Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gimme a F, gimme an I, gimme a G...

The figs was one of the first crops to be cultivated in history, even before wheat and rye! reports: "It is generally accepted that the fig tree was domesticated in the Near East some 6500 years ago. Here we report the discovery of nine carbonized fig fruits and hundreds of drupelets stored in Gilgal I, an early Neolithic village, located in the Lower Jordan Valley, which dates to 11,400 to 11,200 years ago. We suggest that these edible fruits were gathered from parthenocarpic trees grown from intentionally planted branches. Hence, fig trees could have been the first domesticated plant of the NeolithicRevolution, which preceded cereal domestication by about a thousand years."

Primarily grown and valued in the Mediterranean, there are now there are over 700 different types and names of figs!  California is the third biggest producer in the world after Turkey and Greece, but mostly we grow the golden, slightly nutty-flavored Calimyrna and the dark, sweet Mission varietals.  

This delicious fruit is high in dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and definitely has a natural laxative effect on the digestive/elimination system. Latin and South American folk medicine uses the figs to treat diabetes, kidney disorders, tumors, and skin issues.

Figs can be eaten fresh or dried.  Eat them by themselves, chop and throw into salads, cook into soups and desserts, and use the puree instead of oil when baking.  Be sure to rinse with cold water and remove the stems before consuming.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cilantro it up!

Why do I LOVE cilantro?  First of all, I mean let’s face it, it is absolutely delicious!  How can you have good guacamole without some chopped cilantro?  Fresh cilantro has such a cool, crisp taste.

Secondly, little did you know, but cilantro is one of the best foods for detoxification.  Ok I’ve probably lost most of you at this point, I’m sure a lot of you are in your 20s and don’t really care about detox.  Well we’re the ones who should care the most!  With all of our eating out at restaurants, drinking at bars, and dancing our faces off, we can use all the support we can get.  So let me tell you what you’ll be getting from these little sprigs and leaves.

Cilantro is the leafy part of an herb called coriander, and it has: calcium, iron, potassium, lutein, vitamin A, vitamin C,vitamin K, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, antibacterial properties, and it aids in digestion! WOW! Also many holistic practitioners use it for heavy metal detoxification.  

Throw sprigs into soups and salads, blend into salad dressings, and strangely enough it tastes amazing in omelettes!