Hi everyone,

Continuing on with our A is for month…. the Artichoke!

If there is a specific vegetable season that I wait for in MN, it is artichoke season because then we can actually afford to buy them. They are a favorite with everyone in the family. (I am serious, including our 4 year old grandson, who actually asks for them). With five in the house at one time, it was a real treat and a dent in the grocery budget, but worth every bite!

Artichokes need a cool climate for optimum growth and that is why you will find them primarily along the coastal areas of California in the spring and summer and inland areas for winter growth. Artichokes, a member of the thistle family (sunflower plant),  are hardy plants and produce their crops for about ten years. The artichoke we eat is actually the plant’s flower bud.

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Posted by admin, filed under Alphabet Posts, Healthy Food, Random Recipes, Vegetables. Date: February 20, 2011, 10:58 am | 1 Comment »

Hi everyone,

While grocery shopping with my grandson, who is 4 years old, we started playing the alphabet game in the produce department. It gave me a great idea for my blog. I am going to select a letter of the alphabet each month and cover a fruit, vegetable or an herb or spice. Just sounded like fun, so let’s get started.

A is for Avocado and a favorite in our house. After living in California for most of my life and, at one time, having avocado trees in my backyard, I check the grocery sales each week for specials.  Although Haas avocados can tolerate cooler temperatures, it is just a bit too cold in MN, so we, obviously, look to outside sources.

The Haas is probably my favorite avocado and that is partly because they are available all year.  Because the avocado has a seed, it is considered a fruit, not a vegetable. It has the nickname of “Alligator Pear” because of the skin on the outside and the shape of the avocado resembles a pear.

Despite the bad rap about the fat, avocados contain a healthy fat that should be included in your diet, possibly as a substitute for other fats you might eat. Avocados also have lutein, which is great for the eyes,  lots of vitamins and minerals and contain more fiber than any other fruit.

San Diego County produces about 60% of the avocado crops in California and Fallbrook, CA (San Diego County)  calls itself the “Avocado Capital of the World”. Each year they have an Avocado Festival, which I think would be a not only fun, but some pretty good avocado tasting too.

There are several resources for more information on avocados, so check them out:

Get creative, enjoy that avocado and check back for our next “A is for….” post.

Take care,

Judy

http://www.localfoodconnections.com

Posted by admin, filed under Alphabet Posts, Fruits. Date: February 10, 2011, 5:37 pm | Comments Off on A is for ….Avocado