Pumpkin Bread for the Season

Pumpkin bread

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite breads to have on hand during the fall season and on into the holidays. It combines the mellow pumpkin flavor with cinnamon and nuts for a great fall flavor.

Bread baked in the  smaller miniature loaves are great for gift giving. Children like to make cupcakes using this recipe. Just  pour batter into muffin tins about two-thirds full and viola..a tasty snack.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk or water
2 cups (16 oz. can) pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; add the rest of ingredients. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Fill two well-greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans one-half full. Bake in 350 degrees oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack.

Makes 2 loaves

This bread is high in sugar and oil so keep the slices thin and without butter!  But pumpkin is loaded with much
nutritional value and I like to think the high sugar and oil consequences are overshadowed somewhat by the
pumpkin’s nutrients! Again, moderation is the key.

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant,
beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.

Current research indicates that food containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of
cancer and offers protection against heart disease. It has also shown to be effective against the degenerative aspects of aging.

Here are the nutrition facts for 1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, pumpkin without salt:
Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg

This is the wonderful season of glorious colors and tempting foods.

May you enjoy good, healthy foods.

Lee Jackson
Books for cooks and apple lovers
children, families and parenting professionals
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Timely Pumpkin Trivia

Here  is a little pumpkin trivia:

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Photographed in Canada

Pumpkins have been grown in America for over 5,000 years.

Six of the seven continents grow pumpkins. Antarctica is the only continent where they won’t grow. They are even grown in Alaska.

Colonists made pumpkin pies by filling a hollowed out pumpkin shell with milk, honey and spices and then roasting them over hot ashes. Did they learn this from the Indians?

Many consider the  pumpkin a vegetable but it really is a fruit. As a type of squash, it is member of the gourd family and is related to cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

Pumpkin is 90 percent water.

Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.

The weight of the world’s largest pumpkin has been variously listed as 1,061 lb., 1140 lb., 1385 lb., and 1,502 lb. Take your pick. That would make quite a few pies!

One record indicates that the  largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

Another survey states that the world’s largest pumpkin pie weighed 2,020 pounds and measured more than 12 feet! It took 5 hours to bake and produced over 3000 slices!

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Indians used pumpkins as food and medicine.

Enjoy pumpkins – ’tis the season!

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Apple Festival Time

Harvest festivals are in full swing. Love this time of year!

I just came back from visiting Door County in Wisconsin where I bought some McIntosh apples. These apples are well-known in the northern part of the US and Canada.

The McIntosh is a very old apple variety, making its debut in Ontario, Canada in 1870. It went on to much fame, with the Empire and Cortland being two of its well-known offspring varieties.

It’s named after a farmer by the name of John McIntosh. The original tree was near the McIntosh home and was badly scorched when the house burned down in 1894. The tree continued to limp along, bearing fruit until 1908. A stone memorial now marks its site.

This dark red apple has an aromatic smell and has a somewhat spicy interior. It’s a good variety to use for applesauce but tends to lose its shape when baked in a pie. Makes great cider.

For ways on using McIntosh apples, as well as other varieties, check out my two apple cookbooks here.

Enjoy apples!

Lee Jackson

Author, From the Apple Orchard and
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

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What to Do With All Those Apples?

Now, what are you going to do with all those apples? With hundreds of ways to enjoy apples, will you use them in pies, desserts, salads, breads, jellies, or other?

Following is a recipe for a super easy way to use apples in a coffee cake for Sunday morning breakfast or anytime. It’s from my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers. Kids will enjoy making this simple but yummy and quick coffee cake.

APPLE BISCUIT COFFEE CAKE

2 cooking apples, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup raisins
1 can refrigerated ready-to-bake biscuits

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in bottom of 9″ round cake pan. Arrange sliced apples over butter. Sprinkle raisins over apples. Cut each of the 10 biscuits into fourths and place over apples.

Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup and egg until well blended and sugar is dissolved. Pour over biscuits. Sprinkle walnuts overtop. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter.

Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes. An adult needs to invert on serving plate, spooning juices over top. Place larger plate over cake pan and invert – use hot pads and lots of care as it is hot and gooey and can be tricky.

Yield:   6-8 servings

Enjoy the fruit of the season!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Apple cookbook author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers and
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

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Six Tips for Picking and Storing Apples

English: food , fruit , fruits , apple , apples

This crisp Fall air brings with it the wonderful smell and taste of fresh picked apples.

Here are six tips for picking and storing apples:

  • Twist or turn the apple from the branch. If you pull it, the buds next to it will break off and not bear fruit next year.
  • Don’t rely on redness as a guide to flavor.  Apples come in all shades of reds, yellows and greens. Choose clear colored apples. Often those with an intense green undercast or undertone are not completely ripe. Those with a dull yellowish-green undercast may be too ripe.
  • Choose apples that are free from bruises, blemishes and skin breaks. They should be firm with no soft spots or bruises.
  • When apples are thumped lightly with the knuckle, they should sound hollow, but not dull. Their smell should be flowery and aromatic.
  • For crisp, juicy apples, store in their plastic bag in the crisper part of the refrigerator, at 30 to 32 degrees. The freezing point of apples, which is damaging to the fruit, is about 28 or 29 degrees.
  • Wash just before using, as their protective coating helps keep them from becoming dehydrated and bruised.

Apples are best when at their freshest. Orchards and roadside stands are overflowing with their best products of the season.  This is the ideal time to visit apple orchards, stands, and produce centers, and savor the delectable fruits of the harvest.

I’ll be at Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure in Nebraska City, Nebraska this week-end, September 22. Hope to see you there!

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson
author of From the Apple Orchard – Favorite Recipes for Apple Lovers and
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes from America’s Orchards

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Author Meets World of Apples

I’ve had lots of nice comments on the recent story in the St. Joseph News-Press by Sylvia Anderson about my apple

Various apples

cookbooks and my work with apples. You can see the story here.

Lee Jackson

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Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

Many years ago when I was a family and consumer sciences teacher, the students could hardly wait to work

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...

in a foods lab. “Are we cookin’

today” was an often heard remark.

Fall especially brought an abundance of different foods to prepare and sample.

One of the most versatile and interesting was the use of apples.  At that time we had five unit kitchens with four students in each. Each kitchen was to choose a different method of preparing apples and then all would sample the results.

There was much “ours is better than yours”. “No, wait ‘til you try this” and “I didn’t think you could do all this with apples”.

Thus began the basis for my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard Recipes for Apple Lovers.  Who would have thought this cookbook would be one folks tell me they refer to every fall?

If you have a problem wondering what to do with all those apples, I invite you to check out this book at http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com and get one for yourself – and a friend. Apples continue to be one of nature’s most beautiful and bountiful fruits.

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson, CFCS

Family and Consumer Life Studies

http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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10 Top GMO Foods to Avoid (From NaturalNews.com)

Information in my last post had to do with the dangers of GMO foods and why we must avoid them. As consumers we’ve been trained to read labels, but GMO per se doesn’t show up on labels. Then how do we know we are eating GMO foods? 

Here is an article by J.D. Heyes with a list of GMO foods to avoid published in NaturalNews.com on 6/1/12.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036063_GMOs_foods_infographics.html

We here at NaturalNews.com pride ourselves in providing our readers with the most valuable, up-to-date news and information on a wide range of health-related issues, but we especially like to discuss nutrition because so much of our health depends on what we put in our bodies – and what we don’t put in them.

See the NaturalNews infographic at:

http://www.naturalnews.com/Infographic-Top-10-GMO-Foods-to-Avoid-Eating.html

Be aware and beware

With that latter thought in mind, we’ve developed an infographic to highlight the top 10 GMO (genetically modified organism) foods to avoid, in no particular order:

1. Zucchini: It goes without saying that many biotech companies say genetically modified foods are safe for you, but as GMO science expands, researchers are finding more evidence that such foods can harm your health. One of those is zucchini. While not as potentially harmful as other GM foods, zucchini is nonetheless “engineered” to resist some strains of virus.

2. Cotton: Considered a food item because its oil can be consumed, cotton – in particular, genetically modified Bt cotton, common to India and China – has damaging consequences. According to recent Chinese research, while Bt cotton is capable of killing bollworms without the use of insecticides, its decreased use has increased the presence of other crop-harming pests. Also, Bt cotton production has been linked to drastic depletion of soil nutrients and lower crop yields, as well as much higher water requirements.

3. Canola: This is probably one of the most misunderstood, misguided “healthy” food choices out there right now, but there is little about canola – and similar oils – that is good for you. Extracted from rapeseed, canola oil and others must be chemically removed from the seeds, then deodorized and altered, in order to be utilized in foods. They are among the most chemically altered foods in our diets.

4. Aspartame: An artificial sweetener found in a number of products, aspartame – discovered by accident in 1965 by a chemist testing an anti-ulcer drug – accounts for as many as 75 percent of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to some reports. Some seizures and even some deaths have been blamed on aspartame.

5. Dairy: A disturbingly high number – as many as one-fifth – of dairy cows in the U.S. today are given growth hormones to increase milk production, a figure that has been rising since the FDA approved a genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone known as rbGH or rbST for use in dairy cows in 1993. While said to boost production by 5-15 percent, scientists have expressed concern that the increased levels of IGF-1 (insulin growth factors-1) from hormone-treated cows may boost the risks of colon and breast cancer. Since 2008, Hiland Dairy has stopped using milk from dairy farmers who inject their cows with growth hormone.

6. Corn: Modified now to create its own insecticide, as many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn, with tons of it now being introduced for human consumption, according to the FDA. Doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec recently found Bt toxin from modified corn in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant women.

7. Papayas: Genetically modified papayas have been grown in Hawaii commercially since 1999, designed to combat the Papaya Ringspot Virus. Approved for sale and consumption in the U.S. and Canada, GM papayas cannot be imported or sold in the European Union.

8. Sugar: Sugar from genetically modified sugar beets hit the market in the U.S. in 2009. They were modified by the Monsanto Corporation to be resistant to the company’s Roundup herbicide. In 2010 a group of Oregon farmers sued to stop planting that year of Monsanto’s genetically altered sugar beets over fears the crops could cross-contaminate other nearby fields.

9. Soy: Like other foods, soy, too, has been genetically modified to resist herbicides. Soy is included in soy flour, tofu, soy beverages, soybean oil and scores of other products, especially baked goods and pastries. According to one report, “[a]fter feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.”

10. Yellow squash Like zucchini, yellow squash is also a fast-rising GMO crop in the U.S., and as such, should cause you concern. If you like squash – and scores of Americans do – check out a farmer’s market that doesn’t sell GMO squash or grow your own using non-modified seed.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.naturalnews.com/Infographic-Top-10-GMO-Foods-to-Avoid-Eating.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/035734_GMOs_foods_dangers.html

http://www.deccanherald.com

http://www.hilanddairy.com/green/no-artificial-growth-hormones

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036063_GMOs_foods_infographics.html#ixzz24rR5JYWd

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Keep You and Your Family Safe From GMO’s

For the sake of your health, please read the following article about the hazards of GMO products from Leanne Ely at her website: http://savingdinner.com/articles/love-good-holy-gmo/

Stop! Genetically modified organism(s) - GMO. ...

Please, for the love of all that’s good and holy, say no to GMO

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Young Chefs as Food Critics, Food Writers, and Culinary Enthusiasts

Young Chef

Young Chef (Photo credit: Javier Delgado Esteban)

Interesting story and slideshow about 10 young cooks who already have promising culinary careers in their future. http://www.thedailymeal.com/10-most-famous-kid-critics-and-cooks

Kid can never start too young to get interested in food and cooking.

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