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11 Sep 2016

Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach’s thick, semi-succulent, heart-shaped leaves have a mild flavour and mucilaginous texture. Malabar spinach (Basella alba or ruba, a redder variety) is actually not spinach at all , and it doesn't taste much like spinach at all. When it's raw Malabar spinach has very fleshy, thick leaves that are juicy and crisp with tastes of citrus and pepper. When cooked, though, Malabar spinach does look and taste a lot more like regular spinach. It doesn't wilt as fast, though, and it holds up better in soups and stir-fries. It's a popular green in Asian, Indian, and even African cuisine.

Nutritionally, Malabar spinach provides a good amount of vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (niacin) and C, as well as the minerals calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium. The succulent mucilage is a particularly rich source of soluble fiber

As a healing agent, this botanical is chewed to give relief in cases of mouth ulcers. The astringent quality of the cooked roots is beneficial to curb diarrhea, while the cooked leaves and stems are summoned when a mild, effective laxative is called for. Ongoing research is examining the traditional role played by Malabar spinach as a remedy for infertility and as a potential ingredient in testosterone-boosting herbal cocktails.

24 Jul 2016

Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.

Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.

Nutritional Profile

Turmeric is an excellent source of both iron and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and potassium.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

  • Add turmeric to egg salad to give it an even bolder yellow color.
  • Mix brown rice with raisins and cashews and season with turmeric, cumin and coriander.
  • Although turmeric is generally a staple ingredient in curry powder, some people like to add a little extra of this spice when preparing curries. And turmeric doesn't have to only be used in curries. This spice is delicious on healthy sautéed apples, and healthy steamed cauliflower and/or green beans and onions. Or, for a creamy, flavor-rich, low-calorie dip, try mixing some turmeric and dried onion with a little omega-3-rich mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Serve with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama and broccoli florets.
  • Turmeric is a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils.
  • Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue by adding some turmeric powder to them.
  • For an especially delicious way to add more turmeric to your healthy way of eating, cut cauliflower florets in half and healthy sauté with a generous spoonful of turmeric for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Health Benefits of Turmeric:

24 Jul 2016

Indian Round Gourd

TINDA /INDIAN ROUND GOURD/APPLE GOURD 

This unique squash-like gourd is native to India, very popular in Indian cooking with curry and many gourmet dishes. Green colored, apple sized fruits are flattish round in shape

A water-rich vegetable, it keeps your body cool and healthy,. Some research indicates it is also very good for healthy skin and hair.

Round gourd is regarded as super food for its numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants like carotenoids and many anti-inflammatory agents, which help controlling blood pressure, heart diseases, and strokes and prevents cancer formation. It is very mild and soothing vegetable for intestinal tract. It contains a lot of fiber and a water-rich vegetable, it keeps your body cool and healthy, that helps in digestion relieves stomach acidity and prevents constipation and diarrhea. It also increases the urinary flow and excretes toxins from the kidney and is very effective in prevention of prostate cancer. 

It is a low calorie diet vegetable and a good source of Vitamin A.

24 Jul 2016

Purple Yam

The Ratalu purple yam is also known as Violet yam, Hiaaya, Uhi, kand and Indian purple yam. It is a root vegetable and a member of the Dioscoreaceae family. The yam is essentially the tuber part of the plant, most often storing nutrients and energy in the form of carbohydrates and water, which sustains the plant's growth and ability to survive adverse conditions.

 Ube yams have the distinction of having of a purple or lavender color. In the Philippines, the natural sweetness of the ube yam is often used in desserts such as cakes, pastries and ice cream. Also called purple yam, the ube yam appears in cuisines around the world.

24 Jul 2016

Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice.

Long-hailed for its medicinal, therapeutic and culinary benefits in India, China and around the world, ginger continues to gain ground as a root for well-being. Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice. ginger roots is often used as a seasoning in Indian recipes and is a common ingredient of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and many South Asian cuisines for flavoring dishes such as seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes.

As the world’s most widely cultivated spice, ginger may also be the world’s most versatile, evidence-based natural health remedy. Numerous studies have been conducted on the medicinal benefits of this wonder spice for over 100 health conditions. It has a long history of use, and as a testimony to its numerous benefits, it remains a component of more than 50% of all traditional herbal remedies.

Health Benefits

24 Jul 2016

Galangal

Galangal is ginger on steroids. Stockier than its rootstalk relations  It is a star ingredient in Thai cookery where it is named kha and is used in soups, stir-frys and curry pastes. In taste and aroma, it has a wonderfully clean flavor and fresh piney scent that are as pungent as ginger’s own spicy notes.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Besides being a rich source of iron, sodium, vitamins A and C, it also contains flavanoids and phytonutrients. This tuber is known to have numerous medicinal and health benefits. And is used by many homeopaths and healthcare professionals. Here are some of their health benefits:

  • Galangal contains anti-inflammatory properties and therefore is beneficial in treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It also helps to relieve discomfort caused due to inflammation of the abdomen and ulcers too.
  • To curb sea and motion sickness, nausea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal.
  • Galangal contains a host of anti-oxidants that helps to minimise the damage caused by free radicals and other toxins in the body.
  • To improve blood circulation in the body, include galangal in your diet.
  • If you suffer form diarrhoea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal to seek relief.
  • Besides being a rich source of iron, sodium, vitamins A and C, it contains flavanoids and phytonutrients.
24 Jul 2016

Chili

CHILI / CHILE / CHILLI PEPPER

Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green through to yellow, orange and red) and are one of the most popular spices in the world.

Chillies can be used fresh, dried or powdered, and the level of heat varies from type to type, from sweet and mellow to blisteringly hot - as a general rule, the smaller the chilli, the hotter the taste. The substance that generates the heat is called capsaicin, which is found mainly in the pith and, to a lesser extent, the seeds. But it's not all about heat - each type has its own distinct flavour.

Chili Pepper Health Benefits

Chili peppers are extremely healthy for you and offer a number of health benefits. They should be included in your regular diet. Here's why.

  • Chili Peppers Have Loads of Vitamin C
  • Chili Peppers Help Protect Your Heart
  • Chili Pepper Can Help You Burn Fat and Lose Weight
  • Chili Peppers Help Soothe Intestinal Diseases
  • Chili Peppers Fight Inflammation
  • Chili Peppers Help Lower High Blood Pressure
  • Chili Peppers Can Warm Your Feet
  • Chili Peppers Fight Cancer
  • Chili Peppers Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion
  • Chili Peppers Fight Migraine Headaches and Sinus Headaches

EVERGREEN ORGANICS BELIZE grows the following species of chili peppers:

1. Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)

Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Indian, Korean, Sichuan, and other Asian cuisine), or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. It is also used as an herbal supplement

2. Jalapeno (Capsicum annuum)

This is one of the most popular chili in central America and some parts of north America. These chilies are primarily grown in southern part New Mexico and some parts western Texas. Jalapeno is used the large number of preparations including sauces, dipping and various main course cuisines.

A mature jalapeño fruit is 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and hangs down with a round, firm, smooth flesh. It. Commonly picked and consumed while still green, it is occasionally allowed to fully ripen and turn red, orange or yellow, and is wider and milder than the Serrano pepper. Compared to other chilies, the jalapeño heat level varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation and can have between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units

3. Thai peppers / Bird's eye chili (Capsicum frutescens)

Thai peppers are generally smaller and characteristically points to the sky when on the plant, but is quite hot (piquant). It measures around 100,000–225,000 Scoville units, which is at the lower half of the range for the hotter habanera chili but still many times more spicy than a jalapeño These chilis are used in soups, salads, and stir-fried dishes. They are also put in fish sauce as a condiment or eaten raw. In Thai cuisine, these chilis are highly valued for their fruity taste and extreme spiciness. They are extensively used in many Thai dishes, such as in Thai curries and in Thai salads, green as well as the ripe red chilis.

4. Piri Piri (Capsicum frutescens)

Piri piri also called African bird's eye chili

This chilli is also known as - 'African Red Devil'. As the name suggests, this chilli originated in Africa and is extremely hot. It's thin and cylindrical in shape with reddish orange tint. The name 'Piri piri' came from Portuguese language which is used to identify this African devil. This chilli is primarily grown in Mozambique and Congo.

The fruits are generally tapered to a blunt point and measure up to 8–10 cm (3–4 in) long. Immature pod color is green, mature color is bright red or purple. Some varieties of birdseye measure up to 175,000 Scoville heat units.

5. Habanero (Capsicum chinense)

This is yet another intensely spicy chilli. Habanero originated in Cuba and is grown in different parts of Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica Belize and Panama. This chilli is consumed in large quantity in Latin American society in the form of puree or salsa. It's aromatic nature made it very popular and its use is not limited to select dishes. The habanero's heat, its fruity, citrus-like flavor, and its floral aroma have made it a popular ingredient in hot sauces and spicy foods.

Unripe habaneros are green, and they color as they mature. Common colors are orange and red, but white, brown, yellow, green, and purple are also seen. Typically, a ripe habanero chili is 2–6 cm (0.8–2.4 in) long. Habanero chilis are very hot, rated 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale.

24 Jul 2016

Mango Ginger

Amba Haldi has a distinct flavor, very pleasing though delicate Amba Haldi is pleasantly mild and does not have a sharp bite. has the smell and taste of a raw mango. I must say its a terrific combo of flavors Its flesh is a lighter color than common turmeric.

22 Jul 2016

Taro Leaves

Taro leaves are heart-shaped, bright to deep green and they can span over a foot in diameter. The underside of the leaves have veins that branch out from the stem. Although taro is cultivated primarily for its roots, the leaves are wholly edible and have a tender-firm and succulent texture. The flavor is subtle, offering a pleasant nuttiness with an iron finish that is comparable to the flavor of spinach.

Nutritional Value

Taro leaves offer a substantial amount of Vitamin A and C and they are are better source of protein than the plant's roots. The leaves, raw, are toxic however, and must be cooked or soaked for several hours before safely consuming.

22 Jul 2016

Palak (Indian Spinach)

Spinach is known under various common names, including vine spinach, red vine spinachclimbing spinachcreeping spinachbuffalo spinach, Malabar spinach and Ceylon spinach

Spinach is a green, leafy vegetable that is  rich in source of minerals, vitamins, pigments and phytonutrients. All of these together make spinach very beneficial for a number of vital processes. Due to the vast range of benefits from this vegetable, it is advisable to consume spinach on a regular basis. At least, two varieties of spinach are cultivated for their edible leaves; Savoy type with dark-green crinkle (wrinkled) leaves and flat-leaf type with smooth surfaced leaves.

The health benefits of spinach include improved eyesight, healthy blood pressure, stronger muscles, the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, neurological benefits, bone mineralization, anti-ulcerative and anti-cancerous benefits, skin protection, healthy fetal development, and boosted growth for infants.

While spinach is commonly used in salads, soups, and quiches in the US, in India, spinach is used in curries, soups, breads, appetizers, and raitas. Spinach can be a nutritious addition to your fruit and vegetable smoothies.