brown. Then for the heck of it, because that’s how I roll, I threw in some oats.  This switched my experiment from a cake to a crumble,

wpid-20150208_113147.jpgOf course, mason jars are built to withstand up to 250 °F, and they are meant for contact water baths, not dry heat like in an oven, so there is a possibility of glass cracking. In fact, canning jar manufacturers do not recommend using dry heat methods, saying they were not intended or approved for that purpose. Baking in mason jars is a fun trend right now, but please use caution and check carefully for cracks before consuming – shards of glass are not something you want in your fabulous desserts!

 

Here’s all you need:

4 1/2 pint jars
oven safe dish
dried beans (to stop jars from sliding)

2.5 cups of fruit
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Divide the fruit up between your jars, (I only had 1 pint jars so filled them only half full).
Combine the flours,  sugar, oats, and salt in a bowl, then divide evenly between jars.
Lay a clump of butter on top, and place jars in an oven dish, spreading dried beans around jars to hold them in place. Bake for 1 hour, cool completely.
They can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

Nutrients Per Serving

kcalories
Fat
Cholesterol
Sodium
Potassium
Sugar
Protein
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Calcium
322.2
12.7  gr.
30.5 mg.
303 mg.
247 mg.
34 gr.
4 gr.
98 RAE
48 mg.
47 mg.

Make Your Own Power Bars

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“Crispy-Chewy Cherry-Flax Pucks” from the cookbook Power Hungry by Camilla V. Saulsbury

These homemade Power Bars resemble cookies at first glance, but they were baked in a muffin tin, and there were no flours (gluten) or baking powder used.

Packed full of energy, these 12 babies (I ate one before I took the picture!) contain 2/3rds a cup of ground flax seeds which are loaded with fibre, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.  B6 is needed for brain development/function, and helps our bodies produce serotonin and norepinephrine – these influence mood.  So not only do these bars taste great, but they put you in a better mood!

Since I just happened to have a batch of freshly made Vitamix peanut butter at hand, I modified the ingredient list out of Camilla V. Saulsbury’s book Power Hungry by replacing the almond butter with peanut butter.  Other than the peanut butter and flax, the ingredients include dried cherries, almond milk, and maple syrup.

After the success of these power bars, I will gladly try out more of the recipes from Power Hungry!

Fruit Leather

wpid-20140907_150449.jpgI picked up a dehydrator so jumped on making some fruit leather using my fantastic Vitamix.

Here is my first batch:
Bananas, strawberries, apple, peach, and unsweetened coconut flakes as garnish.

There are four trays, so if you divide each tray in four, the contents of one piece of fruit leather is:
¼ banana, 2 strawberries, 1/6 apple, 1/12 peach, 1/4 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

Using the Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods guide by Health Canada I was able to calculate the nutrient value per serving of fruit leather.

Banana Strawberry Apple Peach Coconut TOTAL
Calories (kcal) 26.25 7.7 12 4.65 110 160.6
Carbohydrates (g) 6.75 1.7 3.17 1.1 4 16.72
Fat (g) 0 0 0 0 10 10
Saturated fat (g) 0 0 0 0 9 9
Sodium (mg) 0.25 0.285 0.16 0  0 0.695
Sugar (g) 3.5 1.14 2.33 0.98  1 8.95
Protein (g) 0 0.285 0 0.12  1 1.405
Fibre (g) 0.525 0.54 0.43 0.23  2 3.725
Vitamin C (µg) 2.5 14 1 0.73  0 18.23
Vitamin A (µg) 1 0.285 0.66 1.96  0 3.905
Iron (mg) 0.0075 0.01 0.03 0.002  0.4 0.4495
Calcium (mg) 1.5 3.7 1.33 0.73 0 7.26
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Mmm – Fruit Leather

Fruit Leather label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a handy-dandy online nutrition label generator that is quite handy for making your own labels and calculating the daily nutrition values for the average 2,000 calorie-a-day diet.

Here is a chart with the recommended daily values of intake that we should be aiming for each day regarding nutrients – it comes from healthycanadians.gc.ca

Daily Values
Nutrient Daily Value (DV)  
Fat 65 g
Saturated and trans fats 20 g
Cholesterol 300 mg
Sodium 2400 mg
Carbohydrate 300 g
Fibre 25 g
Vitamin A 1000 RE
Vitamin C 60 mg
Calcium 1100 mg
Iron 14 mg

 

Prepping Smoothies in Freezer Bags

freezer bagsCan there be a better way to start the day than a nutrient blast from a full power smoothie? Yet, who has time to wash fruit, grab this and that, or even think with clarity during those early hours? I don’t, so taking 15 minutes to divvy up ingredients up into freezer bags is the way to make it happen.

Just throw her in the blender, add almond milk, or a liquid of your choice, and spin up an easy, nutrient-packed, breakfast smoothie!

Here are some combos I used: strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, peaches, bananas, and kale. Some of the bags are doubled because it’s always nice to have a smoothie for two!

Mine have been fortified with flax seeds, apple cider vinegar, and bee pollen, but the sky’s the limit for whatever your specific health needs are. You can also invigorate smoothies with goji berries, peanut/almond butter, kefir, psyllium, coconut, chia, or cacao beans. Mmmm!

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