Posts Tagged ‘fruits’

365great Day 276: fresh figs

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great challenge day 276: fresh figsMost of us probably first had figs in a snack or as a dried snack itself. I’m pretty sure my first encounter was with fig Newton’s. I loved the sweetness and the bits of crunch that the seeds provided. It was gooey yet crispy all at once. It wasn’t until I was much older that I ever saw a fresh fig, with its bulbous shape and skin that didn’t look edible. Every now and then I crave that funky fruit and I find it extremely hard to find it offered in dishes at a restaurant. There was a fabulous salad from Bottega Louie that reignited my desire for figs, but it’s seasonal, so I struggled to find another option. When I was traveling to San Francisco once, I was thrilled to find a tea house that offered it along with other fruit, so I got that plate. Then I started to see them at Whole Foods, so I totally need to make my own salads with them. It’s gonna be great. 🙂

365great Day 204: persimmons

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , ,

365great challenge day 204: persimmonsI think the first time I came across persimmons was somewhere in southern China. My mom loves these fruits and for the longest time I got them confused with tomatoes. You see, in Chinese we call them a term that also happens to be the casual way we refer to tomatoes – my mom happens to be obsessed with both, so whenever she referred to them I thought she just meant tomatoes. Little did I know about this fascinating fruit until years later. I enjoy them at various stages of ripeness, from the crisp and slightly drying flesh to the super sweet and mushy flesh. They’re a wonderfully tasty food with a hint of spice or something I can’t quite place. Totally fascinating and yummy, which makes them great.

Homegrown Collective August 2013 projects

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are you ready to see the results of my Homegrown Collective August box?! I sure had a ton of fun with it. 🙂

The Homegrown Collective GREENBOX is $39 per box + $9 shipping (or as discounted as $429 for an entire year, with options in between) and comes with fun and easy projects to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program you can apply to join.

the homegrown collective august 2013 products for growing alfalfa sprouts with instruction sheet

I started off with the alfalfa sprouts project.

pile of alfalfa seeds in layer at bottom of glass ball jar

I put in just enough to cover the bottom of the jar.

pile of alfalfa seeds submerged in water in glass ball jar

I then filled with plenty of water to submerge them, though I had some floaters.

collage of alfalfa seeds submerged in water after one day then getting water strained out

The next day, the water had browned and I poured it out. It was hard to get the screen on underneath the lid! It’s a tight fit. I rolled the jar and shook it so the seeds got spread around.

collage of alfalfa seeds sprouted in glass ball jar after two days

By the third day, they’d sprouted! I was so surprised I actually gasped out loud when I saw it.

collage of alfalfa sprouts growing in glass ball jar

On the fourth day they continued to grow and I tried to get the remaining seeds to sprout by giving them more space.

collage of alfalfa sprouts growing in glass ball jar filling area

By the fifth day, I noticed that they had orientated themselves upwards even though there was no sun where I kept them. Guess they just knew which way is up!

collage of alfalfa sprouts full grown in glass ball jar and removed

Just six days in and they were definitely full grown and ready to come out. I let the brown seed covers float up and dumped them out.

tray of full grown alfalfa sprouts with green heads after getting sunlight

I then let them sit out in the sun and the heads went from yellow to green. Ready to eat! I had some but gosh, this was waaay more than I could handle.

the homegrown collective august 2013 products for making green tea & lavender epsom salt bath soak with instruction sheet

Next up was a lovely bath soak to pamper myself!

pile of green tea mixed with fresh lavender for bath soak in muslin bag

I put together a few scoops of green tea and some lavender flowers in the muslin bag and mixed them up.

collage of green tea and lavender bath soak with epsom salts and muslin bag filled with tea and lavender flowers in tub

I ran really hot water, put in epsom salts that quickly dissolved, let the tea bag sit in the running water, and then let the bag float around the tub.

green tea leaves and lavender flowers emptied from inside of muslin bag

After my relaxing soak, I flipped the bag inside out to get the tea out, rinsed the rest off, and let it dry for next time.

the homegrown collective august 2013 products for dark chocolate pomegranate wonder cup snacks with instruction sheet

Finally, I got around to trying the pomegranate chocolate cups!

collage of steps to peel pomegranate from cutting skin to removing seeds and soaking in water

It was a slow process ensuring I got the seeds out as whole as possible, but I was rewarded with a nice pile of them.

collage of melting chocolate, drying pomegranate seeds, and putting pomegranate seeds into paper cups

I don’t have a double boiler, so I melted the chocolate with a bowl in the pot. I boiled the water too much and water got in, but it turned out ok. I nearly forgot to pat dry the seeds before putting them in the cups!

collage of melted chocolate and pomegranate seeds then pouring chocolate over the seeds in paper cups

I poured the melted chocolate over the seeds and just about overfilled the cups. I generously sprinkled the salt flakes on top and put it all the in fridge. It came out looking not much different and tasted fantastic, even with my messed up chocolate.

silicone cat-shaped ice cube tray with pomegranate seeds inside

I decided to have some fun with it and make some with my cat-shaped ice cube tray! I accidentally messed up the chocolate again so it didn’t turn out to well, but I’m totally trying again later. Nom!!

So what do you think? Jealous yet? 😉 I loved each of these projects and will definitely be doing them again. I’m also looking forward to the upcoming box!!

If you’re interested in getting it yourself, sign up here!

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

365great Day 182: sea buckthorn

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

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365great challenge day 182: sea buckthornSea buckthorn is a fascinating fruit. Much like acai, it holds a certain mystique and is purportedly an amazing super fruit. One of my goals in life is to see these berries fresh, since you’ll usually find it harvested for various skincare or supplement uses. I certainly have my fair share of soaps, cleansers, lotions, and oils with sea buckthorn. I doubt many will ever really know what these berries are like in real life and that is fascinating to me. This berry in particular is cool because it survives in harsh climates, which is what gives it a lot of the nutrients that make it so sought after for topical application or consumption. I love the bright orange color with redder hues that make it seem really rich. The coloring reminds me almost of a persimmon. I wonder how it tastes (for some reason I imagine it to not taste so good… I wonder how accurate that is) in comparison. Whatever the case, I love seeing sea buckthorn as an ingredient. It’s a pretty great little survivor fruit.

365great Day 178: cuties

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

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365great challenge day 178: cutiesYou may call them clementines or mandarins (maybe even tangerines or satsumas) – I know these easy-to-peel “baby oranges” as cuties. It’s one of those things where the brand name becomes the commonly used term (like kleenex and band-aids). Whatever you choose to refer to them as, what I have in mind are the small citrus fruits that are so fun to eat. There are a variety of them and I’ve probably had all the aforementioned kinds before, but it’s so hard to keep track of which exactly I’m eating. What I enjoy ara e the ones that have the skin that practically falls off and no seeds to deal with. They’re nice and juicy with a sweeter taste than oranges and most other citruses. One of the easiest to consume fruits that makes a great travel companion. What a great way to get more fruit in my diet without all the chopping or washing or storing needs of most fruits.

365great Day 163: jujubes

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

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365great challenge day 163: jujubesOk, so there is some confusion about dates vs. jujubes. I always thought them to be one and the same, but apparently dates grow on palm trees. What I’m thinking of are jujubes, aka Chinese dates. Those are the red wrinkled fruits that we commonly put in soups or eat as a super sweet snack. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned what fresh jujubes look and taste like. My mom planted one of those trees in our yard and when it started to bear fruit, I had no clue that those fresh green fruits were the very deep red dried fruits I was used to. As soon as I bit into my first one, I was hooked. They are sweet and crunchy but not juicy like apples would be, so it’s easy to eat them and they don’t make a mess! They’re fun to eat fresh and they’re delicious dried too – now that’s a great fruit.

365great Day 134: homegrown

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

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365great challenge day 134: homegrownFew things are as rewarding as the products of your labor or knowing the creator of something. When you know where something came from, it gives it greater meaning and when you happen to know the person behind it, you feel a special bond. I think this is why homegrown is such a nice concept. You cut out any middle men and go straight to the source (or you are the source). It feels more trustworthy, more connected, more real. Whether it’s actually better is not the point, but often what you plant is probably better grown locally, where you can control the conditions. Some of the best fruit I ever tasted was from the trees that my mom planted – these peaches are a prime example. Just look at how fantastic they look! They were even better tasting. 🙂 Part of it is also the absolute freshness of the food – you can’t get any fresher than picking it and eating it straight from the plant! If you get a chance to pick your own food, do it! It’s a fun experience and the food will taste so much better. How great is that?

Ralph’s produce finds

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There’s some really pretty shots to be found at Ralph’s groceries.

colorful heirloom tomatoes ranging from green to red to yellow to orange at ralph's grocery store

Wow, at first I thought these were pumpkins and squash, but they’re all heirloom tomatoes! They’re just about every color you can imagine.

pile of baby pineapples at ralph's grocery store

So cute and petite! I wonder how much meat is edible though.

exotic fruits found in ralph's grocery store

There’s passion fruit, dragon fruit, kiwano melon, pepino purple melon, and manzano bananas.

365great Day 79: mangosteens

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

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365great challenge day 79: mangosteenA lot of you have probably never gotten the pleasure of trying mangosteen before. Let me tell you, you need to get yourself to Southeast Asia to track some down! They are a fascinating fruit, with a crazy red shell that dyes your fingers like pomegranate but then a white interior with slices like a citrus fruit. Their skin is very thick and protective and you’d never guess the inside would be such a contrast to the outside. The consistency of the flesh inside looks kind of like a banana, but when you bite in it’s like… well, nothing I can think of. Their seeds are almost the size of almonds and the taste is a lovely sweet juicy thing. Until you eat it yourself, you just can’t understand. I am not only intrigued by the uniqueness of this fruit, but I love the taste as well. If only they were more available around the world! If I could eat them whenever I want, that would be so great.

365great Day 68: coconuts

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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365great challenge day 68: coconutsI was never really into coconuts, but lately they seem to be cropping up everywhere in my life! It started with a coconut-scented lotion, which combined with lime smells really good. It came in one of my subscription boxes and was a brand I had wanted to try, so I gave it a shot and I love it. Then I got various coconut-flavored food items, from coconut chips to coconut granola bars and even coconut water. I can’t seem to escape this fruit and I even learned of its many benefits from The Book of General Ignorance: its water is sterile and full of vitamins and minerals (no wonder people drink it straight). Coconut oil is quite healthy – it’s been shown to help reduce cholesterol – and is apparently both antiviral and antibacterial. You can use it to make biodegradable products as sturdy as seats, incorporate it into mouthwash, or make a flour from it to clean jet engines with. And, most impressive, you could survive on just coconuts if you ever got stranded on some tropical island. They’re so versatile it’s great.

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