Tag Archives: fresh

Steve Victor: Eat foods in Season

We’ve talked about eating fresh produce that is in season for your area before. Ever on the lookout for new ways to do this, the Victor crew found that the site we’ve written about before, Seasonal Food Guide, has revamped their site a little bit. They have added location detection to your find where you are. What is also nice is they also have an app. How many times have you bought something only to find its quality isn’t what you were expecting or it didn’t last as long as you thought it should? Don’t waste time or money on things not grown locally.

Think of Seasonal Food Guide as your digital almanac. When you buy items in season, you are more apt to get them shortly after they are harvested. In season, produce is fresher, tastier, and has more nutrients than food that may have been sitting warehoused somewhere. If you are lucky to have a Wegmans near you, you may even find a few displays that tell you which local farms the items are from. You can also look at your local farmers’ markets to find locally harvested food. By buying local, you also support your local economy.

Want recipes for real food? Check out real food right now.

Fish: Fresh vs Frozen

Is there a difference between fresh fish vs frozen fish? That’s a question that the Victor crew wanted to find out. Sure there is fish in my freezer but is it any better or worse than buying fresh fish and cooking it right up? Actually some of the fish was purchased fresh and then frozen for use at a later date.

Here’s some info we found out:

Both fresh and frozen fish may spoil. If you eat it within a few days, you don’t give it a chance to spoil. Fish that has an ammonia smell has already begun to spoil. Freezing can stop bacterial growth. Undercooking fish can also lead to bacterial problems. If the frozen fish isn’t thoroughly thawed before cooking, it may not come up to proper temperature.

In reality, more than 85% of the our seafood was frozen at some point. This preserves its nutritional value. If you do eat frozen foods, make sure package isn’t torn or ice crystals have formed. Don’t eat discolored seafood. The second link below also has a table with different types of fish and how long they last either frozen or fresh.

In general, it is better to eat fish as soon as possible after it is caught if you are eating fresh fish. If you opt for frozen, you want fish that has been frozen as quickly as possible after it is caught. Talk to the fish monger at your local fish store or grocery store to find out more information about the fish they sell. When we grocery shop, our grocer tells us the name of the fish, where the fish was caught, what body of water, and even sometimes the captain’s name!

Sources:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/557246-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-eating-fresh-vs-frozen-fish/
http://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/food-safety/should-people-avoid-frozen-fish/

Peas, Please!

The Victor crew wanted to find out more about peas. Sometimes these vegetables are considered a starch. We were curious why.

One cup of peas is 118 calories. They contain 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams sugar with total carbohydrate of 21 grams. They also have 8 grams protein. A peas is actually a seed and botanically it is a fruit. Split peas are peas that are peeled and dried.

Peas are generally boiled or steamed. If you use frozen peas, you can add them to salads if you just thaw them out. They do not need further cooking. Small peas are younger, sweeter, and more tender. If you have fresh peas, use them right away or freeze them as they do not last much longer than a couple days. You can also use them raw in salads.

The main types we see are snow peas, (sugar) snap peas, and garden peas.

Snow peas are used much in Chinese cooking and stir-fry well. The strings along the edges are usually removed before using. The entire pod is eaten.

Garden peas grow several in a pod and these firm pods are rmoved before eating. The pods are usually discarded but you can use them to make stock. If they get too large or old, they get mealy.

Snap peas are kind of a cross between garden peas and snow peas. The whole pod is eaten and they may be eaten raw or cooked. They have strings at the seams that also need to be removed just like the snow peas.

A popular pea salad in the south is to mix peas, hard boiled eggs, and mayonnaise. You can add onions, bacon bits, pimientos, or whatever else you want along with seasonings.

Looking for a low calorie healthy dessert?

Look no further! With summer coming to a close and peaches still being abundant, check out some ideas for grilled peaches.

Spicy Grilled Peaches
(Makes 4 servings with only 70 calories)
Ingredients:
4 medium peaches (about 1 1/2 lbs total), unpeeled, halved, pitted
1 T olive oil
1 T cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill on HIGH 10 min.
  2. Toss peaches with olive oil in medium bowl.
  3. Clean grill with wire brush. Coat grill grate lightly with vegetable oil. Sear peaches, cut side down, 3-4 min, until slightly charred.
  4. Remove from grill. Cut halves into approx 1-inch thick slices; toss lightly in large bowl with last 3 ingredients.

If you don’t want the spices, try tossing with some cinnamon or even some raspberry vinagiarette.

Top with one half cup of your favorite vanilla ice-milk. (Adds about 120 calories per serving).

After grilling the peaches, add them to your pulled-pork sandwiches.

The Turkey Tryptophan Myth

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is important for good health. You need tryptophan to build certain proteins. Your body also uses tryptophan in a multi-step process to make serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in your brain that regulates sleep. I asked Jody Victor to tell us all about it.

Jody Victor: Turkey has tryptophan, but all meats have tryptophan. Chicken and pork contain more tryptophan than turkey per gram. Even cheddar cheese has more tryptophan per gram.

What really triggers your Thanksgiving after-dinner sleepiness is not the turkey. It?s the carbohydrates-rich meal (not the protein-rich meal) that increases the level of tryptophan in your brain, which leads to serotonin synthesis. The carbs stimulate your pancreas to secrete insulin. When this happens, some of the amino acids that compete with tryptophan leave your bloodstream and enter your muscle cells. This causes an increase of tryptophan in your blood stream. You then synthesize the serotonin that makes you sleepy. A high fat meal also contributes to your sleepiness. Fats take a lot of energy to digest. Your body redirects blood to your digestive system to break down the fats. Your energy level declines. Overeating in general takes a lot of energy and more blood is directed away from your other organ systems to your full stomach to aid in digestion. Sleepiness ensues.

Nutritionists say that the tryptophan in your Thanksgiving turkey probably doesn?t trigger your body to produce more serotonin because tryptophan works best on an empty stomach. It?s not the turkey that makes you sleepy after your Thanksgiving feast because it has to compete with all the other amino acids in your body. The truth is that you could leave out the turkey in your Thanksgiving meal and still feel the sleepiness factor after dinner.

Thanks Jody

All the Best

Steve Victor