Last time we talked about the new “My Plate” guidelines designed to help consumers make better food selection choices and how the Supermarket industry is trying to help as well with food ranking systems right on the shelf. I visited my local Raley’s store in Sacramento to check out the NuVal rankings of Oregon Fruit and found that our Red Tart Cherries packed in Water scored a 97! That was one of the highest scores in the section.
A recent article from Oregon State University Health Magazine talked about how the antioxidant levels and flavonoid activity (nutrients which offer protection from oxidative damage, a key association to many age related diseases) was actually HIGHER in canned blueberries than that of frozen or fresh. That study actually used Oregon Fruit when they did the research several years ago.
The key message continues to be –add more plant based foods in any form to your diet. Canned fruit is convenient as it can be kept on hand at all times. It is already clean and ready to eat, pits are removed as well. In the long run it saves you money because you never have to throw away spoiled fruit. Don’t get me wrong, I am a weekly farmer’s market girl. I like to support local farmers and eat food that is as fresh as possible. But I supplement with canned fruits and veggies for convenience and I feel good about it knowing that canning is a great form of food preservation, locking in most of the nutrients and adding a minimum of ingredients.
Like today-I have to bring an appetizer to my neighborhood party tomorrow, The Castro Crush. It’s a block party with a wine theme. I can’t think of a better wine partner than good, fresh baked bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a sprinkling of black pepper. So I looked in my pantry and found all the ingredients for a Cherry Focaccia. It’s fragrant with fresh sage from my garden, beautiful with the tart cherries and a little bit spicy with cracked pepper and a sprinkling of pink Himalayan salt, coarsely ground. I whipped this up in no time with things I had on hand.
The bonus is how amazing my house smells right now. The trick will be if this treat actually makes it to the party.
Happy Halloween!Tags: Blueberry, focaccia, Red Tart Cherries