I hope you had a scary and spooky Halloween week, the kind that would make proud the scarf wearing kids from Scooby-Doo. Mine was terrifying and it started out like this: I came home from work and asked my nine-year-old daughter how her day had been. Usually I get a “fine,” or “the same,” but this day I got a whopper. “We tried to come up with the weirdest Halloween name we could think of at recess.” This sounded interesting so I settled down for the scoop. “Well,” she said enthusiastically. “We started with my friend who is friends with this family that named their kids ‘Moss’ and ‘Cricket’ but we thought those were too normal. So we decided on ‘Bob.’” She smiled triumphantly. “‘Bob’ is my dad’s name,” I said, “and kind of normal.” “It is so not normal, dad,” she informed me. “It’s just weird.”
While “Bob” is pretty spooky, I’ve always felt that the spookiest fruit name is Pomegranate. The name comes from the Latin pomum granatum, or “apple of many seeds” and it has been around longer than The Mummy—ancient varieties were cultivated in Mesopotamia. Pomegranates pack a nutritional wallop with potassium and powerful antioxidants that can help protect your blood lipids and may even stop plaque from accumulating on arterial walls like the green goo in “Ghostbusters.” The trick is how to eat one in a white shirt. The juice, just like blood, will stain your clothes. We recommend carefully cutting off the ends (top and bottom) and then scoring the sides in 4 equal lines down the outside of the skin with a knife. Score lightly so that the line breaks the red outer layer but doesn’t cut through the pithy white layer inside. Once that is done you can easily break the fruit apart in a bowl of water to avoid any errant red spray. Once you’ve divided it into four pieces, peel back the rind and watch the seeds fall to the bottom of the bowl while the rind floats to the top. Strain or just pull out the seeds and enjoy. There is a great video showing this process on YouTube.
To see what’s in your box, please visit our website and click on This Week’s Mix.
Enjoy and be fruitful! firstname.lastname@example.org
Pumpkins: Not Just for Halloween
While the glowering Mr. Jack O' Lantern will certainly do some face melting in the next week or two, inspiring investigation by the budding entomologists in your family, there is plenty more to be done with pumpkins than just turn them into doorstops. Most Halloween-variety carving pumpkins are also edible, but the smaller Sugar Pie varieties provide a sweeter and more mellow flesh and might be preferred for baking. Pumpkins originated in Central America. Native Americans stripped, flattened and dried their skins and wove them into mats. They would also roast them in open fires and use the seeds for medicine. The pilgrims were inspired by them to fill them with milk, honey, and spices and roast them in hot coals, creating the first pumpkin pie!
Pumpkins are chock full of the antioxidant beta-carotene, as evidenced by their orange color. One cup of cooked pumpkin includes 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, plus calcium, potassium, iron, Vitamins A, C, and E, plus zinc, all for only 49 calories.
To cook: Pumpkins can be roasted, boiled, or microwaved. For the oven, cut pumpkin in half, clean inside, rinse in cold water and place face down on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for one hour or until fork tender. For microwave, place face down and microwave on high for 15 minutes or until fork tender. For boiling, clean inside and then cut the pumpkin into large chunks, rinses in cold water, and then place in large pot with about a cup of water. Cover and boil for 20-30 minutes until fork tender. Reserve the liquid for a soup base if desired.
The puree: remove the peel when the flesh is cool enough to handle. Place the flesh in a food processor, food mill, or potato ricer to form a puree. Pumpkin puree freezes well and can be prepared in advance. Use as a substitute for any recipe calling for canned pumpkin.
- Heidi Lewis
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Office Yoga Stretches for Quick Energy
Feeling restless at your desk? Thinking of chocolate or something sweet to pep you up? Try these simple yoga stretches for a burst of energy. Practice them as often as you like.
Chest Opener – Sit up straight near the front edge of your chair. Place your arms behind you with your hands on the backrest of the chair. Interlace your fingers and clasp hands. Slowly straighten your arms while rolling your shoulders back and lifting your chest up. Keep your ribs in rather than poking them forward. Now see if you can raise your interlocked hands up towards the ceiling while lifting your chest. Repeat with hands clasped the other way. Don’t forget to keep breathing normally. This pose increases lung capacity and relieves neck and shoulder tension. See this YouTube video.
Modified Downward Dog – Place hands shoulder-width apart on your desk and step back until your ankles are slightly farther back than your hips. Keep your arms poker straight and firm your legs until you are not bending your knees. Press your heels firmly down and lift your buttock bones straight up. Draw your hips back away from the desk and move your shoulder blades towards your buttocks. To come out of the posture step forward. This pose relieves physical and mental fatigue, and helps relieve lower back stiffness.
Modified Camel Backbend – Stand close to your desk but facing away from it. Bend your knees and place your palms on the desk shoulder-width apart. Take a step away from the desk. Now roll your shoulders back as you straighten your legs. Lift your center chest up towards the ceiling. Lastly turn your head to look up. To come out bend your knees and elbows and step back towards the desk. This pose is excellent for energy, and also relieves tension in the wrists and upper back.
Once you are familiar with the routine you can practice it in three minutes, or less time than the average trip to the water cooler. Do drink some of that water to keep yourself hydrated. And when you return to work try to keep your chest lifted and your shoulders rolled back to keep tension and fatigue at bay for the rest of the day, or at least until your next yoga break!
- Rebecca Taggart
Rebecca Taggart is a San Francisco yoga instructor
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and your employees online access to UC Berkeley's Wellness Letter, the
newsletter of nutrition, fitness and self-care. It translates leading-edge
research into practical advice for daily living--at home, at work,
while exercising, shopping, or cooking.
Highlight from the November Wellness Letter:
Wellness Tips: Pneumonia vaccine
The vaccines for the H1N1 (“swine”) flu and seasonal flu have been much in the news, but don’t forget the pneumonia vaccine, which protects against the most common form of the bacteria that cause pneumonia in those over 40. It helps prevent deaths from the flu, since pneumonia is the major life-threatening complication.
Get great health tips and more in the Berkeley
Wellness Letter. The password for November is lemon.
The FruitGuys will be closed on Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th for Thanksgiving.
Deliveries on these days will be rescheduled to Wednesday, November 25th. If this delivery date does not work for you, we have 3 easy options for you to choose from:
1) Donate your fruit to one of the worthy charitable organizations we have chosen from different regions around the United States.
2) Donate your fruit to the charity of your choice and we will deliver it for free as long as it is in close proximity to one of our regional hubs in San Francisco, Chicago, or Philadelphia.
3) Reschedule your delivery to a different day or simply cancel your order delivery for that week.
Please email your preference to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 877-FRUIT-ME.
Bay Area Fruit Fans
Come see Chris Mittelstaedt read at literary journal Zzyzzyva’s 25th anniversary party at San Francisco’s Jewish Community Center, Nov. 9, 8pm, free but reservation required at email@example.com or 415-292-1233.
See www.jccsf.org for details.
Compost-o-Rama Bring Pumpkins to Enrich the Gardens
Toast with Hot Bread Kitchen - Demo Corn-grinding Cycle
New York, NY
It Takes A Region: Conference to Build Northeast Food System
Great Pumpkin Drop - Compost Event
St. Paul, MN
Soapmaking Workshop at Angelica
Organic School Project: Winter Harvest Festival
San Francisco, CA
Green Business Conference
San Francisco, CA
Food Systems: Indigenous Home Gardens of the Peruvian Amazon
Santa Cruz, CA
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