What’s Kernza & Why is it Important?

Have you heard of Kernza?
Probably not, since it’s so new. But, if it works, it’ll be a big benefit for seemingly everyone involved in health AND the environment! As you know, MySeeds is all about ‘going green’ and with Kernza, it’ll make a lot more green possible. It’s super interesting stuff that could be bringing a nice new taste to your table soon, so read on and get the interesting facts!

What is it?
It’s a new grain that’s related to wheat. However, unlike wheat, you don’t have to keep digging it up and re-planting it every time you want more. It just keeps coming up and making “Sweet and nutty tasting” grain for you to eat year after year.

Why is it better than some other types?
It has a 10 foot long root! That’s super big for anything related to ‘grasses’. This means it’s not only drought tolerant, but helps stop erosion too. It helps prevent nitrogen leaching away, and pollinating insects can enjoy its flowers. It requires less work (no re-planting it all the time) so it might be cheaper to raise.

What will help ensure I actually get some?
Do you know about “Einkorn”? It’s name means “1 kernel”, and it’s a gluten free type of wheat. You can make flour, bread, and whatever else with it. However, it’s uncommon enough that most people have never heard of it. It’s also pretty costly when you CAN find it, because not everybody grows it. Sure, it would be beneficial for the gluten intolerant, but, they’d need to know about it and be able to reasonably afford it like everyone else does with regular flour. With such big environmental issues on EVERY-one’s table, the success of Kernza could mean the success of pollinators, soil, farmers…and much more!

Well…General Mills & Cascadian Farm will be seeing to it!
With some giants like that in Kernza’s corner, it would be off to a good start. Cascadian Farms cereals are already enjoyed over lots of stores’ shelves. And, being grain based they’re a perfect spot to start with this stuff. Plus “Lightly sweet and a little nutty” sounds quite compatible with what people look for at the breakfast table. You hear so much negative news, that it’s such a breath of fresh air when a big company does something cool for the environment like supporting an eco-friendly (and tasty) food source like this.

Well, what does this have to do with chia seeds?
Not everything right now. But, chia itself is pretty environmentally friendly too. It has special oils in the stems and leaves that insects and pests don’t like. (One of its relatives is the mint plant–those are known for their powerful mint scent and oils that bugs hate) It also grows where other crops don’t like to, so it’s not as much an ‘over-farming’ type of threat.
And, if “Kernza Flour” or something appears on store shelves, of course we’ll be giving it  a test in our Test Kitchen for fun! And, of course, to see what sort of cool chia recipes we can whip up with it, and then share with you. Maybe some pancakes? Or a hearty banana bread? We’re looking forward to the success of this new grain, and with this new info, we hope you are too!

Get The Scoop on “nICE Cream” With MySeeds

Have you heard of nICE cream?
It’s the fun banana-based sensation that’s gaining popularity. Capable of chocolate, fruit & nut flavors it’s a versatile dairy-free dessert you can easily make at home. It’s a lot better for you than regular ice cream, too. So…time to find out what’s going on with this handy post.

What is it, exactly?
Frozen bananas, a little liquid, some flavor elements & a blender. When blended, these ingredients form a spoonable, ice-cream textured dessert.

Why does it work?
Bananas are something like 75% water. But, because of their high soluble fiber content, they won’t ever freeze solid. Ice cream works in a similar way, but with fats that never quite freeze solid.

“If it’s so great, why can’t I just go out and buy a carton of this stuff?”
Because it’s the act of blending it before you eat it, that makes it work. You CAN blend & re-freeze nicecream, but it’ll be hard enough that you can’t just scoop it like normal ice cream. You’d have to thaw it a little to return it to scoop-able consistency, which it seems like no one who opens a box has patience for, and so no company bothers to box it up. It’s best when fresh-blended, kind of like a sorbet.

How is it better than ice cream?
1. Well, first of all, it’s perfect for the lactose-intolerant.
There’s no dairy involved at all. Then, it CAN (and often is) fat free. The banana fibers instead of the fats are used for the creamy consistency.
2. It needs no added sweeteners.
Bananas are pretty sweet on their own. You don’t need to dose this stuff with sugar or HFCS for it to taste good.
3. It makes fruit fun.
Blending up smooth strawberry banana swirl, enjoying chocolate raspberry, and sprinkling little chocolate chips over some banana-pb nice-cream are all fantastic options. Because these are also low fat and low sugar…but high fiber, you win!
4. The flavors are almost endless & you’re in control
Mango lime ice cream? You’ll hardly find that on store shelves. But with nice cream, you can have it. When you control what goes into it, and the amount of each flavor that you enjoy, you can whip up something new every night, just to your liking.

Do you want to get started?
Here’s a basic recipe to set you on your way to creamy, better for you desserts. This makes a few servings of chocolate nice cream.

2 frozen bananas (peel, then wrap in plastic wrap to freeze)
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon MySeeds chia (dry)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

When you want your nicecream, just blend everything above until smooth & you’re ready to go. You may need a strong blender, or to blend a few times to get the right consistency. Don’t be tempted to add lots of liquid, or you’ll get a smoothie instead. It’s got to be fairly dry for it to have an ice-cream-like texture.

But, don’t stop here.
Continue to explore possibilities with other fruits sprinkled in like strawberries or raspberries. Skip the chocolate & use 1/4 cup of blueberries (also frozen) Use peanut butter instead of almond butter, then stir in mini chips. That new fun Peanut Powder also works here, if you wanted to skip the PB fats.

What does the chia seed do?
Adds insoluble fiber, omega-3 oils, the calcium you didn’t get when the milk was removed (Chia has more calcium by weight than milk) In this case, it’s a true “better health add-on” rather than something that’s required for texture, flavor or an ingredient replacer. Though it may be a nutrition boosting add-in, chia can still keep you feeling full longer. Whipping up some nice-cream and feeling more satisfied as you’re eating basically fruits and nuts can give you a creamy cool treat that you can feel good about.

Google Slides: A Fresh Way To Learn

Have you heard of Google Slides?
With this cool new web program, you can put together slide shows about almost anything…and learn from them too! A slide show is a great way to learn new info, new methods or new recipes. You can combine easy to grab info, photos, lists and more all in one place.

This isn’t like some ordinary web slide show.
It’s not jammed with wiggling ads on every page, and everything’s ALL on one page, just hit the arrow to advance the slide. It’s as easy as that, and you’re not dealing with the typical slow-downs and interruptions. Of course, anyone can expect the best from Google, and with this new program, they deliver.

Naturally…we had to try it out!
With Google Slide, you can now learn

“Don’t Eat Spinach or Kale Unless You’re Doing This Too”

What’s the key to maximizing your nutrition from healthy greens?
How can you get it in the morning if you’re having a green bowl or smoothie?
What can you do every day, and every time you have greens?

The slide show is all about explaining it, and will even give you a simple recipe to try.

See the whole thing at the MySeeds Article Google Slide Show

When it is AND isn’t What it Looks Like

Today, there’s a lot of emphasis on natural, or paleo, or vegan, or vegetarian, or raw and “low ingredient count” foods. And…with good reason! Things like raw fruits and veggies, ingredients you recognize the names of, and de-emphasizing meats on the menu are often healthier choices.

Generally, “eating food that looks like what it is / is recognizable” is an ok way to go. That’s why making easy meals at home can be important too, you know what’s in AND what’s NOT in the food. If something’s so processed and preservative loaded or artificial that the original name can’t even be used, it’s not a good sign. A prime example of this is “Cheese Food” (it’s not actual cheese) and “Chocolaty Flavor” which means there’s no actual chocolate in the product. So, you’d easily think that super recognizable foods and unprocessed items are a good rule to follow.
But…is there ever an instance where this is the opposite of true?

Yes, and it’s actually super interesting!
When that patty that looks like meat, sizzles & smells like meat, and then it has the nutrition and taste of meat…isn’t actually meat. Recently, yeast has been used to produce “Heme” which is the ‘red water’ in red meats. (That stuff is not, and was never ‘animal blood’) It turns out that this ‘heme’ substance is important to texture, flavor, and scent when cooking. However, it was also something that couldn’t be replicated by vegetables, roots, nuts or seeds alone. Yeast makes lots of helpful things, but is most well known for raising bread & making beer. Now that a certain kind of yeast can replicate heme, meat-free ‘meat’, can take another step in the right direction.

If only Boca Burgers & Veggie Patties come to mind when you hear ‘beefless burger’ it’s time to take another look with this sizzling video. The “Beyond Burger” of this new & special build may only be available at the California restaurant for now, but if it works, it’ll be coming to a store near you.

How to overcome meat?
1. Taste the same or better
2. Be less expensive
That’s pretty much it. The market takes care of the rest, because if you could have something that tasted just like a burger, cost less than a normal burger AND didn’t harm a cow…who’d say no to that? Everyone’s always looking to save money. If it didn’t involve sacrificing quality or flavor the switch would be easy to flip.

What’s this got to do with chia?
Well…chia seeds grow in the environment (and so does everyone) where livestock pollutes the environment (cutting down forests to raise cattle, methane emissions, etc.) so replacing them with something equally tasty is an important thing to think about.

As you know, we support Meatless Monday & other similar initiatives.
It makes a huge difference if you just eat LESS meat. Nobody’s saying to go vegan suddenly, but even skipping meat on one day of the week, every week makes a giant difference. Chia is (of course) here to step in as your source of complete plant protein on meat-free days, or on any day. Unlike other plant proteins, chia’s is complete, like that found in meat.

Advances in food tech are always exciting!
Especially when you can see video proof. A new way to eat great flavors and make healthier choices looks like it’s on the way.

Catchin’ the Flavor Wave: Banana Wave!

Another new, cool product hits the market?
Yes: Banana Wave the latest plant milk is now on store shelves in markets like Whole Foods & Tunies’. Naturally, the MySeeds Test Kitchen has to give it a try. A way to add another serving of healthy fruit to anyone’s day is always welcome and if it’s another non-dairy milk option that’s great too, so how does this one measure up?

What’s different?
First of all, this isn’t some mild-mannered ‘background milk’ like rice milk. It has a definite and nice banana flavor. If you like bananas you’d want to be able to just drink it as-is, which is more than can be said of some other milks. There are 2 whole bananas in every package, so good flavor is to be expected. But, when you use this milk it’ll give the flavor of banana to anything you put it in. Also, bananas are naturally sweet, so this milk is sweet tasting too. This will make it a hit with kids. (Remember: kids taste-buds ARE NOT the same as adults. They’re especially sensitive to bitter compounds (avoid), and especially reactive to sweet tastes (seek out))

What’s the same?
It’s got a thicker texture, more like almond or soy milk than a thin one such as rice milk. Perfect for applications where you need a wet ingredient, but something not too watery. It’s not bright yellow or anything, because this is organic with only natural ingredients. It has about the same amount of sugars as orange juice, so if you like banana more than orange, go for it.

But how about chia pudding?
The paleo-dieter’s favorite and easy all-natural snack CAN be made with Banana Wave

bananawavepudding

However, it takes longer than normal to gel chia seeds in Banana Wave. Whereas filtered water takes about 15 minutes to make chia gel, BW will take at least an hour, but, preferably over night for the best texture. (Pudding is still made with 1 part chia to 9 parts Banana Wave)

Don’t like pudding texture? What else can you do with Banana Wave?
Well, it’s tasty enough to drink on its own.
But, it’s FANTASTIC for oatmeal, both hot, cold & over-night.
Super for smoothies
You can replace dairy milk in pancakes (for a banana scented slightly denser pancake)
Same with no-yeast breads (banana bread, muffins, etc)

So what’s the MySeeds Chia Test Kitchen doing while “Going Bananas”?
Whirling up a healthy breakfast in the blender with smooth, creamy, super-flavorful overnight chia oatmeal. This isn’t your grandma’s oatmeal, just look at this

bananawaveoolayer

It’s strawberry banana layers of creamy, fiber rich breakfast goodness. Chia and oats bring plant protein to the table, while strawberries (Fresh or frozen) add vitamin c, & Banana Wave has omega-3s, potassium, and even vitamin c. Spooning up this pretty and tasty breakfast will keep you feeling satisfied all the way until lunch.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup plain quick cook oatmeal
1/3 cup Banana Wave
1/2 fresh or frozen banana
1 teaspoon MySeeds Chia Seeds
1/3 cup plain quick cook oatmeal
1/3 cup Banana Wave
1/4 cup (plus a berry) fresh or frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon MySeeds Chia Seeds

The night before…
In your blender jar, add 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup Banana Wave, chia seeds and half of the banana. Add the lid, place in the fridge & let sit over night.
In a bowl, combine the 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup Banana Wave, chia seeds & strawberries. Cover the bowl, place in the fridge & let sit over night.

In the morning…
Blend the banana mixture that was already in the blender jar. Pour into your glass. Don’t bother rinsing the blender, just dump the strawberry mixture from the bowl into the blender & puree until smooth. Pour that layer into your glass on top of the banana layer & you’re ready to eat!

Like this recipe? Expect more from us as we continue to “catch the wave”.
How about pre-prepared boxed cereals?
Cereal and milk is a classic combo for kids and adults in a hurry in the morning. Banana Wave is here to keep you from getting bored. Make all your cereal flavors new again when you mix in the great taste of banana. Look how well it goes with these common flavors of cereal…
Great on cereals because:
Cinnamon with banana? Sure.
Berry with banana? Of course.
Chocolate & banana? You bet.
PB flavored cereal. Classic.
Even plain cereals like rice, corn, bran or oat based flakes get a tasty boost from Banana Wave.

The place it wouldn’t work would be with “sugar cereals” like marshmallow, frosted anything, probably ‘cookie’ or too sweet. Remember: BW is pretty sweet and really fruity, too much sugar or non-matching flavor in the cereal won’t work.

If you’re ‘bananas’ about great flavor and adding more servings of fruit to your day ask for this milk in your local stores as it’s a tasty new alternative.

Fancy & Healthy? It’s Possible in the Valentines Parfait

It’s generally thought that ‘fancy’ is not often ‘healthy’ or that super delicious somehow can’t also be ‘good for you’. Well…this Valentines day it was time to change that!
Now, you can make something that’s good looking AND good for you as a breakfast or dessert treat for your Valentine. That’s right…it’s so tasty it could be a dessert, but so low on sugar that it could be a breakfast. And of course…it’s got the beautiful pink, red and white colors you’ll need for the holiday.

valentinesbreakfastparfait
But what’s in here?
The dark red is chia sweet-strawberry jam. And there’s not 1 bit of added sugar! The pink is chia strawberry overnight oats. Don’t think “oatmeal” when you see that word though…over-night means smooth, creamy, milk-shake texture that’s perfect to spoon up and enjoy. The white is either coconut cream (whipped) or whipped dairy-cream that’s made at home. The difference here is that when you make it at home, it only takes teaspoons of powdered sugar to make the lightly-sweet creamy taste everyone wants. Frozen whipped cream & pre-prepared whips can have oils, preservatives, artificial flavors & too much sugar. If you’ve got a hand-mixer, you can easily whip up your own better-for-you cream in minutes. *Coconut whipped cream is the vegan option & is made in a very similar way, but from a can of full-fat coconut milk.

“But there is added sugar”
Yes, it’s true…but, it’s also less than a bowl of ordinary cereal, certainly less than toaster pastries, and less than you’d end up with when syrup-ing a pancake or waffle. So it’s not perfect for you, but it’s so much less of a ‘splurge’ than other Valentine breakfasts out there that it’s still a feel-good treat.

It’s all powered by chia:
To make home-made jam, you need chia’s gelling action to thicken the fruit. This is a no-cook healthy jam. To make the over-night oatmeal, chia is a big help too, adding fiber, protein, and omega 3 oils. (Oats are oil free, but a little bit of this healthy oil at each meal is good for you & helps keep you feeling full)
When a breakfast can look this good, be this filling, and be this good for you…it’s a winner! The ‘cherry’ on top is how fast it is to prepare. Everything except the whipped cream is done the night before. And, if you can blend, you can make all of it within minutes.

So, get the recipe for Valentines, or any time of the year at
Chia Valentines Breakfast Parfait . Like it? Like us! We’re always giving out holiday recipes on Facebook to our fans.

Then, make sure you have chia on hand at http://www.mychiaseeds.com , so you can enjoy delicious, healthy no-cook, small batch, jams whenever you want.

Frightful Fruit Salad: The Worst Recipe?

While looking for good ideas for recipes, videos, tips and more…
You’re bound to run across something a little fishy once in a while. However, this “ad” that rolls before several youtube videos, especially if you’re looking around the fun foods category contained literally the WORST fruit salad that we’ve ever seen. It started off bad, then only got worse (if you can believe it) and what made it even more frightening, was it was being marketed at parents to give to “the kids” so they’d be eating fruit.

Now, we’re not here to bash this misguided salad dressing manufacturer, but instead the ill-conceived and downright dangerous (to health, that is, not like its going to set on fire or something) recipe they’re paying to promote on the internet and TV. There were just too many things wrong with it to miss out on writing something to take a stand against “Fake Health Foods” like this one.

Learn why this is a bad idea, then see some good ideas for fruit too!

The recipe went something like this:
1 can of mixed fruit
1/2 cup Maraschino cherries
1 sliced banana
1 cup pastel colors mini marshmallows
# amount of their sweetened fruit and poppyseed dressing
Stir it all together and let the kids go wild! Just look at all the “healthy fruit”.

This thing is a nightmare.
First of all, canning fruit, by necessity of safety, heats it up and eliminates some of the nutrients, kills off enzymes, and wrecks some of the vitamins and antioxidants. They’re heat-sensitive. There is also no reason to use syrup-canned fruit anyway, in something like this. Yes, even if you rinse it. Fresh fruits are generally available (which ones depend on the season) and if the one you wanted isn’t, a frozen fruit is fine too. Freezing instead of heating still preserves, but doesn’t reduce nutrition as much. Cutting up fruit doesn’t take much time, and the nutrition is worth the while. Keep fruit OUT of cans! You’re missing out on too much.

Maraschino Cherry
A cherry is fine! Even a maraschino cherry is fine every now and then. They have dessert, ham, and drink based applications. A drink, a ham, or a dessert is a fine treat with such a cherry, but they shouldn’t be a daily meal. Why?
Don’t eat these things thinking you’re getting actual cherry nutrition! Of course, these are also packed in syrup. Not only are they heated/pasteurized to preserve, but they’re also bleached white until tasteless & colorlessness with sulfur dioxide & calcium chloride, then artificially re-colored with several food dyes & then soaked in sugar with flavor-syrup to “re flavor” them until they can be called “Cherries” once more. The nutrition has long gone from these things, replaced by sugar, which you’re trying to avoid too much of.

Banana:
The only fresh thing on the list. Bananas are great! As an ingredient in overnight oatmeal, a snack that’s sure better than a candy bar, and as a sweetening agent in baked goods like banana-nut bread, banana chocolate chip swirl cookies and even as slices on cereal. We have 0 problems with this ingredient.

Mini marshmallows of pastel colors
With 2 kinds of syruped fruit you wouldn’t think any more sugar would be needed, but it adds yet another layer with the pure sugar of marshmallows. Sure, a marshmallow now and again in a dessert is ok. The point is to not eat them at every meal, serve them for breakfast (ever!), or shoe-horn them into a salad. The marshmallow’s place is in dessert or by the camp-fire, which isn’t an every-day thing.

Sweet dressing:
Sweet dressings also have their uses. Honey-Dijon, honey-lime, some stevia in a lemon dressing…you’ll find quite a few that use sweetness as well & to balance flavors. Even the dressing in the ad can have positive uses, but it has to have *Balance*!

How can you do better?
When something’s bad or not right, there can sometimes be a good lesson in it. And, in this case it’s true…so what can you do? How to make a real, fun fruit salad that kids will still eat?

Don’t smother in sweet:
Fruit flavors do BETTER with contrast. Instead of soaking everything in high fructose corn syrup and blotting out the flavor, toss in a contrasting flavor like lime juice or mint. A little sweet (banana) a little sour (lime) or the peppy mint adds interest to the fruits. Kids like sweet n’ sour candy like gummy worms, a blast of citrus won’t scare anyone away. Taste the natural sweetness of fruit, then enhance with a splash of citrus and a touch of local raw honey.

Fresh fruit!
“Kids don’t want to get bored”. Well, true of almost anyone…so think seasonally! Are plums in? How about strawberries? Berries like raspberries, blackberries & blueberries are already naturally pretty sweet if they’re fresh. Say “no” to heated, canned, syrup fruit and yes to the interesting tastes of the seasons…making up new mixes as the year goes on to keep the nutrition, color, AND interest on the table.

Local Raw Honey:
Kids got allergies? Consider sweetening with local raw honey. Skip the sugar, put down the HFCS, and say no to ‘pre-sweetened’ items when you have raw local honey. Why local? Bees gather nectar and pollen from local flowers. This gets processed into their honey, and when you eat that honey & digest it, it can help get the body ‘used to’ these potential allergens so it doesn’t over-react. Why raw? Heating honey destroys enzymes, nutrients, and phytochemicals (plant compounds) that are naturally present. Honey naturally defeats bacteria (smothers them) so raw honey is still safe and actually much, much more nutritious than the heated version. Local raw honey is a sweetener you can feel good about.

You can absolutely make a fun, colorful, fresh fruit salad that kids will enjoy, AND it is nearly as easy as opening the cans or jars. Forget the terrible recipe that’s actually horrible for health, and focus on the fresh & flavorful instead.

Recipe Substitutions- Chia & Beyond

Recipe substitutions can be a help or a hindrance to better tasting, easier, or healthier food. Do you have any favorite substitutions? Want to know more? This is the post for you, so let’s get started with Chia Seed substitutions!

Chia the Butter/Oil Substitute
The most common sub use for chia is as a replacement for butter or oil in baked recipes. It works because chia’s healthy omega-3s are still ‘an oil’, and the gel on the seed shell doesn’t act like plain water or fruit juice. The foods come out tasting the same, but with up to half the fat removed. This is great for lower calorie, less greasy, baking.
The substitution rate here is 1 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon. If it said 8 tablespoons of butter, then you can do 4 tablespoons butter and 4 of chia gel, then complete the recipe normally. It’s so easy!

Chia the egg substitute
Some baked recipes can have 1 of the eggs, or an egg white, or a yolk, substituted out with chia gel. Because the gel is composed of soluble fiber, it’s still a bit of a binder-type ingredient. Thanks to the omega 3s, there are still some healthy fats. Much like an egg white, there’s no real flavor in chia gel, when made with filtered water.
This is great to make a vegetarian recipe vegan, or to avoid the use of a partial egg. (If the recipe called for 1 egg and 1 egg-white, you can just use chia instead of the white. Of course, you can’t substitute it for whipped egg-whites.

See a SlideShare on How to Use Chia Seeds as an Egg Substitute

Limitation:
You can’t use chia gel to substitute for BOTH butter AND an egg in a recipe. It’s got to be one or the other. You also can’t remove ALL the butter or oil, and just have chia.

What about other substitutions though?
There’s applesauce instead of some sugar in certain baked sweets, different kinds of yogurt switching out for other dairy, and of course milk vs. soy milk. But how about some other ones you may not have tried yet?
Learn what items CAN be freely swapped out for one another, and which ones you’ll have to do more research for. They also give away linked guides and some recipes as well.
Food 52 Substitution Guide .
It’s important to learn about making, baking, and preparing food at home…where you’re in control of the ingredients & you can be sure the food is fresh. Plus, making stuff at home (substitutions or not) can be fun, and you can enjoy better-tasting meals year around.

What is a Nispero? Should You Eat It?

Here in the MySeeds Test Kitchen, we’re always encouraging people to “try something new”! When they see an unusual fruit or vegetable on the grocery shelf or at the farmers’ market. So, when the Nispero appeared at a farmers market, we took up the challenge.

Variety is still the spice of good health.
Micronutrients of all sorts can be hiding in various fruits and veggies. Trying one you’ve never had before keeps things interesting both in taste, and in health. Eating seasonally is the easiest way toward a varied menu, but, trying something you’ve never seen before can be an adventure too.

Behold: A Nisperoimg_1742

What is it?
A Nispero is a small, mostly oval shaped smooth light brown tree fruit. It is ready to eat when it’s a little bit soft.

Where is it from?
South America & Mexico apparently have some of these, and it may be related to the Loquat or Medlar. Why isn’t it common in the USA? (You’ll soon see…)

How’s the nutrition?
It has it’s own version of fruit pectin, there’s potassium, A, C, fiber, iron, and some ‘unique plant compounds’, that have been said to help with blood pressure issues. Not a lot has been done to look into the nutrition of the fruit or any hidden, unique health benefits or health problem solving the Nispero might help with. Certainly, though, it’s not bad for you by any means. It could be a healthy choice at lunch.nisperoopen

So what is it like?
Now, we get to why Nisperos are not common in the USA. First, it’s kind of boring looking, being pale brown & about the size of a very large kiwi. Next, the interior is also brown or tan or yellowish-brown. It is soft and you can scoop it out of the peel with a spoon very easily. It has usually 1 big black seed inside. The seed is very hard, glossy, and easy to simply take away. There is no core, and it is apparently solid inside. The skin is very thin. So, it’s easy to prepare, but has no big visual appeal. It’s not going to stand out among red and green pears, colorful apples, purple plums, red strawberries, green/yellow pineapples and colored grapes. Sure, a big tangy flavor could propel it onto shelves but…

How’s the taste?
Sweet, but rather dull. It has the texture of a very “grainy” pear. It smells sweet, but also like lumber or cut wood. This gets into the flavor, giving it a bit of a ‘woody’ hint because it’s otherwise pretty bland. Since they’re not commonly grown in the USA, they’re also a tad costly. The flavor would likely not be regarded as worth the price. Most people (who we asked, who tried it) say “it is ok”.

Uses?
We were told it’s enjoyed in a milkshake or with vanilla ice cream. But why? Even a mild ice cream would over-power the fruit’s flavor and you’d be left with somewhat grainy, brown ice cream. Blending it into a smoothie or milk shake would certainly erase the taste…which, as it smells of the Home Depot lumber area that’s fine…but renders it a tad pointless unless someone figures out that it has extreme health benefits.

So, you can see why it’s not common outside of places it was originally grown.
The taste isn’t spectacular (good nor bad) & it isn’t a flashy fruit with color or oddity appeal. It’s a fairly neutral item. Should you eat it?
Probably, just so you can say you’ve tried it. It’s mildness means it’s very unlikely to offend anyone, child nor adult. And who knows! Maybe you’ll be a fan. Its nutrition is decent, so you’re not doing yourself any harm by scooping out a Nispero to give it a try. An all-new taste is always memorable and exciting…even if the item itself isn’t on top of the flavor charts.

Cardamom: Overlooked on the Spice Rack

What is cardamom?
A healthy spice that should be on the menu! (if you like it)
It is often a part of baked goods, chai tea, and fig dishes. It seems to be more popular in Europe than the USA. It was more popular in the past than it is now. It will show up more in older cook books. (Why? Is it the cost? Is it that figs are also not as popular now?) Be sure to try to use a coupon when you buy it though, as it can be more costly than other spices. However…it’s well worth its while because…

Like ginger, it fights so many digestive issues!
Gas, bloating, too much acid, queasiness, low appetite, and even bad breath. But, there’s even more in store with cardamom like bad bacteria can’t stand it, it’s got a nice level of anti-oxidants, and helps out your kidneys. Having a little something every day (whether it’s ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, etc) that aids your digestion is a good way to keep your digestive health in good shape all the time. Cardamom is just another way to do this & get some unique flavor at the same time.

Cardamom is anti-inflammatory
However, it’s anti inflammatory properties are generally limited to digestion and the nose/throat/mucus membranes. So, if you’re looking to combat the inflammation from arthritis, it may not be the best pick, but if you’re suffering the inflammation of a cold or sore throat, add this one to the menu. It can also calm down digestive cramping.

So it’s really good for you…but how’s the taste?
Maybe quite mildly ‘peppery’, but with a hint of citrus smell. It really is unique, so don’t miss out on trying it, if you haven’t already. It wouldn’t be out of place in a ginger cookie (something everyone’s had) It can be used in sweet or savory recipes…however, it’s more common in the sweet ones. What does it work well with? Mild choices like pears, figs, dates, vanilla-themed items, breads, and coconut.

How about some fun recipes?
Convinced to get Cardamom? Of course you’ll want some starter recipes so grab the MySeeds Speedy Chai Banana Pancakes recipe (pancakes for one, blend and done? You bet!) and then you can have 7 others at

The Edit’s Cardamom Ideas

Smelling cardamom slowly is supposed to stop the hiccups!
(Is this really the solution?)

With these good ideas & the health factors in mind, it might be time to expand the spice rack a little bit with a jar of Cardamom.