Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus) has long been enjoyed since the time of the ancient Greeks, the great Roman Emperors and ancient Chinese Royalties. This tiny fruit is the smallest member of the stone family which includes peaches, apricots, plums and nectarines. Having a great visual appeal due to its attractive ruby red hue, the tart yet sweet taste also makes it very appealing to the taste buds. Commonly eaten fresh, dried, used as toppings in cherry pies or made into juice or syrup, Tart Cherry has much more to offer than its color and unique taste. Studies have revealed that this tiny fruit’s flesh is packed with nutrients that have a significant impact on health and well-being. [click to continue…]
Quinoa is a grain-like crop native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru, providing a rich source of protein for the people of this region. It has been a staple food for the Inca people for over 5,000 years, who appreciated its dietary significance so much, that each year the Inca emperor would plant the first seed with a golden spade. In the Inca language Quinoa means mother grain. Its new-found popularity in the Western world is an acknowledgement of the exceptional nutritional value of this treasure food. In recognition of this gift preserved for us by the Andean people, the United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa. [click to continue…]
Amaranth is native to South and Central America. It was a staple in the Aztec diet and used in religious rituals. It provided a rich source of protein and nutrients for the people of this region. However, its use as a staple diminished considerably when Spanish colonizers considered it heathen food and banned its use. This did not prevent Amaranth from spreading throughout the world. [click to continue…]
The Mesquite tree may look intimidating with its twisted limbs and long thorns, but don’t be scared off by this helpful tree! Mesquite has a delicious, caramel-like taste and is often used as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour, or even as a sweetener!
A great source of dietary fiber, Mesquite also contains vital nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. Mesquite may help maintain blood sugar and blood pressure levels already within the normal range. [click to continue…]
Aloe vera is a perennial succulent plant with long, fleshy spear-like leaves that grow up to 36 inches long. A popular ornamental plant, aloe vera is best known for its therapeutic value which has been recognized by ancient cultures. 6,000 year old carvings of the aloe vera plant were discovered in Egypt. It was considered the “plant of immortality” and was offered as a burial gift to the deceased pharoahs .