The MARCH To Do List is Here
Carrots were not always Orange!
Carrots really have a funny and fascinating history. The original wild carrots that our ancient ancestors ate was a thin little brownish purple root found in Persia. For centuries, almost all carrots were that purplish color with mutated versions occasionally popping up including yellow and white carrots. These were rarely cultivated though and lacked the purple pigment anthocyanin. But in the 17th century, most of those colorful crunchy carrots turned orange. Why? We can blame the Dutch!
Many think that the reason the orange carrot became so popular in the Netherlands was in tribute to the emblem of the House of Orange. You see, a very long time ago a town in Southern France, Arausio, which was founded by the Romans in 35 BC, was classically pronounced "Aurenja." Predictably, that became "orange" once the French commingled naranj with or. When a man named William the Silent from Nassau inherited the rule in Orange in 1544, he became William of Orange, founder of the ruling dynasty the House of Orange. He led the Dutch in a revolt against the Spanish in the late 1500s, and they eventually won their independence in the form of the Dutch Republic.
At this time, the Dutch were primarily known as carrot farmers. And they grew carrots in the traditional hues of purple, yellow, and white. In the 17th century, a strain of carrot was developed that contained higher amounts of beta carotene -- the first orange carrot. Dutch carrot farmers were being heavily taxed at the time and the appearance of the orange carrot gave them an idea; grow the orange carrot and present it in tribute to the House of Orange hoping that in gratitude their taxes would be reduced. It worked! The new orange carrots where a huge hit and the farmers’ taxes were not just reduced but a tax on orange carrots was actually forbidden! The orange carrots became all the rage and the traditional, more colorful and more phytonutrient rich carrots, were tossed aside for these newly fashionable carrots.
So you see Dutch politics, greed and good old human vanity are to blame. A thousand years of yellow, white and purple carrot history was nearly wiped out in a single generation of man. Oh, what a wonder is man!
Come on, is that really true?
Although some sources think this explanation is not 100% true most seem to believe in its accuracy. I tend to believe that this could be, but it also might just be that the orange carrots that the Dutch developed were sweeter tasting and fleshier than their purple counterparts, thus providing more calories per plant and being better tasting they were propagated more frequently generation after generation. Not to mention the not being taxed thing.
Whatever the reason, orange carrots are now found in every mega-mart and convenience store in the Free World and it is nearly impossible to find the colorful varieties that once ruled the carrot world. This is a real shame because many of the more colorful varieties offer far more phytonutrients and a richer carrot flavor than the typical orange variety. But you can always grow your own in your Phytonutrient Garden!
Today I am going to make a whole bunch of you out there very happy!
The number one most requested item is now going to be available, and best off all it is free! More than anything else I am asked for a list of recommended varieties to plant in order to get the most phytonutritious plants in your Phytonutrient Garden.
The list is ready and you can get it by hitting the button below!
The list is free and you can find many of the varieties plus other phytonutrient-rich and antioxident-dense choices for sale over at Phytonutrientfarms.com
(Boy, as much as my silly mug shows up on here you must think I really love myself! Or at least you have to wonder if I own anything other than a green plaid shirt!)
The kiwifruit, or kiwi, is fourth in the list of top ten foods that contain the highest levels of Vitamin C, the other three being pepper, guava and kale. By eating a single kiwi, you can already fulfill your daily requirement of Vitamin C, not to mention get some 30,000 phytonutrients too.
The fruit is very distinct in appearance and taste. Its size is comparable to that of a large egg that has a brown fuzzy skin. The pulp is bright green in color with a ring of edible black seeds at the center. The taste of kiwis, which can be sweet or a little tart, has been described as a refreshing combination of strawberries, bananas and melons.
Uniqueness and nutritional benefits are not the only good qualities that the kiwifruit can boast of, as the following 11 fun Kiwi facts reveal:
Consumption of Kiwi is growing as time goes by and this is not only because of its unique and tasty flavor but also because of its surprising advantages to health. This fruit is rich in so many phytonutrients that are highly beneficial to the overall health of the body. It cleanses and removes body toxins and it reflects from the inside out. Intake of Kiwi on a regular basis will help you achieve an optimal health condition. It offers more than enough vitamins and nutrients to our system.
Discover how eating Kiwis can aid general human health with these 9 additional fun Kiwi facts:
We are truly blessed when we are able to spend our days doing something we are truly passionate about, fascinated by, and engaged in. When all of this comes together to allow us to help ourselves and benefit others at the same time, then I believe we are doubly blessed. That is where I find myself!
I am passionate about nutrition and especially the importance played phytonutrients play in our diet, I am fascinated by the subject and cannot get the newest information fast enough, and I am engaged every single day in working on my books, websites, talks and lectures on the subject – I feel mightily blessed!
With the feedback people constantly give me about this website, and now with all of the wonderful comments I am getting from people all over the world who have read and enjoyed my latest book, Phytonutrient Gardening Book 1: Vegetables (Yes. That is shameless self-promotion there!) I now feel doubly blessed. I am so thrilled that so many people are benefiting from what I have studied and learned and put to work in my own life. Thank you all for all of the praise and observations.
In keeping with the spirit of trying to help others benefit along with me, I have wanted, for some time now to be able to offer people a place where they could go to purchase the highest quality, non-GMO seeds for the varieties of fruits and vegetables we all need to grow in our own Phytonutrient Gardens. I searched far and wide and could never find just the right place. I met a number of seed growers who offered some what I wanted but I could find no single source for all of what I wanted.
One day I voiced my frustration to my wife Holly and she said, “You can not be the only person looking for that, so if you cannot find a good seed seller, then make one yourself.”
That is exactly what I did! It took well over a year to get it up and going but I am so pleased that I have finally been able to launch my new venture, in partnership with five other seed growers from all over the nation! Farms is no long a dream it is a reality!
At Phytonutrient Farms Quality Seed Sellers we off only the best seeds we can. All of our seeds are from super healthy, organically grown plants that are 100% GMO Free (we have had our seeds tested by an independent source to ensure this), hand harvested and hand inspected while being hand packaged for each and every sale – one seed at a time! This sounds crazy right? Well, it just may be but is still true. Our staff has been trained to inspect every seed that goes into every package for every order every time we fill an order! Yes, that is time consuming and yes it could all probably be automated but that is not the point.
The point is that we want to have enough confidence in our products that we can sleep well at night knowing that we have done everything we can, taken every possible step, to ensure that the highest possible quality product arrives at your door the first time you order seeds from us and every time after that!
The other thing we do is offer our seeds at the best possible prices we can – most seeds from Phytonutrient Farms will cost you $1.00 for about a dozen seeds – compare that with other organic seeds sellers and you will see just how great a deal that actually is. By the way we also try to save you on the shipping and handling fees too. I have seen $10.00 and $20.00 shipping and handling fees charged by quite a few other companies out there. We simply will not do that – I WILL NOT ALLOW IT.
Our shipping and handling charge is $3.00. Just $3.00 no matter what. Order one hand prepped pack of seeds of one thousand and your shipping and handling fee stays the same, $3.00.
One final word here. I am so confident in these seeds and the quality plants that will grow from them that these are now the only seeds I use in the numerous Phytonutrient Gardens I grow! These are the only seeds I use to grow the fruit and vegetables I eat myself, and that I give to my wife, my children and my grandchildren!
Please visit us at www.phytonutrientfarms.com today and order seeds for your garden, for your health!
Thank you and Happy Gardening
Wonders of the Onion Family
When I speak to groups about Phytonutrients I always stress eating members of the Onion family because they are just so dang healthy. In most cases folks are family with onions and garlic but not some up on the rest of the onion family so I thought that in today's post for Phytonutrient Friday I would clue you in on what you need to know about chives, leeks, green onions, and shallots.
Perhaps the first thing to understand regarding these delicious members of the onion family is that they have changed very little since our ancient hunter/gather ancestors first ate them. It seems that for no other reason than the fact that they taste great and are wonderful just as they are, man has never really tinkered with these veggies. That’s a really good thing too, it means that these aromatics are nearly as packed full of phytonutrients as they have ever been! So you can grow any variety you want and still be sure you are getting plenty of health benefits!
The real key to getting the best out of these four is to know how best to prepare them.
Chives – This one is really simple. Just cut them raw and add them to finished foods, do not cook them as getting them too hot destroys many of their best benefits. Chives come in two types, onion and garlic. Onion chives are most family to us and are sold in most grocery stores. Garlic chives however, are nearly 10 times better for you so grow your own either in the garden or a kitchen window sill!
Green Onions - Also known as Salad Onions or Scallions these are among the most phytonutrient rich foods on an ounce for ounce basis. They are not really ‘baby onions’ as many people think but are rather a unique species all to themselves. Nearly identical to fossil records over 20,000 years old these antioxidant powerhouses (nearly 150 times more phytonutrient rich than an average white onion) have changed very little over the ages. Eat the green parts too as they contain the most nutrition! In a study released in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2002), it was shown that adult men who ate just 10 grams of these per day had a 50% lower risk of developing prostate cancer. These can be grilled, s teamed, stir fried or boiled in soup stock in place of onions to add a super nutritional punch to any meal! Added at the end of a dish as a final touch is an old chef’s trick – it adds a pleasant taste, aroma and crunch.
Leeks – Perhaps the most under used member of the onion family the leek, which looks like a green onion on steroids, having a very small bulb and a long white cylindrical stalk of superimposed layers that flows into green, tightly wrapped, flat leaves, is full and flavor and nutrition. Farm or garden grown leeks are usually about 12 inches in length and one to two inches in diameter and feature a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of shallots but sweeter and more subtle. Wild leeks, known as ramps, are much smaller in size, but have a stronger, more intense flavor. They are available for a short period of time each year and are often widely sought out at farmers markets when they are in season. With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best. The flavonoids in leeks are most concentrated in their lower leaf and bulb portion, so unlike green onions you do not need to eat the green parts. Leeks rank ahead of white onions in terms of their phytonutrient content and may be substituted in many recipes to kick up the nutritional value of a meal.
When preparing Leeks try to use leeks that are of similar size so as to ensure more consistent cooking if you are planning on cooking the leeks whole. Leeks are available throughout the year, although they are in greater supply from the fall through the early part of spring.
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture. Cooked leeks are highly perishable, and even when kept in the refrigerator, will only stay fresh for about two days. Leeks may be frozen after being blanched for two to three minutes, although they will lose some of their desirable taste and texture qualities the phytonutrients will remain. Leeks will keep in the freezer for about three months.
Shallots – Another under used member of the onion family (at least in most American cooking), Shallots are favored for their mild onion flavor, and can be used in the same manner as onions. A shallot looks like a small, elongated onion with a copper, reddish, or gray skin. When peeled, shallots separate into cloves like garlic. There are two main types of shallots: Jersey or "false" shallots (larger) and "true" shallots (more subtle flavor). Fresh green shallots are available in the spring and dry shallots (dry skin/moist flesh) are available year-round. Shallots come in three sizes – small, medium and jumbo (the least tasty). The younger (smaller) the shallot, the milder the taste.
Shallots have been found to be second only to garlic in their ability to destroy cancer cells.
Like other members of the onion family it is best to cut shallots and allow them to rest for five to ten minuets before you heat them. This ensures you get the most out of your shallots.
That's it for this weeks edition of Phytonutrient Friday, be sure to click on the link below and reserve your FREE seat for this years online Home Grown Food Summit. You can also follow the link to learn more about this amazing FREE event!
In response to your many requests I will be concentrating on putting out more phytonutrient information on different produce each week. Every Friday for the rest of the year we will have “Phytonutrient Fridays,” each week I will write about a different fruit or vegetable or drink, as in today’s post about Hot Chocolate.
Sweet news, chocolate lovers. Thick creamy hot cocoa not only tastes better than those sugary packaged mixes, it’s also incredibly good for you. Today hot chocolate is widely thought of as a winter treat, a vice, but it’s more than that. Drinkable chocolate is a healthy elixir for the mind and body.
Sometimes we search so hard for ways to improve our health we overlook the healing powers of the soothing wonder drink right in our hands. Drinkable chocolate was used as a medicinal drink by Mesoamerican civilizations far back in 600 B.C. According to an article published by the National Institutes of Health, the beneficial uses of cacao and chocolate are a recent rediscovery and one we should not ignore.
So Hot Cocoa is Good For You!
Indeed, it is, especially if your drink is made from dark chocolate or cocoa powder! Scientists at Harvard Medical School suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help keep the brain healthy and prevent memory decline in older people. The researchers said that hot chocolate can help preserve blood flow in working areas of the brain.
The lead author, Farzaneh A. Sorond, said:
"As different areas of the brain need more energy to their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling,
may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer's."
Another note about eating dark chocolate is that some studies have suggested that the best time to eat your chocolate is in the evening or as a dessert item with your late meal. This is because the effects of the phytonutrients in dark chocolate can help all of us with our long-term memory retention.
Basically everything we experience throughout our day is stored in our short-term memory. When we sleep our brains somehow transfers (down loads) all that short-term memory into our long-term memory storage. The effects of the dark chocolate eaten (or in a liquid) in the evening is that it somehow assists in the transfer of the information into long-term storage.
One study had participants spend an hour looking at various photographs. A week later they were asked to recount what was in the photos they were shown. The group had some people eat no chocolate at all, some eat it in the morning and some eat it in the evening.
Researchers found that everyone eating the dark chocolate gained some benefit in memory retention but those eating their “memory pills” in the evening retained information much more accurately then all others. Many participants did over 50% better!
Here are more benefits of enjoying chocolate:
Happy Phytonutrient Friday!!
February To Do List
The February Phytonutrient Gardening To-Do List is now ready! Download and enjoy!
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