Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Ground Cherries

We recently heard about ground cherries (can also be groundcherry[ies]). When we looked up pictures of them, they looked very much like what I grew up calling Japanese lanterns. So we were intrigued about them. Here is what we found.

They are both of the genus Physalis, flowering plants in the nightshade family. Many of the plants of this genus are called groundcherries. There are Inca berries, Cape gooseberry, golden berries. The group known as Japanese lanterns or Chinese lanterns are more ornamental. Another member of this genus is the tomatillo, used in Mexican cooking.

Ground cherries are said to have the taste of mango and pineapple juice in a cherry tomato. There are many recipes that can use ground cherries. You can add them to salsa, make a pie, grind and spread on bread for an appetizer, add to a salad, make jam.

They are supposed to be easy to grow so if you have room in your garden, you can grow this fruit.

Find out more:
The Spruce
Smithsonian Mag
Good Housekeeping

Dairy or No Dairy?

There seems to be so much controversy over whether or not dairy is good for you. There are those who say full-fat is better than no-fat. Why all these different takes on this?

Some may say milk for each species is made for that species. Milk is even mentioned in the Bible when they talk of a land flowing with milk and honey. Curds are mentioned as well, so perhaps they found that cheese is made from milk.

Many people are lactose intolerant and cannot consume dairy products. Even when lactose intolerant, some can consume fermented dairy such as yogurt or higher fat content products like butter.

Full-fat dairy also is known to actually lower the risk of obesity despite the higher calorie value – most likely due to a fuller feeling it will give. Also the fats themselves are beneficial and there are vitamins present you won’t find in the lower fat versions.

It is up to you to go with what is best for you. If you have lactase problems, stick with non-dairy. If you don’t have a problem with fats, go for full-fat milk.

It’s breakfast! Time for your glyphosate!

UGH! EWG (Environmental Working Group) has found many types of oat-based cereals and products contain glyphosate. Glyphosate is used to kill weeds. It is an herbicide by Monsanto marketed as Roundup. In 2015, WHO said it was “probably carcinogenic in humans” but later changed it to give ranges of 1mg/kg body weight per day to be what may be toxic. That’s about 45.36 mg per 100 pounds of weight. In 2017, California listed it in their registry of chemicals known to cause cancer.

EWG tells us more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops. In their study, they benchmarked 160ppb as a standard for health. Of the 45 conventional samples tested, 31 were above that benchmark; of the 16 organic products 0 were above that limit.

Farmers spray this just before harvest to help dry the plants out for harvest. You will not find this in your list of ingredients on your products.

Smoked Watermelon? Cantaloupe Burgers?

While looking at Twitter one day, we found a post about a restaurant serving smoked watermelon. They serve it up like, and even make it look like ham. It it put in a bath and then put into a smoker. After it has smoked, it is scored and put in a pan with olive oil and spices. It is then sliced and served. It almost looks like ham. The woman in the video below says it looks a little like rare prime rib and that it tastes like nothing she’s had before. It comes from Ducks Eatery in New York. The chef was looking for options for vegans and vegetarians when dining with their meat-eating friends.

He also developed the cantaloupe burger. These items don’t happen quickly. They undergo a 2-day process to get the correct texture and taste they are looking for.

Cantaloupe Burger info

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been in the news lately because Karin Michels, an epidemiologist at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has called it “one of the worst things you can eat” and “pure poison”. Her comments are based on the high proportion of saturated fat found in it that can cause LDL cholesteral to rise. A video of her speech is on YouTube has gone viral. Alas, it is in German so some of us cannot understand her.

Coconut oil has over 80% saturated fat in it – more than what you would find in beef drippings and lard. Some people like to fry with it because it has a high smoke point. Some use it as a butter substitute in baking to make items dairy-free or to cut back on butter. It is also used in stir-fry. You will also find it in beauty products and hair care products.